The Year’s Best Albums: Part One

By pcsanchez7505

As the year winds down I always find myself reflecting on the music released throughout the year. This year, the amount of new and interesting music crept out from every genre. From the psychedelic country mix of Sturgill Simpson to the innovative and retro styling of A Tribe Called Quest, there was new music to be found in every corner of the musical spectrum. As a way to pay homage to some of the best albums so far, I’m counting down the best albums quarter by quarter, leading up to a Top 10 of the year. So, without further ado, here are my top five albums from January through March.

5. ‘Is the Is Are’ by DIIV: Released on Feb. 5, DIIV’s ‘Is the Is Are’ isn’t the album front man Zachary Cole Smith promised. The album he promised was something completely different than the dreamy electro pop DIIV is known for. While it wasn’t the change fans were expecting, it was a beautiful and dark concept album distantly DIIV, that is unlike any other and very good. DIIV made an unusual demand on its listeners, packing their new record with 17 tracks. Their efforts don’t go unrewarded though, as the whole album is a collection of thoughtful indie rock.

4. ‘Black Star’ by David Bowie: On Jan. 8, David Bowie released ‘Black Star,’ his very last album. It was also his birthday. Two days later, the enigmatic singer passed away. In ‘Black Star,’ Bowie emits a radiance and sadness so relatable and impactful, it was easily felt even through its saturation of eccentricity. It sounded like nothing Bowie had ever done before, but it was nevertheless reflective of his fluidity as an artist and human being.

3.A Man Alive’ by Thao & the Get Down Stay Down: Thao & the Get Down Stay Down not only have an awesome name, they also make pretty great music. On March 4, the band released ‘A Man Alive,’ a fun, funky and unique album. Lined with more sounds and instruments than one can count, the album climbs to high peaks and swings to low valleys, all the while catering to Thao’s striking voice, proving Thao & the Get Down Stay Down are the spectacular outliers of indie-pop. ‘A Man Alive’ demonstrates everything doesn’t have to sound polished and dreamy to be a hit.

2. ‘untitled unmastered’ by Kendrick Lamar: Last year Kendrick Lamar’s album ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’ catapulted him into the limelight. People were amazed and astounded by Lamar’s ability to recite powerful and truthful lyrics. The music seemed almost secondary, a backdrop that changed with every cue of Lamar’s voice. The fame never fazed Lamar though, and he knew he had more to say. In ‘untitled unmastered’ Lamar continues his inner monologue, releasing songs that were written during ‘To Pimp a Butterfly,’ but never recorded. In these songs, Lamar manipulates his voice to convey his most personal thoughts and observations. While he often keeps his conversations to himself, he also invites other musicians to join in every now and then adding texture to his album.

1. ‘Post Pop Depression’ by Iggy Pop: While Bowie’s last album was mature and wise, if not older, Iggy Pop did quite the opposite. Pop, whose history is as colorful and risqué as one can get, harnessed all the vibrancy and raw power of his younger days in ‘Post Pop Depression,’ released March 18. It’s just as good as you would expect coming from Pop, and with the help of guitarist Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) and drummer Matt Helders (Arctic Monkeys), the album broke new ground and climbed to instant recognition.

Source:: The Year’s Best Albums: Part One

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