Thursday, December 22, 2016

2016's Greatest Hits

Even with over 75 albums listed here, I was still a little underwhelmed album-wise with 2016.  There was a lot of good music but the overall quality wasn't really up to what I heard earlier this decade (see lists for 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010).  As for singles, I can't remember a year where I've heard more good SONGS- almost 150 noted below.  In this streaming age, it's easier to pick off good songs, even when they're not singles and with album sales continually slumping, maybe that's reflected in the quality.  Still, I don't buy the 'music sucks today' argument about whatever good ol' days people get weepy about, not when I insist that circa 2010-3 had the best selection of music in a decade or so.  And I'll still take the bigger variety that's available today than in any good ol' days you could name in the pre-digital era.

I also think that it's good to have a list like this because most year-end requests from magazines for writers only ask for 10 albums and/or singles from you. That makes it sound like you only heard 10 things each in any given year and didn't like anything else that came out.  The artists who are winners in those polls get bragging rights but for music fans, I think fuller lists are much more meaningful to find some weird/obscure things otherwise.

One troubling observation is that for rap picks, the top two are from a shameful egomaniac who happens to be a frustrated genius who can't stop tweaking his work (Kanye) and a much more worthy artist who put out something of a compilation of songs that were never made to come out (Kendrick), along with a group waving goodbye (Tribe) and a genius producer no longer with us (Dilla) and yet another artist who's saying that he's packing it in (Yasiin Bey- not listed here but still pretty good). Pair that along with Mr. Ocean's contract-breaking non-album and it feels like the themes of the year are confusion, unfinished business and loss (definitely appropriate with the political atmosphere).

I have links to buy or hear anything below and Spotify playlists to help with that, plus a YouTube playlist for the videos I liked.

As always, if you like what you hear, why not support some of these artists so you could hear more from them?



Most of the albums below are in this Spotify playlist
  1. Kanye West The Life of Pablo (GOOD/Def Jam)
  2. Kendrick Lamar untitled unmastered. (Top Dawg)
  3. Various Artists God Don't Never Change: The Songs of Blind Willie Johnson (Alligator)
  4. Prince Rama Xtreme Now (Carpark)
  5. Dear Eloise Uncontrollable, Ice Age Stories (Maybe Mars)
  6. Krokofant Krokofant II (Rune Grammofon)
  7. Margo Price Midwest Farmer's Daughter (Third Man)
  8. Meghan Trainor Thank You (Epic)
  9. J. Dilla The Diary of J Dilla (Mass Appeal/Pay Jay)
  10. Roel Funcken and Various Artists Autotroph (Part 1) (Headphone Commute)
  11. Amanar Tumastin (Sahelsounds)
  12. Sho Baraka The Narrative (Fair Trade Services)
  13. Tancred Out of the Garden (Polyvinyl)
  14. Azealia Banks Slay-Z (no label)
  15. Tacocat Lost Time (Hardly Art)
  16. Mannequin Pussy Romantic (Tiny Engines)
  17. Honnda Diamonds in the Microwave (Orange Milk)
  18. Jomo and The Possum Posse Local Motive (Guy On a Buffalo)
  19. Dense and Pika Update (Hotflush Recordings)
  20. Neville Watson The Watcher (The Nothing Special)
  21. Aubrie Sellers New City Blues (Aubrie Sellers)
  22. Wussy Forever Sounds (Shake It)
  23. Frank Ocean Blonde (Boys Don't Cry)
  24. Aesop Rock The Impossible Kid (Rhymesayers)
  25. G.L.O.S.S. Trans Day of Revenge (Bandcamp)
  26. Rittz Top of the Line (Strange Music)
  27. Mr. Lif Don't Look Down (Mello Music)
  28. Smokey Joe and The Kid Running to the Moon (Banzai Lab)
  29. Burnt Palms Back On My Wall (WWNBB)
  30. Fireworks Black and Blue (Shelflife)
  31. Maren Morris Hero (Columbia Nashville)
  32. Taiwan Housing Project Three Song Record (Bandcamp)
  33. Narc Twain Narc Twain (Bandcamp)
  34. Gensu Dean and Denmark Vessey Whole Food (Mello Music)
  35. Various Artists Blues For Big Walter (Eller Soul)
  36. The Caretaker Everywhere at the End of Time (History Always Favors the Winners)
  37. Tomutonttu Trarat (Leaving)
  38. The Dentist Ceilings (Little Dickman)
  39. Planetary Assault Systems Planetary Funk 22 Light Years Series (Part 1) (Mote Evolver)
  40. Dubspeeka Unfriended (Drumcode)
  41. Lokane Visions (Nervous Horizon)
  42. Ctrls Nonuser (Token Belgium)
  43. Dalek Asphalt For Eden (Profound Lore)
  44. Africans With Mainframes K.M.T (Soul Jazz)
  45. Frank Ocean Endless (Boy's Don't Cry/Def Jam)
  46. Porya Hatami & Arovane Kaziwa (Time Released Sound)
  47. Datach'i System (Planet Mu)
  48. JoeFarr Spectate (Leisure System)
  49. Skepta Konnichiwa (Boy Better Know)
  50. Piano Novel Songe (1631 Recordings)
  51. Various Artists 2016 Sampler (Topshelf)
  52. White Gzus Stackin N Mackin Vol. 4 (no label)
  53. Gurr In My Head (Dutchess Box)
  54. K.A.A.N. Uncommon Knowledge (Redefinition Records)
  55. Leroy Shield/Alessandro Simonetto Laurel and Hardy: The Original Piano Music (Aevea)
  56. Cooper Oxidado (Elefant)
  57. Smiles Smiles (Melters)
  58. Nicolas Altstaedt C.P.E. Bach: Cello Concertos (Hyperion)
  59. Elouise Deep Water (Landslide Sound)
  60. Various Artists Texture Series - Volume One (1631 Recordings)
  61. Michael Livesley and Brainwashing House Sir Henry at Rawlinson End (Guilty Dog)
  62. Space Sweeper Alien Oceans (Sibler)
  63. Dax J Chasing Shadows (Clergy)
  64. Death Cab for Yeezy Death Cab for Yeezy (no label)
  65. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever Talk Tight (Ivy League)
  66. Tilman Robinson Deer Heart (Hobbledehoy)
  67. Sun Valley Gun Club Sun Valley Gun Club (20 Sided)
  68. Loren Connors The Departing of a Dream Vol. VI  (Family Vineyard)
  69. Galants Galants (Jigsaw)
  70. Echologist Good Vibrations (Echocord Colour Denmark)
  71. Ben Lukas Boysen Spells (Erased Tapes)
  72. Javier Escovdeo Kicked Out of Eden (Saustex)
  73. Steve Hauschildt Strands (Kranky)
  74. Loretta Lynn White Christmas Blue (Legacy)
  75. Shift Work Notes To Self 1  (Houndstooth)
  76. Lustmord Dark Matter (Touch)
  77. Glauco Venier Miniatures Music For Piano And Percussion (ECM)
  78. Andre Williams I Wanna Go Back To Detroit City (Bloodshot)
  79. Various Artists Orbital Planes and Passenger Trains Vol 1 (Serein)


Most of the songs below are in my Spotify singles playlist
  1. Nvdes "The Other Side" (B3SCI)
  2. Lemaitre "Stepping Stone [feat. Mark Johns]" (Astralwerks)
  3. Kendrick Lamar "Untitled 3" (Grammys)
  4. Skogsrå "Out of Time" (Good Soldier)
  5. Kovary "Hot With You" (No Definition)
  6. Unlike Pluto "Waiting For You (feat. Joanna Jones)" (Monstercat)
  7. Rachel Platten feat. Andy Grammer "Hey Hey Hallelujah" (Sony)
  8. Christon Gray "Stop Me" (Fo Yo Soul/RCA)
  9. Lushlife/CSLSX Featuring Deniro Farrar "Incantation" (Western Vinyl)
  10. Jean Tonique "Lit Up Feat. Dirty Radio" (Partyfine)
  11. Signor Benedick the Moor "Maiden Voyage Suite" (Bandcamp)
  12. Meghan Trainor "NO" (Epic)
  13. Mac McCaughan "Happy New Year (Prince Can't Die Again)" (Bandcamp)
  14. The Get Down Brothers "The Get Down Brothers Vs. Notorious 3" (RCA)
  15.  Joaquin Joe Claussell "Position Locked" (Sacred Rhythm)
  16. Tim Bowman Jr. "Strength" (Lifestyle Music Group)
  17. Angela McCluskey "Not Crying Anymore" (Bernadette)
  18. Valeriy Felini "Ice Cream" (Elite Music Armenia)
  19. Bezier "Cosmos" (Honey Soundsystem Records)
  20. Joey Purp "Girls @ (feat. Chance the Rapper)" (no label)
  21. Priests "JJ" (Sister Polygon)
  22. Lady Gaga "A-Yo" (Interscope)
  23. BORN I MUSIC x TML "Look At The Crown" (Storm Network)
  24. Run the Jewels "Talk To Me" (Adult Swim)
  25. Riton "Rinse and Repeat [feat. Kah-Lo]" (Interscope)
  26. Dusky "Sort It Out Sharon [feat. Wiley]"(Astralwerks)
  27. Keito Sano "Explosion" (Mister Saturday Night)
  28. M.I.A. "Rewear It" (H and M)
  29. Party Favor and Dillon Francis "Shut It Down" (Mad Descent)
  30. Chance the Rapper "All Night" (no label)
  31. Trust Punks "Good Luck With That" (Wharf Cat)
  32. Bibi Bourelly "Sally" (Circa 13 / Def Jam)
  33. DJ Shadow "Nobody Speak feat. Run The Jewels" (Reconstruction)
  34. Ravioli Me Away "Power In Mind" (Upset the Rhythm)
  35. Tkay Maidza "Carry On featuring Killer Mike" (Downtown/Interscope)
  36. TEK.LUN "Aburoy" (no label)
  37. Holy Ghost! "Crime Cutz (Neon Indian vs Holy Ghost! remix)" (DFA)
  38. Anderson .Paak "Come Down" (Steel Wool)
  39. Beyonce "Formation" (Parkwood)
  40. Lizzo "Good As Hell" (Nice Life/Atlantic)
  41. Marie Davidson "Naive To The Bone" (Cititrax)
  42. Cassy "Route To Thonon" (Aus Music)
  43. Desiigner "Panda" (G.O.O.D. Music)
  44. M.I.A. "Bird Song (Blaqstarr Remix)" (Interscope)
  45. Seratones "Choking on Your Spit" (Fat Possum)
  46. Aesop Rock "Rings" (Rhymesayers)
  47. Marian Hill "Mistaken (featuring Steve Davit)" (Photo Finish/Republic)
  48. Boulevards "Got To Go" (Captured Tracks)
  49. Satin Jackets featuring Emma Brammer "We Can Talk" (Eskimo Recordings)
  50. RÜFÜS "You Were Right (Nora En Pure Remix)" (Sweat It Out)
  51. Glom and Stage Rockers "Tetris" (Deepalma)
  52. AlunaGeorge "I'm In Control (The Magician Remix) (feat. Popcaan)" (Island)
  53. Danny Brown "Tell Me What I Don't Know" (Warp)
  54. Pretty Sister "Thirsty" (Trillionz)
  55. Nothing "Vertigo Flowers" (Relapse)
  56. GoldLink "Fall in Love ft. Ciscero"
  57. Låpsley "Operator" (DJ Koze's Disco edit) (XL)
  58. Little Simz "Picture Perfect" (Age 101)
  59. Baauer "Temple featuring M.I.A., G-Dragon" (Lucky Me)
  60. Astronautalis "Attila Ambrus" (Side One Dummy)
  61. Deerhoof "Plastic Thrills" (Polyvinyl)
  62. L'Orange and Mr. Lif "Strange Technology (feat. Akrobatik and Gonjasufi)" (Mello Music)
  63. Bunji Garlin "Television" (Feel Up)
  64. Mamuthones "Symphony for the Devil" (Rocket)
  65. Tom Waits "Soul of A Man" (Alligator)
  66. Wussy "Dropping Houses" (Shake It)
  67. Thee Oh Sees "Plastic Plant" (Castle Face)
  68. High Waisted "Party in the Back" (Trash Be Free)
  69. Pat Todd and the Rankoutsiders "This Counterfeit World" (Hound Gawd!)
  70. Manpower "Ruthven" (Voyeurhythm Holland)
  71. Kangding Ray "Ardent" (Stroboscopic)
  72. Commando "Set it Straight" (Black Acre)
  73. Lecrae "Gangland (feat. Propaganda)" (Reach)
  74. The Heavy "Turn Up" (Bad Son)
  75. Tigertown "Lonely Cities" (Atlantic)
  76. Against Me! "Rebecca" (Total Treble)
  77. Mozzy and E-Mozzy "Perkys Callin' (Free Style)" (Mozzy)
  78. Miss Red "Murder" (Red Label)
  79. Mighty Mojo Prophets "Crazy Love" (Mojo King Records)
  80. Amber Arcades "Fading Lines" (Heavenly)
  81. Blackout Balter "Edison" (Blackout Balter)
  82. Alice Bag "No Means No" (Don Giovanni)
  83. Kelsey Waldon "Dirty Old Town" (Monkey's Eyebrow)
  84. Aston Shuffle "Only 1" feat. Nathaniel S Lewis (Potion)
  85. Krizz Kaliko "Outta Line" (Strange Music)
  86. Sammy Adams "Helluva (feat. Kat Nestel)" (1st Round)
  87. Loretta Lynn "Everybody's Wants To Go To Heaven" (Legacy)
  88. Witching Waves "Seeing Double" (HHBTM)
  89. Mr. Lif "Whizdom (feat. Blacastan)" (Mello Music)
  90. Låpsley "Hurt Me" (XL)
  91. Radiohead "Burn the Witch" (XL)
  92. Rolling Blackout Coastal Fever "Julie's Place" (Sub Pop)
  93. Bleached "Trying to Lose Myself Again" (Dead Oceans)
  94. Elizabeth Cook "Straightjacket Love" (Agent Love)
  95. Summer Flake "Wine Won't Wash Away" (Rice Is Nice)
  96. LNZNDRF "Future You" (4AD)
  97. Rapper Big Pooh and Nottz "Grass Aint Green (feat. Blu)" (Mello Music)
  98. Boys Nosie "Overthrow" (Boysnoise)
  99. Prince Rama "Your Life In the End" (Carpark)
  100. Lindstrøm "Closing Shot (Radio Edit)" (Feedelity Recordings)
  101. Linda Guilala "Accidente" (Elefant)
  102. Miss Tess "Shotgun Wedding" (Miss Tess)
  103. Japanese Breakfast "Everybody Wants to Love You" (Yellow K)
  104. Thievery Corporation "Letter to the Editor" (ESL)
  105. The Courtneys "Silver Velvet" (Flying Nun)
  106. Terry Malts "Seen Everything" (Slumberland)
  107. Afous d'Afous "Tarhanine Tegla" (Sahelsounds)
  108. Guided by Voices "Glittering Parliaments" (GBV)
  109. Swiftumz "Not Losing Sleep" (Dirtnap)
  110. Mercury Girls "Beverly" (Slumberland)
  111. Moon Duo "Creepin'" (Sacred Bones)
  112. Kelsey Waldon "All by Myself" (Monkey's Eyebrow)
  113. The Puppini Sisters "Work It" (Millionaire)
  114. Quelle Chris "Buddies" (Mello Music)
  115. Modern Baseball "Mass" (Run For Cover)
  116. Elouise "Silent Night" (no label)
  117. Husbands "Where Is My Ego? (Dim Sum Remix)" (no label)
  118. Matador "The Enemy ft Felix Da Housecat" (Rukus)
  119. LVL Up "Pain" (Sub Pop)
  120. Blood Orange "E.V.P." (Domino)
  121. The Weeknd "Rockin'" (Republic)
  122. Cola Jet Set "Lo Mejor Está Por Llegar" (Elefant)
  123. Dua Lipa "Blow Your Mind (Mwah)" (Warner Bros)
  124. Cold Pumas "The Slump" (Faux Discx)
  125. St Paul and the Broken Bones "Midnight on the Earth" (Records, LLC)
  126. The Blind Shake "Reasonable World" (Goner)
  127. Bonnie Raitt "Unintended Consequence of Love" (Redwing)
  128. Lake Street Drive "Godawful Things" (Nonesuch)
  129. Holypalms "Fractal Blossoms" (Tenzenmen)
  130. Parple "Sacred" (Hivern Discs)
  131. Swimming Tapes "Set the Fire" (Hand in Hive)
  132. Kate Tempest "Don't Fall In" (Lex)
  133. Marcel Vogel "Always Isn't Only" (Intimate Friends)
  134. The Rhythm Express "Seven Day Lover (Ft Michael Dunston)" (Label Engine)
  135. La Yegros "Carnabailito" (Soundway)
  136. The Worriers "Get Bored" (Don Giovanni)
  137. Parquet Courts "Two Dead Cops" (Rough Trade)
  138. Raccoon Fighter "Adderall" (PaperCup)
  139. Charles Bradley "Ain't It A Sin" (Daptone)
  140. The Men "Crime" (Sacred Bones)
  141. The Affirmations "Ain't Enough" (Record Kicks)
  142. Blue Jeans "Kara Keeley" (Jigsaw)
  143. Hodge/Randomer "Second Freeze" (Livity Sound Recordings)
  144. Low Culture "Slave to You" (Dirtnap)
  145. Boss Hog "Wichita Grey" (In the Red)
  146. Lucy Dacus "I Don't Wanna Be Funny Anymore" (Matador)
  147. Morningbell "We Have Eyes as Well as Ears" (Gold Robot)
  148. The Parrots "Jame Gumb" (PIAS)

  1. The Drifters Complete Releases 1953-62 (Acrobat)
  2. The Feelies Time for a Witness (Bar/None)
  3. Various Artists Fact Magazine- The Best G-Funk Tracks of All Time (Spotify)
  4. Erik Satie and Friends Original Albums Collection (Sony Classical)
  5. Ornette Coleman To Whom Who Keeps a Record (Superior Viaduct)
  6. Van Morrison ..It's Too Late to Stop Now...Volumes II, III, IV (SMG)
  7. Pere Ubu The Hearpen Singles 1975-1977 (Fire)
  8. Various Artists The Rough Guide To Bottleneck Blues (World Music Network)
  9. Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake Sing Shuffle Along (Harbinger)
  10. Howard Tate I Learned It All The Hard Way – Deep Soul Classics 1966 to 2003 (Playback)
  11. Various Artists Action Time Vision - A Story of Independent UK Punk 1976 - 1979 (Cherry Red)
  12. Miles Davis The Lost Broadcast (Left Field)
  13. Lee Dorsey  Wheelin’ and Dealin’: The Definitive Collection (Music on CD)
  14. Kleenex/LiLiPUT First Songs (Kill Rock Stars)
  15. The B-52's Live! 8-24-1979 (Real Gone)
  16. The Chi-Lites (For God’s Sake) Give More Power to the People (Brunswick)
  17. The Beatles Live at the Hollywood Bowl (Capitol)
  18. Steve Reich The ECM Recordings (ECM)
  19. Various Artists The World Is Going Wrong (Death is Not the End)
  20. Art Farmer Complete Albums Collection: 1955-1957 (Enlightenment)
  21. Pylon Live (Chunklet)
  22. Silkworm It'll Be Cool (Comedy Minus One)
  23. Lyrics Born Greatest Hits (Mobile Home Recordings)
  24. Various Artists Africa Airways Three (The Afro-Psych Excursion 1972 - 1984) (African Seven)
  25. Various Artists Girls Gonna Bop (Croydon Municipal)
  26. The Rave Up's Town and Country (Omnivore)
  27. The Meters A Message from The Meters: The Complete Josie, Reprise and Warner Bros. Singles 1968-1977 (Real Gone)
  28. Jackie McLean The Complete Albums Collection 1955-1958 (Enlightenment)
  29. Various Artists NYC Popfest 2016 (Spotify)
  30. Various Artists Shout Troubles Over (no label)
  31. Horace Andy In the Light (VP)
  32. Holger Czukay Movie! (Gronland)
  33. Grateful Dead Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO (7/8/78) (Grateful Dead)
  34. Betty Harris The Lost Queen of New Orleans Soul (Soul Jazz)
  35. Slapp Happy Sort Of (Tapete)
  36. Jack Rose Dr. Ragtime and His Pals (Three Lobed Recordings)
  37. Various Artists First Class Rocksteady (VP)
  38. John Fahey Your Past Comes Back to Haunt You: The Fonotone Years 1958-1965 (Dust to Digital)
  39. The School Loveless Unbelievable (Elefant)
  40. Connections Midnight Run (Anyway)
  41. Herbie Mann Live at the Whisky 1969—The Unreleased Masters (Real Gone Music)
  42. Various Artists Editions Mego 2014 / 2015 / 2016 (Editions Mego)
  43. Pia Fraus Nature Heart Software (Seksound)
  44. Laraaji Celestrana / Deep Chimes Meditation (Leaving)
  45. Vivien Goldman Resolutionary (Staubgold)
  46. The Paul Butterfield Blues Band Got a Mind to Give Up Living: Live 1966 (Real Gone Music)
  47. Dr. J.K. Sutherland Mid-Eastern Meditations (Canary)
  48. Henri Pousseur Early Experimental Electronic Music 1954-72 (Sub Rosa)
  49. Juniper Moon El Resto De Mi Vida + Singles Y Rarezas (1999-​2003) (Elefant)
  50. Susumu Yokota Sakura (Type)
  51. Jean Schwarz Erda/Suite N (Editions Mego)
  52. Various Artists Still in a Dream: Story of Shoegaze 1988-1995 (Cherry Red)




All of the videos are included in the playlist above except *