Vol. 21: The Fame, Lady Gaga

Pop: grab your old girl with her new tricks, if this was Gaga’s first and last album it would be just as complete as it is in context as a dynasty starter. The Fame is nothing more and nothing less than a perfect Pop debut through and through. Visceral, catchy, panoramic, reflective, progressive, chock full…

Vol. 20: Endtroducing…, DJ Shadow

Joshua Paul Davis emerged from the blackout – heroically from the shadows – to redefine an art form, resurrect a genre, and reflect the essence of a culture with his debut album, Endtroducing…. The 1996 release told the tale, that in 2010, portrays modern hip-hop’s epic poem on record. DJ Shadow laid the foundation for…

Vol. 17: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Lauryn Hill

In 1998, Lauryn Hill released a cultural landmark – one part enemy of the state, one part love story – which entirely rewrote the curriculum for hip-hop on the brink of a new millennium. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is H.E.R. story – of hip-hop and its truest personification. Lauryn recorded The Miseducation to resurrect…

Vol. 19: Blackout, Britney Spears

2007 climaxed the greatest American tale since The Civil War, and Britney Spears’ Blackout was our living soundtrack. Just as Spears was our blue-eyed child of misfortune, “Blackout” is the requiem of our American Dream. Britney was an ideal created in our own image. Our image, our perception of our self worth, in the past…

Vol. 16: Confessions on a Dancefloor, Madonna

In 2005, Madonna dropped the world like a discoball. She created one of the decade’s best albums as she had created her entire career: by producing a self-context so great that it becomes the world’s Pop conscience. If “the main problem with 2008’s Hard Candy was that Madonna seemingly didn’t care,” and “with American Life…

Vol. 4: Frank, Amy Winehouse

Amy, Amy, Amy… born to blossom, bloom to perish, sleep to wake again. Drake says you can’t bring the future back, but when Winehouse asks of herself in 2003’s Frank, “Where’s my moral parallel?” she defied that theory; Back to Black was the fateful answer –– the artistic masterpiece, and beautiful disaster –– but as…

Vol. 1: My First Mixtape, Lily Allen

Good Morning. What’s so special about Saturday morning? Depends on whether the Friday night before it was memorably forgotten… Art is said to imitate life, but it is an amazing moment when the imitation collapses in the presence of life as art. Much like that one strikingly familiar stranger from an otherwise forgettable Friday night,…