The new year is upon us, which means it’s time for my best of list which is always heavy on middle-aged white men… Happy 2017 folks.
Pete Yorn/Arranging Time – I probably listened to this album more than any other in 2016 and that’s why it would get my vote for #1. As long as Pete keeps writing songs like “Walking Up” he’s got a fan here.
Daniel Lanois/Goodbye to Language – Once again Lanois gives us a beautiful landscape for our dreams and fears.
Damien Jurado/Visions Of Us On The Land – Jurado writes haunting pop songs just as well as anyone out there and with this final installment of his trilogy he dreamed up and began in 2014 with Maraqopa, he brings great songs in “Kola” “Queen Anne” and others.
The I Don’t Cares/Wild Stab – Westerberg rocking at his best with Ms. Hatfield in tow.
Beyonce/Lemonade – After I burned a copy of this disc for my wife, she played it for 6 months and I loved it. Of course we had to skip a couple of the tracks when the kids were around…
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds/Skeleton Tree – I can’t imagine the pain brought on by the death of a child. Nick’s grieving is so real and human on this release that you almost feel uncomfortable listening.
Sturgill Simpson/A Sailors Guide to Earth – I never really liked Nirvana, so besides that cover, this one is great. “Sea Stories” is my personal favorite.
Sara Watkins/Young in All the Wrong Ways – Watkins keeps writing great songs with her lovely voice being one of the most underappreciated in my opinion.
Eric Bachmann/Eric Bachmann – “Mercy” was easily one of the best songs of 2016, but the rest of this album is great as well. I’ve enjoyed Bachmann since Crooked Fingers and am glad to hear him still creating awesome material.
Butch Walker/Stay Gold – While Stay Gold wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for (I was hoping for Peachtree Battle Part II) it still had some great high moments including the title track which should always be cranked to 11.
John Legend/Darkness and Light – So I just got this album, but if it is anything like his 2013 release it will be played frequently in 2017. He is just a great voice and songwriter and early listens have me ready for more Legend in 2017.
Leonard Cohen/You Want it Darker – Honestly I don’t know Cohen’s back catalogue, but about a month before he died I stumbled upon this album via my library and fell in love with it. Haunting songs like the title cut, “Treaty” and “There Seemed A Better Way” make it worth the listen.
Neil Young/Peace Trail – While Earth was interesting, Peace Trail, released in December, was Young doing what he does best. Accompanied by Jim Keltner and Paul Bushnell the sparing instrumentation lets the light shine on Young’s thoughts.
What I missed in 2015
David Ramirez/Fables – I got this album early 2016 and kept coming back to it time and time again.
James McMurtry/Complicated Game –McMurtry’s best album as far as I’m concerned.
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