Readers on the Best Movies, TV, Music and Theater of 2023

By admin Dec15,2023

One of the albums that had the biggest impact in 2023 actually came out at the tail end of 2022: SZA’s “SOS.” Between their albums and song lists, our three pop music critics agreed “SOS” was one of the year’s best, along with LPs from Olivia Rodrigo and 100 gecs. Beyond that, their tastes widely diverged from one another — and, it turns out, from our readers’. (Michael Hasse, a reader in Paris, created this helpful Spotify playlist with albums recommended in the comments.)

Roddy P Glass of London:

I will add my vote to “Now and Then,” though secretly, in the quiet of my heart, I know it comes nowhere near the standard the Beatles have always given us: perfection.”

Penny Beach of Boise, Idaho:

Where is Noah Kahan? Definitely should be on this list.

Charles Grissom of Raleigh, N.C.:

I know these lists are about pop music, and that is driven by 20-somethings. But Jimmy Buffett’s posthumous 2023 album “Equal Strain on All Parts” is wonderful music and storytelling, and the song “Portugal or PEI” is an absolute gem.

Patrick Tierney of Louisville, Ky.:

I love these lists but [Lindsay] Zoladz’s in particular. Rodrigo, Polachek, and Debby Friday all made my top 10 and show how much the present and future of pop/rock/dance music is led by creative young women. I’d add to the group three very different artists — yeule, Die Spitz, Avalon Emerson — that made this a great year for new music.

Scott McGlasson of Minneapolis, Minn.:

None of my faves of the year were even mentioned: Tim Hecker, the Necks, the National, Blonde Redhead, PJ Harvey. I know, I’m old and not a music critic…

John Franz of East Bangor, Pa.:

I was shocked to see some songs and performers I’ve actually heard of. Peter Gabriel’s album is brilliant. Not sure if the new Stones album is their best work. I found Dolly’s album hilarious; she’s a gem who I never listened to much before this new album. That’s about it. Seems to me that any song from the Tedeschi Trucks album should be on the list. Kenny Wayne Shepherd. And how about Jason Isbell’s great new album.

Dan Cain of Washington, D.C.:

I vote for Yo La Tengo’s “This Stupid World.” Best album in a while from one of the founding bands of indie rock. Just listen to the first 30 seconds of the opening track, ideally at a very loud volume. It’s great.

Paul Kevin Smith of Austin, Texas:

I don’t know why she doesn’t get more attention, but Jessie Ware’s “Begin Again” was a perfect pop/disco song released this year.

And we’ll leave the last words to John Weston of Chicago:

So many comments here seem to rest on the idea that musical progress ended when John Bonham died, Lynyrd Skynyrd crashed, the Beatles broke up, the Big Bopper died, or Chuck Berry or Bessie Smith (let’s be honest, none of y’all would have cared when she died … like most of the world at the time), when “The Rite of Spring” was first performed, when Beethoven finished his Ninth Symphony or with Liszt’s use of the tritone in “Dante Sonata” (how dare he!).

To all of those such commenters and thinkers, I shall quote the one and only Bob Dylan (referenced by many on this thread):

Mothers and fathers throughout the land/
Don’t criticize what you can’t understand/
Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command/
Your old road is rapidly aging/
Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend a hand/
For the times they are a changin’.

By admin

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