10. Jade Bird (self-titled)
Beautiful pop music, full of genuine emotion and toe-tapping hooks.
9. Crushing by Julia Jacklin
Personalized folk, with an emphasis on strong lyricism.
8. Fever by Megan Thee Stallion
Raw, rough and hard FEMALE rap. No apologies.
7. Remind Me Tomorrow by Sharon Von Etten
Dark indie rock. Powerful.
6. Young Enough by Charly Bliss
Excellent songwriting from one of the shining stars of modern indie rock.
5. Western Stars by Bruce Springsteen
I was skeptical when I heard the concept of this album (Midwest Americana) and saw the cover (a horse in a field), because Bruce is best when he writes what he knows and what he knows is Jersey. But it’s a great collection of songs, and he pulls it off flawlessly.
4. Dogrel by Fontaines DC
Punk is not dead. It is alive. And it is massively pissed off.
3. Chase by Aaron May
A very exciting new voice in rap, capable of the traditional bragging-and-fighting verses, but also bringing atypical depth and sensitivity.
2. Titanic Rising by Weyes Blood
A psychedelic folk album so subtle it’s sometimes hard to hear or follow. I admit, the first time I heard it I felt like I missed it—but the second time, I got it. 100%.
1. An Obelisk by Titus Andronicus
All the best of the 1970s: The Replacements meet Bun E Carlos’ basement tapes of Cheap Trick, with a modern edge. Some of the best, non-overtly political punk I’ve ever heard.