July 21, 2016




The 2016 Mid-Year Report

Seems that all of my favorite music blogs are doing a mid-year assessment of the best albums of the year (so far). So as not to be out done, we have come up with our own list of the best (so far). Eight of the albums have gotten at least one/possibly two or more mentions so we’ll skip them:

School of Seven Bells: “SVIIB”
Field Music: “Commontime”
The I Don’t Cares: “Wild Stab”
Sturgill Simpson: “A Sailor’s Guide To Earth”
Esperanza Spalding: “Emily’s D+Evolution”
Shearwater: “Jet Plane and Oxbow”
Radiohead: “A Moon Shaped Pool”
Japancakes: “Japancakes”

As for the rest:

Garbage: “Strange Little Birds”. I wasn’t impressed the first time I listened to this. However, the second and third time through revealed a album that has to rate with their best work.

Aubrie Sellers: “New City Blues”. Country music played by a punk band? In a year with superb albums from the likes of Maren Morris, Keith Urban and Brandy Clark, standing out in the crowd is hard.

Bonnie Raitt: “Dig In Deep”. As the song goes, “no one does it better”.

David Bowie: “Blackstar”. His last album and one of his very best.

Anderson. Paak: “Malibu”. An album everyone is (still) talking about and for good reason. This year’s “To Pimp A Butterfly”.

Lucinda Williams: “The Ghost of Highway 20”. Has she ever made a bad album…so far the answer is “NO”.

Paul Simon: “Stranger To Stranger”. Paul is hinting that he may stop touring. I only hope he doesn’t stop writing and recording. “Wristband” is a great song.

The Accidentals: “Parking Lot” (ep). The Traverse City, Michigan trio fronted by Savannah Buist and Katie Larson were one of the most talked about bands at SXSW this year (I missed them….damn). Eclectic is overused but in this case it is so appropriate. Here is a link to a free download at NoiseTrade. Click here.

case/lang/viers: “case/lang/viers”. I haven’t heard the term “supergroup” used in years, but these ladies just may qualify. Nothing extraordinary here: just good songs, well done.

Kongos: “Egomaniac”. The brothers Kongos’ third album is even better than their sophomore release which was one of the year’s best (2012). Two of the songs are on my Spotify playlist of 2016’s best.

Please note that I could only come up with 18 albums for the list. That is not a misprint. Trying to find albums that are consistently good from the first song to the last is hard these days…..and I thought the 50s were bad!