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200 most influential musicians of the past 25 years

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Brittany Howard thought about calling the album Björk black. What the two composers share, besides their large-scale visions and hurricane voices, is a profound desire for their just due. After the second Alabama Shakes album, Sound & Color, Captured a much more ambitious, almost afrofuturistic side of Howard’s songwriting compared to their early days, she got used to people mistakenly assuming that Blake Mills, the band’s co-producer, must have written the songs. . “Now I have to be adamant about what I did,” she said. “So I’ll just say I’m very excited, as a woman in 2019, to have produced this record.”

The album’s most touching moments occur when Howard reconciles the hatred she sees in the world with her own commitment to hope. Written in response to Prince’s death, Trump’s election, and “the whole fucking world looking depressed,” “13th Century Metal” feels like the spiritual centerpiece of Jaime * —an intergalactic journey of a jam session. Howard delivers sermon-like affirmations with unwavering wisdom, almost enthusiastic fury, and yes, a little * all we need is love. “I’m a masters student and my mind…” she shouts, stopping dramatically before declaring, “will never be trampled!”


Photo by Hiroyuki Ito / Getty Images

Between Broadcast’s debut in 1996 and the death of co-founder Trish Keenan in 2011, the British band gradually developed their own sound universe, tinkering with tracks from easy ’60s pop, early electronic music and soundtracks from avant-garde films in recordings that looked like spectral emanations from another world. As Jess Harvell wrote in the days following Keenan’s death:

In the mid-90s, Broadcast was labeled as a clever retro act of mixing genres and collecting records in an era that had no shortage of retro acts of mixing clever genres and collecting records. But there was something deeper and stranger about their music. While Trish Keenan’s vocals were always clear and charming, in many ways of pure indie pop the band was neither cuddly nor elegant. And they had little to do with the retail-friendly post-Portishead brigade or the overpowering surface-level “cool” of any lounge-pop revivalist. On the contrary, they were much closer to Boards of Canada, another warp band, using wobbly, sometimes even filthy electronics to evoke the unreality of everyday life, the beauty of supposedly artificial sound, the supernatural qualities. circuit-based music. The broadcasts exploited older, darker, and often darker styles of American, European, but especially British music: the psychedelic side of old-fashioned synth music, the weirdness of old electronic film and television soundtracks, the phantasmagoric atmosphere of suburban fairy tales evoked by certain Twee and industrial gangs. Granted, there was a lot of ’90s Stereolab-ish kraut-ish and beat culture and even sunny Bacharach-isms in their musical DNA, but Broadcast has never been so easily reducible to one trend or another. .


Photo by Scott Dudelson / Getty Images

Formed around the core duo of Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning, Broken Social Scene was at the epicenter of Toronto’s thriving indie rock scene throughout the 2000s. The insanely grand ensemble includes members of other outfits like Feist , Metric and Stars, but they’ve always achieved a special chemistry when they’re together as a collective. As Ryan Schreiber wrote in a 2003 review of their breakout album You forgot it in people:

I’ve been listening to this record for months on repeat – sometimes just this record for days – but it wasn’t until I started researching this review that he began to understand how a band like this- this could materialize out of nowhere. with such a powerful and touching album. I knew from the liners that the group had 10 members (15 if you include the guests); what I didn’t know was that they all roamed from group to group within the wildly experimental Toronto music scene for years, or that they all came from groups like Stars, Do Make Say Think, Treble Charger, A Silver Mt Zion and Mascott with the unified goal of making, of all things, pop music. One of its members told a Toronto weekly that “we had done our arthouse albums before … the whole ideology of trying to write a real four minute pop song was completely new to me. a lot of us “. Who could have imagined that it would come so easily? You forgot it in people explodes song after song of perfect pop and endlessly replayable.


Photo by Joseph Okpako / WireImage

Burna Boy was born Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, grandson of a former director of Fela Kuti, and he wears the mantle of this African music icon. Burna calls his own style “Afro-fusion”: a blend of continental sounds with global varieties of hip-hop, EDM and pop. At a time when correcting historical injustices seems more urgent than ever, Burna Boy’s comprehensive Pan-Africanist style is helping to rectify deep imbalances of power and representation. Review of his 2020 album Twice as big, Mankaprr Conteh wrote:

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