Friday, December 30, 2016

My thoughts on my best of 2016 list

Since I did not go into sordid details about my best of list on last night's blog post, I thought I would write out my thoughts on some of my list for tonight's post.

Last night I posted my list of my favorite albums of 2016. I didn't feel like getting into the sordid details so I will now. I came up with the list by listening to all the albums I enjoyed this year for the past couple of weeks at work. For a long time Leonard Cohen's You Want It Darker was in the top spot. I have loved Leonard Cohen's final album when I first heard it on Spotify after his untimely passing. I love how sparse the album is as well as Leonard's poetic lyrics. The following day I went out and bought the album. I recently started listening to Friends by White Lies again after dismissing it a couple of months ago. When I started listening to Friends recently for a second time, the music really sunk into my head. The more I listened to the album, the more addicted I became to the catchy synthpop hooks. It really was a difficult decision for me to pick which of the two albums. White Lies eventually won out. I guess it is because I have just been listening to their album daily. Nevertheless both You Want It Darker and Friends (at least to me with this album) are masterpieces in their own right.

I was planning on including CHROM's Peak and Decay album on this year's list but I just felt that In Strict Confidence, Assemblage 23, and Blaqk Audio put out stronger albums than Peak and Decay. I would consider the album an honorable mention. I just thought ISC, A23, and Blaqk Audio had better body of works to show for this year. Nevertheless CHROM is easily one of my personal favorite futurepop/ebm acts in recent years. The Blaqk Audio album Material was an unexpected surprise. My friend Trace did not care for it so I really didn't have much expectations for it when he gave me his copy. Much to my surprise, Material turned out to be a lot better than I was expecting it to be. I could hear quite a bit of Covenant in the music. Blaqk Audio really wears their influences on their sleeves.

My favorite new discovery this year is the Canadian darkwave/electro-pop Strvngers. My friend Renee posted their album on Facebook this week and I have been listening to the album constantly. Of course I bought the album the same day I heard about them which says a lot about how much I dig this band. If you haven't heard of them before, go check out their album at this link: . Next to Friends by White Lies, I am constantly listening to Strvngers. Like right now ;).

My two favorite hidden gems I have heard this year that I wish people would listen to is Together Alone by Softwave (a talented Danish synthpop act) and Breathe In by Purple Fog Side (a Russian band that has been around for a long time). To anyone who enjoys synthpop as much as I do, please check out these two bands' music. They are so good to not be heard.

I think it has been three-four months since I heard the new Assemblage 23 album Endure. Tom Shears can really do no wrong. Endure is his best effort to date. His song "Bravery" off the new album is my very favorite song off the album. With the insanity going on in this world right, the lyrics to the song really hits home for me as well as the album as a whole.

After the lackluster Plastic Makes Perfect, Ayria returns to form with her latest album Paper Dolls which I enjoyed from start to finish. I really came to appreciate the album after seeing Ayria live again for the fifth time. I absolutely love the songs "Underneath the Water", "Feed Her To The Wolves", "Crash and Burn", and "Chameleon" in particular.

2016 definitely was a much better year for music from my perspective. Last year there was not a whole lot of music that impressed me. This year it was the total opposite. There was so much good music to hear. What 2017 has in store for me is anybody's guess. I can live without any more deaths that is for sure.  

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