Saturday, December 31, 2016

December 31, 2016 CHIRP Radio Show playlist (Show #320)

This was part one of my two part review of my 50 favorite albums of 2016. I have put my ranking of the respective albums in parentheses.

9:01 AM Loretta Lynn • Who's Gonna Miss Me? • Full Circle • Sony Legacy (#50)

9:04 AM PJ Harvey • River Anacostia • The Hope Six Demolition Project • Island (#49)

9:09 AM Kabanjak • Somebody • The Dooza Tapes Vol. 1 • Switchstance

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

My Top 40 Albums of 2016

By consensus, 2016 was a pretty lousy year. Some good things happened, but, in the end, y'know...Trump happened. And, of course, we lost so many musical legends, including one who bowed out with a career highlight. But the music kept going and lot of it was terrific. I listened to somewhere around 180 to 200 full albums this year. The usual disclaimers apply: 1) this is just my faves. With so many albums and so little time, no one can make a definitive list, and, 2) once you get past the top 25 or so albums, the difference between the individual albums is pretty small...and there are about 30-40 more albums I considered. Without further ado, here it goes.

1. Beyonce -- Lemonade (Parkwood/Columbia): She has been a superstar for so long, and, due to her ubiquity, I never bothered to check out anything beyond the hits. Watching the HBO longform video album made me realize what a mistake I had made not delving more deeply. In a year that brought us the death of David Bowie and Prince, this is the album we needed -- one of the biggest stars in music making a definitive statement. What is striking about this album is how Beyonce takes any style she feels like to match the thoughts and feelings she is trying to express. Whether it’s chilly modern electro-soul, rock, or Americana, among other styles, she takes it and makes it hers, making her message(s) all the more powerful.

2. Michael Kiwanuka -- Love & Hate (Polydor): I loved Kiwanuka’s debut album, but seeing him live, it was clear that there was a lot teeming under the surface of his retro soul-folk-rock. This album picks up on that, and manages to be more sweeping and epic, yet also more direct and personal. Working with Dangermouse and Paul Butler, Kiwanuka continues updating ‘70s music tropes, but with greater purpose, putting his expressive voice to work and showing his guitar playing is just as impressive.

3. Emma PollockIn Search of Harperfield (Chemikal Underground): The third solo album from this former member of the Delgados provides the same stately pop pleasures of her best material of her former band. Pollock is an authoritative vocalist and the tunes are state-of-the-art indie rock and chamber pop, with really smart lyrics. This is proof that you can do a rock album about being middle aged, as Pollock addresses a lot of those concerns in inviting packages. This is the culmination of her great work over the years. An overlooked gem.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

December 24, 2016 CHIRP Radio playlist (Show #319)

9:00 AM Stevie Wonder and Andra Day • Someday at Christmas • Merry Christmas from Andra Day • Warner Bros.

9:03 AM Doleful Lions • Jesus Christ • Stuck in the Chimney (More Christmas Singles) • Parasol

9:08 AM Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker • Something Familiar • Overnight • Rough Trade

Sunday, December 11, 2016

December 10, 2016 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #318)

9:00 AM The Jam • The Bitterest Pill (I Ever Had to Swallow) • The Bitterest Pill (I Ever Had to Swallow) • Polydor

9:04 AM Angel Olsen • Always Half Strange • Half Way Home• Bathetic

9:06 AM Saba • Stoney (featuring Phoelix & BJRKNC) • Bucket List Project • self-released