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Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Hand-Picked 2016 (The 9 Best Albums and EPs of 2016)

03/01/2017 12:32:10 AM

I know. It's barely 60 days into 2017 already. Maybe it's been way too late to make a posting about whatever shenanigans that took place in 2016. Well, I could pass out the list of the gigs I made since I had not made it to the big ones during that year, as well as not making the list of awesome matches in professional wrestling and the highlight reel of current events (by which deaths and politics had been taking the spot light to the extent that I cannot be able to digest either one of them).

But certainly, even if two months have already passed by, I don't think I could be able to prolong the wait for this – the list of the best albums for the year 2016. After all, this was the time I managed to get some of the best ones while I heard the others via Spotify.

Initially I want to do a list of 16 for this supposedly-yearender list. However, I trimmed it down to nearly a half. So that being said, here are my 9 hand-picked albums that rocked the past year.

Following their rise to prominence in late 2015, MilesExperience just had the icing on their cake in 30 April 2016 – that was the launch of their album Again & Against. And now, backed by a major label, this soul-blues band continues to roll; captivating wider cult of audiences and garnering massive airplay.

And certainly, their album proved one of the reasons why. This record's been a hands-down tale of roller-coasting emotions that seemingly an extended version of a typical MilesExperience gig. Best heard when not shuffled as the preludes really connect well with their songs.

Hand-picked tracks: Mogwai-Home, El Cuerpo de Deseo-Love Supreme, Anggulo, Faith's Lullaby

Almost one and a half year might probably a bit long to hear a next band release a record that only contains three tracks. And to say that kind of criticism to a young band like Banna Harbera may be quite unfair and inconsiderate. Give the kids a break, for Persistence as a log overdue follow-up to Something New didn't turn out so bad after all. And it's safe to say these kids are growing into more sophisticated kind of alternative that resembles funk and blues in between. No wonder why they will make it to Wanderband in three days time.

Hand-picked track: Think I Know

Before emotional pop rock trend in the upper-half of the musical stratosphere, there was We Are Imaginary doing that kind of thing. And their 10-track Death To Romanticism will prove you that as a product of exceptionally-good songwriting between vocalist Ahmad Tanji and former drummer Eric Po.

And despite some criticism on sound mixing, this record showed the real – if not 'good kind' – of variety under one fold.

Hand-picked tracks: Sunny Where You Are, Dance, A Good Kind of Sad, Ask Me To Stay

Six years might probably be too long for one to produce an album, like one presidential term in Malacanang. But perhaps this is where the long and winding road might pay its dividends – and we mean lineup changes, getting away from a major record label, and every shenanigans in between.

The first quarter of last year saw this eight-man band Tanya Markova unveil their 17-track album, and really they delivered as if we are still in 2010 sans the total shock pop value in their shelf. Forget the fact that they're not like those swabe musicians. Forget that they lagged behind because of the current trend. Mister Tililing is simply for fun and great showmanship.

Hand-picked tracks: Pandemonium, High-End, Lagalag, (filler) No Eating Below The Belt

This mini-ensemble isn't just another Ely Buendia experimental project. And certainly it wasn't just your ordinary swabe (or laglag panty/baby-making) music because this kind of soul music isn't just sultry by the texture; but rather like a timebomb that gives 'blast from the past' whenever any of their songs from Inner Play goes on the deck.

They make old soul music sound new without any sort of pretensions.

Hand-picked tracks: Better Off, Guijo St. (Makes You Wonder), WTF

6. A New Strain (Gabby Alipe/EP/MCA Music)

It is time when Gabby Alipe faced the music...alone. And despite having only six tracks, the former band frontman has totally shed his past image; going hip-hop and slow alternative in musicality, and even penning and performing a song in Filipino language. Talk about full-transformation.

Hand-picked tracks: Ether, Visions, Paalam

Traversing the route from dance pop to iyak-sayaw has reached its first stop. Now that they released a full-length album after two years, it is safe to say that Autotelic was slowly but about to reach the promised land of becoming the next big thing in the country's pop music scene. All that despite having half of their album 'remastered' from their previous versions.

They don't need to be swabe to gain cult followers as their iyak-sayaw tunes were poppish enough to get hooked, especially when you hear Languyin, Laro, the melodramatic Hanap, and the new-wave inspired Mapa.

Hand-picked tracks: Gising, Languyin, Laro

8. For The Rest Of My Life (Mayonnaise/LP/Yellow Room Music-Warner Music Philippines)

Forgive me for being late, but last year was probably the first time I hear Mayonnaise gave a try on doing English songs, and it so happened that For The Rest Of My Life comprised of eight tracks – all penned in that language. And their sound has indicated massive changes through its powerful recall on vocals, looped guitars and synthesizers, with tweaking resemblances of alt, mellow, and punk.

Hand-picked track: You Can't Be Right, Five Ever, Here In My Heart

It is very easy to criticize Parokya Ni Edgar for not changing their sound. This crew may have been on the scene for two decades, and a six year-wait for just to hear another sets of novelty pop rock reprises might put another item in your list of disdains.

However, doing such is a very inconsiderable statement, as Pogi Years Old proved that PNE could man up in song-writing. Sure they did not write about high school crushes or another teeny-boppy romance advice, but this album showcases the likes of reaching 'tito age', stepping out of the friendzone, maturity, and everything in between. They may have been sticking with what works for them, and it's fine as long as we get the 'Parokya ni Edgar' brand as a generic kind of pop rock.

Hand-picked tracks: Sing, Kanta Ng Ermitanyo, Hamon Ng Buhay

Author: slickmaster | © 2017 september twenty-eight productions

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