#21 Dirty Projectors – “Dirty Projectors”

Complex, challenging and wildly unpredictable, Dirty Projectors is the future sound of pop music, today. As one-man American band Dirty Projectors, 30 something Yale graduate David Longstreth has conjured up one of the year’s freshest, most powerful statements in music. Augmented by an ensemble cast of orchestral players on various wind and string instruments, Longstreth, with mad genius skills, executes most everything else himself, most notably all beats, keyboards, vocals, guitars and string arrangements. One of Paul McCartney’s personal favourites, Dirty Projectors’ latest finds Longstreth turning from his traditional American indie rock roots towards a more contemporary electronic based R&B vibe on this, his 9th album in 15 years. One of the year’s best!

Rating: 9/10

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#22 Headstones – “Little Army”

A 20 year film and television career have done nothing to soften the edge of fifty-something original Kingston punk rocker Hugh Dillon and his band of not so merry men who make up the latest incarnation of the Headstones. After a decade of sitting on the shelf taking a back seat to Dillon’s acting gig Canada’s bad boys of rawk are back and they mean business. Strictly B-T-W boys and girls, unapologetic BALLS TO THE WALL rock ‘n’ roll Hi-Test. Little Army delivers, no surprises, no disappointments. This is exactly the album that everyone wants and everyone expects from the Headstones. Now if only the Stones could take a cue from these guys.

Rating: 7.5/10

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#23 Algiers – “The Underside Of Power”

Powerfully anchored by the poignancy and politics of the album’s title track, The Underside Of Power harkens back to a bygone era when the Motown sound of young America was taking it to the streets and acts like The Temptations and Edwin Starr helped give voice to the nation’s youth with scorching tracks Ball Of Confusion and War. And as much as those records were a sign of the times so is the latest by Algiers, current, modern and of it’s day. A head turning genre bending trip through soundscapes of indie rock, gospel, R&B, EDM techno pop, punk rock and soul, The Underside Of Power is music with a message, as dense as it is danceable, echoing the eternal mantra of the gods of funk “free your mind and your ass will follow”.

Rating: 8/10

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