Top Albums 2016

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2016 was not my most adventurous year in music. I listened to a lot of SiriusXMU while driving, and while I have some favorite songs from that station, I wouldn’t necessarily say they belong to my favorite albums. I suppose a great song makes the whole album worth a look, however. Without further ado, here are my favorite albums (and songs) from the past year (here’s last year’s list).

Iggy Pop – Post Pop Depression

This collaboration with Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age is second only to Neon Indian’s Vega Intl. Night School in terms of number of plays in 2016. I love this album and was surprised to almost never hear it on SiriusXMU. Anyway, Iggy is in top lyrical form – he has described the songs as poems – and, paired with Josh Homme’s next-level guitar work, it doesn’t get much better than this. I regret not being able to see them play live last year. Iggy is a true rocker, who, at 69 years old, puts a good many rock acts to shame.

Jim James – Eternally Even

The rhythmic pulsing of Eternally Even makes it a great album to put on while doing something else. It’s dripping in soul and while Jim James’s voice doesn’t always lock in the way I want it to, I’m quite glad he made these songs. I’m particularly grateful for “Here In Spirit” – just watch that video. It has single-handedly helped me not to totally freak out after the election.

Tennis – Ladies Don’t Play Guitar

Here’s a song selection. At the time of this post, I think this is just a single and there is no accompanying album. The biting lyrics are masked by a light, breezy tempo with an awesome bassline. Ladies do in fact rock, as this song demonstrates.

DIIV – Is The Is Are

Is The Is Are can feel a bit samey and repetitive. Kind of like Sirius Radio (it’s really no different than other radio stations in that they play a lot of the same songs over and over again)… but I never ever get tired of this driving single from DIIV. It’s the perfect accompaniment to driving in the California sun.

Angel Olsen – Shut Up Kiss Me

I haven’t decided if I like the album on which this song appears. I really enjoy this one, though. It combines a sort of 50’s girl-group feel with grungy guitar.