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If this year’s mix of my favorites is any guide, 2016 was a good year for mainstream music. And I think that’s fair: Beyoncé’s incredible concept album signaled a shift in how high profile artists approach their audience as they move from roles as ‘top selling’ artists towards ‘most streamed’ artists whose exclusive content could make waves amongst the competition between streaming sites. So the music industry is still looking at music as ‘content,’ but at least there is an acknowledgement that art will draw people, where previously the industry looked to catchy hooks grabbing attention through repetitive play.
I’m happy with what I heard. Here are some of my favorites: