A playlist for the year just passed: twenty sublime songs to lift the spirit and heal the soul—Barney Hoskyns, Editorial Director, Rock's Backpages
1 "The Glorious Land" by PJ Harvey
Polly Jean becomes the conscience of Albion on this urgent, elegiac lament. Glorious indeed.
2 "The World (Is Going Up in Flames)" by Charles Bradley
More hand-wringing, this time in the form of anguished retro-soul. The ghost of O.V. Wright rises from the inner city…
3 "The Bronx" by Booker T. Jones
… and segues into this superb fusion of Memphis soul and hip hop beats. The best thing Lou Reed appeared on in 2011.
4 "Perth" by Bon Iver
Justin Vernon rewrites alternative rock with the aid of martial beats, mariachi horns and overloaded guitars. An elliptical song of defiant hope.
5 "The Way It Will Be" by Gillian Welch
Taking its melodic cue from Neil Young's "Cortez the Killer", this song of muted rage was the standout cut from the mildly underwhelming Harrow and the Harvest.
6 "Caught a Long Wind" byRead More »from The Rock’s Backpages Rewind: The Best 20 Tracks of 2011