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The tyranny of PBR&B is coming to an end. For too long has this term haunted discussions of music that pushes the boundaries of contemporary R&B. The term is eschewed by nearly all. But Wikipedia gave it a second life. The genre – if you could call it that, seeing as perfectly conventional acts like PartyNextDoor and Bryson Tiller get saddled with it too – has been referred to as “PBR&B” on Wikipedia for nearly half a decade. I’ve changed it to “alternative R&B” many times only to find it changed back the next day with a warning in my…

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The term “baroque pop” can apply to a great number of things: the harpsichord-assisted pure pop of the Left Banke, the Zen abstractions of Brian Wilson, the quirky piano pop of Regina Spektor, the orchestral indie of Ra Ra Riot. The desires of three different people who click the “List of baroque pop artists” page on Wikipedia are likely to be very different. For me, I want baroque pop to bend my mind. I want music that aims for transcendence and puts behind all notion of good taste and accessibility in doing so. I want music that smothers itself in…

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I was raised on classic rock and classic rock radio. But anyone who knows me well knows I have a lot of issues with the very rock ideal I was raised on. Rock is conservative, macho, and generally hostile to anyone who isn’t a white, straight male despite having been indisputably invented by African Americans, many queer and female. It holds up a standard of authenticity that ultimately praises fakeness as long as your fake-out is rootsy and manly enough. And, frankly, most classic rock sucks aside from a few established institutions (the Beatles, Pink Floyd, the Stones, Zeppelin, Prince,…

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I’ve decided to stop doing Top 50 lists. For the last few years, I’ve obsessively compiled a Top 50 albums list throughout the year. But I’ve always had a hard time quantifying the albums down in the lower reaches, those I like and admire but have just enough of a gripe with to make me not want to regularly listen to them. A lot of these albums I never wrote about and thus was unable to give them the slavish attention I give those I review. So the bottom recesses of my Top 50 albums list fills up with albums…

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Vladislav Delay, born Sasu Ripatti, is one of the most underrated contemporary ambient artists. He’s never gotten rave reviews, largely because critics are still hoping for something else that sounds like his 2000 masterpiece Vocalcity, released as Luomo. Vocalcity certainly deserves every bit of its praise, but Delay’s wealth of ambient albums are not to be overlooked, and some rival Vocalcity in terms of quality. Here’s a quickie guide to his ambient work. (I’ll examine his Luomo and Uusitalo projects in another entry.) Ele (1999). Spanning three songs in sixty-six minutes, Ele has the longest track average of any Delay album…

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Hi! Welcome to my new website, danielbromfield.com. It should be easy enough to use, but here’s a quick guide to the site content. – Resume should be self-explanatory. – New Work shows the last few articles I’ve written. – Vault is a longer and more comprehensive list with 117 articles (a number that will continue to grow!) – Contact contains my e-mail, LinkedIn, and Twitter (the latter of which is also accessible on the sidebar on the home page.) As for this blog, I’ll mostly be using it for random “thinkpieces” on music, as well as for reviews and retrospective pieces…

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