Kaplan Law’s 2018 Best 10 New Album Releases played in the office #onmymothersrecordplayer

Wishing you and yours a joyous holiday season from Kaplan Law. This year, our firm has made a donation to the Canadian Civil Liberties Education Trust, which helps develop critical thinking around human rights in students and equip them with the tools to promote and protect civil liberties.

For your listening discovery, please see below the 2018 Best 10 New Album Releases, which we have played in our office and enjoyed during this past year.  

On behalf of Kaplan Law, our warmest regards,


1.  Janelle Monáe, Dirty Computer
Genre: R&B. Art Pop.
Origins: USA
Themes: Technology. Gender identity. Love. Intimacy. Oppression.
Ari’s picks: Take A Byte, Django Jane, Pynk.


2.     Idles, Joy as an Act of Resistance
Genre: Rock. Art Punk.
Origins: UK
Themes: Brexit. Toxic masculinity. Mental health. Immigration.
Ari’s picks: Samaritans, I’m Scum, Great.


3.     Tim Hecker, Konoyo
Genre: Ambient. Drone. Gagaku.
Origins: Canada
Themes: Negative space. Urgency. Majesty.
Ari’s picks: This Life, In Death Valley, A Sodium Codec Haze, Across to Anoyo.


4.     Muse, Simulation Theory
Genre: Pop Rock. Electronic Rock.
Origins: UK
Themes: Reality as Simulation. Sci-fi Fantasy.
Ari’s picks: Algorithm, The Dark Side, Thought Contagion.


5.     Childish Gambino, This Is America
Genre: Hip Hop. Trap. Afrobeat.
Origins: USA
Themes: America, Society, Gun violence, Race relations, Awareness, Vanity.
Ari’s picks: This is America (Hiro Murai, dir.)


6.     Chilly Gonzales, Solo Piano III
Genre: Modern classical. Piano music.
Origins: Canada
Themes: Contemplation. History. Pop.
Ari’s picks: Blizzard in B-Flat Minor, Present Tense, Be Natural.


7.     Jeremy Dutcher, Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa
Genre: Classical. Folk.
Origins: Tobique First Nation
Themes: Colonization. Community. Nature.
Ari’s picks: Mehcinut, Essuwonike, Pomok naka Poktoinskwes.


8.     Ezra Furman, Transangelic Exodus
Genre: Rock. Singer songwriter.
Origins: USA
Themes: Identity. Journey traveler.
Ari’s picks: Maraschino-Red Dress $8.99 at Goodwill, No Place, Psalm 151.


9.     US Girls, In a Poem Unlimited
Genre: Pop Rock. Psychedelic.
Origins: Canada
Themes: Relationships, Self-Reflection, Fertility.
Ari’s picks: Rosebud, Velvet 4 Sale, Incidental Boogie, Rage of Plastics.


10.  Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born Soundtrack
Genre: Rock. Americana.
Origins: USA
Themes: Devotion. Addiction. Fame. Loss.
Ari’s picks: La Vie en Rose, Black Eyes, Diggin’ My Grave, Shallow, Heal Me.


I just finished this book on "conflict paradox"

I just finished reading The Conflict Paradox: Seven Dilemmas at the Core of Disputes by Dr. Bernard Mayer.

Mayer identifies the dilemmas that polarize disputants into binary positions. Using Hegelian dialectic theory, he reconciles the paradoxes. In every dilemma, "each element of each polarity implies and indeed requires the other", not as "mutually exclusive alternatives", rather, as "codependent realities". 

The seven paradoxes are:

In essence, the conflict paradox is about the intellectual and emotional maturity that we bring to conflict. The higher the stakes, the greater our tendency to view these polarities in a more primitive or immature way - to believe that we must choose between one side or the other. ... We must seek the truth that encompasses both sides of these polarities.
— Bernard Mayer
  • Competition v. Cooperation

  • Optimism v. Realism

  • Avoidance v. Engagement

  • Principle v. Compromise

  • Emotions v. Logic

  • Neutrality v. Advocacy

  • Community v. Autonomy

I found the book insightful and refreshing. I especially appreciated Mayer's "reflections from practice"; case studies that illustrate the problems and how his views have evolved over 40 years of practice as a mediator.   

The Conflict Paradox is useful not only to dispute resolution professionals but to students of psychology, politics, philosophy, business and science: "Paradoxes and dualities are part of every element of our lives".

Ari Kaplan