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The top 10 albums of 2016
01 Jamie Lidell – Building A Beginning [Jajulin]
Jamie Lidell is my 2nd favorite living male vocalist after Bilal and he really outdid himself with this one. Nashville is doing him good! I never thought he’d top Multiply, but he did.
I can’t stop playing this one. It gets better and better after continued listening. It’s very much a soul record!
02 Doyle Bramhall II – Rich Man [Rich Man]
It took Doyle Bramhall II 15 years (count ’em, long-awaited doesn’t do it justice. To put it in perspective, there was less time between D’Angelo’s Voodoo and Black Messiah which is speaking volumes about how long it’s been between DBII records!) since his last solo record, Welcome. Rich Man was well worth the wait and I’m happy to report that my journey of hot flashes continues. The voice, the playing, the songwriting… Oh my! Heaven!
03 Mark Pritchard – Under The Sun [Ninja Tune]
I call Mark Pritchard my secret lover because in the past his music has been so hard to find due to his multiple aliases and collaborations, but recently he has been recording under his own name which has been very helpful in keeping up with his releases. There were many of my “go to” artists that simply dropped the ball this year. (They will remain nameless because I don’t want to talk slack about ’em but) Mark Pritchard has NEVER failed me yet. Slow and steady wins the race. Thanks Ninja Tune for continuing to release quality music and for your continued support of Mark Pritchard!
04 Common – Black America Again [Def Jam]
This is the best hip-hop record of the year. Why aren’t people talking about this record? Common put his soul on wax with this one. His words are on point and the production on this album has been the best for Common in many, many years. Besides, magic always occurs whenever Bilal and Common unite. Stellar release! Don’t sleep! People are going to be listening to this for years. This is not disposable music; this is a classic.
05 Yuseef Kamaal – Black Focus [Brownswood Recordings]
One of the best debut albums I’ve ever heard! Soul Jazz turned on its head. From Talkin’ Loud to Brownswood Recordings, Gilles Peterson keeps us musicheads fed! Thank you, sir!
06 Josef Leimberg – Astral Progressions [World Galaxy Records]
I’m not even going to attempt to describe this album. Just listen! There are a lot of amazing collaborators on this one including Bilal, Georgia Anne Muldrow, and Kamasi Washington.
07 James Blake – The Colour in Anything [Polydor]
James Blake with his best record yet! Enough said!
08 Mndsgn – Body Wash [Stones Throw]
Stones Throw has been holdin’ it down for quite a while, but this year was better than usual. Mndsgn has been putting in work for a while and it is definitely paying off. Covering Mazarati’s Prince-penned I Guess It’s All Over deserves an award all on its own. A very dreamy listen!
09 Steven Julian – Fallen [Apron Records]
Finally a full length release from the artist formerly known as Funkineven!
10 Max Graef & Glenn Astro – The Yard Work Simulator [Ninja Tune]
Thank you for sampling Bob George! Again, Ninja Tune never disappoints. Please continue to support independent labels by purchasing great music!
Best Song of 2016 – Dr. Killpatient by Jacob 2-2 & Pivovar [King Deluxe]
Best EP of 2016 – Swindle – Funk & Grime [Butterz]
Best Artist of 2016 – Swindle
Dropping two scorching hot EPs this year, Swindle (he’s on fire like Mariah) is in a league of his own. He has the midas touch! He puts a smile in my heart er’ry time! God bless him and may he continue to make music ALWAYS!
Best Label of 2016 [Stones Throw]
Between Mndsgn and NxWorries, Stones Throw was even stronger with its releases than it has been in previous years and that’s saying a lot.