Here’s why this post: Nobody buys music anymore, which is a damn shame. I always make it a point to support indie artists with my wallet—not just my words. So I’m hoping some of you might feel the same way.
Here’s also why: Because by now I’ve had time to look at all the “end of year” lists from my favorite blogs, and I found some new ones I missed.
Having said that, this is not where I try to regain my credibility by saying I missed albums like Blood Orange’s “Freetown” or the new one from Mitski. No, I didn’t miss them. I didn’t include them on purpose. They just didn’t move me. The same is true for Bon Iver, Sturgill Simpson, case/lang/veirs, and even (gasp!) Beyonce. Besides, they made just about every other end-of-year list, so you really don’t need my help finding them.
I’m also not including Solange. It was a good album, but it just didn’t move me. And I’m the arbiter here.
Nor is this where I recognize the great albums from industry vets like Radiohead and the Rolling Stones that came out last year but didn’t make my list. Again, they didn’t make my list on purpose. They weren’t my favorites. I’m not falling for the guilt vote, either, by including the final albums by David Bowie or Leonard Cohen. They were fine, but they weren’t either artists’ best.
No, this is for the ones I truly missed because either I didn’t hear them (in which case, thank you to the various sites who turned me on!) or because I forgot about them (shame on me!).
Here’s my list…
THE TOP 10 ALBUMS OF 2016 THAT I MISSED
10. BLAQ COFFEE by Q-UNIQUE AND THE BROWN BAG ALL-STARS
Like old-school Brooklyn rap, like Masta Ace? This is for you. Tremendous. Great rhymes, great beats.
9. MY PIECE OF LAND by AMANDA SHIRES
Rock stars aren’t known for their generosity, and yet one of the best songwriters in the business, Jason Isbell, didn’t put an album in 2016 so that his wife could release this wonderful and touching record. In many ways, it feels like something Isbell himself might create if he had another X chromosome.
8. BRIGHTER DAZE by MURS AND 9TH WONDER
7. HYMN ON THE 45 by ALLO DARLIN’
These wonderful performers are breaking up the band, and this is the swan song. Sad now.
6. FRIDA KAHLO VS EZRA POUND by ATMOSPHERE
A great year for Atmosphere.
5. TEEN DENIAL by CARSEAT HEAD REST
Some great modern punk that got by me during the year but made literally all the end-of-year lists I read.
4. BISHOP BRIGGS (EP) by BISHOP BRIGGS
The most phenomenal voice of the year. The song “River” should have been as big as anything Adele ever did. Seriously.
3. ISLAH by KEVIN GATES
I just reviewed this, check out my thoughts here.
2. MODERN COUNTRY by WILLIAM TYLER
If you think Country and Shoegaze can’t occupy the same space, check out this collection of amazing ambient instrumentals.
1. BLANK FACE by SCHOOLBOY Q
I resisted the shit out of this album because I heard all the hype about Kendrick Lamar’s “Unmastered” album and I just wasn’t feeling it. Frankly, it felt unfinished. But when I finally got a hold of this one…Wow.