Sandy Tapp of St. Paul:
1 “The Beautiful Ones” by Prince. Sadly, he wrote only a few chapters before he died. Editors had access to Prince’s archives, including handwritten lyrics and personal photos. More scrapbook than memoir, it’s still a poignant, beautiful tribute to the famously private artist.
2 Lady Gaga, Las Vegas. From the moment she emerged from the rafters playing a handheld keyboard, we were mesmerized. Her show is an exhilarating mix of pop music and performance art.
3 Kanye West, “Jesus Is King.” His ninth album features a mere 27 minutes of religious music. He loves the Lord — and himself.
Jon Bream of the Star Tribune:
1 Tom Morello, the Varsity. A galvanizing evening of poignant politics, guitar heroics and a killer version of Springsteen’s “Ghost of Tom Joad.”
2 “Kanye West Airpool Karaoke.” In a change of vehicles, “Late Late Show’s” James Corden featured Ye and a 100-voice gospel choir on an airplane. The idea was more inspiring than the music.
3 Lewis Capaldi, First Avenue. With his booming voice and charming, jocular demeanor, he showed why he’s pop’s next big thing.