Sunday, September 30, 2018

video review: 'budding ornithologists are weary of tired analogies' by milo

So this was a tough record to write about... I think I stuck the landing okay, but still, I can only imagine the response from the fans on this one, just like with Lupe.

But next up, Resonators, so stay tuned!

album review: 'budding ornithologists are weary of tired analogies' by milo

So the last time I reviewed milo, it was a very different experience... and if those of you who are now wondering where the hell that review is, it was last year when I was in Atlanta and connected with a few members of the Dead End Hip-Hop crew to film for Myke C-Town's channel. And as such, while I did have a chance to go in-depth surrounding my introduction to milo - fairly late in the game, I was never quite pulled on-board in the same way as many fans were with so the flies don't come, really came to like and appreciate who told you to think??!!?!?!?! as one of milo's strongest projects to date - I will stress that milo can be an artist with whom I have a bit of a distant relationship. It's the sort of music I need to be in the right mood to appreciate and dissect, give him plenty of listens to really decode his pool of references and oblique production, and as such while I thought his last album was great, it wasn't something I was in a hurry to revisit last year besides maybe the deep cut 'embroidering machine'. 

And as such, while I was gearing up for another round of abstract hip-hop fresh off of Lupe's massive release, this looked to be a lighter affair - where who told you to think??!!?!?!?! was a respectable length for fifteen tracks, this album didn't appear to have many songs breaking the three minute mark and was reportedly even more abstract and diffuse than the last album... which I'm not against, but I also remember saying that the immediacy of his last album was what I found truly gripping. But still, I wanted to give this some time to really sink in, so what did we get from milo this time on buddy ornithologists are weary of tired analogies?

Friday, September 28, 2018

video review: 'fortress of primal grace' by vallendusk

Man alive, I really did enjoy this - great black metal, sorry I got to it so late.

Now back to the hip-hop train and an episode of Resonators for which I'm genuinely excited - stay tuned!

Thursday, September 27, 2018

album review: 'fortress of primal grace' by vallendusk

It seems like every damn year around this time I make the statement that I just don't feel like I've covered enough black metal... and to be fair, some of that has come with schedule complications I've been struggling to work through over the past several months, but this review has been overdue for long enough!

So, Vallendusk. I first covered the Indonesian band way back in 2015 when I working to get into black metal, and while I had really dug their breakthrough album Black Clouds Gathering from 2013 for flat-out insane guitarwork and some really striking melodic composition balancing acoustic passages with more atmospheric black metal, their follow-up didn't quite resonate as much as I had hoped, mostly through expanding their sound towards folk metal in ways that only seemed to detract from a rock solid core. And what got a little frustrating is that the talent was still very much there, but either through production missteps or the introduction of some awkward clean vocals and organs or just a few weird compositional choices held the project back for me. Still a good record, just not quite great... but for all intents and purposes, Vallendusk had redoubled on the raw atmospheric black metal this time around for Fortress Of Primal Grace, and while I'm extremely late to the party, that was effectively what I was hoping they'd do here. And considering nobody else on YouTube seems to have covered this, might as well be me - so what did Vallendusk deliver with this?

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

video review: 'DROGAS wave' by lupe fiasco

Yeah, I can't imagine this'll go well... but hey, it's a Lupe review, you kind of expect it when he's not releasing a record that's universally condemned. 

Next up... okay, either Vallendusk or milo, so stay tuned!

album review: 'DROGAS wave' by lupe fiasco

I wish I could say I was hyped for this.

Seriously, I do - I might have a complicated relationship with Lupe Fiasco's mixtapes and albums and the wild turns his career has taken, but to this day I'm still a fan. I'll still go back to Food & Liquor and to a lesser extent The Cool, and there are cuts even on Lasers I'll stick up for to this day! And if you saw my year-end lists in 2015, you'll see a number of Lupe Fiasco songs that made those lists and for damn good reason! And when I heard that he was going independent after Tetsuo & Youth I was excited for some high concept, ambitious hip-hop...

Which we didn't get with DROGAS Light. Let's not mince words, as much I really liked the song 'Jump' off that album, it could have been pitched to any major label willing to take a stab with Lupe's brand of pop rap and he'd have been mostly fine - and yet even on that basis it's a sloppy, overlong project seriously let down by its production and even Lupe's rapping. But more critically, it compromised my faith that Lupe Fiasco, outside of major label restrictions, might not make the best judgement calls when it came to his work, and I'll admit some big reservations stepping up to DROGAS Wave. Not only was it running an hour and a half, it was a concept album telling the story of a slave ship that had sank in the Atlantic and where the slaves had adapted to live underwater. And while I was inclined to say that Mick Jenkins kind of beat him to the punch with analogous metaphors as another Chicago MC, this did seem to be more like what I wanted to hear from an independent Lupe Fiasco, and I wanted to give this a chance, so what did we get from DROGAS Wave?

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - september 29, 2018 (VIDEO)

Man, quick rendering time helps me get these out so much faster... shame it was a rough week, though.

Okay, next up... I think it's time for Vallendusk and maybe one of these hip-hop records, so stay tuned!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - september 29, 2018

This week feels more transitional than I think it actually is. Sure, we have a new #1 and a sizable number of new arrivals and it's not an album bomb week and we are indeed changing seasons... but I dunno, what we're getting on the Hot 100 doesn't exactly seem built to last, which means while I won't call this precisely bad, I don't think it's all that good either.

Monday, September 24, 2018

video review: 'art of doubt' by metric

Yeah, it's the haircut, I know. Certainly not the sling - but hey, it's hard in those streets for a critic. :p

Anyway, I'm still working on polishing up that Vallendusk review and then Billboard BREAKDOWN - stay tuned!

album review: 'art of doubt' by metric

It's a common thing for critics like me who aren't constantly plugged into the hype cycle to say that we don't know what to expect for certain albums. And while in some cases it's just verbiage in the review to heighten anticipation, most of the time for me it's pretty genuine - if I think I know what's coming from a certain act, I'll tell you, for sure!

But with Metric... I just don't know at this point. The last time I covered the group was their understandably underappreciated 2015 album Pagans In Vegas, a pretty damn sharp satire of the mainstream pop music industry that kind of missed the mark when it came to writing that totally stuck the landing with their concept - a good record for sure, but not a great one and certainly one that didn't quite hold up to their releases in 2009 and 2012. But from there... I just wasn't sure what was coming. Emily Haines rejoined Broken Social Scene for a comeback record in 2017 as well as reforming her solo act Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton for an indie pop album that wound up on my year end list and was better than it had any right to be... also probably better than any individual Metric album, but that's a different conversation. So when you have that, and then she's returning to Metric for their longest album to date and the buzz was inconclusive surrounding what sound the band was taking up this time, I wasn't sure what Art Of Doubt was going to deliver, only with my hope that Haines would bring over her considerable writing heft and hooks from that solo album. So, what did we get on Art Of Doubt?

Saturday, September 22, 2018

video review: 'iridescence' by BROCKHAMPTON

Yeah, this is genuinely great, and I really did want to get ahead of this one - definitely a controversial opinion, but we'll see how it goes...

Next up, some long-overdue old business, so stay tuned!

album review: 'iridescence' by BROCKHAMPTON

This was always going to be the biggest test for BROCKHAMPTON. Sure, putting three overstuffed albums out in a year was impressive as all hell and turned a small Internet collective into a festival monster, but when you surge to quickly to that point and land a major label deal as a result, and lose one of your key members along the way amidst a flurry of ugly allegations...

Yeah, I won't lie, even though I would never claim to be a full-fledged fan of BROCKHAMPTON in comparison with their diehard following that nearly crushed me in the pit when I saw them at Reading, I was concerned about this. The collective was bursting forth with so many compelling ideas about pushing hip-hop as an art and genre that I didn't want to see them ground up in the meat grinder of the mainstream music industry, and for a while I was worried that Ameer's departure would compromise their group dynamic. Thankfully it seemed like I was wrong in a big way, as the old songs still banged hard live and the boy band had managed to pull together a record for this year that had every fan salivating at the possibilities. And hell, I'll admit I was excited for this - at the very least a major label budget would give them expanded sampling clearances and fanfare that for their online following they'd never need, but could potentially get them a slice of mainstream crossover or even radio. In my mind that'd be the only reasons BROCKHAMPTON would sign to a major in the first place, but at the same time Iridescence would have to be really good, despite the change in album title every other week - so how is it?

Friday, September 21, 2018

video review: 'room 25' by noname

So yeah, this is something special - definitely check this out!

And yeah, I was planning on Metric next, but considering how much folks want me to cover a certain hip-hop boy band... yeah, stay tuned!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

album review: 'room 25' by noname

I'm still kicking myself a little bit that I didn't review Noname's Telefone in 2016. Frankly, I had no reason not to - it wasn't like I didn't cover multiple women breaking out in thoughtful, low-key Chicago hip-hop that year - but for some reason she slipped out of mind for me and by the time I wanted to get the review together it was too late. Granted, I don't quite think the mixtape would have impacted my year-end list choices, but that's more because Telefone and Noname fell into a weird category for me where everything just seemed ever so slightly 'off'. Rhythms and melodies would feel off-kilter in strange ways, Noname's flows would bounce and curl around them, and even the content, despite feeling really clever, rested more on a tangled emotional spectrum than a regular logical throughline. Definitely a fascinating project that had some really damn solid grooves, and Noname had enough subtle charisma to pull me back, but I had a tough time really sinking into her material...

And then I wound up catching an early set of hers at Reading Festival this year, and in a live setting it oddly seemed to click. Her backing band lent an organic touch that made the odd turns feel naturalistic, and Noname's low-key charisma bubbled up in interesting ways, naturally infectious in a way that made the cleverness of her writing all the more enticing. In other words, even though at the time Noname was saying Telefone would be her only project, I'm a little glad that she wound up recording a full-length debut... basically in her own words because she had to pay rent and she wanted new music to play on tour. And there was no way in hell I was going to miss covering her this time, so what did we get on Room 25?

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - september 22, 2018

I've said before that certain weeks can seem deceptive on the Hot 100, and this is one of those weeks, where both more and less than you'd expect happened. On the surface, it just looks like a regular cooldown week, but dig between the margins and you'll see a fair amount of movement coming out of the summer... but whether that movement matters is a different question altogether.

album review: 'palms' by thrice (ft. the rock critic) (VIDEO)

So this was a tricky record to dissect, and even with The Rock Critic teaming up on this video, this was still tough to deconstruct. Thanks for Crash for coming onboard, this was intriguing.

Next up, Billboard BREAKDOWN and Noname, so stay tuned!

video review: 'cry pretty' by carrie underwood

So yeah, this is a bit of a mess... but hey, it happens. 

But on a slightly different note...

Monday, September 17, 2018

album review: 'cry pretty' by carrie underwood

I can't believe that I'm actually getting to the point where I'm starting to feel sorry for Carrie Underwood.

Because I've said it before that I'm not exactly a fan of hers - she's made a few scattered songs I like, mostly telling stories where folks wind up dead, but the albums are consistently inconsistent, handicapped by frustrating production choices and Carrie Underwood having a tendency to rely more on raw power than subtlety or a genuine edge. I'm not saying she's a bad artist by any stretch - although if I never have to hear 'Before He Cheats' or 'Jesus Take The Wheel' again in my life I'd be happy - but that I've always been less enamored of her material than most.

But the more I've read about the lead-up to this album, the more sympathy I feel for her. Putting aside the fall where had to get surgery, Cry Pretty marked the shift to a new label at Capitol Nashville, as well as a complete change in production team from the folks she had been working with at Arista Nashville. That's a sizable step... and yet the rollout does not seem to have been handled well, with country radio not throwing support behind a reasonably well-received title track and her label yanking promotion a few weeks before the album's release... both suspiciously timed right behind Carrie Underwood making statements criticizing the failure of country radio to play any women and instead shoveling out more interchangeable meatheads who have just as much of a pop focus - or worse still, promoting women in pop for the easy crossover while ignoring women in country or even pop country. And before you think radio executives wouldn't be that petty... well, they are, but the larger question is what this means for Carrie Underwood going into the album, because people can get sick of an artist if they don't deliver quality, and when you pair it with sloppy or sabotaged promotion, that could be a big red flag. But hell, I was still curious about Cry Pretty, especially with Underwood taking a much bigger hand in the songwriting, so what did we get here?

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

video review: 'paraffin' by armand hammer

And here it is - yes, it took a little longer to get to this than I'd prefer, but that's why I'm going to be revamping my Patreon in the next few months, so stay tuned for that.

Next up... you know, it's been a while since I've covered some metal, let's do that!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - september 15, 2018

So this is still somewhat in copyright hell, so we'll see how long it lasts up... but for now, check it out. 

And on that note...

album review: 'paraffin' by armand hammer

I'll admit to being surprised that we got a new Armand Hammer record in 2018. Not to imply the duo of billy woods and Elucid haven't been consistently churning out thorny, complicated projects throughout the 2010s, but 2017 was a busy year for billy woods both with a solo release and Armand Hammer's Rome, which I covered late in the year with Beezy430 over at Dead End Hip Hop. And while I definitely hold that Rome is not for everyone - the hooks are sparse, the rhymes are tangled, the conspiratorial vibe can make delving into the themes a tough sell - I still hold it's a great record.

But Paraffin looked to be a different animal. Where Rome was fragmented and apocalyptic, Paraffin looked to be digging deeper into weirder territory, exhuming the bones picked clean from the remnants of a society burned before, not so much a sequel but a deeper dive into similar ideas. So yeah, after relistening to Rome and reminding myself why it's a fantastic hip-hop record, I geared up for Paraffin - so what did we dig up this time?

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - september 15, 2018

I think you all might be expecting me to be more angry about this album bomb than I am - given the review and how much vitriol I spewed, you'd probably think seeing it all show up here would piss me off all the more... and yet if I'm being brutally honest, in viewing the songs outside of the larger, slightly nauseating context of the record, I reckon some of them might hold up better on their own, and given that it's an album I covered at length, I'm definitely going to streamline the coverage here.

Monday, September 10, 2018

video review: 'villains' by emma blackery

So yeah, this was... actually a lot better than I was expecting, go figure. I've got hopes that the review will do well, but we'll see.

Next up, Billboard BREAKDOWN with what looks like an Eminem album bomb so... ugh, just stay tuned!

album review: 'villains' by emma blackery

So I'm not going to lie, I was not expecting this would have the staying power it did to rise up my schedule, because even on a slow week it can get awkward talking about records from fellow YouTubers who more likely than not will see this video. And since there's a very good chance this might wind up in a reaction compilation somewhere - possibly by her - I wanted to ensure I gave this my due diligence, especially as I've watched a fair number of her videos in the past.

So, Emma Blackery - from the U.K., she started on YouTube about a year before I did as a way to promote her music, blew up considerably over the past several years, and while her collection of channels have gone through a number of permutations, the music has been a consistent feature, even if I'll freely admit a certain limited familiarity with her singles ahead of time. In going back to revisit them, she hit something of a stride with a bratty, pop punk sound that got smoothed into a pop lane that feels very close to something Paramore would have released around the turn of the decade. Now I'll freely admit I have issues with Paramore in that era, and I was genuinely curious whether she'd follow the same path they did for her independently released debut album - apparently she was going electro-pop this time around, which could definitely work with the right producers and if she had the hooks. I'll freely admit I was a little skeptical, but hey, Troye Sivan had stuck the landing when I covered him last week, I hoped Emma Blackery would be in the same boat here, so how did Villains turn out?

Sunday, September 9, 2018

resonators 2018 - episode #008 - 'hear nothing see nothing say nothing' by discharge (VIDEO)

And yes, I know it's late, but I'm glad it's here - enjoy?

Next up... honestly, not sure what's going to get a full review yet, so stay tuned!

video review: 'bloom' by troye sivan

Forgot to post this earlier, but this is a solid pop record - enjoy!

resonators 2018 - episode #008 - 'hear nothing see nothing say nothing' by discharge

So for this episode of Resonators, we're going to switch things up a bit, because while I've discussed at length the burgeoning hardcore punk scene across different parts of the United States, I haven't really delved into what was going on in punk in other parts of the world. And you'd think that since the U.K. was one of the main drivers of punk coming out of the 70s, they'd have a significant hardcore presence, at least in the underground at the time...

And this is where things get complicated, because in the early 80s in the U.K., punk was in a weird place. Sure, post-punk and new wave were laying the foundation for what would become the second British invasion, and anarcho-punk was curdling in its own artsy, far-left corner, but that didn't mean hardcore punk didn't have its own unique foothold, but it came from a different source: Oi! I've mentioned this style before in its adaptation of folk sing-a-long structures and working class populism, but by the late 70s the genre had gotten co-opted by skinheads and right-leaning white nationalist groups, which tainted the genre in the media discourse for decades to come despite the protests of some of the bands. But there was an offshoot of this, adapting a distinctive cymbal-snare-bass drum pattern and more blunt lyricism, that would later lay the groundwork for additional offshoots like crust punk and street punk to come in later years and even cross the Atlantic. This was d-beat, and while bands like The Buzzcocks had sparked initial interest in the sound, the band for which it was named would break onto the scene after a string of well-received EPs in the early 80s with what one could argue is one of the most influential releases of the time. And even if the band wouldn't stay in pure hardcore for long, it's important we talk about it all the same: the debut album from Discharge, Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing, and this is Resonators!

Friday, September 7, 2018

album review: 'bloom' by troye sivan

I'm not going to lie, I'm a little surprised that we've wound up in this place - or more specifically, how Troye Sivan wound up in this place. I'm sure diehard fans remember this, but he started off in the burgeoning LGBTQ vlogger community on YouTube before transitioning into music, and there was definitely a time where I was convinced that the major label system would eat him alive like it has so many other musicians who originated on this platform we reluctantly call home.

And that didn't quite happen, mostly because Blue Neighbourhood went down among audiences and critics with a respectable amount of success, helped along by working with good producers and cowriters and showing Sivan evolving as a songwriter and performer - he never quite wowed me in that brand of pop, but there was a lot of promise. And yet even then, taking three years between albums did raise some questions for me, especially when his lead-off single was released months ago and didn't seem to pick up a ton of traction, even if it did look like he was going to be getting looser and darker. And some of his new production and writing team did raise questions for me: yes, Ariel Rechtshaid is always a promising addition, but seeing Allie X as a cowriter did raise suspicions, especially as I did not really like her project from last year. That said, he kept the majority of his production team from the last album and somehow even netted a featuring credit from Ariana Grande, and he was smart enough to keep this a brisk ten songs near thirty-five minutes, so I had some hopes this would turn out as strong as Years & Years' sophomore project, which played in the same lane and also dropped earlier this year as a modest improvement. So what did we get from Bloom?

Thursday, September 6, 2018

video review: 'kamikaze' by eminem

I humbly await your backlash.

Next up, Troye Sivan - stay tuned!

album review: 'kamikaze' by eminem

I was afraid of this happening. I honestly didn't expect it to happen - while there has always been blunt self-aware commentary in Eminem's work even with regards to his previous records, the fallout coming from Revival was particularly concerning, and I honestly just hoped that Em would leave it at the remix of 'Chloroseptic' and just move on, or maybe hunker down in the studio to cut together a sharper project, or heaven forbid get out of Detroit for a bit so he could take in the cutting edge of modern hip-hop and start really pushing the gauntlet again. About the last thing I would have wanted him to do was build an entire project as a response, because it's not the first time he's done this. I've always read Encore as a layered artistic immolation, intentional self-sabotage of his curdled legacy, and Recovery was explicitly framed as a response to the underappreciated Relapse, and somehow wound up even worse, to say nothing of sounding dated as all hell.

But Kamikaze looked to be simultaneously something different but familiar: a surprise album framed as a response and return to form, burning down everything in his path in acrid contempt for a mainstream hip-hop sound that threw him and Revival aside, with features from Joyner Lucas and Royce but also hooks from Jessie Reyez, about the last person I cared to see hop on a hook for anyone given her barely adequate and depressingly conventional pop vocal timbre. It was an album designed to court controversy with an impressive number of names getting dropped and insults getting thrown that all had the feeling of Eminem taking the critical rejection of Revival way too seriously and worse still not learning the lessons of why that record didn't work... but again, I'm an Eminem fan and defender and I have been for years, so I wanted to give this project its due time to sink in, to see if it could rise above its questionable origins... so how is it?

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - september 8, 2018 (VIDEO)

And here we are, Billboard BREAKDOWN back on regular schedule - enjoy!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - september 8, 2018 couldn't have saved the cooldown week for when I was on vacation? Seriously? Not that i'm complaining much - there wasn't much happening this chart week and we'll have the aftermath of whatever the hell happens with Eminem next week, so I appreciate the breather.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

video review: 'joy as an act of resistance' by idles

Man alive, I'm so damn happy this kicked ass - so much replay value, so damn catchy, genuinely potent! 

But next... okay, Billboard BREAKDOWN first, and then Eminem. Stay tuned!

album review: 'joy as an act of resistance' by idles

When I reviewed Idles last year, I was a very different person - specifically, one who hadn't exactly developed an appreciation for hardcore punk. I had brushed against the genre over the years, but I wouldn't qualify myself as having in-depth knowledge or even a liking for the genre... and thus it was all the more startling how well Idles' debut Brutalism clicked for me, a howling, guttural grind that was also fiercely intelligent and the sort of political polemic that could hit like a ton of bricks. Both it and the song from it '1049 Gotho' wound up on my year-end lists, and I'd be lying if I said it didn't kickstart some deeper curiosity that contributed to putting hardcore punk as an option on Resonators.

Of course, now it's eight months later, and with a much deeper knowledge base around hardcore punk, I was anticipating this record all the more but my expectations were even higher. The fast turnaround time was a bit concerning, and it wasn't like Idles didn't have problems on their debut, and while embracing a spirit of riotous optimism in the face of dark times is an attitude I can get behind, I wasn't sure Idles was the act from which I wanted to hear that message - my favourite cuts from Brutalism had been some of the darkest and angriest, so this was looking to be quite the tonal shift. But hey, it was either this or Eminem, and I wanted to start on a high note, so what did we get out of Joy As An Act Of Resistance?

the top ten best hit songs of 1993 (VIDEO)

And we've now got the list that's taken me months to make. Really pleased with this, enjoy!

album reviews: 'songs for the saints' by kenny chesney / 'all of it' by cole swindell / 'steak night at the prairie rose' by mike & the moonpies (VACATION)

And finally, we're done with the vacation reviews - next up should be Idles, but before that...

album reviews: 'anno: four seasons' by anna meredith & antonio vivaldi ft. scottish ensemble / 'your queen is a reptile' by sons of kemet / 'in praise of darkness' by shades (VACATION)

This was a fun one to put together too - definitely happy with this. Enjoy!

album reviews: 'sweetener' by ariana grande / 'lost & found' by jorja smith / 'mimi' by bad rabbits (VACATION)

Hmm, this is probably one of the better vacation reviews - definitely check it out!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - september 1, 2018 (VIDEO)

Man, this was a pain in the ass to get online, but I think it turned out alright in the end - enjoy!

album reviews: 'be the cowboy' by mitski / 'musas 2' by natalia lafourcade / 'to the sunset' by amanda shires (VACATION!)

Okay, a lot of catchup posts ahead, so stay tuned!

Monday, September 3, 2018

the top ten best hit songs of 1993

So I'll freely admit of the Patreon-requested years for which I cover the year-end Hot 100, we haven't really encountered a 'bad' year for the charts, the sort of years that even with the benefit of hindsight and nostalgia cause us to wince in the face of the memories. The closest that I've covered in this territory throughout the five years I've been on YouTube have been 2016 and maybe either 2010 or 2014, and even then, both of the latter have strong enough redeeming moments to knock them into quality.

1993 is not one of those years - perhaps not the worst the Hot 100 has had to offer, but definitely the sort of transitional early 90s year where the best stuff wasn't charting, most of the good stuff was starting to get overexposed, music legends were falling apart in slow motion, and the rest was a wasteland of formless mush. Thank god R&B and new jack swing were mostly holding up and that g-funk was cutting a swathe across hip-hop, because rock had lapsed into parody, the pop-rap of the early 90s was trying and failing to keep up, and punk and country were nowhere to be seen, despite the advent of riot grrl and the neotraditional country revival in full swing. Even grunge, widely hailed as the breakthrough sound by music critics of the early 90s, had little to no traction in 1993 - and before hip-hop can raise a triumphant flag here, there was no way in hell that the best of that genre was getting to pop radio in the face of an avalanche of easy listening pablum left over from the 80s and artists who should really know better! No In Utero, no 36 Chambers or Ain't No Other or Buhloone Mindstate, but hey, you got Kenny G!

Now what that means is that the best of 1993... look, it's all over the place, especially as some of the chart oddities have aged better than what was big at the time, and while there are a few classic cuts from this era, in comparison to stronger years this particular top ten is substantially shakier - and as always, the songs have to have debuted on the year-end Hot 100 in 1993... which actually didn't result in any cuts from this list, and thank god for that, as it's pretty thin. But hey, let's start off with...