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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Click through to see Ann Power's favorite things from 2010!
Click through to see Rob Sheffield's artists who ruled in 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.
Click through for Anne Midgette's top classical and opera releases...
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."
Click through for Anastasia Tsioulcas' Top 5 World Music Releases!
Click through for David Pogue's Tech Picks...