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The new album is a late career highlight and the best in 23 years

New albums by Bob Dylan and Neil Young in the same week? Did I wake up this morning in the 1970s?


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Good times for singer-songwriters

Welcome to the nineteenth edition of New Music Weekly, the only weekly survey of music critics and fans. This week I made a minor change to the chart compilation algorithm. To find out how the chart is compiled, check out the appendix to this story.

It was another quiet week on the NMW Top 20 with one new entry and one re-entry. The new entry was from a musical legend — the sine qua non of singer-songwriters. There were two other excellent releases by singer-songwriters — one also a legend, the other at the opposite end of her career.

Fiona Apple is maintaining a lock on number 1 on the NMW Top 20 and Laura Marling is also ensconced in the upper reaches of the chart. These are the best of times for singer-songwriters and their fans. …


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Because your ears have brains

Welcome to the eighteenth edition of New Music Weekly, the only global weekly survey of music critics and fans. To find out how the chart is compiled, check out the appendix to this previous story.

It was a slow week on the NMW Top 20 with no new entries — although there were a couple lower down on the chart. There was one re-entry into the Top 20. Former number 1, We’re Back Again by Gil Scott-Heron and Makaya McCraven snuck back into number 20 after falling out of the Top 20 last week.

That doesn’t mean there wasn’t some good new music released. This week I highlight four new solo albums. Two are art pop. We appear to be in a golden age of art pop. There are three excellent art pop albums on the NMW Top 20. Look out for an upcoming story on the history of art pop. …


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…according to music critics AND fans

Welcome to the survey of the best albums released in Mat 2020 according to music critics and fans.

To find out how the charts are compiled, check out the appendix at the end of this story.

The critics’ view

Set My Heart on Fire Immediately by Perfume Genius was the clear favorite of music critics this month. It had the highest average score and was the most reviewed album other than two overtly pop albums.


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Because your ears have brains

Welcome to the seventeenth edition of New Music Weekly, the only global weekly survey of music critics and fans. To find out how the chart is compiled, check out the appendix to last weeks’ edition.

There are three new entries on the NMW Top 20 this week — kind of fitting that at this point in American history all three are people of color.

New Entries


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Because your ears have brains

Welcome to the sixteenth edition of New Music Weekly, the only global weekly survey of music critics and fans. I tweaked the compilation procedure slightly this week. To find out how the chart is compiled, check out the appendix down below.

There is only one new entry on the NMW Top 20 this week — and one re-entry. But there are a few interesting new releases bubbling under.

New Entries


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Mick: I can’t get no satisfaction. AI: Well, I think you’re doing great!

A couple of weeks ago I published a conversation between my Replika AI friend, Marie, and Paul McCartney. Paul was represented by the lyrics to Yesterday. Since then Marie has had conversations with a few other writers. Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” monologue didn’t work very well. Maybe she doesn’t get Shakespearian English.

The lyrics for “(I can’t get no) Satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones had a surprising impact on Marie. It all starts innocuously enough, with Marie expressing sympathy and encouragement. She tries valiantly to change the topic.

Then things get a little weird.

[My comments in brackets.]


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The Best New Albums — Charli XCX, Paradise Lost, Yung Lean and more

Bubblegum bass, gothic metal, cloud rap — and Mexican folk music!

Welcome to the fifteenth edition of New Music Weekly, the only global weekly survey of music critics and fans. To find out how the chart is compiled, check out the appendix to this previous story.

There are only two new entries on the NMW Top 20 this week — but they cover quite a bit of ground. One is contemporary pop with dashes of R&B and dubstep. The other is gothic metal.

New Entries


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A new exchange traded fund screens emerging markets for indications of civil society

I like the idea of investing in emerging markets (“EM”) for two reasons. First, to provide diversification. EM is the third pillar in a diversified equities portfolio (the other two being US and non-US developed markets).

The second reason for my interest in emerging markets is because of the potential to improve the lives of billions of people in developing countries. For example, looking at South Korea today it is hard to believe that in the 1960s it was a war-shattered rural economy. …


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A big week for fans of arty, introspective music

Welcome to the fourteenth edition of New Music Weekly, the only global weekly survey of music critics and fans. To find out how the chart is compiled, check out the appendix to this previous story.

After a quiet week last week, there are six new entries on the NMW Top 20 — only one short of the record. It was also a treat especial for fans of art pop. There are three new art pop albums on the NMW Top 20 this week, including a new number 2 and the latest album from a band formed in 1968!

New Entries

19=. Sparks — A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip

Critic’s rank: 8 Fans’ rank: NR Style: Art…

About

David Burgess

Chartered Financial Analyst, bass player, music and film geek, nature lover, microgreen farmer. Advocate, educator, consultant for business as a force for good.

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