The Great Music of Talkbeer - 2016

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Charlotte
I know I've already pigeon holed myself in these threads and this post won't change that, but ZFG.

My pick is ATCQ, We Got It from Here... Thank You 4 Your Service.



When they announced that they were going to be releasing a new album, I got pretty excited. Their previous album, The Love Movement, came out in 1998 so that put them at 18 years between releases! When Phife Dawg passed away from complications due to diabetes in March 2016 (in the middle of making the album) I was pretty bummed. Then, for historical context, this album was released the Friday after Trump was elected, so that was a weird head space of a week anyway. I bought this album as soon as it dropped and listened to it probably 20 times that first week and I definitely had some really emotional responses to an album that doesn't even try to hide it's sociopolitical intentions. Including:

1) Fuck, Phife is really gone man.
2) Jarobi isn't Phife, but I appreciate the effort.
3) It's pretty incredible that a group got to make a legit farewell album, and it definitely has a "fare thee well..." feel.
4) This past election really exposed a lot of ugliness that exists in our country, despite all the feel-good bullshit that I might have felt about "progress" as a middle-class, college-educated, cis White male. My privilege let me ignore that, so what am I going to do with that knowledge now? (I was also listening to a lot of the Politically Reactive podcast too).
5) This shit is dope.

The first track, "The Space Program" came out hard with a space program analogy for inner-city gentrification.

Put so much in this muthafucka, feel like we shouldn't leave
Put it on TV, put it in movies, put it in our face
These notions and ideas and citizens live in space
I chuckle just like all of y'all, absurdity, after all
Takes money to get it running and money for trees to fall
Imagine for a second all the people are colored, please
Imagine for a second all the people in poverty
No matter the skin tone, culture or time zone
Think the ones who got it would even think to throw you a bone?
Moved you out your neighborhood, did they find you a home?
Nah cypher, probably no place to
Imagine if this shit was really talkin' about space, dude
Imagine if this shit was really talkin' about space, dude
Imagine if this shit was really talkin' about space, dude


The music video for The Space Program was released way after the album, but it's an amazing little work of art:


The second track, "We The People..." felt especially raw with the racist vitriol that was spewed during the election season (and continues today). The opening lines:

We don't believe you 'cause we the people
Are still here in the rear, ayo, we don't need you
You in the killing-off-good-young-Librarian mood
When we get hungry we eat the same fucking food


and the hook from later:

All you Black folks, you must go
All you Mexicans, you must go
And all you poor folks, you must go
Muslims and gays
Boy, we hate your ways
So all you bad folks, you must go



A few tracks later, "Dis Generation" does the opposite of what a lot of rap does today with put downs and clap backs. It specifically calls out some current rappers (Joey Bada$$, Earl Sweatshirt, Kendrick Lamar and J Cole) that they admire in a "passing of the torch" kind of way that's pretty cool.

Talk to Joey, Earl, Kendrick, and Cole, gatekeepers of flow
They are extensions of instinctual soul
It's the highest in commodity grade
And you could get it today



Hearing Andre 3000 on an ATCQ track with "Kids" was just fucking great.


The rest of the group got to say goodbye to Phife on "Lost Somebody", but the song really hits home for anybody that's lost somebody close to them. It's just a really beautiful tribute.


Anyway, I could annotate almost every single track on the album, but I'll spare everybody haha. Suffice to it say that I really connected with this album and even today, almost 2 years later, I spin it on the regular. Good shit.
Incredible write up. Applause.gif
 
Joined
Apr 12, 2013
Messages
9,278
Location
SoCal
I know I've already pigeon holed myself in these threads and this post won't change that, but ZFG.

My pick is ATCQ, We Got It from Here... Thank You 4 Your Service.



When they announced that they were going to be releasing a new album, I got pretty excited. Their previous album, The Love Movement, came out in 1998 so that put them at 18 years between releases! When Phife Dawg passed away from complications due to diabetes in March 2016 (in the middle of making the album) I was pretty bummed. Then, for historical context, this album was released the Friday after Trump was elected, so that was a weird head space of a week anyway. I bought this album as soon as it dropped and listened to it probably 20 times that first week and I definitely had some really emotional responses to an album that doesn't even try to hide it's sociopolitical intentions. Including:

1) Fuck, Phife is really gone man.
2) Jarobi isn't Phife, but I appreciate the effort.
3) It's pretty incredible that a group got to make a legit farewell album, and it definitely has a "fare thee well..." feel.
4) This past election really exposed a lot of ugliness that exists in our country, despite all the feel-good bullshit that I might have felt about "progress" as a middle-class, college-educated, cis White male. My privilege let me ignore that, so what am I going to do with that knowledge now? (I was also listening to a lot of the Politically Reactive podcast too).
5) This shit is dope.

The first track, "The Space Program" came out hard with a space program analogy for inner-city gentrification.

Put so much in this muthafucka, feel like we shouldn't leave
Put it on TV, put it in movies, put it in our face
These notions and ideas and citizens live in space
I chuckle just like all of y'all, absurdity, after all
Takes money to get it running and money for trees to fall
Imagine for a second all the people are colored, please
Imagine for a second all the people in poverty
No matter the skin tone, culture or time zone
Think the ones who got it would even think to throw you a bone?
Moved you out your neighborhood, did they find you a home?
Nah cypher, probably no place to
Imagine if this shit was really talkin' about space, dude
Imagine if this shit was really talkin' about space, dude
Imagine if this shit was really talkin' about space, dude


The music video for The Space Program was released way after the album, but it's an amazing little work of art:


The second track, "We The People..." felt especially raw with the racist vitriol that was spewed during the election season (and continues today). The opening lines:

We don't believe you 'cause we the people
Are still here in the rear, ayo, we don't need you
You in the killing-off-good-young-Librarian mood
When we get hungry we eat the same fucking food


and the hook from later:

All you Black folks, you must go
All you Mexicans, you must go
And all you poor folks, you must go
Muslims and gays
Boy, we hate your ways
So all you bad folks, you must go



A few tracks later, "Dis Generation" does the opposite of what a lot of rap does today with put downs and clap backs. It specifically calls out some current rappers (Joey Bada$$, Earl Sweatshirt, Kendrick Lamar and J Cole) that they admire in a "passing of the torch" kind of way that's pretty cool.

Talk to Joey, Earl, Kendrick, and Cole, gatekeepers of flow
They are extensions of instinctual soul
It's the highest in commodity grade
And you could get it today



Hearing Andre 3000 on an ATCQ track with "Kids" was just fucking great.


The rest of the group got to say goodbye to Phife on "Lost Somebody", but the song really hits home for anybody that's lost somebody close to them. It's just a really beautiful tribute.


Anyway, I could annotate almost every single track on the album, but I'll spare everybody haha. Suffice to it say that I really connected with this album and even today, almost 2 years later, I spin it on the regular. Good shit.
Duuuuude. 2016 was a horrible year of death. It was depressing all year long in so many ways. Bowie, Phife, etc. But I was so blown away and Happy when this album came out because it was fucking Fire! It’s sad that it took so long for Tribe to work it out to produce another incredible album but this album is fucking amazing. It encompasses everything. The past and current and is produced to perfection.

I probably would have picked this as my number one but I’m always stressed to get my first pick in before getting beat for some reason, leaving myself short of a thorough in depth look.
 
Joined
Apr 12, 2013
Messages
9,278
Location
SoCal
I know I've already pigeon holed myself in these threads and this post won't change that, but ZFG.

My pick is ATCQ, We Got It from Here... Thank You 4 Your Service.



When they announced that they were going to be releasing a new album, I got pretty excited. Their previous album, The Love Movement, came out in 1998 so that put them at 18 years between releases! When Phife Dawg passed away from complications due to diabetes in March 2016 (in the middle of making the album) I was pretty bummed. Then, for historical context, this album was released the Friday after Trump was elected, so that was a weird head space of a week anyway. I bought this album as soon as it dropped and listened to it probably 20 times that first week and I definitely had some really emotional responses to an album that doesn't even try to hide it's sociopolitical intentions. Including:

1) Fuck, Phife is really gone man.
2) Jarobi isn't Phife, but I appreciate the effort.
3) It's pretty incredible that a group got to make a legit farewell album, and it definitely has a "fare thee well..." feel.
4) This past election really exposed a lot of ugliness that exists in our country, despite all the feel-good bullshit that I might have felt about "progress" as a middle-class, college-educated, cis White male. My privilege let me ignore that, so what am I going to do with that knowledge now? (I was also listening to a lot of the Politically Reactive podcast too).
5) This shit is dope.

The first track, "The Space Program" came out hard with a space program analogy for inner-city gentrification.

Put so much in this muthafucka, feel like we shouldn't leave
Put it on TV, put it in movies, put it in our face
These notions and ideas and citizens live in space
I chuckle just like all of y'all, absurdity, after all
Takes money to get it running and money for trees to fall
Imagine for a second all the people are colored, please
Imagine for a second all the people in poverty
No matter the skin tone, culture or time zone
Think the ones who got it would even think to throw you a bone?
Moved you out your neighborhood, did they find you a home?
Nah cypher, probably no place to
Imagine if this shit was really talkin' about space, dude
Imagine if this shit was really talkin' about space, dude
Imagine if this shit was really talkin' about space, dude


The music video for The Space Program was released way after the album, but it's an amazing little work of art:


The second track, "We The People..." felt especially raw with the racist vitriol that was spewed during the election season (and continues today). The opening lines:

We don't believe you 'cause we the people
Are still here in the rear, ayo, we don't need you
You in the killing-off-good-young-Librarian mood
When we get hungry we eat the same fucking food


and the hook from later:

All you Black folks, you must go
All you Mexicans, you must go
And all you poor folks, you must go
Muslims and gays
Boy, we hate your ways
So all you bad folks, you must go



A few tracks later, "Dis Generation" does the opposite of what a lot of rap does today with put downs and clap backs. It specifically calls out some current rappers (Joey Bada$$, Earl Sweatshirt, Kendrick Lamar and J Cole) that they admire in a "passing of the torch" kind of way that's pretty cool.

Talk to Joey, Earl, Kendrick, and Cole, gatekeepers of flow
They are extensions of instinctual soul
It's the highest in commodity grade
And you could get it today



Hearing Andre 3000 on an ATCQ track with "Kids" was just fucking great.


The rest of the group got to say goodbye to Phife on "Lost Somebody", but the song really hits home for anybody that's lost somebody close to them. It's just a really beautiful tribute.


Anyway, I could annotate almost every single track on the album, but I'll spare everybody haha. Suffice to it say that I really connected with this album and even today, almost 2 years later, I spin it on the regular. Good shit.
Just gotta throw out a couple others that are just so good. The sample plus, cadence plus vibe on this is just off the charts.
https://youtu.be/7uqcydPzA-8

Once I started replying I can see what the vids are that you posted. But here is another song that I think is a great developed modern take on hip hop. Gets away from the stagnant bullshit and delivers incredible instrumentals with a tasteful cadence that you just can’t find in today’s hip hop. It is an art to stay underground and innovative and nobody does it better!
https://youtu.be/d-GT5EELdhI
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
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Location
Portland, OR
Just gotta throw out a couple others that are just so good. The sample plus, cadence plus vibe on this is just off the charts.
(Link to media)


Once I started replying I can see what the vids are that you posted. But here is another song that I think is a great developed modern take on hip hop. Gets away from the stagnant bullshit and delivers incredible instrumentals with a tasteful cadence that you just can’t find in today’s hip hop. It is an art to stay underground and innovative and nobody does it better!
(Link to media)
Dude, zero argument here. Those are both crazy good tracks. The solid wall of sound sample is bonkers. I LITERALLY could have commented on Every. Single. Track. Conrad Tokyo deserves as much context as Space Program and We The People for sure but I felt like I was doesn't l already rambling for too long haha.

Thanks for keeping the train rolling
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2013
Messages
3,924
So after much internal deliberation I've got to go with this:



Haken for my money is the best progressive metal band out there right now, and Affinity, their fourth and most recent full album is maybe the best in their discography. I'm not sure it's quite a concept album, but at least thematically consistent musings on man's relationships with technology, and the instrumentation leans into an 80s aesthetic that provides a slight, but welcome departure from their usual sounds.

Earthrise is probably the most commercial friendly track from the album

(Link to media)


1985 meanwhile is likely the one that has gone over best with their established fanbase

(Link to media)


The Architect is the epic on the album

(Link to media)


The Endless Knot features an almost techno-like breakdown a couple minutes in that's become a highlight of their live set

(Link to media)
 
Joined
Jul 31, 2013
Messages
6,742
Went back to look at what I listened to a bunch this year. I don't think it was super popular, but I really like Eternally Even by Jim James. Never listened to a ton of his stuff before, but once I heard this on the radio I played it over quite a bit.

 
Joined
Nov 27, 2013
Messages
4,157
Location
Oakland
Awesome awesome year for music. Already picked, but Sturgill knocked me on my ass. I became a Bon Iver convert as well after years of thinking I was better than him. Rosenstock's Abbey Road homage to wend WORRY. so strongly after an already stellar first half of an album, Diarrhea Planet's last album, RTJ, ATCQ putting out an album that was way better than it needed to be. Not too much albums left for me to pick so I'll go with one:

I've never been a big Rihanna fan, but a certain 1-2 punch on this album converted me. I'll be honest, "Work" turned me off a bit, so I checked out for awhile until Pitchfork recommended a song, "Higher." Barely two minutes long without much instrumentation beyond synth strings and keyboards. Rihanna drunkenly pleads for a former lover to come back and man is her delivery great. She periodically slurs and at some points her voice cracks and wavers pseudo-sloppily. It completely works given the content of the song.

Shortly after, I got into Love on the Brain which was a radio staple. Very traditional, yet super effective. Putting these two songs together is a genius 1-2 punch.
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2013
Messages
3,810
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Geneva, IL
The most listened to album from 2016 in my house is pretty easy.

A few of them are actually pretty good. I probably know the words to 3/4 of the songs too. They're all original songs, so as it is not a compilation I consider this satisfactory to the actual rules and the unwritten rules.
 
Joined
Jan 30, 2014
Messages
13,888
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Chicagoish
You probably sae this coning. Lady Gaga - Joanne

This album explores a couple of genres and a lot of heartbreak and death. Come of Mama is an out and out callback to Motown, Diamond Heart is reminiscient of Stevie Nicks, Dancin in Circles, while only the hook was written by Beck has more of his feel than hers. I have to chuckle now that people were incensed that Beck lent his hook to Dancin in Circles, an obvious ode to Masturbation, but the song actually fits better on on 2018’s Colors or even any other Gaga album than it does Joanne. For what is still a pop album, a full third of it covers the dead or dying. If consumers were expecting an angry breakup album after the first two singles, they were mistaken. The album takes a much wider look at life and does it with some beautiful songs.


Got to see the Joanne tour at Wrigley just before she cancelled the European leg due to pain issues. She cut one segment of the show out, but pain aside it seemed like a tough show in general. She talked about the jpurney of the album starting in Chicago, the pink hat on the cover being purchased at a boutique in town, spreading a friend’s ashes on the field before the show. I didn’t know that Edge of Glory could be stretched out that long (another beautiful song about death from another time). It didn’t feel like any other Gaga show I had ever been to. Not just because there were an astounding number of drunk women there in pink hats.
 

Padraig

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^ This was on my list too. Glad you got to it first though because that 's a much better write-up than I could have done. It's the album I hoped she had in her. Think Mark Ronson did a great job behind the desk too.
 
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May 1, 2013
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near a big river
ug, lots of tragedy this year. What the fuck do you do when your son dies?




you write a somber and soul suffocating album about his life and death.

Nick Cave. Skeleton Tree.

(Link to media)

the raw emotion of this track makes it really hard not to shed a tear for this man.

(Link to media)

the descriptions of the physical upheaval your body enters into after great loss is masterful and crushing.

(Link to media)





fuck, as someone with children i cant really type too much about this without getting emotional, or listen to these songs. utterly heart breaking.
 
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Best just leave the write up to a pro. Basically take the guy doing the traditional music for the tv show Vikings and add metal.


"SKUGGSJÁ is the epic sound of Norway's Norse history as told through harder music by Ivar Bjørnson (ENSLAVED) and Einar Selvik (WARDRUNA). Written by Bjørnson and Selvik for the 200th anniversary of the Norwegian Constitution, SKUGGSJÁ tells the history of Norway to the present day by highlighting ideas, traditions and instruments of their Norse past. In a magnificent tapestry of metal instrumentation, a wide variety of Norway and Scandinavia’s oldest instruments, and poetry in Proto-Scandinavian, Norse and Norwegian, SKUGGSJÁ fuses past and present, both lyrically and musically, and reflects on themselves as a people and nation."

 
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Alright, next up is very much a 1B rather than a #2 album of the year for me, very nearly put this as my top pick of the year. So who's ready to hear me wax poetic about a prog rock double concept album based on a 17th century Christian allegorical text?



Yeah, as nerdy as that sounds, the Neal Morse Band's The Similtude of a Dream is a goddamn masterpiece



Spanning two discs and over an hour and forty five minutes of runtime, TSOAD is prog in scope and style, but not in individual song excess. Out of 23 songs, only 4 of them crack six minutes and 3 of those just barely do so. It tells a condensed version of the story of the book of the same name, and does so with hooks abound and plenty of opportunities for tasteful flourishes from the various players. Neal Morse handles the majority of the vocals, but the rest of the band (and particularly guitarist Eric Gillette and keyboard player/utility musician Bill Hubauer) get plenty of opportunity to contribute both in terms of lead vocals and gorgeous harmonies. Seeing the band perform this album live in full twice were two of my concert highlights of what was a stacked year for me concert going wise.

So Far Gone is probably my favorite song from the album. Rocking main riff, catchy chorus, and a short but killer guitar solo. Eric Gillette gets the lion's share of vocal duties here and as much as I've always loved Neal Morse's voice, Eric is not far behind him on my list of favorite vocalists. Here's a live version from an upcoming DVD release

(Link to media)


Freedom Song is a fun little upbeat number that's a bit more acoustic than most of the album and features some nice harmonies in the chorus

(Link to media)


The Mask is maybe the first song from the album that really made an impression on me. A gorgeous classical piano introduction leads to a haunting melody that's first played on only the piano. Then the rest of the band comes in and gives the song more of an almost techno or industrial vibe. Very different than pretty much anything else the band has ever done.

(Link to media)
 
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San Francisco
I'm gonna list a bunch because everybody seems to be strugglin' with 2016, whereas I thought it was a great year for music. So, here's my honorable mentions:

A Giant Dog - Pile

This is just a great, fun punk rockin' album from an Austin outfit. I think somebody on here is a big fan of White Reaper, and for some reason these guys remind me of them.




Schoolboy Q - Blankface LP

The second best rap album of the year imho (ATCQ was the best, I think)




Chance the Rapper -
Coloring Book

The third best rap album of the year imho. Surprised this wasn't mentioned.





Parquet Courts
- Human Performance

Another one I was surprised wasn't mentioned. I'm in like with these guys (not in love) but there's some great songs on this album.




Wilco - Schmilco

Another solid outing by what is arguably my favorite band



 
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