Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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This was originally published as free content, in Robert Christgau's And It Don't Stop newsletter. You can have Christgau's posts delivered to your mailbox if you subscribe.

Dean's List: 2023

The 83 best albums of the past year (or so)

Introduction moved here

  1. Olivia Rodrigo: Guts (Geffen)
  2. Buck 65: Super Dope (Handsmade)
  3. CMAT: If My Wife New I'd Be Dead (Cmatbaby '22)
  4. Iris DeMent: Workin' on a World (Flariella)
  5. Taj Mahal: Savoy (Stony Plain))
  6. Boygenius: The Record (Interscope)
  7. Corook: Serious Person (Part 1) (Atlantic)
  8. Zach Bryan: Zach Bryan (Warner)
  9. Lewis Capaldi: Broken by Desire to Be Heavenly Sent (Capitol)
  10. Robert Forster: The Candle and the Flame (Tapete)
  11. Gina Birch: I Play My Bass Loud (Third Man)
  12. Tyler Childers: Rustin' in the Rain (RCA/Hickman Holler)
  13. The Feelies: Some Kinda Love: Performing the Music of the Velvet Underground (Bar/None)
  14. Dolly Parton: Rockstar (Butterfly/Big Machine)
  15. A. Savage: Several Songs About Fire (Rough Trade)
  16. Ashley McBryde: The Devil I Know (Warner Music Nashville)
  17. Hamell on Trial: Bring the Kids (Saustex)
  18. Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens: Music Inferno: The Indestructible Beat Tour 1988-1989 (Umsakazo/Gallo)
  19. 100 Gecs: 10,000 Gecs (Dog Show/Atlantic)
  20. Withered Hand: How to Love (Reveal)
  21. Tyvek: Overground (Ginkgo)
  22. Wednesday: Rat Saw God (Dead Oceans)
  23. Speedy Ortiz: Rabbit Rabbit (Carpark)
  24. Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers: I Love You (Domestic La La)
  25. Bobbie Nelson and Amanda Shires: Loving You (ATO)
  26. Megan Moroney: Lucky (Columbia)
  27. The Human Hearts: Viable (Open Boat)
  28. Alvvays: Blue Rev (Polyvinyl/Transgressive '22)
  29. Lori McKenna: 1988 (CN/Thirty Tigers)
  30. Jinx Lennon: Pet Rent (Septic Tiger '22)
  31. JPEGMafia & Danny Brown: Scaring the Hoes (AWAL)
  32. The Baseball Project: Grand Salami Time (Yep Roc)
  33. Corook: Best of Corook (So Far) (Atlantic '22)
  34. Girl Scout: Real Life Human Garbage (Made)
  35. Water From Your Eyes: Everyone's Crushed (Matador)
  36. Danny Brown: Quaranta (Warp)
  37. Balka Sound: Balka Sound (Strut '22)
  38. Lucinda Williams: Stories From a Rock N Roll Heart (Thirty Tigers)
  39. Buck 65: Punk Rock B-Boy (self-released)
  40. Bill Scorzari: The Crosswinds of Kansas (self-released '22)
  41. Piconema: East African Hits on the Colombian Coast (Rocafort)
  42. David Murray/Brad Jones/Hamid Drake: Seriana Promethea (Intakt '22)
  43. Rodney Crowell: The Chicago Sessions (New West)
  44. DJ Shadow: Action Adventure (Mass Appeal/Liquid Amber)
  45. Billy Woods and Kenny Segal: Maps (Backwoodz Studioz)
  46. The Moldy Peaches: Origin Story 1994-1999 (Org Music '22)
  47. Ice Spice: Like . . ? (10K Projects/Capitol)
  48. Big Joanie: Back Home (Kill Rock Stars '22)
  49. Morgan Wade: Psychopath (RCA)
  50. Nia Archives: Sunrise Bang Ur Head Against the Wall (Hijinx/Island)
  51. Willie Nelson: I Don't Know a Thing About Love (Legacy)
  52. Allen Lowe and the Constant Sorrow Orchestra: America: The Rough Cut (ESP-Disk')
  53. Baaba Maal: Being (Atelier Live)
  54. Bombino: Sahel (Partisan)
  55. Brandy Clark: Brandy Clark (Warner)
  56. CMAT: Crazymad, for Me (Cmatbaby)
  57. Elle King: Come Get Your Wife (RCA)
  58. Jeffrey Lewis: Asides & B-Sides (2014-2018) (self-released)
  59. Ahl Nana: L'Orchestre National Mauritanien (Radio Martiko)
  60. África Negra: Antologia Vol. 1 (Boomkat '22)
  61. Algiers: Shook (Matador)
  62. Janelle Monáe: The Age of Pleasure (Wondaland Arts Society/Atlantic)
  63. Amaarae: Fountain Baby (Interscope)
  64. Quasi: Breaking the Balls of History (Sub Pop)
  65. Azuka Moweta & Aniome Brothers Band: Nwanne Bu Ife (Palenque)
  66. Bailey Zimmerman: Religiously (Warner Music Nashville/Elektra)
  67. Grrrl Gang: Spunky! (Kill Rock Stars)
  68. Bar Italia: Tracey Denim (Matador)
  69. Nicki Minaj: Pink Friday 2 (Young Money/Republic)
  70. Chai: Chai (Sub Pop)
  71. Gurf Morlix: Caveman (Rootball '22)
  72. Lil Wayne: Tha Fix Before tha VI (Young Money/Republic)
  73. Jad Fair and Samuel Locke Ward: Happy Hearts (Kill Rock Stars)
  74. Shygirl: Nymph (Because Music '22)
  75. Lyrics Born: Vision Board (Mobile Home '22)
  76. Blondshell: Blondshell (Partisan)
  77. Pony: Velveteen (Take This to Heart)
  78. Low Cut Connie: Art Dealers (Contender)
  79. PJ Harvey: I Inside the Old Year Dying (Partisan)
  80. Maggie Rogers: Surrender (Capitol '22)
  81. Hemlocke Springs: Going . . . Going . . . Gone! (AWAL)
  82. Zach Bryan: Boys of Faith (Warner)
  83. Stephen Ulrich: Music From This American Life (Barbès)

And It Don't Stop, Jan. 25, 2023

2022 Essay | --