For our last Staff Picks about 2016, the question was: “Which 2016 release best sums up your year and why?” Not an easy question to answer, but after some thinking, these were the ones we picked. Let us know what your answer to this question would be in the comments below. Here’s to a fresh start, new beginnings, a clean slate, a new chapter and a better 2017!
Oh man, tough question. I’m going to fall back here to the Drive-By Trucker’s “American Band”. Cooley, Hood, and company aren’t going down without a fight, and I love them for it. Put on the headphones and crank “Darkened Flags on the Cusp of Dawn.”
– Josh, Community Support Manager
While we can all agree 2016 has been one of the most *any negative adjective you come up with* years in a while, I must admit my year has been one of big achievements, joy and moving forward. And with Univers’ “Límit Constant” I found the perfect soundtrack to that perpetual swinging around, looking for new sensations and people and, eventually, getting to the point where I can say I adore life. It’s been a fantastic year, that’s all I have to say.
– Javi, Community Support
Drose – “boy man machine”. Weird, distended, depressing, emotional, noisy, an indivisible continuum that, once ended, feels like you’ve been through a harrowing ordeal. Just like 2016.
– Jason, Lead Developer
Iggy Pop – “Sunday”. I’m not sure that what this song means to me is the same that Iggy Pop had in mind when he recorded it, but that is the beauty of music I guess. To me this song is not about work and longing for the weekend, but more about longing to shut out the world and get away from it all. Monitoring social media channels every day, seeing all the news and hashtags of 2016 was tough at times. Some people around me got really bad news, and some lost loved ones in the past year. So “Sunday” to me is a reminder that life is about spending your time with people you love and doing things that make you, and them, happy. I think that is all that matters. And if all fails, check out the Instagram account for videos of Iggy and his cockatoo @biggypop!
– Lilian, Content Marketing Specialist
A Tribe Called Quest - “We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service” First of all, I’m basically an ATCQ super-fan, and have been listening to this non-stop since its release on Nov. 11, 2016. Musically, it’s just excellent. Lyrically, they tackle subjects such as racism, religious discrimination, gender inequality, police brutality, and gentrification. This is easily the most politically aware wide-release Hip Hop album of 2016. And, politics were obviously in the news and on people’s mind quite a bit in 2016. Most touching are the loving tributes to late member Phife Dawg throughout the album.
– Aaron, Community Engagement Specialist
Jeff Rosenstock – “Worry.” Fairly recent discovery for me that a good friend turned me onto. It reminds me of music I’d listen to in my younger days but recast more age appropriately for me. The title kinda sums up the 2016 and beyond outlook.
– Jon F., Product Owner
I have played the song “No” on repeat so many times… I think it’s clear this time, the Release from 2016 that best sums this last year was Nicolas Jaar – “Sirens”. Even if this was just released late September, I have already made lots of memories with it, especially the one when I saw his solo concert a few weeks ago, it was amazing.
– Esther, Community Support
David Bowie – “★ (Blackstar)” No list of 2016 releases would be complete without a nod to Bowie – someone has to go there. It’s a shame that listenings and interpretations of this album have been so thoroughly shaped by his death, just days after its release. Was he saying goodbye? Was he trying to warn us about something? I don’t know about any of that, but “Blackstar” is such an interesting album which sees Bowie going down unpredictable paths and drawing influence from unexpected sources. That kind of sums 2016 up for me. You thought you’d seen it all and you knew what was going to happen, it still had something surprising in store for you. The key difference is that on “Blackstar” the unexpected was a welcome surprise, while the surprises of 2016 were mostly just shit.
– Jess, Search Engine Marketer
Most definitely ATCQ’s “We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service” for all the same reasons my friend and coworker Aaron stated. This album makes me feel happy, angry, sad and motivated all at the same time! Miss you Phife!
– Tasha, Community Support Lead
I’d have to say Convextion’s “2845”. Being a guy living in Texas who’s about to venture out on a strange journey to Europe in an unexpected manner makes me feel as if I have something in common with this producer.
– Morgan, Systems Engineer
Leonard Cohen – “You Want It Darker”. After all the significant deaths and political shit-shows this year, Cohen was pretty prophetic, don’t you think?
– Matt F., Database Support
Hate to jump on the bandwagon, but for my money there’s not a better encapsulation of 2016 than “WGIFHTY4YS“. My 2016 was basically the tale of two years: all the joy and lightness associated with a new addition to my family interspersed with a really sharp sense of loss as tragedy after tragedy piled up around me. Tribe are clearly enjoying their reunion here; this is a fun album in many spots. It’s also a defiant album, though, and one that is keenly aware and responsive to the political climate that we’re all living in. On top of that, you’ve got a record that acknowledges Phife’s loss while still celebrating his legacy. It doesn’t operate as a memorial so much as a working example of the creative forces that a lost comrade could summon up on his finest days. And, since this is the last we’ll hear from ATCQ, it’s got a similar function for the group as a whole. It’s a farewell, sure. But it’s a vivrant one. So, yeah: no more lingering on 2016. Take the good parts with you into 2017. Let the rest go, or, better yet, turn ’em into something beautiful.
– Tom, Community Support