Year in Music 2016:

A few little mini-lists that don’t have a better place.

Top 3 Albums I Should Have Loved Last Year

3. Falling Up – Falling Up / Grimes – Art Angels
But both of these were actually on my year end countdown!

Yeah, but they were really great albums that would’ve ended up even higher on the list. Art Angels, in particular, I listened to more this year than any other album. It’s great.

2. Deerhunter – Fading Frontier
…and I didn’t really give it a shot this year, either. Maybe 2017?

1. Will Bedford – Sublevel Zero Soundtrack
This soundtrack is decent. The game it attached to is decent, but more importantly, it’s the closest thing to Descent I’ve seen in a long time. The soundtrack is pretty awesome in context, and I’m glad I paid the bit of extra money to get the soundtrack download when I purchased the game. I don’t know that it would’ve made any sort of actual list, but I’ve put it on for good background music a number of times.

Top 3 Albums I’m Already Regretting Not Giving Their Due This Year

3. Swans – The Glowing Man
I certainly know why this is. The Seer and To Be Kind are deeply awesome albums, but they also (for the most part) need to be taken as a whole, and every time I thought “ooh! I should listen to that new Swans album!” that thought was followed up with “but I don’t have two freaking hours”. Maybe next year.

2. Frank Ocean – Blonde
I don’t know why I didn’t seek this one out a little harder. It’s going to happen next year.

1. A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service
This would’ve been top ten, easy. I only listened to it for the first time last week, though, so it just hasn’t had long enough to make its way in. Lots of great songs on here.

Top 3 Artists That I Love That Came Out With Albums That I…Didn’t

3. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
I’m still counting Kanye as an artist that I love, because the dude can make some excellent music. Here, though, just like his last couple, there are parts that blow you away, and parts that make you go “goddammit, Kanye.”

2. The Joy Formidable – Hitch
They continued in the direction of Wolf’s Law – huge sounds, long songs, epic everything. Unfortunately, Hitch tipped the scale from “epic” to “meandering” in ways that lost my attention every damned time I listened to it.

1. M83 – Junk
My thoughts after two listens:

“Whoa, this is… VERY cheesy. Not that his other stuff hasn’t been, but this is a whole new level of cheese. Not sure I can deal.”

Spoiler Alert: I couldn’t.

Top 3 Songs That I Burned Out On After Listening to Them a Bunch Last Year

3. Doomtree – Final Boss (6th place last year, 2 plays this year)

2. Carpenter Brut – Division Ruine (22nd place past year, 1 play this year)

1. TV on the Radio – Happy Idiot (15th place last year, 1 play this year)

Top 3 Songs I Disliked From Albums I Liked

3. Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein – Hawkins
It picks up a little toward the end, and it’s used fine in the show, but on the album, it’s pretty much an ambient momentum killer (and five minutes long, to boot).

2. Mitski – Once More to See You
The lyrics are good and heartbreaking and all. I just never felt the music.

1. Bon Iver – 715 – CR∑∑KS
This would be such a great song if not for the massive slathering of vocoder. I don’t even hate the effect. I liked “Woods”, but on this song, it just ruins everything.

Top 3 Albums I’m Awaiting Next Year

3. The War on Drugs – tbd
Theoretically, this should be number one, but I don’t really know anything about it yet. The fact that it’s above possible returns from Arcade Fire and a very tangible album coming out from Japandroids shows that I’m very excited for this.

2. Run the Jewels – Run The Jewels 3
The early stuff has sounded good. I haven’t given a listen yet (it’s technically out now, but for purposes of this blog, I’m counting it as a 2017 release), but I’m hyped.

1. The xx – I See You
All hail the return of Jamie and the xx’s!

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