This year was a good (but not great) year for music. Much of the creativity I found was in the DIY category—Soundcloud rappers, Bandcamp punkers—but there were some good albums dropped by the majors, too. Of course, this blog being what it is, the indie get the edge.

Let’s do this.

Tomorrow, we’ll do the top 10 albums of the year.  Today, forty other great musical reasons to love a really, really tough year.

50. Southern Family by Various Artists (curated by Dave Cobb) (Album-Country)
A new Jason Isbell song. Shooter Jennings’ ode to the Southern soda Cheerwine. A terrific version of You Are My Sunshine. Miranda Lambert. Most compilations are a few good songs and filler. Not this one.

49. All is Full of Love (Bjork cover) by Vaults (Single-Pop)

48. Missionary Man (Eurythmics Cover) by Love+War (Single-Pop)

47. Syrup by Aesop Rock feat. Homeboy Sandman and Open Mic Eagle (Single-Rap)
“The dirty dishes are becoming self aware.”

46. This is Our Culture by Electric Octopus (EP-Jam-based rock)

45. Westside Highway Story by No Panty (Mixtape-Hip Hop)
The legendary Joey Ortiz, up-and-coming female rapper Nitty Scott, and and young buck Bodega Bamz on 13 tracks of pure gangsta party.

44. Party Trick by Holly Miranda (Covers EP-Indie)

43. Someone Who’ll Get It by Highasakite (Single-pop)

42. Hit Reset by The Julie Ruin (Album-Alternative Rock)
Former members of Bikini Kill prove their best music is NOT behind them, and that teenage angst ain’t just for kids.

41. Kindness for Weakness by Homeboy Sandman (Album-Hip Hop)

This is not Sandman’s greatest album, but it’s close. It proves once again the man still has incredible skill—fast, boastful raps; slower introspective ones with meaning; hit singles (check out “Eyes”—why on Earth didn’t this song get picked up?); and deft politics…He can do it all.
Next: The Top 40!

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