Top 50 Songs of 2016: #s 50 – 21

50.   Fickle Sun (iii) I’m Set Free-  Brian Eno

A lot was made prior to the release of The Ship that it would feature the return of Brian Eno to having words in his music.  What I didn’t expect was that the return would be a Velvet Underground cover.

49.  End of Reel-  The Hotelier

The most engaging song on an adventurous album, down to the fact that it features a nudist colony on the cover.

48.  Guns-  Nice as Fuck

Jenny Lewis’ new band doing an anti-gun song…see, Candlebox, this is how guns are supposed to be handled in recorded music in this day and age.

47.  Night Swimming-  Tacocat

The band that brought you “Crimson Wave” in 2014, returns with a similarly goofy song about skinny-dipping at night.  Won me over for the line “you can bring your boombox/but you can’t play REM”…because, you know, they also have a song called “Nightswimming”.

46.  Emotions and Math-  Margaret Glaspy

One of the better free downloads I was given all year.  Giving discussion to the fact that our lives are ruled by emotions and logic, the song tells of missing a loved one while they are away.

45.  Three Packs a Day-  Courtney Barnett

About Ramen noodles…what did you think it was about??

44.  We the People…-  A Tribe Called Quest

The most recent addition to my list, the first single from the final A Tribe Called Quest album is a furious take on the political troubles of our times.  Also with a reference to ramen noodle…

43.  History Now-  Mavis Staples

Another take on our current political climate, this time from somebody who lived through the 60s and saw what happened then.

42.  To Be Loved (live)-  Bryde

I joined Bryde’s email distribution list a couple of years ago, and this is one of the offerings she sent out in 2016.  Solo vocals and guitar about how sometimes it can be difficult to accept feeling loved.

41.  Lonesome Low-  Al Scorch

Another free track I received this year, this time representing the country genre.  Features a haunting line about seeing a body swinging from a tree.

40.  Work-  Rihanna (f. Drake)

A little too repetitive for my taste, but a decent pop track about how hard it can sometimes be to put the effort into a relationship.

39.  Hurt Me-  Lapsley

The track is good, but I’m more than a little thrown off by the extraneous high-pitched vocal beats happening during the chorus.

38.  Drink You Gone-  Ingrid Michaelson

An excellent send off to a spurned love.

37.  What We Have (To Change)-  Lucius

Another excellent sent off to a spurned love.  This one talking about trying to patch up a relationship on the rocks.

36.  Holy Hell-  Father John Misty

Father John Misty offered the first piece of catharsis after the 2016 presidential elections.  Looking forward to hearing what more he has to offer next year.

35.  Kiss Me When I Bleed-  White Lung

A bit of loud, brach alternative rock.  Exactly what one might think it would be about…

34.  The Gospel-  Alicia Keys

I’m glad this song was picked as a single from the album, but I discovered it by accident.  Best line, “now we doin’ life like Eddie Murphy & Martin”.

33.  Surrender Under Protest-  Drive-by Truckers

A protest song, about protesting, from an album that feels like a send off to the current state of America.

32.  Silence:  The Deafening Sound of Absolutely Nothing (part 2)-  Silence

I have it on good authority that the crowd pleaser is Part 1, but I found the lyrics about the most important voices being drowned out by the pablum to be my favorite part.  Seeing the at The Kraken was one of my musical highlights of the year.

31.  Die Like a Rich Boy-  Frightened Rabbit

A song about trying to live up to unachievable expectations, both of your own and of those around you.

30.  Prophets of Rage (Public Enemy cover)-  Prophets of Rage

Make way for the Prophets of Rage!  The best thing going during the run up to the 2016 RNC & DNC.  Here’s to hoping they continue Making America Rage Again!

29.  I Decide-  The Julie Ruin

Welcome back, Kathleen Hanna!  A girl power anthem for a year in which I hoped there would be more than there ended up being…

28.  Tungs-  The Frights

A pop-punk blast which features a callout to Wreckless Eric and maybe one of the best lyrics of the year “Have you seen my shoes/’cause they’ve been ripped to shit from walking the world for you”.  Sorry, the only version with actual activity i could find was the acoustic version.

27.  No Fat Burger-  Descendants

A middle-aged follow up to their “I Like Food” blast from nearly 20 years ago.  Sadly, and awesomely, the best punk song of the year, by my estimation.

26.  Mourning Song-  Shovels & Rope.

A delightful return to form for Shovels & Rope, after the out of character Busted Jukebox album.  Features lyrics about two lovers passing the days away.

25.  Divorce Separation Blues-  The Avett Brothers

A throw-back style stereotypical country song from a thoroughly modern alt-country outfit.

24.  Stealing Bread- Micah Bournes

Dropping some free-form poetry on our collective asses!  Oh god I loved this track for the truth Mr, Bournes spits.

23.  7 Years- Lukas Graham

I first heard this song on a radio station playing at a Subway restaurant.  Talk about random discovery.  Lyrically, its about remembering significant points in your life.

22.  George RR Martin vs. JRR Tolkien-  Epic Rap Battles of History

A fantasy throw-down across the ages.  “It’s supposed to be fantasy, you myopic manatee”.  “Got my children making millions off my Silmarillions”. Classic.

21.  Jon Stewart talks about the 2016 elections

To those Republicans who want to “take their country back”.  “IT’S NOT YOURS, YOU DON’T OWN IT!!!” 🙂


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