If you had told me late last year that 2016 would herald the coming of masterpiece albums by David Bowie and Iggy Pop, I probably would have been a bit skeptical. And yet, here we are. January brought us a Bowie album that has made my all time favorites list. I speaking of course, of Blackstar, released just two days before the unexpected death of Mr. Bowie. It is one of those rare records that grows in stature with each listen. In fact, I love it even more now than I did when I reviewed it. Industrial pop jazz, it seemed to be the culmination of everything Bowie had striven to create over the last 25 years or so. It was also the greatest grand finale in rock n roll history. 2 1/2 months later, I have in my hands the latest record by David Bowie’s famous 70’s partner in crime, Mr. Iggy Pop. With increased rumblings of this being the last record Iggy will put out, it is fair to ask if this album “pulls a Bowie”. And the answer, my friends, is a resounding yes. Comparisons aren’t always fair, but I’d say it captures the vibe of those two albums Iggy did with Bowie – 1977’s The Idiot and Lust for Life while bringing some of the aggression back from his work with The Stooges. For good measure, there is some Leonard Cohen style crooning on a few songs. An essential listen, it is one of Iggy’s best albums.
Another year gone by too quickly. Nothing left to do but try and recount all the great music releases of 2013. We saw the return of David Bowie, (3) new Mark Kozelek records, band reunions, and high-profile hip-hop releases. We also saw people upset with Miley Cyrus quite a bit and while I don’t enjoy her music I thought that the controversies were overblown. I was really looking forward to the new Eminem record but ended up liking only a few songs. Kanye West’s new record didn’t really do anything for me and I couldn’t get into the long-awaited My Bloody Valentine. My list is lacking some of those albums that are on other sites – some of them I didn’t dig all that much and some of them I just didn’t replay very much.What can I say? I march to my own beat. On the flip side, I loved every Mark Kozelek related album, discovered a few gems, and rocked out to Black Sabbath. So here’s a look at 50 music releases from 2013 that I played over and over again. I’ll see you in about a week with the 1st article of 2014.