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Dance Music

Are You Listening? 2016 in Music: Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Bright Light Bright Light, David Bowie, Melanie C, Hikaru Utada, Beyoncé and more

Here are my highlights in popular music from 2016. It includes records by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Bright Light Bright Light, David Bowie, Melanie C, Hikaru Utada, Beyoncé, and many more!

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Making Music: An Overview of Sophie Ellis-Bextor

Nineteen years removed from Theaudience, Bextor's catalog runs six solo albums deep with this year's 'Familia' as proof of her power. Bextor's grasp of pop music shows an awareness that the genre isn't solely beholden to four-on-the-floor ideas; this knowledge has led her to outfox predecessors and lap contemporaries. This overview acts as an introduction to one of the brightest voices in contemporary pop.

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Music Review: Fela Kuti – ‘Box Set 3’ (Curated by Brian Eno)

After countless listens, I feel as if I both know Fela Kuti more than I ever knew any other African artist before, and also how little I appreciated the struggles and injustices that take place across the world in other people’s hometowns or communities. It takes a strong light to shine down on some of the darkest days in the shadow. Thank god Fela Kuti burned as bright as he did for our awareness.

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Music Review: Frank Zappa – ‘ZAPPAtite: Frank Zappa’s Tastiest Tracks’

From the sonic exuberance of “Dancin’ Fool” and “Tell Me You Love Me” to the funky dissonance of “You Are What You Is” and “Joe’s Garage” to the bathroom-humor excellence of “Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow” and “Titties and Beer,” this album will give you just as much of a “taste” for Frank Zappa’s music as his son’s "Zappa Plays Zappa" did for me some eight years ago.

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