Top 5 Albums of 2016
- Preoccupations – Preoccupations
Preoccupations is a throw-back album to the industrial era of music. They settle right in between the Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine. Growling vocals, moody baselines, and matching drums and guitar strokes makes this album memorable and unique. 2016 wasn’t a great year for music in my personal opinion. But when this album kind of fell into my lap while looking into old Echo and the Bunnymen records. Preoccupations don’t make any apologies for the type of music that they have released. They aren’t looking for that one single that will make them relevant. The best song on the album is a 12 minute marathon of multiple layered dimensions of every style of industrial that has been acknowledged. There is something about this album that I can’t put my finger on that I love which is why I love it. Nick Cave meets Echo and the Bunnymen at a Wolf Parade concert. Memory is the best song on the album. This record isn’t a juggernaut, but it’s solid all the way through.
- David Bowie – Blackstar
It’s obvious that the death of David Bowie will be felt all over the music scene. But the amazing thing about Bowie is that he didn’t fade away. He created a masterpiece of music while fighting off cancer. This album is completely different from multiple Bowie eras. It doesn’t have a lot of that 80’s feel. It doesn’t have the early rock feel. It also doesn’t have that space feel from the early 90’s. Blackstar is its own entity – sounding nothing like what he has released previously. Bowie used horns, saxophones, piano, computers, and of course the usual instruments. Every sound of this record is a well thought out feeling. There are two stand out singles on this record – Blackstar and Lazarus. Of all of the fantastic people that passed away in 2016 David Bowie is the one that affected me the most. If you just go through his catalogue of music you will find something new nearly every time. Fantastic artist and a beautiful final album.
- Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Denial
I had zero expectations for this album. I already had it pegged as a super aggressive no talent millennial that was looking for a hook to get that one single noticed and become famous from there. I was flat out wrong. This mid-20’s Asian man named Will Toledo can play the fu**ing guitar. If you miss Dinosaur Jr. and Stephen Malkmus have a listen to this album. It’s raw, it’s emotional, and the best thing about it is it doesn’t sell out. This album vomits all over your Drake sweater and doesn’t apologize for it. Vincent and Destroyed by Hippie Powers are the two stand out tracks on this album. Top to bottom though it’s a thrashing good time. This might be the live show that I look most forward to when he decides to come back to Toronto. Refreshing as a glass of Hi-C when you were 13 years old. Music is in good hands if Car Seat Headrest becomes popular.
- Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
Radiohead is the best band on the planet currently. They continue to show this each and every time that they release an album. A Moon Shaped Pool is no different. There is just something about this band. They know exactly the feel of the album that is required to stay relevant and fantastic. Try to describe this band to anybody that listens to another not quite as respected genre of music – oh let’s just say country for the heck of it. They will not understand what the big deal is with Radiohead. You will be left shaking your head to yourself at the end of the conversation. The vibe, the feel, the sounds, the instruments – everything is mathematically calculated similar to a casino sound for your brain to enjoy and to accept that this band is a unique group that may never be duplicated. Burn the Witch is the best song on the album, but there are quite a few 5 star singles. Does this record get to the areas of greatness such as the Bends and In Rainbows – I don’t think so, but it was still the best record of the year up until the last month when…
- A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here
It must have been a few months ago when I heard that this album was going to be released. I decided to go back and listen to their catalogue. Why can’t rap sound like this again? There are actual instruments in this record. There is fluid vocal stream from each member of the band. Samples that are relevant to the feel of the song. There is absolutely no question that this is the best rap album for 2016. But, then there’s the fact of being the best album of the year. This masterpiece has everything. Top to bottom listening capability. Head bobbing and extremely intelligent lyrics. Fluid motion that is required for a top notch rap album. I miss this sound being played on my iPod. There are multiple fantastic singles on We Got It From Here. I am not sure that I can even attempt to pick one out. Number 1 without even a question. If you can beat a Radiohead album out on Hosehead’s Top 5 albums you have done something right. You should be proud of yourselves gentlemen.