Let’s be honest, 2016 was a raging shit show. A never ending cavalcade of loss, terror, and despair culminating in the unexpected death of beloved firebrand Carrie Fisher. So far 2017 seems to be saying “Oh yeah, watch this fuckers!” and trying to outdo its predecessor in every way. However as bad as 2016 was it was not all doom and gloom, there were a few bright spots in the entertainment world. Rogue One ended up being a terrific movie, as did the Ghostbusters reboot (fuck off haters), Civil War, Lights Out, and a handful of others. “TV” (I have no idea what to call this category anymore to be honest) saw the superb Westworld, Orange is the New Black, Game of Thrones, and several other great diversions to try to ignore for a little white the horrors unfolding in the real world.
And there were some great albums that came out. In all honesty too many to list here. In many ways these songs helped get me through 2016 and I have no doubt I will continue to lean on them as 2017 continues it’s inexorable march toward our obliteration. Happy new year.
Bastille – Wild World – “Blame”
Bastille’s second full length is a dense, angry album that rewards multiple listens. One of the most surprising releases of the year. The Currents, Send them Out, and this one are some of the best songs of the year.
Lissie – Wild West – “Hero”
Lissie is one of the very best singer-songwriters working today. My Wild West is her best album yet. See my review here.
Brian Fallon – Painkillers – “Nobody Wins”
The ex(?) front man for The Gaslight Anthem released my favorite album of the year. I was lucky enough to get to see him perform live this summer and it was an amazing show. If you every have to opportunity go. There are a few acts I will drop everything to go see when they come around. You can add Brian to that list. Outstanding album. Check out this acoustic performance.
Ramin Djawadi – Westworld Soundtrack – “Paint it Black”
The soundtrack to Westword is amazing and this orchestral reworking of my favorite Rolling Stones song is the high point. The Game of Thrones and Pacific Rim composer Ramin Djawadi continues to inspire awe with his compositions. This song is simply incredible.
Ghost – Meliora (Deluxe Edition) – “Square Hammer”
This could be considered a cheat since Meliora came out in 2015 but the new deluxe edition, including Square Hammer for the first time, came out in 2016. Also I have listened to this song a lot because it’s amazing. Terrific hook, relentless bass groove, a fist pumping sing along chorus. This is the best song so far from the pseudo-Satanist superstars.
So in closing…