I intended on posting this on December 31st, but you know…life.
So even though it probably doesn’t need to be said, 2016 was not a good year for many people, but the music was still amazing. I mean, who didn’t release an album this year? It was hard to narrow down, but here are my top ten favorite albums of 2016. You might recognize some names, others not so much, but check them all out if you can. I promise it’s the best music you’ve never heard!
Peace, love & rock-n-roll,
Black Lab: A New World
Released: November 2016
Best Songs: I Fought The Law, A Matter of Time, Bring You Love
One of my favorite indie rock artists, Black Lab, wins best album of 2016 with the incredible A New World. Black Lab, mostly known for the 1997 hit “Wash It Away,” has released several amazing albums since then (most notably A Raven Has My Heart, a fully crowd-funded album released in 2014) but A New World takes things to a whole new level for the band. Front man Paul Durham has been open with his fans about suffering a devastating loss a few years ago, and that pain and sadness comes through in every song here, though there is also the hope and desire to push through that sadness and come out stronger for it. His voice is as aching, raw and emotional as its ever been throughout the album, most notably on the opening track “Bottomless Sea,” a song about the heavy weight of loss and how overwhelming it can be, against an electronic beat that the band does so well. (Again, listen to A Raven Has My Heart or the all-electronic album Technologie).
One of my favorites is the gritty, sexy cover of “I Fought The Law,” which takes the song to a completely new height and is one of the best cover songs I have ever heard. “Bring You Love” echoes “Bottomless Sea,” and is a beautiful and haunting close to the album, a plea to hold on and not give in to sadness. The best song on the album is “A Matter of Time,” with uplifting lyrics (“Keep holding on for more, keep holding strong in the storm…I’ll be here for you.”) and a fun beat and hand claps behind them. The overall feeling I get while listening to this album is that when life throws things at you that you can’t control, it is always possible to get through it all with a little help from friends, loved ones and time.
Buy A New World here