Best of 2016: 80-71

-80: Margo Price - Midwest Farmers Daughter

Country music radio - take note. This is how it's done.

-79: The Besnard Lakes - A Coliseum Complex Museum

Modern psychedelia at its finest, keeping focus where it counts but staying hazy where it helps. 

-78: Angel Olsen - My Woman

This is probably a really good album but there seems to be a trend to go synthy with a followup to critical acclaimed rock album that kind of loses me. I guess that's just what you do now. She still puts together some great songs, but I miss the hooks and energy.

-77: DJ Shadow - The Mountain Will Fall

I like the parts of this that feel like early DJ Shadow, and any collaboration with rappers especially the RTJ track. Gets a little too EDM on a few, but you can't blame a guy. 

-76: Itasca - Open To Chance

This is sparse and pretty, but not very sweet and not very lively. File under interesting but not for everyday listening. 

-75: Frank Ocean - Blonde

This is my favorite of his to date- I never found my way into Channel Orange. I think it's a little looser and more relaxed. It's still innovative R&B of a flavor I'd take over the Weeknd any day. 

-74: Chris Forsyth - The Rarity of Experience

Simultaneously classis and cosmic, The Solar Motel Band burns through some pretty sweet riffs and keeps it pretty tight for how jammy it is.  

-73: Kenny Segal - Kenstrumentals Vol 2

This fellow has done production for a few artists I've been following the last couple of years and I got to see him do live production with Milo last year. These are some beats you can groove to. 

-72: Dylan Golden Aycock - Church of Level Track

This alternates between pleasant guitar picking and dissonant guitar picking, and while it's always impressive I am of course drawn to the pleasant.

-71: Nels Cline - Lovers

Put this on if you want to feel sophistocated during a classy dinner party or something. Longtime Wilco guitarist covers Great American Songbook standards along with a few originals.