Just in case you were comfortably moving on from a challenging 2016, Idle Time begs your attention one last time as we post our sixteenth annual retrospective, highlighting the albums that meant the most to us over the last twelve months. When we started this little clubhouse of chicanery, it was music that brought us together and, now, more than fifteen years later, as our roster expands and our scope broadens, the unifying power of music seems more important than ever.
In a year muddied by fear, confusion, and destructive ethnocentrism throughout our country and the world, it seems only appropriate that this year’s list of Favorite Albums ended up being our most diverse to date. Nine different countries are featured, and three different languages, with almost half of the albums originating outside of the U.S. Perhaps even more significantly, thirteen of the forty performers are female artists or bands fronted by women. More genres are represented, and we even have our first appearance of an original soundtrack. Take that, twenty-sixteen.
Eight Idlers contributed to this list, including the return of ghostyorb, and the first-time participation of IP, MeanOldPig, and LDG. We don’t always agree on the albums (although this year it came pretty damn close), but we do agree on the fact that, in an outright rejection of the too-many-cooks adage, this might very well be our finest list to date. And the proof is in the playlist. As you browse through the rankings and the blurbs (I use the term “blurb” loosely; since HolyBee’s departure from regular participation, several contributors have been making claims to the King of Verbosity mantle), check out the four Mixcloud mixes for an audio tour through the favorite forty.