the Best Records of August 2016

Frank Ocean – Blonde (I mean really. This was bound to be it. There’s a lot of contrariastry about the overwhelmingly positive response to this record being unmeasured or premature, but those people are, of course, wrong)

Peter Broderick – Partners (Peter Broderick – who it’s probably no longer fair to call “the guy from Horse Feathers” – sat down and really figured out his relationship to John Cage, then wrote this set of solo piano pieces, and we all benefit)

Vince Staples – Prima Donna (It’s probably not too short, given how carefully-assembled it is, but it would make the list if the only thing that came from it had been the two James Blake-assisted cuts)

Thee Oh Sees – A Weird Exits (There’s no way you could call Thee Oh Sees’ records taking a turn for the psych-ier, but it’s not surprising in and of itself. What is surprising is how awesome it actually sounds.)

Russian Circles – Guidance (if the other four records represent new and groundbreaking material for their progenitors, then let’s give some massive credit to an amazing band that does pretty much exactly what they do, only moreso. Guidance is as good a Russian Circles record as there is, without making any material changes to their sound or approach. Yay for consistency!)

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