I’m old enough now that I can no longer be mistaken for someone remotely connected to the zeitgeist. A phrase I would often employ was, “I know of them, but I’ve not heard from them.” These days, the first part of that phrase is a stretch.
That said, I’m surprised by the number of R&B titles that have crept into my playlist rotation. I’m still a rockist at heart, but rock is loosening its grip on my attention.
- Sturgill Simpson, Sound & Fury: How was Sturgill Simpson ever going to top A Sailor’s Guide to Earth? He didn’t. He veered so drastically in a different direction that the albums can’t be compared. None of his albums can be compared to each other.
- Torche, Admission: Torche can be found under the metal section of most music stores, but when I play their albums, I hear post-rock.
- Weezer, Weezer (Teal Album): It’s a karaoke album, but a painstakingly created one.
- Jeremy Denk, c.1300-c.2000: It’s a tall order to compile eight centuries of music into a single program.
- John Luther Adams, Become Desert: It was also stirring to hear this piece live.
- Cocco, Star Shank: We hear hints of clouds covering the sunniness of Cocco’s later work.
- BBMAK, Powerstation: I will not lie — I’ve anticipating this album for most of the year, and I do not care who knows.
- Shiina Ringo, Sandokushi: This album is a glorious mess.
- Solange, When I Get Home: Similar to Sound and Fury, this album is confounding and fascinating at the same time. There’s nothing on here that matches the tunefulness of A Seat at the Table, and it would be too disruptive to the album’s flow if there were.
- Jamila Woods, Legacy! Legacy!: “Basquiat” was playing on the in-store system at Sonic Boom, and it pretty much clinched my decision to get this album.
Other favorites of the year:
- Kim Gordon, No Home Record
- Michael Kiwanuka, KIWANUKA
- James Blake, Assume Form
- Sassyblack, Ancient Mahogany Gold
- Anderson .Paak, Ventura
- NUMBER GIRL, Kaiden no Kioku
- The Drums, Brutalism
- Ty Herndon, Got It Covered
Tags: anderson.paak, bbmak, cocco, favorite edition, james blake, jamila woods, jeremy denk, john luther adams, kim gordon, michael kiwanuka, number girl, sassyblack, shiina ringo, solange, sturgill simpson, the drums, torche, ty herndon, weezer