Diandra’s 2016 in Music
This has been an even more hectic year for me, but there was still plenty of music I want to share with you all!
First, the album that helped me escape much of the stress of the year:
The Last Shadow Puppets – Everything You’ve Come to Expect
Eight years after The Last Shadow Puppets first melded 60’s orchestral pop with the rock sensibilities of members Alex Turner and Miles Kane, the group returned with a new album in April. Everything That You’ve Come to Expect stretches the dramatics of their debut into a sun-warmed, ‘70’s AM radio sound.
The standout track is the ballad Sweet Dreams, TN; where Alex Turner belts out amid a crescendo of strings:
Besides other favorite tracks like She Does the Woods , I also appreciated how Saam Farahmand’s video for Aviation [MV], leads to that of Everything You’ve Come to Expect MV, while the video for the dreamy Miracle Aligner [MV] is the type of mock seriousness many fans enjoy from Alex and Miles.
(Unfortunately, I must add that Miles Kane seems so adamant in maintaining a ‘60’s rocker persona that he had to be forced to apologize for his inappropriate sexual remarks towards a female reporter during an interview.) At the end of the album, The Dream Synopsis has a line that perfectly summarizes much of Alex Turner’s various musical projects:
And a wicked gale came howling up through Sheffield City Centre
There was palm tree debris everywhere and a Roman Colosseum
if the Colosseum appeared as in the ‘60’s sci-fi film The 10th Victim. (screencap source)
Alexandra Savior, a young singer from Oregon, is probably most known for being a new Alex Turner collaborator, although her style and voice are uniquely her own. Her smoky pop sensibility pervades a well-crafted song like Shades , though I find her live performances overly artsy and precious. Here is the video for M.T.M.E.:
The major music news that managed to reach me this year consisted mainly of the contrasting complement releases of sisters Beyoncé (Lemonade) [Amazon] and Solange (A Seat at the Table) [Amazon], as well as the deaths of famous artists like Juan Gabriel. Shiina Ringo fans like myself were very excited to hear her involvement in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics preview presentation . Nice to see her working with Hikaru Utada too . Ringo-chan’s solo releases consisted of Jiyudom (ジユーダム), [iTunes] her perky theme song for the NHK show Gatten (ガッテン！), and her cover of the Pierre Barouh song 13 Jours au Japon. [iTunes]
In the K-pop world, with 2NE1 and Miss A gone , and the status of After School’s subunit Orange Caramel uncertain (though Brown-Eyed Girls celebrated their 10th anniversary!), nothing really caught my ear this year. However, I can definitely see why Wonder Girls’ Why So Lonely was so popular:
(ETA: Re: Wonder Girls: The year’s not even a week old and they’re considering leaving JYP!)
One surprise this year was how much I liked the Titanfall 2 commercial’s reworking of Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down with Australian vocalist Grace singing Bang Bang (My Titan Shot Him Down). [MV]. Why won’t they release it as a single?