earthings! 2016: My ten favorites of the year

Here we are again – the end of the year, or at least the end of our year here on earthings!, as we take that long holiday break to recharge, or whatever passes for that these days. And it’s been a busy year, or perhaps because we found ourselves juggling a lot of things on many fronts – lots of changes off screen, and a bunch of new features on screen. But I digress. Here we are again – the end of our year on the blog, which means I trot out my ten favorite songs of the year – not a definitive list by all means; just a reflection of what I’ve liked, considering that I seem to have listened to less new music and more K-pop these past few months. So, here’s the list, arranged alphabetically as always. [NB]

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Review: Changes by Charles Bradley

Changes by Charles BradleyCharles Bradley’s story is one of the most unusual in music. While he’s been performing shows since the 1960s, punctuated by many difficulties, he was only discovered early in the noughties by the folks at Daptone – he was, by then, working as a James Brown impersonator – which led to his debut album, No Time for Dreaming, in 2011. A documentary on his life would later elevate his profile further. Changes, his third album, continues on the sound he’s surprisingly honed: powerful soul that’s evocative of the 60s and 70s, much like the rest of the Daptone oeuvre. Not much rocking the boat from his first two albums, although the arrangements feel fresher and his delivery feels quite more powerful. There’s a conviction that took a while to develop, but tracks like “Changes” and “Crazy For Your Love” highlight a world-weary voice that’s making the most of everything. It may not be your thing, but it is (inevitably) nicely crafted and worth a shot. [NB]3/5