2016 was a bad year for music. David Bowie, Prince, and Leonard Cohen died—and that’s just the few from a slew of others. Even worse, in the wake of these musical geniuses’ deaths, a lot of annoying songs were force-fed to the masses.
But don’t fret, dear reader. It wasn’t all bad. There were a few gems here and there.
But in the spirit of putting a stop to ear-shattering ditties, here’s a list of the best and most annoying events in music for 2016. Listen up!
BEST OF 2016
1) “Eros Obfuscate” by Beast Jesus
BEST. PUNK. SONG. OF. 2016.
Just trust us on this.
2) “Andromeda” by Ghostemane
We firmly believe that Ghostemane is the future of hiphop. He has the charisma and aesthetics down, but more importantly he has flow. The man spits fire like nobody’s business, switching back and forth from Bone Thugs N Harmony type speed rap to hardcore in a matter of seconds.
3) “Paid Programming 2” by Bones
If Ghostemane is the future, then Bones is the one that changed the whole game. The man, with help from his clique Team Sesh, has already established himself as a living legend in the scene. And being as young as he is, there is nowhere to go but up.
4) “Hellboy” by Lil Peep
Best mixtape this year, for real. Co-opting emo and putting a hiphop twist to it, it’s a record that would definitely surprise fans of both genres.
5) “Lazarus” by David Bowie
"Lazarus" being Bowie’s last song felt like an Easter egg hunt of premonitions of his coming death. A great, great song that is both creepy and sad at the same time.
6) “Umaapaw” by Ang Bandang Shirley
The emotions, particularly love, portrayed on this song are perfect. No year-ender list should be without Shirley’s “Umaapaw.”
7) Eraserheads’ Mini Reunion
We’ve all been duped by telecom company Smart about a possible reunion Eraserheards reunion. All the while it was nothing more but a smart (pun intended) marketing ploy to get the band together for a commercial. We even ran a piece on it. But all in all, it was good to see the boys back together, even if it was just for a few seconds.
8) Parokya ni Edgar’s Pogi Years Old
After six years of waiting, Parokya ni Edgar finally released their much-awaited album. Pogi Years Old, the band's 10th studio release, contains 21 cuts consisting of 14 english songs, two Tagalog tracks, and five fillers. See our exclusive interview regarding that here. And yes, we're still playing the album nonstop 'til now.
9) NOFACE RECORD$’ Dead Inside Vibe
Right on time when people are making best of lists, comes NFR’s newest mixtape Dead Inside Vibe—their follow up to $OUTH$IDE$WA666 from last August. The massive collection has 22 tracks filled to the brim with dark raps and beats. Its strong suit is its consistency, making the flow of the hour-long mixtape not a chore nor a bore to listen to. Btw, speaking of hiphop…
10) Resurgence of Pinoy Hiphop
Calix. Den Sy Ty. NFR. Etc. The resurgence of Filipino hiphop was felt strongly this year. In fact, we even made a list of emcees you should have listened to by now. We owe a lot of it to the rap battle scene Fliptop, but also through music platforms like Soundclound.
WORST OF 2016:
1) “Closer” by Chainsmokers
You know that song that keeps playing in the cubicle beside your? This is that song. Everywhere you went, this song was playing. It’s inescapable. It’s Justin Bieber’s “Baby” all over again.
2) “Pineapple Pen” by Kosaka Daimaou
If “Closer” is Justin Bieber's “Baby,” “Pineapple Pen” is “Gangnam Style.” It's a poorly written, made-to-be-viral video by some dude that tries to be funny but isn't.
3) Beast Jesus’s In Various States of Disassembly
The only reason this EP is on here is because Eros Obfuscate blows this outta the water. It’s a good record but not as good as the new one.
4) “Sila” by Sud
Though the song was released in 2015, all the hype surrounding the band is something that most music aficionados actually don’t get. They play safe, consistent, “indie.” That’s like a dime a dozen in the Manila gig circuit alone.
5) “One Call Away” by Charlie Puth
Who the hell is Charlie Puth? Why can't anyone put a face to the name?
6) “Work” by Rihanna
For someone who's probably a millionaire by now, Rihanna sure is a workaholic. Can someone please tell her to stop making annoying tracks like this? Also, can twerking die already?
A lot of great musicians died this year and that sucks, because they left us with people like Lil Yachty. Imagine, you won’t ever hear David Bowie sing “Life on Mars” ever again. That in itself is a tragedy. Then there’s Prince. What will happen to “Purple Rain” now?
8) Indie is dead, too, apparently
So this band Yürei nonchalantly mentioned in an interview that they're the only grunge band in Manila. Not only that, in the same interview they said indie is dead—or at least has been commercialized and commodified by "the man." How profound.