A decade ago, I wrote a series of entries ranking my favorite albums from 1985 to 2004. My collection has expanded greatly since then, particularly in the last five years. So I wanted to see what has changed in 10 years.
The 2016 list has actually undergone a revision, so this list consolidates the two entries, with some slight changes.
- Sturgill Simpson, A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
- Henryk Górecki, Symphony No. 4
- MONO, Requiem for Hell
- Solange, A Seat at the Table
- A Tribe Called Quest, We Got It From Here … Thank You 4 Your Service
- Perfume, COSMIC EXPLORER
- Drive By Truckers, American Band
- Shaprece, COALS
- Cocco, Adan Ballet
- Colvin & Earle, Colvin & Earle
Other favorites from the year:
- Utada Hikaru, Fantôme
- Ty Herndon, House on Fire
- Eluvium, False Readings On
- Santigold, 99 Cents
- Explosions in the Sky, The Wilderness
- Blood Orange, Freetown Sound
- Colin Stetson, Sorrow: A Reimagining of Gorecki’s Third Symphony
- John Adams, Scheherazade.2
The 10 favorites remain the same, while Utada Hikaru and Ty Herndon get bumped down. ANONHI, Pixies and De La Soul get bumped off completely.
I included Pixies because Head Carrier was an improvement over Indie Cindy, but it wasn’t stellar enough to hold onto its position. Albums by ANONHI and De La Sol were good, but over time, they couldn’t hold onto to their status as favorites.
As I mentioned before, lists from this decade probably won’t see much shifting, as my focus continues to move to exploring catalog. Most of the 2016 releases I bought after the year had passed were vinyl issues.
A Bruce Springsteen compilation accompanying the release of his autobiography did set me on a course to explore his earlier albums.
Tags: a tribe called quest, blood orange, cocco, colin stetson, drive-by truckers, eluvium, explosions in the sky, favorite edition, henryk gorecki, john adams, mono, perfume, rewind, santigold, shaprece, shawn colvin, solange, steve earle, sturgill simpson, ty herndon, utada hikaru
It’s half way through the year, and I’ve listed all but three of the new releases I own this year.
That’s 13 albums from 2016.
So while I can technically create a favorite 10 albums of the year so far, that doesn’t actually mean I feel very strongly about most of this list.
- Sturgill Simpson, A Sailor’s Guide to Earth: Simpson aimed to make this album his What’s Goin’ On, and he pretty much hits it.
- Henryk Górecki, Symphony No. 4: Don’t expect a sequel to Górecki’s chart-topping Symphony No. 3. This work goes back to the modernist style he forged on his second symphony.
- Colvin & Earle, Colvin & Earle This pairing is counterintuitive but kind of inevitable, and it works.
- ANOHNI, HOPELESSNESS: ANOHNI trades in the chamber pop of Antony and the Johnsons for an aggressive electronic sound, something she’s already done before with Björk.
- Santigold, 99 Cents: Santigold goes for a sunnier sound on this album, and while it may not be as fascinating as her previous albums, they’re tuneful as hell nonetheless.
- Explosions in the Sky, The Wilderness: After the predictability of Take Care, Take Care, Take Care, The Wilderness is a definite zag to its predecessor’s zig. It’s probably the most adventurous Explosions album to date.
- Ben Watt, Fever Dream: Watt builds upon the post-Everything but the Girl vibe of Hendra with a stronger set of songs.
- Colin Stetson, Sorrow: A Reimagining of Górecki’s 3rd Symphony: I should hate the idea of a post-rock interpretation of Górecki’s Symphony No. 3, but I don’t. I like what Stetson does here.
- UA, JaPo: Nope, UA hasn’t returned to her pop roots, but she does provide enough hooks to temper her more avant-garde tendencies.
- Prince, HITnRUN Phase Two: Recommended if you like classic Prince.
Tags: anohni, ben watt, colin stetson, explosions in the sky, favorite edition, henryk gorecki, prince, santigold, shawn colvin, steve earle, sturgill simpson, ua