Warrior

Kesha

Warrior

December 3, 2012

Pop

At her best, Kesha is deliriously trashy: she ropes Iggy Pop in for a duet on the filthy "Dirty Love," "C'Mon" surges on the intoxication of a one-night stand, "Only Wanna Dance with You" is a riotous piss-take on the Strokes that pushes them toward the bubblegum where they belong, and on the deluxe edition, she writes the greatest Joan Jett song ever in "Gold Trans Am."

- Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Good Old Boys

Randy Newman

Good Old Boys

1974

Singer/Songwriter

No one in American songwriting uses the device of the Unreliable Narrator better than Randy Newman, and he never created a set of more unreliable characters than on 1974's Good Old Boys. A set of character studies from the Deep South, Newman makes his people real and fully rounded, whether they're cheerful dullards or utterly despicable racists, and the music is gorgeous in its New Orleans-inspired stride.

- Mark Deming