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The 10 best albums of 2016: the standings

The clock of 2016 hits halftime, time for an inventory. These are, in alphabetical order, the ten albums that the last spring to the top stop in accordance with the Knack Focus-muziekredactie.

Steve Gunn © Wouter Van Vaerenbergh

Chance The Rapper – Coloring Book

Is gospelrap on the way to the sound of 2016? Chancelor Bennett, aka Chance the Rapper, already his coin in the bag. On his third, in his own administration released mixtape he sounds equally enthusiastic but less militant than Kendrick, and equally candid but more down to earth than Kanye. There is a future in his music.

Read the full Knack Focus-review of ‘Coloring Book’.

Field Music – Commontime

The new Field Music is a gift for who is intelligent popstrevers as Prefab Sprout, 10cc, Todd Rundgren or ECSTASY high. Commontime groans not under overload, such as double albums Measure (2009), and flows better than the somewhat artificial Plumb (2001). Grab no longer excuses: this Field Music is your thing.

Read the full Knack Focus-review of ‘Commontime’.

Steve Gunn – Eyes On The Lines

Gunn split ever off of Kurt Viles Violators, but is working since 2007 in parallel with the solopad – not in the middle of the track, but in the margin. With Eyes on the Lines he goes permanently anchored at the confluence of cosmic folk-rock and contemporary americana. These nine songs surprise actually never, but in all their simplicity yet brilliant, and damn addictive. A plate for those two years ago as a block for The War on Drugs fell even majestic, to the sky and judged, and at the same time, deep in the history burrowing guitar music wants to taste it.

Read the full Knack Focus-review of ‘Eyes On The Lines’.

Junior Boys – Big Black Coat

The essence of this fifth Junior Boys album is: less is more. But the Boys keep swinging, nuances and popinvloeden intact. Sleuteltrack Love is a Fire is, if you have the voice of Jeremy Greenspan mentally remove, dry, ballast stripped technotrip such as Plastikman they used to be made and Andy Stott nowadays with dub prime.

Read the full Knack Focus-review of ‘Big Black Coat’.

Kendrick Lamar – Untitled Unmastered

Untitled Unmastered, barely a year after instantklassieker To Pimp a Butterfly appeared, operates on the same level as its predecessor: the music is played live, sometimes versmachtend pairing of (free)jazz and (p-)funk, while Kendrick proves that he is except a superior woordengoochelaar also an excellent stemkunstenaar is that in different tongues and the tangle of his faith, his origins and his ever-changing future unravels. In a nutshell, this album is a confirmation of Kendrick Lamars qualities, the rapper whose unfinished overschotjes we are full of admiration.

Read the full Knack Focus-review of ‘Untitled Unmastered’.

Kevin Morby – Singing Saw

On Singing Saw, solo album number three in three years time, sings Kevin Morby as if in a hurry and nervousness, abstract concepts of a distant planet. Morby is a traditionalist, that low songs sings about the simple things of life: drinking, wild animals, like to see, songs to sing, on the road. And yet he touches with his rustic framed songs a sensitive nerve that few contemporary singer-songwriters know to touch.

Read the full Knack Focus-review of ‘Singing Saw’.

Parquet Courts – Human Performance

The Texan New Yorkers of Parquet Courts, everyone’s favorite indie/punkrockband the last years, laugh no more – seriousness, emotion and honesty are them darn good. But it rattle do they happy still. Human Performance, the plate for Parquet Courts is what Wowee Zowee for Pavement, it is seriously (and) good.

Read the full Knack Focus-review of ‘Human Performance’.

Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

A Moon Shaped Pool, plate nine, belongs to Radioheads best five. It is a shimmering, stirring prachtwerk of a band whose band members – even though the drummer al solo is gone – still on the same cord pulling. Wait and see how long the heart of Radiohead still will knock.

Read the full Knack Focus-review of ‘A Moon Shaped Pool.

Ty Segall – Emotional Mugger

What Son House and Jimmy Page to Jack White were in The White Stripes, Marc Bolan of T-Rex and the sludgerockers of Melvins for Ty Segall. Role models, not mirror images, and instead of clichés to avoid, Segall them screeching and bloodthirsty body. Wild dancing on the grave of rock music, something he is already on the current band since 2008. Is Emotional Mugger better than predecessor Manipulator (2014)? Wrong question: it is a new Ty Segall in razor-sharp do.

Read the full Knack Focus-review of ‘Emotional Mugger’.

Whitney – Light Upon The Lake

Despite their low number of years of life, feel the early twenties Max Kakacek (ex-Smith Westerns) and Julien Ehrlich (ex-Unknown Mortal Orchestra) veterans in the battlefield of music and of love. The rhythm and the blues they got with the spoon inside, madelieflijke folkmelodieën and a big heart for power pop à la Big Star make this trip in the direction of golden days of the seventies completely.

Read the full Knack Focus-review of Light Upon the Lake.

Kurt Blondeel & Jonas Boel

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