Music We're Thankful For This Year
After the turkey comas subside and Black Friday opens the holiday retail floodgates, this year in music will be all but over. Yes, there's another month until the calendar flips over, but from here until early January, the only "new" music coming out will be the tide of reissues, box sets and "expanded" or "deluxe" editions of albums most people already own. Oftentimes the most expanded thing about them is the price.
Oh, and Christmas albums. Yuck.
So, earlier this week, Rocks Off Sr. polled our hit squad, as it were, and asked them to tell us their three to five favorite musical things that came out this year - whether an album, a song, a video or something else we didn't even think of. We guess you can call them memes if you want, but we hate that word. We'd rather think of it as sneak preview of all the year-end foofaraw you're about about be inundated with, as well as a shopping-season musical tip sheet.
Either way, enjoy. - Chris Gray
Arcade Fire, The Suburbs: I'm thankful for this album because it plays like a time capsule. Twenty years from now, when my little boy asks me to tell him stories from our time, I'll hand him a copy of The Suburbs.
Rick Ross feat. Styles P, "B.M.F. (Blowin' Money Fast)": This is the song other rappers wish they had penned. "B.M.F." isn't just a song, it's a smash - the type that comes along once in a career. Its runaway success inspired a remix craze from the Magic City to the Big Apple. Whenever I'm down and out, I chug a dose of "B.M.F.," close my eyes, and ask myself, "What would Big Meech do?"
Arcade Fire, "The Suburbs": The title track to the band's third album is a deliberately unhurried tune, its wistful lyrics and jangly piano accompaniment hint at the band's maturation toward songs of familial conscientiousness, and thankfully, away from any previous reliance on The Boss.
The National, "Bloodbuzz Ohio": Easily the most rockin' backbeat and beguiling chorus of the year, the High Violet single is a clear representation of the album's poignant aura, its atmospheric guitar tones and droll lyrics painting imagery now characteristic to the National.
The Black Keys, "Tighten Up": Marrying a commanding drumbeat and whistle-laden melody, the gritty first single from the Black Keys' Brothers piques listeners' curiosity while staying true to the the duo's signature stripped sound.