2016 as a year in music is something I’ve been contemplating doing since the year began. One of my personal missions with Andresmusictalk is to input something positive about music,the people who create it and its influence on everyday life. There’s already enough of the “meat and potatoes ONLY” news out where their is importance for well rounded discourse. One thing readers of this blog might’ve noticed is the general lack of commentary on new funk/soul records this year. Just under a handful in fact. And the reason for that is that 2016 is a year marked by death.
The first day of the year didn’t exactly begin with a fresh start. It began with the news of Natalie Cole’s passing. It was just a week or so later that David Bowie passed away. A few weeks after that,EWF founder Maurice White. Then in April,very surprisingly,we lost Prince. It came to a point on this blog where I wasn’t actually preparing to write up on a new song. But was gearing up for the next tribute to a fallen musical icon. While it was a great honor to have lived with the music of these people for years,as well as pay tribute to them,the heavy concentration of death in under a years time even was formidable.
As for the new music coming out this year? With a few exceptions from Bruno Mars and Childish Gambino,there wasn’t a whole lot of funky,soulful music. Or songs with anything hugely positive to say. So its been a year that this blog has mainly paid tribute to the classics. And the people who created them,many of whom are gone now. So even though its not a huge list,here are some some of the albums that personally moved me in that funky and/or soulful way from 2016. I will also try to put them into some type of resonant category so people will catch onto the general “vibe” of each album:
THE JAZZY SIDE
Robert Glasper-Everything’s Beautiful
SOULFULLY FORWARD THINKING
Solange-A Seat At The Table
ELECTRO NU FUNK
Childish Gambino-Awaken My Love
Most people I’ve talked to have admitted freely that 2016 has been an extremely rough year. There was a traumatic election in America on top of all the death. As for the year to come,there’s no way of knowing who will pass away and when. That might come to a halt in 2017. Hope it does. As for the political trauma,that appears to be the most frightening concern at the moment. My one wish for 2017 and the “undiscovered country” to come after that is that the albums demonstrated here will prove a guiding musical light that will define what America’s people will be seeking-with its grooves and messages.