Best Songs of 2016

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kiiara-gold

All songs on this list were released as singles in 2016, or 2015 but didn’t make an impact until 2016.

1. Kiiara – “Gold” – An ingenious production trick wins the top spot. The best music in the world rewires your brain.
2. Beyoncé ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Freedom” – Beyoncé BUSTS out every emotion of the year.
3. Phantogram – “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore” – I can feel myself dissolving in the despair.
4. Lady GaGa – “Perfect Illusion” – GaGa’s crying out in beautiful pain.
5. Kanye West – “Fade” – From another dimension.
6. Rag‘n’Bone Man – “Human” – The blues are alive and kicking.
7. Sia – “The Greatest” – Sia’s career is the soundtrack for perseverance.
8. Alessia Cara – “Scars to Your Beautiful” – What could have been an anodyne message piece instead infuses an influx of attitude.
9. Flume ft. Tove Lo – “Say It” – An airy, effervescent blast from 2016’s top DJ.
10. Childish Gambino – “Me and Your Mama” – Where did this burst of neo-P-Funk come from?!
11. Rae Sremmurd ft. Gucci Mane – “Black Beatles” – This sounds like nostalgia and the future.
12. Glass Animals – “Life Itself” – Alternative quirk’s top spot of the year.
13. Bishop Briggs – “River” – I need at least one lady rocker belting it out like this per annum.
14. Beyoncé – “Formation” – The production is so much more adventurous and more mature from Queen Bey than ever before.
15. BANKS – “Gemini Feed” – Icy and boopy, with attitude to spare.
16. Leonard Cohen – “You Want It Darker” – I’m vociferously nodding along to every declaration Mr. Cohen makes.
17. Kaleo – “Way Down We Go” – That title is sort of like musical onomatopoeia.
18. Highly Suspect – “My Name is Human” – These guys from Cape Cod ought to be rocking stadiums to their core.
19. Beck – “Wow” – Beck’s gonna keep uncovering these strange corners in the aural landscape.
20. Kongos – “Take It From Me” – These South African rockers are totally in control.
21. Tove Lo – “Cool Girl” – Tove keeps freaking up the airwaves.
22. A Tribe Called Quest – “We the People” – A necessary anthem.
23. Sia ft. Sean Paul – “Cheap Thrills” – Bounce along when you’re looking for fun.
24. Ariana Grande – “Into You” – Features the year’s most killer opening line
25. Rihanna ft. Drake – “Work” – One of those great songs that defy natural analysis.

SNL Review November 12, 2016: Dave Chappelle/A Tribe Called Quest

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SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- "Dave Chappelle" Episode 1710 -- Pictured: Host Dave Chappelle during the monologue on November 12, 2016 -- (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC)

This review was originally posted on News Cult in November 2016.

NewsCult Entertainment Editor Jeffrey Malone watches every new episode of Saturday Night Live and then organizes the sketches into the following categories: “Love It” (potentially Best of the Season-worthy), “Keep It” (perfectly adequate), or “Leave It” (in need of a rewrite, to say the least). Then he concludes with assessments of the host and musical guest.

Before I get into my Love It/Keep it/Leave It picks, a word on the Hillary “Hallelujah” Cold Opening, which I have chosen not to categorize. Normally when SNL forgoes a proper sketch in favor of a song for the opening, it is in the wake of a national tragedy. So add one more way in which this election is unprecedented. The song selection memorializes the recently departed Leonard Cohen, rendering this moment less depressing and more bittersweet.

Love It
Dave Chappelle’s Monologue – I guess somebody knew that Trump was going to win. That somebody? SNL’s talent booker. How else to explain how we got Dave Chappelle on the exact week that we needed him? This is not the most laugh-out he has ever been (although Bradley Cooper being the only white person at a BET-sponsored White House party is hilarious enough for the whole set), but that is fine, because he is mainly aiming for truth and strength. A lot of disappointed citizens have been struggling to say something positive while also holding on to their legitimate disappointment. By finding hope while passionately defending enfranchisement, Dave Chappelle hits that multilayered note.

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