2016 Preview Playlist

2016 Preview Playlist

2015 came and went faster than you could drop the needle on your fresh copy of “To Pimp a Butterfly.” Even though we’ve got 12 months with this new year, 2016 has a lot to live up to in comparison to 2015, musically anyway.

Wolfmother shot onto the scene like a bottle rocket with the tracks “Woman” and “Joker and the Thief” from their debut album a decade ago. After a couple more albums with middling results and a lineup change that saw everyone except lead singer Andrew Stockdale call it quits, Wolfmother is back to their old ways with their latest single “Gypsy Caravan.” The song is classic Wolfmother with groovy, 70s vibe guitar riffs and a drum beat that combs the kit to hit everything that makes noise. It’s safe to say the band’s fourth album “Victorious,” could be a return to form for the Aussies.

The 1975 are known for blending pop vibes with rock tactics, but their single “UGH!” from the upcoming “I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It” blends funk in a most effective manner. With a drum beat that begs you to clap your hands and a plucky guitar track, “UGH!” is a sweet and catchy tune that’s sure to be on album full of them.

It’s unusual for Elton John songs to be known for the guitar aspect over the piano, but his single “Blue Wonderful” gives the keys are run for their money. The track opens almost like the beginning of an 80s power ballad with a flanged guitar. Shortly after, John and his piano join in the song. but the strings hang in there with the remainder of “Blue Wonderful”’s three and a half minute time. There’s a conjoined guitar and piano solo before the bridge where the guitar follows the keys, yet it sounds like it’s the one in charge. “Blue Wonderful” has John sounding both optimistic and maybe a little hurt with his vocal delivery, but it’s still classic Elton John in a 2016 world and we’re here with open ears and open hearts.

2015 was a bit of a comeback year for Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott with her guest spot in the Super Bowl and now her new Pharrell Williams’ produced track “WTF (Where They From).” Elliott and Pharrell both sound like they’ve never missed a beat from their days of making dance hip-hop (before Pharrell got “Happy”). The track has an infectious beat that is sure to be stuck in your head after the first chorus and packs quite a punch in its three minute run time. It seems that Missy Elliott is back for 2016 and we’re all too anxious to see how she works it.  

Love him or hate him, 2015 was Drake’s year. Two number one albums, a slew of hits to accompany them and a dance move that has been mimicked by everyone online. Although nothing is confirmed thus far, Drake has said his next album “Views From the 6” should be out some time in this new year. I guess in the meantime we’ll just be cutting a rug to “Hotline Bling” trying to figure out what he means.

Like Missy Elliott, singer Sia also partnered with a rapper/producer for her latest single “Reaper.” Kanye West stayed off the mic but remained in studio to produce an almost church choir sound for “Reaper.” Sia belts her heart out on the chorus about how she won’t be taken away and she’s going to have a good day. It’s a great inspirational sounding song, like Beyonce’s hit “Irreplaceable” all those years ago. With “Reaper” Sia proves she can hang with other vocal powerhouses and West proves he can make a beat to accompany lyrics better than just about anyone right now.

Other artists have said they’re heading back in the studio in 2016, but have yet to release anything or have anyone other than themselves confirm it. Some of those artists are: The Strokes, Tool, Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins, Metallica and Frank Ocean. Whether they release anything or not, it seems 2016 is off to a good start.

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