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Critics Week

A week of critical picks and pans from Soundcheck

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.

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Best of 2011: Jon Pareles

Friday, December 23, 2011

New York Times pop music critic Jon Pareles rounds out our week-long look back at the best of the year in music.

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The Worst of 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

It was the best of sounds...it was the worst of sounds. We conclude Critics Week with a look at the biggest musical mistakes of the year with author and Grantland.com pop culture correspondent Andy Greenwald. And -- we ask you to weigh in.

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Best of 2011: Staff Picks

Friday, December 23, 2011

This week, we’ve been hearing best of the year lists from music critics. But as far as the music business is concerned, 2011 was the year of British singer, Adele. Her album, “21” was the year’s bestselling album, with 5.3 million copies sold. Another female artist, Lady Gaga, currently has the year’s No. 2 album with “Born This Way.” And when it came time for the Soundcheck staff to pick their favorite records, we all selected albums by women – though a bit less mainstream than Adele and Lady Gaga.

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Best of 2011: Dance

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dancer and historian Jennifer Homans - whose own book "Apollo’s Angels" made best-of lists in 2010 – joins us to share the top moments from the world of dance in 2011.

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Best of 2011: Siddhartha Mitter

Thursday, December 22, 2011

This week’s year-in-review special continues with Siddhartha Mitter, a music journalist who contributes to the Boston Globe, MTV Iggy, MTV Desi and other outlets.

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Best of 2011: Broadway and Theater

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Time Out New York's theater critic David Cote joins us for a look back at the best in Broadway and theater for 2011, including the musical-comedy Book of Mormon.

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Best of 2011: Latin

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Our look back at the year in music continues with Jasmine Garsd, co-host of NPR’s Alt.Latino program. She shares newsworthy moments and her favorite releases of 2011 -- including the single "Una Salida" from Mexican American singer Carla Morrison.

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Best of 2011: Musical Tech and Gadgets

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Our Critics’ Week continues with a look at the technology and gadgets that had the biggest impact on the music world this year. New York Times technology reporter Jenna Wortham joins us to share her picks from 2011, which include a social media-based music startup and an ultra-portable wireless speaker.

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Best of 2011: Steve Smith

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The last time that Time Out New York music editor Steve Smith joined us, he was defending music streaming services like Spotify in one of our Soundcheck Smackdowns. This time, he joins us without his metaphorical boxing gloves to share his top ten picks of the year, from an album of gender-bending arias to new music from an abrasive and avant-garde hip hop project.

 

 

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Best of 2011: Touré

Monday, December 19, 2011

Back in November, we spoke with the writer, cultural critic and TV host Touré about his recent book, “Who’s Afraid of Post Blackness: What It Means to Be Black Now.” He returns with a top-ten list filled with emerging artists, hip hop heroes and a few picks from the silver screen.

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Ann Powers: Some Favorite Things From 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Click through to see Ann Power's favorite things from 2010!

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Rob Sheffield’s Artists Who Ruled 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Click through to see Rob Sheffield's artists who ruled in 2010!

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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 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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Anne Midgette's Top 10 Classical and Opera Releases of 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Click through for Anne Midgette's top classical and opera releases...

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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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Anastasia Tsioulcas' Top 5 World Music Releases

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Click through for Anastasia Tsioulcas' Top 5 World Music Releases!

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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 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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David Pogue's Top 5 Tech Picks of 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Click through for David Pogue's Tech Picks...

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