BEST of 2016: Top 5 Albums) #1 Badbadnotgood – IV

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image source: BBNG’s Bandcamp

I debated pretty damn hard where I was going to put this on my Top 5 list. At first it was going to much closer to the top but the more I thought about it, the more it just kept inching towards number 1. Sure enough, I eventually caved and realized that this is easily my favorite album of the year. Not because it’s the one I listened to the most. Not because it’s the catchiest. Hell, it’s not even the most memorable out of all of them. But honestly, of all the albums I put on this list, this is probably the album, 10 years down the line and still come back to and say, “Yep, this is a mighty fine album!”. Simply put, this album will probably be still getting spins long after I get sick of all those other albums.

Now part of that probably has to do with my jazz-bias. Even though I don’t really talk about it, I have huge soft spot for jazz. And anyone who can pull jazz off as well as this trio deserves recognition in my book. But simply calling them a jazz trio is kinda doing them an injustice. Badbadnotgood cover almost as much ground as Anderson .Paak does on Malibu. The opener, “And That, Too” sets the stage almost perfectly; uneasily, loosely, combining a sense of dread and wonder for what’s in store on the rest of the album. From there, the album jumps from jazz (natch), dub, electronic, hip-hop, soul, and even little bits of post-rock, all without missing a beat. From the dreary-eyed swing of “Time Moves Slow”, the slow menace of the Kaytranada collab “Lavender”, to the dynamic title track, there’s honestly not a dull moment on this album and I would put it in the same category of instrumental excellence as last year’s Floating Points masterpiece (which I did think of cheating and putting it here on this list). The only complaint I have is probably the final track isn’t all that memorable, but that’s only a small blemish. This is not an album for everyone but for me, it just checks off all the right boxes and is definitely the album I’m most likely to keep coming back to in 2017, 2018, 2019 and so on, which is why it’s my number 1 album of the year!

So concludes my top 5 albums of the year. What did you think? What were your top 5, 10, 20, etc., this year? Let me know in the comments down below and check back next week where I’ll be talking about my favorite songs, collections, and albums that I bought that weren’t released in 2016!

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