Albums of 2016

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Albums of 2016

Postby Nick » Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:33 am

We're about three weeks into the new year, so I figure it's as good of a time as any to start up the latest edition of an AMF tradition- the annual "albums of the current year" thread.

Here's what I've heard-

David Bowie- Blackstar

I've heard it, you've heard it, we've all heard it. I love it, and there's a good chance you love it too. I won't waste any more time talking about this one, but needless to say I expect it to end up as one of my favorites of 2016. Bowie's last album and his best since "Heroes".

Verdict: Great

Anderson .Paak- Malibu

If the name Anderson .Paak seems familiar to you, but you can't quite place it, he's the singer who is featured on a wealth of tracks on the latest album from Dr. Dre. "Malibu" is .Paak's sophomore release, and it's a slick and sun bleached album full of R&B/neo soul with a dose of rap. The production on "Malibu" is great, and so is .Paak's soulful crooning, but the album is a bit too long for its own good (16 songs over 61 minutes), and the tracks tend to blend into one another too often. "Malibu" is another good R&B album in a decade with an embarrassment of great R&B albums.

Verdict: Good

Jesu and Sun Kil Moon- Jesu/Sun Kil Moon

I loved "Benji", but the muddled instrumentation, overly long songs, and lyrics that just never grabbed me made Mark Kozelek's followup, "Universal Themes", a major disappointment. So I was hoping that his newest album, a collaboration with the experimental rock band Jesu, would redeem himself. It hasn't. Sadly, this album may be even worse than "Universal Themes". "Jesu/Sun Kil Moon" is 80 minutes long, and you really feel those 80 minutes slowly tick by. The opening three songs are indistinguishable blurs, which would be bad enough if they were the length of a standard song, but each of those three songs averages out to a little over 7 minutes. The instrumentation that Kozelek talk-sings over is never all that compelling (save the beautiful instrumentation on the closing track, "Beautiful You"), and frequently his voice is buried too far in the mix. On two different songs, Mark Kozelek decides to read two different pieces of fan mail he's received, which may be a little sweet and sincere, but ultimately just comes off as one of the most masturbatory things ever put to a record. He's actually reading letters from people praising him on a record! For minutes at a time!

Much like his previous album, "Jesu/Sun Kil Moon" is a mess of bland songs with overly long run times and lyrics that once again fail to grab me. Except this time it's ten minutes longer than "Universal Themes".

Verdict: Bad

On My Radar:

Chairlift- Moth- January 22nd
Animal Collective- Painting With- February 9th
Kanye West- Swish- February 11th
Weezer- Weezer (“The White Album”)- April 1st
Woods- City Sun Eater in the River of Light- April 8th

Chromatics- Dear Tommy- TBA
Frank Ocean- Boys Don’t Cry- TBA
Gorillaz- TBA- TBA
James Blake- TBA- TBA
PJ Harvey- TBA- TBA
Radiohead- TBA- TBA
Run the Jewels- Run the Jewels 3- TBA
Spiritualized- TBA- TBA
Vampire Weekend- TBA- TBA

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby whuntva » Sat Jan 23, 2016 5:04 am

Swans are expected to have an album this year as well.

They are the ONLY band I want to see live. I will go to their tour if they stop in DC.

I only really head Blackstar so far, and I like it as much as the rest of you.

So...yeah. That's about it for now.
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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Andre » Sun Jan 24, 2016 4:43 pm

To be ready in December for the year polls, I've already started to make a list on RYM.

The list will still dramatically change, but for now Blackstar is also my highlight (4.5 stars) and Daughter goes click after a few listens (4 stars). Behind that we have the swamp of many 3.5 and 3 stars albums.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby notbrianeno » Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:44 pm

Rihanna's new album Anti is streaming at Tidal, and available for free download at the Tidal store with the code "ANTI". It features a cover of "New Person, Same Old Mistakes" by Tame Impala.
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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Jirin » Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:47 pm

New Savages album is good.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby notbrianeno » Tue Feb 02, 2016 4:00 pm

For fans of Jeff Buckley and Arcade Fire, you're going to love Suicide Songs by MONEY
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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Jirin » Wed Feb 03, 2016 7:51 pm

The new Tindersticks album is wonderful, I like it better than anything else I've heard by them.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Jackson » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:43 am

whuntva wrote:Swans are expected to have an album this year as well.

They are the ONLY band I want to see live. I will go to their tour if they stop in DC.

I only really head Blackstar so far, and I like it as much as the rest of you.

So...yeah. That's about it for now.


Swans dominate even years. Hard to imagine this not being up there at the end of year given it was announced as their final album (for now). I do hope it's shorter than their previous two, about the only flaw in The Seer or To Be Kind is it's tough to find time to listen to them in one sitting.

I saw Swans live in Atlanta before The Seer. It really is something to experience. I don't know how they do something that intense on a night to night basis.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Jirin » Fri Feb 05, 2016 4:34 pm

A few more good finds. Money -Suicide Songs meets hype. Daughter - Not To Disappear is quite good. I wish Popmatters let you filter by 9 star albums because most of my best obscure finds came from there.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby TimmyWing » Sat Feb 13, 2016 5:53 pm

I'd definitely recommend people check out Field Music's new album, "Commontime". Was just a chance find on Spotify (the cover probably helped sell it), but it pays wonderful homage to baroque-pop of the '60s, '70s prog-rock and '80s R&B. One criticism might be that it has fingers in too many pies for it to be totally cohesive, but some of these tracks immediately became my favourites of the year so far.

Highlights: "The Morning Is Waiting for You" (McCartney could have written this one honestly - very "Fool on the Hill" but fresh and classically beautiful)
"Disappointed"
"The Noisy Days Are Over" (Steely Dan seems to be the go-to comparison for this band but this one definitely reminds me of "Do It Again" with its length and epic solos)
"Trouble at the Lights"
"Stay Awake"

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Nick » Sat Feb 13, 2016 9:00 pm

Chairlift- Moth

Chairlift have always been a band that I had a cursory interest in. Every couple years they would release a song or two that really caught my attention (2008's "Bruises" and 2012's "I Belong in Your Arms"), and though I enjoyed these singles I never really felt like Chairlift were much of a band for albums. Well, that may change with their latest album, "Moth". Preceded by two of 2015's best singles, "Ch-Ching" and "Romeo", "Moth" arrives as deliciously sweet slice of indie pop. Chairlift haven't changed up their sound here, but their songwriting and ear for melodies have improved, as evidenced by not only the two aforementioned singles, but also by songs like "Polymorphing" and "Moth to the Flame". Where the album falters though, is when Chairlift drop the big meaty hooks and start taking things slow, like on "Ottawa to Osaka" and the closing track "No Such Thing as Illusion". All in all, "Moth" isn't trying anything new, but if you like your indie pop like I do, you'll find something to like here.

Verdict: Good

Savages- Adore Life

I've never been a huge fan of Savages, and I don't think their sophomore album, "Adore Life", has done anything to sway my opinion. Their first album, 2013's "Silence Yourself" was a good album, with songs that could best be described as "well put together", but ultimately didn't capture my attention all that much, as it lacked both the pop sensibility and innovation that made the best post-punk bands out there so great. Still, the album was energetic, and this energy is something sorely missed from much of "Adore Life". The album starts out promising, with a series of songs that capture the energy that made their first album beloved by so many. But it doesn't take long for the album to falter, and the middle section of "Adore Life" contains songs that exist only to drone on without ever really resolving. Savages have a good sense for atmosphere, but it's hard not to wonder while listening to this album, "why aren't I listening to some better post-punk instead?"

Verdict: Fair

On My Radar

Animal Collective- Painting With- February 19th
The Field- The Follower- April 1st
Weezer- Weezer (“The White Album”)- April 1st
Woods- City Sun Eater in the River of Light- April 8th
PJ Harvey- The Hope Six Demolition Project- April 15th
Kanye West- The Life of Pablo- Never

Chromatics- Dear Tommy- TBA
Flying Lotus- TBA- TBA
Frank Ocean- Boys Don’t Cry- TBA
Gorillaz- TBA- TBA
James Blake- TBA- TBA
LCD Soundsystem- TBA- TBA
Radiohead- TBA- TBA
Run the Jewels- Run the Jewels 3- TBA
Spiritualized- TBA- TBA
Swans- TBA- TBA
Vampire Weekend- TBA- TBA

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Maschine_Man » Sun Feb 14, 2016 9:29 am

Really looking forward to the Rosie Lowe album coming out this week. The sampler available on Spotify shows great promise.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby dumbangel » Sun Feb 14, 2016 11:00 pm

I agree TimmyWing about the new Field Music album which is a great pop record.
They put some funk in their prog-pop and the result is absolutely brillant.
Since their debut album in 2005 they have used us to their great musicianship but in this new record they've added some heart and soul.
It's my favourite of the year so far.
Other 2016 albums i like a lot :
Suede
The James Hunter Six
Steven Wilson

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Nick » Mon Feb 15, 2016 7:09 pm

Kanye West- The Life of Pablo

The album formerly known as "So Help Me God", formerly known as "SWISH", formerly known as "Waves", currently known as "The Life of Pablo" may be Kanye's worst album as a standalone artist (read, not "Watch the Throne") yet. Which isn't to say that the album is bad, but instead speaks volumes about the consistently high quality of Kanye's output for over a decade of music. "The Life of Pablo" may be a good album, maybe even a great album, but when put next to masterpieces like "Late Registration" and "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy", it's hard not to feel like the album is a comparatively minor work.

One way that "The Life of Pablo" feels minor is the fact that it's the first album in Kanye's standalone discography that feels like it's just...an album. Whereas previous albums like "The College Dropout" or "808s and Heartbreak" felt like total game changers, albums that would entirely alter the course of hip-hop, and albums like "Graduation" and "Yeezus", while not necessarily as influential as some of his others, were still albums that marked immense stylistic shifts, "The Life of Pablo" doesn't carry the weight of a cultural zeitgeist, nor does it mark a stylistic shift in the sound of its artist. "The Life of Pablo" may contain elements of gospel to it, like on the opener "Ultralight Beam", but it never really comes to totally embrace this gospel sound, or any one sound in particular.

This inability to embrace a single sound may lead some to claim that this album is Kanye's "White Album", but "The Life of Pablo" lacks the immense amount of stylistic hairpin turns that the famed Beatles album contains. Instead, the album is content with taking bits and pieces from gospel, from hip-hop, from minimal synthy R&B, from pop music, but in a way that takes on the lack of cohesion of "The White Album" but leaves much of the sense of joyous unbridled musical clusterfuckery out.

But when the album does succeed, its success is enough to forget about the problems that plague it. The best songs on "The Life of Pablo" can go toe to toe with just about any of the best songs on Kanye's past albums, with "Real Friends" and "No More Parties in L.A." in particular being career highlights. It's on songs like these that Kanye is able to tap into something raw, both lyrically and musically, with heartfelt lyrics that recall a Kanye of years past, and music that feels not as much of a total stylistic change, but as a successful update of the sound on his first two albums. "The Life of Pablo" may be a mess, but much of it is a beautiful mess.

Verdict: Good/Great

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Nick » Fri Feb 19, 2016 7:15 pm

Animal Collective- Painting With

Animal Collective have always been, at their best, defined by their contrast between the experimental nature of their music, the occasionally jarring and even harsh sounds that come about because of this nature, and a strong inclination towards catchy, immediate pop music. The play between these two diametrically opposed forces is exactly what made albums like 2007's "Strawberry Jam" and 2009's "Merriweather Post Pavilion" so great in the eyes of fans, critics, and yours truly. On "Painting With", their first album in four years, Animal Collective subtract half of this formula with disappointing results.

The half of the formula conspicuously absent here is their former pop sensibility. Now, this lack of pop sensibility could have ended up working wonders for the band if they completely abandoned the notion of making pop songs and instead retreated into the confines of utter freakout psychedelic experimentation. However, on "Painting With", Animal Collective haven't necessarily ditched the idea of pop songs, instead the whole album comes off as a band trying very hard to make pop songs that ultimately end up as failures, songs that enter one ear and disappear out the other as soon as they end.

With songs that function as failed pop songs, what we're left with is something akin to a semi-competent Animal Collective parody, complete with the familiar sonic details but missing out on the charm that made songs like "Fireworks" and "Bluish" and "Summertime Clothes" so captivating and full of wonder. There's little on "Painting With" that's outright bad (even the opening track, "Floridada", has grown on me a bit), but it's hard not to feel let down here.

Verdict: Fair

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Nick » Sat Feb 20, 2016 12:05 am

Pinkshinyultrablast- Grandfeathered

Pinkshinyultrablast (yes, that is the band's name) are a shoegaze group from Russia, which I can't imagine places them in the company of many other bands of their like. Speculations about the state of shoegaze in Russia aside, "Grandfeathered" is the group's second album, and on it the group displays a deftness for the genre, taking all of the classic shoegaze tropes that we're all too familiar with and cranking them up to 11, giving us an album with a crushing sound to it, where the guitars on every song pummel away, the percussion frantically beats on, and the candy-sweet vocals launch themselves into the stratosphere. What "Grandfeathered" may lack in originality, it more than makes up for in enthusiasm.

Verdict: Good

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby spiritualized » Sat Feb 20, 2016 6:58 am

Nick wrote:Pinkshinyultrablast- Grandfeathered

Pinkshinyultrablast (yes, that is the band's name) are a shoegaze group from Russia, which I can't imagine places them in the company of many other bands of their like. Speculations about the state of shoegaze in Russia aside, "Grandfeathered" is the group's second album, and on it the group displays a deftness for the genre, taking all of the classic shoegaze tropes that we're all too familiar with and cranking them up to 11, giving us an album with a crushing sound to it, where the guitars on every song pummel away, the percussion frantically beats on, and the candy-sweet vocals launch themselves into the stratosphere. What "Grandfeathered" may lack in originality, it more than makes up for in enthusiasm.

Verdict: Good



Great ! Thanks for this review, one of their tracks appeared on my Spotify weekly discoveries list and I thought it was worth digging a bit deeper...reminded me of Medicine's first album

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Nassim » Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:50 am

Jirin wrote:A few more good finds. Money -Suicide Songs meets hype. Daughter - Not To Disappear is quite good. I wish Popmatters let you filter by 9 star albums because most of my best obscure finds came from there.


On "album of the year" you can sort albums by the grades given by a certain publication.
For instance here are the best reviewed albums of 2016 by popmatters

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Jirin » Tue Mar 01, 2016 5:46 pm

Wow, that site is awesome. This will be very helpful. I like to look at albums that somebody, somewhere thinks is the greatest ever, even if other people hate it, more than albums everybody just thinks is pretty good. This way I can just find the superlative reviews.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Maschine_Man » Tue Mar 01, 2016 7:26 pm

I'm starting to spend Jan and Feb as movie watching months, so albums have been a bit thin this year. I have put my favorite tracks in brackets if you wanted a taste of the album.

David Bowie - Blackstar - Beautiful. (Girl Loves Me, Blackstar)
Emma Pollock - In Search Of Harperfield - This album blew me away, really consistent with a couple of stand outs. (Don't Make Me Wait, Dark Skies)
Santogold - 99¢ - L.O.V.E. it, has a shot of staying in my Top 10 for the year. (Rendezvous Girl, Can't Get Enough Of Myself)
Rosie Lowe - Control - This feels like a toned down FKA Twigs, and I say this in the best way possible. (Woman, Who's That Girl?)
Rihanna - ANTI - Surprise of the year. Three tracks too long, but it starts and finishes strong. (Work, Love On The Brain)
General Elektriks - To Be A Stranger - A fun quirky album. (Angle Boogie, Migration Feathers)

3 Albums I'm Excited For

Damien Jurado - Visions Of Us On The Land (March 18th)
Suuns - Hold/Still (April 15th)
The Kills - Ash & Ice (June 3rd)

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby babydoll » Tue Mar 01, 2016 7:28 pm

Maschine_Man, what did you like about Work? I thought it was a bit repetitive. I thought Kiss It Better was better.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Maschine_Man » Tue Mar 01, 2016 8:45 pm

I really like the way the repeated words in the chorus sounds like they are being sung by someone who has had an exhausting day at work. There is something about the slightly silly and deliriousness about it that I connect with. I also really like the verses, especially the first, Drake doesn't compare. I like the relatively subtle instrumentation that really compliments her vocals rather than drowning them out.

Now that I think about it, I'm not sure why I didn't say Desparado, my actual favorite song of the album.

Desperado / Sitting in anoooool' Monte Carlo

I think the whole run of songs from the opener up to, and including, Woo is stellar. Those and the final three tracks would have made an almost perfect 9 track album. I have gone back and listened to her other albums and I think this is such an incredible leap in song-writing, consistency and adventurousness that Rihanna needs to be commended for it.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby babydoll » Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:49 pm

Maschine_Man wrote:I really like the way the repeated words in the chorus sounds like they are being sung by someone who has had an exhausting day at work. There is something about the slightly silly and deliriousness about it that I connect with. I also really like the verses, especially the first, Drake doesn't compare. I like the relatively subtle instrumentation that really compliments her vocals rather than drowning them out.

That's a really great analysis on a song, Maschine_Man! That's so much better than saying "I like that song, because her nipples were visible in the video!" (And yes, someone did tell me that was why that he liked that song. :angry-nono: )

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby notbrianeno » Wed Mar 02, 2016 1:02 am

Maschine_Man wrote: I think this is such an incredible leap in song-writing, consistency and adventurousness that Rihanna needs to be commended for it.


Completely agree! "Kiss It Better," "Work," and "Higher" are fantastic pop songs. The spontaneity, catchiness, and confidence exuded by the album comes close to Prince's output at times.

Speaking of new albums, M83's new album, Junk, comes out April 8th. I'd post the first single, if i could figure out how to embed a video on this forum lol.
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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Nick » Wed Mar 02, 2016 2:28 am

The album art for the new M83 album makes the art for "TLOP" look like the art for "Unknown Pleasures" or "Agaetis Byrjun" in comparison.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby GucciLittlePiggy » Wed Mar 02, 2016 5:25 am

Nick wrote:The album art for the new M83 album makes the art for "TLOP" look like the art for "Unknown Pleasures" or "Agaetis Byrjun" in comparison.

I think the difference is M83's cover is actually funny. I quite like it. Even if it weren't hilarious, I still think it would have TLOP beat.
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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby babydoll » Wed Mar 02, 2016 5:44 am

Just listened to Loretta Lynn's new album, "Full Circle", and I'm convinced that this is an early candidate alongside "Blackstar" and "Malibu" for my year-end list. "Full Circle" evokes Lynn's legendary status as the First Lady of Country and the coal miner's daughter, with the warmth from her wisdom seeping through the music and some of the songs that helped her mythic status, such as Whispering Sea and Fist City. It is old-time country, the music which made Lynn famous, but its nostalgic nature almost feels rather modern.

While confessing to never having heard Anti and TLOP in their whole yet, I can't help wonder if those albums will hold up as well as the previous three I mentioned.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Nassim » Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:47 pm

Elliott Smith - Heaven Adores You Soundtrack

For an Elliott Smith fan, that's a lovely record, with interesting variations on already known songs. The more electric version of Christian Brothers, recorded with Heatmiser, for instance is a good alternative on the original one (though Queens of the Stone Age's version already had a similar flavor).
For people less invested, it's mostly Worth a listen for the beautiful Plainclothes Man (though smilar songs from New Moon or Figure 8 are arguably better) and to witness how an incredible and precocious talent the guy was, recording "I love my room" at the age of 13 with tons of different sections, vocal harmonies, key changes, a bridge at 3;50 that'd put most songwriters to shame... wasn't a wordsmith yet but hey, that takes time.

David Bowie - Lazarus :

I'll just share the fanfare of acclaim, I wasn't very impressed by the title song but everything else is stunning. It's not likely to be on the very top of my personal favorite list, but from an outside point of view it is a blatant major artistic achievement.

Animal Collective - Painting With :

A fun and enjoyable ride through AC's universe that lacks 2 things : a standout track (or more) and some more introspective/slow tracks. Lying in the Grass is the only song I'd rank with AC's best.

Daughter - Not to Disappear :

Very good discovery, somewhere between Florence + the Machine, the XX, Kate Nash, Bat for Lashes and Cat Power, the opener "New Ways" is gorgeous and most of the rest of the album keeps a beautiful brooding mood, I particularly like the tribal drums of Numbers (hello These New Puritans) and the electronic beat of No Care (hello Arab Strap)

Savages - Love Life :

A bit of a disappointment, the album can't keep all along the intensity of their live shows or of their best tracks. That being said it's still a solid output with no real weakness or bording moments.

Kanye West - The Life of Pablo

A surprisingly solid album, though original playlist + waves makes a more satisfying album than what we finally got because I don't think we needed Fact and 30 hours or that No More Parties in L.A. really fits with the whole album.
There are complains to be done, lots of the featurings suck (especially Young Thug on Highlights and Swiss Beatz on Famous) when on Kanye's first 4 albums whoever joined used to give some of the best contribution of their careers, and some terrible lyrics both on the featuring (Young Thung as mentioned, rhyming go pro with GoPro) or from Kanye (first 4 lines on Highlights and Famous). But the production is still top notch, overshadowing the bad, case in point being Famous which despite terrible opening line and awful "bluh bluh blah" by Swiss Beatz boasts a gorgeous main sample and a crazy deconstruction of Sister Nancy's Bam Bam. It's better when nothing drags the songs down though, the stretch from Waves to Wolves (Chris Brown's part being only an issue on a ethic point of view). The only true perfect track, a Kanye song for the ages, is Ultralight Beam though... it's deeply emotional, with a stark but powerful production, fantastic choir and a killer verse from Chance the Rapper (and I'm a big sucker for anything the guy takes part in), expect that one to make my EOY top 10.
That being said, the most interesting and potentially game changing song might be Fade, it's high time someone reconciled Detroit and Chicago house with hip-hop, 2 of the most important genres to emerge from the black american community but that have never really mixed together.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Jirin » Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:21 pm

School of Seven Bells is rather good. Captures that Julia Holter mix of catchiness and mysticalness.

Lucinda Williams' album isn't on Spotify yet but based on the quality of the single may have to blind buy.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby JohnnyBGoode » Thu Mar 03, 2016 12:25 am

Maschine_Man wrote:
Emma Pollock - In Search Of Harperfield - This album blew me away, really consistent with a couple of stand outs. (Don't Make Me Wait, Dark Skies)


Love this too. AOTY for me so far.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby notbrianeno » Thu Mar 03, 2016 10:14 pm

Currently listening to Matmos' Ultimate Care II an electronic/musique concrete album made almost entirely from manipulated samples of a washing machine. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet, but I feel like there is a lot here to enjoy for fans of Holly Herndon's Platform
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Current SOTY 2018: SOPHIE | "Is It Cold in the Water?"

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Jirin » Wed Mar 09, 2016 4:41 am

Finally heard Ghosts of Highway 20. It's pretty awesome.

Probably better than any album she's done since Car Wheels On A Gravel Road. Better than World Without Tears. I don't know what possessed her to make such a different album.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Bruno » Wed Mar 09, 2016 1:51 pm

Jirin wrote:Finally heard Ghosts of Highway 20.

Where?

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby babydoll » Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:17 am

Bruno wrote:
Jirin wrote:Finally heard Ghosts of Highway 20.

Where?

Wasn't there a link on YouTube? I don't know if it's still there.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Jirin » Thu Mar 10, 2016 7:08 pm

I bought it. :)

I rarely buy without hearing a full album first, but an incredibly well reviewed album by an artist with two albums in my AT 200 and a strong lead single is enough.

I just realized that it's way faster to find the all music page you want through Google than the site's search engine.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Jirin » Fri Mar 11, 2016 2:34 pm

Trixie Whiteley - Porta Bohemia is a weird listen. I feel like I'm listening to a really good album that was mixed absolutely horribly.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby TimmyWing » Sat Mar 12, 2016 11:33 pm

New recommendation for y'all: Spirit Phone, the new album by Lemon Demon (aka Neil Cicierega). You may remember the name from "The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny" and other old-school Internet classics like it, but his production, songwriting, and his singing especially have made leaps and bounds since then. As such, these are no longer just novelty tracks. A very synth-heavy New Wave vibe to the whole thing - think Oingo Boingo, They Might Be Giants, XTC, etc.

The fact it's basically a one-man job (made over the course of 8 years) maybe adds to my respect for it, but it's still formidable music. And the premises for some of these tracks are brilliantly twisted and creative...please, just give it a listen! On Spotify or here.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Matski » Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:41 am

In the spirit of recommending albums that are available to stream, I've spent plenty of time this last week listening to the Drones' new album, 'Feelin Kinda Free' via Tiny Mix Tapes.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Maschine_Man » Fri Mar 18, 2016 8:16 pm

I raved about Damien Jurado's last album Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son, and was disappointed when it dropped from all mention by the end of the year. I re-visited it, and it's preceding album Maraqopa, in anticipation and both remain absolutely fantastic albums. Brothers... in particular, it has aged well in the last two years, rising to within my Top 50 of AT. The Maraqopa Trilogy is a psych-folk journey to subconscious; infusing Americana, religious and paranormal elements. In the final installment we see our hero and his lover travel across America in search of themselves.

While the last two albums both clocked in at 10 tracks, Visions of Us On the Land sprawls over 17, taking its time to finish up the trilogy. The album has lots of lush instrumentation worked in with Jurado's singing and guitar work. Apparently all of his main parts were sung in one long take, so it took less than an hour to record. Of course there was a lot of work done with producer Richard Swift, after this, and it shows. While I'm not sure if the album will be able to top the previous two albums, even on first listen, you can tell it's a fitting conclusion.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Nick » Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:19 pm

Kendrick Lamar- Untitled Unmastered

A good album, but nothing all too special, especially in light on Kendrick's other three albums. But in a way, that's sort of the point to "Untitled Unmastered", it's meant to be a collection of throwaways that didn't make it onto hie previous albums, songs that he had been debuting live on late night talk shows over the past year or so. It's good to have these songs out in studio form, even if, as an overall project, "Untitled Unmastered" lacks the firebrand energy that made his previous albums so compelling.

Verdict: Good

Primal Scream- Chaosmosis

There's some solid stuff on Primal Scream's latest album, especially the Haim featuring "100% or Nothing" and thr Sky Ferreira featuring "Where the Light Gets In". But at the 37 minutes the album is too slight for its own good, and feels over before it really starts. Primal Scream aren't exploring any stylistically new ground here, but most of the album floats by pleasantly enough. That is, until we get to some extraordinarily cheesy electronica instrumentals that really mar some of the songs here. The instrumentals on these tracks may have sounded fresh in 1996, but it's 2016, guys. A decent effort, but a big step down from their last album, 2013's underrated "More Light".

Verdict: Decent

Kiran Leonard- Grapefruit

This is a really, really weird album. Kiran Leonard is a 20 year old musician from the UK with about a dozen albums to his name, although "Grapefruit" is the first one that really came on my radar. An experimental folk album with 8 songs spread out over 56 minutes, "Grapefruit" may seem imposing before you even put it on, especially when you see that there's a 16 minute long song as the second track. But one listen to the album's first song, the gorgeous piano led ballad "Secret Police", should be enough to convince you of Leonard's talent. At times Leonard sings like Antony Hegarty, at other times he screams like a member of Animal Collective circa "Strawberry Jam". The songs here are dense, with "Pink Fruit" (the 16 minute long song) being a suite with more sections to it than I can remember right now. The lyrics are, for the most part, rather inscrutable. But if you stick with it to the end, you'll find that "Grapefruit" is a truly unique work of art with moments of true beauty scattered throughout it.

Verdict: Good

Well it's the end of March and I've heard only 11 albums from 2016. This is a bit below my average. Here's hoping the rest of the year picks up!

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby notbrianeno » Sat Mar 26, 2016 12:02 am

Varmints by Anne Meredith is an excellent art-pop record combining electronics with a symphonic orchestra, with the occasional touch of guitar and vocals. Fans of San Firmin, alt-J, and Julia Holter will find a lot to love here.
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Current SOTY 2018: SOPHIE | "Is It Cold in the Water?"

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby bootsy » Sat Mar 26, 2016 5:04 am

notbrianeno wrote:Varmints by Anne Meredith is an excellent art-pop record combining electronics with a symphonic orchestra, with the occasional touch of guitar and vocals. Fans of San Firmin, alt-J, and Julia Holter will find a lot to love here.

Well alright. I will have to check this one out. Thanks.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Nick » Sat Mar 26, 2016 10:15 pm

Kamaiyah- A Good Night in the Ghetto

Kamaiyah is a 20 year old rapper from Oakland, and to my knowledge, "A Good Night in the Ghetto" is her first release. And yes, she's a woman, which is a bit of a peculiarity, but somewhat encouraging given that she seems to be gaining a lot of attention off of this mixtape. The more ladies rapping the better, right? Anyway, "A Good Night in the Ghetto" isn't doing anything all that new, but what it is doing it's doing well. The release is basically a well-executed mixtape in the style of 90s West Coast hip-hop, primarily composed of songs that could stand as a serviceable soundtrack to a rather laid-back party in a teenager/twenty something's basement. There's not much here in the way of standout tracks, as the production is pretty similar from song to song and Kamaiyah never really changes up her relaxed delivery either. Ultimately, "A Good Night in the Ghetto" is a fun, breezy album- perfect for playing with your car windows rolled down or in one of those aforementioned basement parties. But it is somewhat "in one ear out the other".

Verdict: Good

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Jirin » Mon Mar 28, 2016 12:04 am

My latest find is Underworld - Barbara Barbara, we face a shining future.

Interesting for me because I was never a fan of their more heralded stuff. Maybe I should go back and give it a new listen.

My top 10 so far for this year:
1. Savages - Adore Life
2. Lucinda Williams - The Ghosts Of Highway 20
3. School Of Seven Bells - SVIIB
4. David Bowie - Blackstar
5. Tindersticks - The Waiting Room
6. Kendrick Lamar - unmastered unfiltered
7. Animal Collective - Painting With
8. Milk Teeth - Vile Child
9. MONEY - Suicide Songs
10. Daughter - Not to Disappear

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby notbrianeno » Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:15 am

Guess I'll join in as well. My current top ten (32 releases listened to so far) of 2016

1. Kanye West | The Life of Pablo
2. MONEY | Suicide Songs
3. Anne Meredith | Varmints
4. David Bowie | ★
5. Anderson .Paak | Malibu
6. Hinds | Leave Me Alone
7. Kendrick Lamar | untitled unmastered.
8. Rihanna | ANTI
9. Wacław Zimpel | Lines
10. Chairlift | Moth

So far, 2016 is looking a bit slower than 2015, though a certain April release might change that for me..
Current AOTY 2018: SOPHIE | Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides
Current SOTY 2018: SOPHIE | "Is It Cold in the Water?"

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby GucciLittlePiggy » Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:28 am

notbrianeno wrote:So far, 2016 is looking a bit slower than 2015, though a certain April release might change that for me..

The 6 God is watching...
Album of the Year: Migos - Culture II
Song of the Year: Migos - Narcos

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Jirin » Fri Apr 01, 2016 1:32 pm

I'm starting to see Ghosts of Higheay 20 as a big example of double albums which should be single albums.

Dust, Bitter Memories could both be in my top ten songs of the year. A few others are epically emotional and mesmerizing. But there's also a few toward the back of each disc which are blendy and forgettable. I'm not sure why she decided to cram 14 songs in rather than a tight, cohesive album of seven or eight great ones.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Gillingham » Fri Apr 01, 2016 5:52 pm

Really liking the new Explosions in the Sky 'The Wilderness' so far.

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby DaveC » Fri Apr 01, 2016 7:53 pm

Top ten so far.

1. Daughter - Not to Disappear
2. Mothers - When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired
3. Glenn Jones - Fleeting
4. Anna Meredith - Varmints
5. Aziza Brahim - Abbar el Hamada
6. Songs of Separation - Songs of Separation
7. Tindersticks - The Waiting Room
8. Savages - Adore Life
9. Yorkston/Thorne/Kahn - Everything Sacred
10. Suede - Night Thoughts

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Re: Albums of 2016

Postby Jirin » Fri Apr 08, 2016 6:06 pm

New Frightened Rabbit album is good. Feels kind of like a maturation album because it has fewer strong hooks but greater overall consistency.


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