David Bowie, Blackstar, best of 2016, music, review

column – 2016’s best albums

2016 was both a wonderful and devastating year for music. Some of the greats put out incredible albums, but we’ve lost legends too. With that said, now let’s focus on celebrating great music with my top 5 of best albums of 2016. 5. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ Skeleton Tree Skeleton Tree is a…

music review – The Naked And Famous, Simple Forms

One of the beauties of The Naked And Famous’ work is that they have crafted their own distinctive sound. Another is that they’re not afraid to take that sound into new and varying directions. Simple Forms is no exception. While 2013’s In Rolling Waves took a stripped-back and subdued approach to TNAF’s unique sound of…

music review – Silversun Pickups, Better Nature

One thing’s immediately apparent when you listen to Better Nature‘s title track “Cradle (Better Nature)”: Silversun Pickups’ first album on their own label New Machine Records marks a decidedly different direction for the band. It’s much bigger and louder than previous efforts, and significantly more produced. While the band has collaborated with producer Jacknife Lee…

music review – Brandon Flowers, The Desired Effect

Back in 2010, in between the Killers records Day & Age and Battle Born, enigmatic frontman Brandon Flowers delivered his first solo record Flamingo. What that album made abundantly clear, is that Flowers is responsible for most of the Killers’ signature sound;¬†Flamingo¬†was filled with the same catchy and radio-friendly rock songs the band is known…

music review – Marilyn Manson, The Pale Emperor

Marilyn Manson may have disposed of the contact lenses that contributed to his instantly recognizable figure back in his heyday, but with those he certainly hasn’t distanced himself from the man who he has often referred to as his biggest influence. Quite the contrary, or so it seems: while the title of Manson’s ninth studio…

music review – Jack White, Lazaretto

Jack White’s Lazaretto is the result of his longest recording process to date, a process during which White had to overcome writer’s block and did so by digging up old stories and one-act plays he had written when he was 19 years old, 19 years ago. After he was done pulling from the material, he…

music review – Michael Jackson, Xscape

Xscape is the second posthumous Michael Jackson release and its standard edition is also surprisingly short. It contains no more than eight tracks, revamped versions of demos Jackson, famous for his perfectionism, deemed unworthy of making it onto an actual album. The Michael Jackson Estate and a slew of producers led by Timbaland apparently disagreed…