Pop & Rock: Year in Review 2010

Pop & Rock: Year in Review 2010
12. Joanna Newsom Have One On Me (Drag City)
Joanna Newsom's third album hits a middle ground between the four-minute pop song format of 2004's The Milk-Eyed Mender and the meandering 15-minute ballads of 2006's Ys. At two hours over three discs, it's no exercise in brevity, but there's a strong sense of maturation, both musically and personally. When Newsom sings "I am no longer afraid of anything" on "In California," you get the sense that the vulnerable, fey persona of her first two albums has grown into a more confident, restrained vocalist and storyteller, gracefully rising to the challenge of carrying her music beyond its quirky beginnings.
Laura Kenins