ABBA : Don’t Shut Me Down

Although their comeback album wasn’t perfect, the single that came out was a masterpiece: This mature hit and the moving I Still Have Faith In You.


Olivia Rodrigo Drivers License

A girl aged just 17 wrote the song that will forever remind us all of 2021. She’s so likeable that you can even forgive her for that missing apostrophe.


Billie Eilish: Oxytocin

Eilish, a relative veteran of 20 years has mastered the demands of fame. On this euphoric track she shows that it’s possible to whisper on the dancefloor.


The Anchoress: Let Your Face Be Known

This is the pulsing song by the self-produced singer-songwriter that topped the Albums of the Year list with The Art Of Losing.


Taylor Swift: Taylor Swift All Too Well (Ten-Minute Version)

Taylor Swift (above) shows how much she’s learnt in the past nine years, turning a diary entry into a drama in All Too Well

Taylor Swift (above) shows how much she’s learnt in the past nine years, turning a diary entry into a drama in All Too Well

Taking an old song of yours and making it twice as long sounds like a terrible idea, but Swift shows how much she’s learnt in the past nine years, turning a diary entry into a drama.


Afterlight: A Ghost of Love

The mother of all broken-up albums. A moment of grace.


Crazy Horse and Neil Young: Song Of The Seasons

Vintage Young. I was able to play the harmonica solo with him.


Joan As Police Woman. Tony Allen. Dave Okumu. Masquerader

Are you referring to art-rock? Or soul-jazz. It’s both, and it’s beautiful.


Little Simz: An Introvert

With her fourth album, the London-based rapper made it big. She reached the top five and received four Brits nominations. The name Introvert is as large as Bond’s theme, which belies the fact that it has a title.


Joan Armatrading: You are already there

Her blazing clarity has never diminished in her 70s.


Chilly Gonzales: The Return of Music

The return of the gig is celebrated by a classical pianist who performs a Hamilton-style rhyme. Performing it this month at the Royal Festival Hall, he threw in a tribute to the musical film clip of the year: ‘Paul McCartney writing Get Back’.


St Vincent: The Melting From the Sun

Annie Clark’s warm personality adds a touch of warmth to the unrivalled cool.

Annie Clark (above) adds delicious warmth to her undoubted cool in St Vincent's The Melting Of The Sun

Annie Clark (above), brings warmth to St Vincent’s The Melting Of The Sun.


Crowded house: to the Island

A year of memories for the Finn family. After moonlighting with Fleetwood Mac, Neil returned to the day job with a subtly rousing pop-rock song…


Tim Finn & Phil Manzanera: Caught By The Heart

… while his big brother Tim joined Roxy Music’s guitarist to make some magical eco-pop.


Adele: You Can Hold On

On a hit-and-miss album, this is the one potential classic – a ballad that swells into a gospel anthem.


James Blake: Funeral

Blake’s songs have a dark side, but he isn’t depressing in that way.


Brandi Carlile: Right On Time

The power of a powerful voice is matched by a beautiful ballad.


Nick Cave and Warren Ellis: Carnage

Sparse, haunting, then suddenly gorgeous, this is Cave’s best tune since Into My Arms.


She put the gun on her: Behave myself!

‘I am the rage of all women,’ sings Louisa Roach, ‘condensed to the point of explosion.’ That’s just the first line.


To-Do List: The Felice Brothers

The wittiest song of the year has been waiting for this week: it’s all about resolutions. 


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