Six albums from 2016 you must hear

six albums from 2016

Everyone has shared their best of lists, and before it’s too late, we thought we’d contribute with six albums from 2016 that are worth taking a listen to. Some you may be familiar with, a few are just a little under the radar.

GOOD TIMES – THE MONKEES

Who would have thought that the Monkees, that so-called ‘fake band’, would have released one of the best albums of 2016, more than 50 years after they arrived on television. But that’s exactly what they did with Good Times, featuring a plethora of great songs from indie and alternative songwriters who grew up loving the pre-fab four. The first single, ‘You Bring The Summer’ comes from the pen of XTC’s Andy Partridge, and set the tone for what became the biggest comeback of the year.

YOU BRING THE SUMMER – THE MONKEES

BLUE AND LONESOME – THE ROLLING STONES

Fans have been waiting for the Stones to get back to their blues for decades, and with this, their first covers album, the band deliver. Sounding younger than ever, the band is at ease playing music that influenced their earliest years. Mick Jagger is the star of this show, as he infuses each song with power and passion and grit (along with his distinctive harmonica playing). I saw the band at Desert Trip and they were on fire – live and in the studio, the Rolling Stones just might be at their best right now.

RIDE EM ON DOWN – THE ROLLING STONES

HARDWIRED…TO SELF-DESTRUCT

Metallica was back with a vengeance with their first studio album in 8 years. Hardwired…is a ballad-free, relentless piece of aggression that pleased many a die-hard metal fans. The title track also served as the first single and was a shortened taste of what the band would deliver throughout the course of two discs. Prog rock length tracks, time changes and some of the greatest riffage the band has ever laid down.

HARDWIRED (LIVE ON THE HOWARD STERN SHOW) – METALLICA

BLACKSTAR – DAVID BOWIE

While we may never get over the loss of David Bowie, in 2016 we were given the gift of the man writing his own demise. Blackstar is one of the greatest albums in the man’s impressive catalogue, thanks to the nearly 10-minute title track and the hauntingly beautiful ‘Lazarus’. Blackstar is an album that’s beauty will continue to unravel over the years to come.

LAZARUS – DAVID BOWIE

YOU WANT IT DARKER – LEONARD COHEN

Along with Bowie, Leonard Cohen crafted an album that stared mortality in the face and didn’t blink an eye. Skillfully produced by the bard’s son Adam, You Want It Darker is a more organic album that more recent Cohen offerings and is all the better for it. The highlight is definitely the title track, which utilized a Jewish men’s choir to stirring effect.

YOU WANT IT DARKER – LEONARD COHEN

THE SIMILITUDE OF A DREAM – THE NEAL MORSE BAND

Definitely not a household name, Neal Morse is the current shining light of progressive rock, and his recent double-album is a tour de force that had band mate and iconic drummer Mike Portnoy saying, “I’ve always had a soft spot for double concept albums such as Pink Floyd’s THE WALL and The Who’s TOMMY, and I can bravely say that I think we’ve created an album here that can sit side by side with those masterpieces”. For fans of hard rock and prog rock, it’s a must hear.

CITY OF DESTRUCTION – THE NEAL MORSE BAND

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