First Quarter Check-in

Well, 2016 has proven to be quite the rollercoaster ride in the music world. We’ve lost Icons, Legends have returned with new music, and mainstream radio is…well, actually that’s still terrible.

Anyways, we’re not even a full three months into the year and there have been a lot of albums released already. It’s almost overwhelming, but they don’t call me the Music Junkie for nothing!

So, here are the albums I recommend checking out that have been released as of this week.

My number one pick goes to one of the more recent releases, “A Man Alive” by Thao & the Get Down Stay Down.


Singer Thao Ngyuen fronts this eclectic band of indie alt folk rock musicians, and they’re latest effort “A Man Alive” is both musically genius and confusing. Well, to newcomers that is. Jazzy riffs, hip-hop beats, classic folk guitar, and scaling vocals are abundant throughout the entirety of the album, and can be off-putting at first. I, however, found it to be very enjoyable, if not quite entertaining upon my first listen through.

If you’re looking for an album that will open you up to the more experimental side of music, or maybe you just want to impress your friends with random band to increase your hipster red, I highly suggest checking out Thao & The Get Down Stay Down.

Ok, how about something more familiar? Elton John, perhaps?


“Wonderful, Crazy Night” was released in February, and is Elton’s THIRTY-SECOND studio album! That, in and of itself, is an amazing feat worth noting! While the album artwork looks like a  junior high schooler’s first Photoshop effort, the music itself is a return to form for Sir Elton. You won’t find another “Tiny Dancer” on here, but songs like the album’s title track are definitely fun and enjoyable.

Speaking of legends, country music icon Loretta Lynn came back with wonderful album entitled “Full circle.”


Now, to me, this is how country music should sound.  Not this diet rock crap CMT tries to pass. The way country music has gone is the exact reason people say “I like all sorts of music, except country” now. “Full Circle” is the almost 84 year old Lynn’s FIFTY FOURTH studio album! Think about that for a moment. Her career has spend six decades, meaning she’s been making music for longer than some of my readers’ parents have been alive!

“Full Circle” emulates the classic country sound, and features wonderful collaborations thought. My favorite in particular features Willie Nelson. Anyways, if you want to hear what country music should sound like, check out “Full Circle.”

Finally, we have my personal favorite: “Backstair” by David Bowie.


“Blackstar” was Bowie’s swan song. Released mere days before his passing, the album is heavy lyrically and symbolically, and the music is just on a whole other level throughout. Bowie recruited a jazz band he heard at a club to record the music, and he wrote songs like “Blackstar” and “Lazarus” that are  heavily introspective and thought-provoking. Out of all the albums in this list, I encourage you to check out this one the most. If you haven’t already, that is.

Now, there are still several albums I haven’t even mentioned yet, but I haven’t theme nor you the patience to go over them all. So, here’s a few worthy mentions that will suffice:

Anthrax “For All Kings”

Lucinda Williams “Ghosts of Highway 20”

Say Anything “I Don’t Think It Is”

Ray LaMontagne “Ouroboros”

M. Ward “More Rain”

Massive Attack “Ritual Spirit”

The Cult “Hidden City”

Hands Like Houses “Dissonants”

Santigold “99¢”

What albums have you enjoyed so far this year? 


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