sbcltr lists down the things that happened in popular music this year that changed the industry
We can all agree on the fact that 2016 was a strange and unpredictable year, some of that strangeness even spilled over into the world of music. From half-finished albums, to over the top visual albums that were unnecessary, to the return of the skit, chap-hop, to painfully long albums that were a bore, sbcltr lists down the key musical moments of 2016.
Kanye released his half-finished album, Life of Pablo
It may not be the greatest music, but the way it was released could change the way music could be made and distributed in the future. When Kanye released his half-finished album, he let fans in on the creative process. Involving them in the art of creation like no other artist has ever done—releasing drafts from the album, editing them, changing his track list and going as far as to ask the public to name his album. The most incredible part of the release was the fact how Kanye kept playing around with the album, for as long as two months after the release, completely demolishing the traditional structure of how music is made and sold.
Listen to the album here
Visual Album? Sorry No Time for That
Artistic self-indulgence went a little overboard this year, thanks to Beyoncé, Frank Ocean, Tove Lo and even Florence + The Machine. While we appreciate the efforts, what we don’t understand is the point of these self- proclaimed ‘visual albums,’ that are neither music video nor film. Why do they even exist? We will never know.
2016 was the year it gained widespread acceptance. The thing about chap-hop is that it is exactly what its name suggests, a British gentlemen indulging in hip-hop without getting into the thugness of it all. So their rhymes usually involve, cricket, tea and sometimes a bit of cheekiness if they are too adventurous. It even has endorsers, like the UK education secretary Michael Gove who says that he is ‘strangely addicted’ to the genre. Seems legit, but strange.
Extremely Long Albums
Zayn, James Blake and even Drake have been guilty of releasing extremely long records of almost seventeen songs. As albums are getting longer, the track-lists are getting clumpier because individual songs and their chart positions now determine the performance an album, some of them are just unnecessary and boring.
These are no dramatic hip-hop skits of the 90s, but the trend made a massive comeback in 2016. With all the major albums of 2016 being filled with chatter. From Slave, to Frank Ocean, no matter how good the song and the album, it had unnecessary dramatic fillers that all of us could have done without. Enough already, everyone isn’t Kanye! Just give us the damn song without the rabble and if you’re really going to ramble, just make it count.