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Every year, Soundcheck presents "Critics Week," a series highlighting the best and worst of music of the year. Host John Schaefer is joined by music critics to discuss the year’s best and worst albums in pop, hip-hop, classical, opera, rock, jazz, world and Latin.

The Year in Classical and Opera

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Our Critics Week series continues with a look back at year in classical music and opera. Washington Post chief classical music critic Anne Midgette joins us with her picks for the year’s best. Plus: Tis the season – for Handel’s “Messiah.”  Every year at this time, Handel’s big piece for chorus, soloists and orchestra takes over the NY concert scene. Kent Tritle, conductor of the Oratorio Society of NY and Musica Sacra, and host of the new “Choral Mix with Kent Tritle” on WQXR, updates us on all things "Messiah."

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The Year in Technology

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

From cozy fitted earbuds to the new realistic Rock Band, New York Times technology columnist David Pogue weighs in with this year’s best of technology and gadgets.

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The Year in World Music

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Critics Week continues with a look back at the year's best world music releases. We're joined by Anastasia Tsioulcas, who writes frequently about world and classical music and edits the classical website Ariama.com.

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The Year in Hip-Hop

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Between Kanye and Eminem's redemption stories and Drake and Nicki's break-outs, Soundcheck focuses on the year's best hip-hop releases. HipHopDX.com's Editor-in-Chief Jake Paine joins us to share his list.

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The Year in Jazz

Monday, December 13, 2010

Jazz critic Will Layman of PopMatters.com joins us for a look at his favorite releases of 2010.

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The Year in Film

Monday, December 13, 2010

We kick off Critics Week with a look at music on the big screen in 2010. Slate.com film critic Dana Stevens tells us about this year's music-oriented movies and documentaries, plus its notable soundtracks.

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The Year in Books

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bookforum editor Michael Miller shares his top picks for this years releases in books… that take on music. The high profile (Keith Richards and Patti Smith), mix in with some unexpected (fiction about The Smiths, scholarly pieces about jazz musician Art Pepper) and more.

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The Year in Rock and Pop

Friday, December 17, 2010

This was the year when a band from Montreal topped the charts, American Idol went indie, and Lady Gaga and Beyonce had their very own Thelma and Louise moment. Los Angeles Times chief pop music critic Ann Powers and Rolling Stone contributing editor Rob Sheffield join us with their lists of 2010’s best rock and pop music.

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The Year's Worst Music

Friday, December 17, 2010

All week, we’ve cheered on the best – now for the rest. Music critics Maura Johnston and Chris Weingarten join us in the Soundcheck studio to talk about their picks for a VillageVoice.com series called “The 20 Worst Songs of 2010.”

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The Year in Music News Stories

Monday, December 20, 2010

2010 brought the rise of the indie band and Taylor Swift, Kanye West’s Twitter account, and an avalanche of reunion tours. Jacob Ganz of the NPR Music blog The Record reviews the year's top music news stories.

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