2016 In Music

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My run down of the best albums and songs released during 2016.

Top 20 Albums of 2016.

  1. Anohni, Hopelessness. a1895762218_10
  2. David Bowie, Blackstar.david-bowie-blackstar-2016-billboard-1000
  3. Solange, A Seat at the Table. solange_-_a_seat_at_the_table
  4. Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam, I Had a Dream That You Were Mine. hr-cover
  5. Lionlimb, Shoo.shoo
  6. A Tribe Called Quest, We Got It from Here…Thank You 4 Your Service.a-tribe-called-quest-we-got-it-from-here-thank-you-4-your-service-album-cover-art
  7. Radiohead, A Moon Shaped Pool.088055831
  8. Kanye West, The Life of Pablo.the_life_of_pablo_alternate
  9. Beyonce, Lemonade.beyonce_-_lemonade_official_album_cover
  10. Car Seat Headrest, Teens of Denial.car-seat-headrest-teens-of-denial-compressed
  11. Christine and the Queens, Chaleur Humaine. christine-the-queens-chaleur-humaine-cd
  12. Frank Ocean, Blonde.5f06f7f6
  13. Kendrick Lamar, Untitled Unmastered.319b28a2dff3125ed22e67b6f65056bb971d0259
  14. Bon Iver, 22, A Million.985e010a
  15. Skepta, Konnichiwa.0008723891_10
  16. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Skeleton Tree.packshot1-768x768
  17. Michael Kiwanuka, Love & Hatedisplay
  18. Chance the Rapper, Colouring Book. chance_3
  19. NZCA Lines, Infinite Summer. Basic RGB
  20. Ra Ra Riot, Need Your Light.d4e43172

Top 20 Songs of 2016:

  1. David Bowie, Lazarus http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-JqH1M4Ya8
  2. Wild Beasts, Get My Bang. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nkdZhFzglA
  3. Solange, Cranes in the Sky.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0qrinhNnOM
  4. Anohni, Drone Bomb Me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUEoic7ro_o
  5. Anderson .Paak, Am I Wrong?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvPeJLcK2Lk
  6. Kanye West, Ultralight Beam.maxresdefault
  7. Radiohead, True Love Waits.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6HMW7h5jGY
  8. Lionlimb, Turnstile.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpsXdDcVcrA
  9. MØ, Drum.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cO43nfWxMA
  10. Drake, One Dance.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUz7M0FQNwY
  11. The Weeknd feat. Daft Punk, Starboy.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34Na4j8AVgA
  12. The Amazons, In My Mind.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEBkSFvxNOM
  13. Rat Boy, Lovers Law.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZBcdBP1bdg
  14. Rihanna feat. Drake, Work. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HL1UzIK-flA
  15. Whyte Horses, La Couleur Originalle.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MRS4XT_oK0
  16. Childish Gambino, Redbone. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kp7eSUU9oy8
  17. The xx, On Hold.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_oA9UmRd4I
  18. Kanye West, Real Friends. i1qzruz6mpjmwt4pzdpn
  19. Teleman, Düsseldorf.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QN7YA4FO7TY
  20. Warpaint, So Good. 

 

Can Ed Balls waltz his way back into frontline politics?

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When then Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls lost his House of Commons seat in the 2015 General Election, most thought the man regularly described as the most unpopular politician in Britain would soon fade from the public memory. Instead, Balls has reinvented himself with his ongoing stint on Strictly Come Dancing, and his appearance earlier in the year on a special edition of The Great British Bake Off.

These endeavours have seemingly rehabilitated his image with the public to such a great extent that many have talked about a return to frontline politics for him (something which most though impossible after his general election loss), perhaps even as Leader of the Labour Party following the inevitable crashing and burning of Jeremy Corbyn at the next general election.

The huge change that Balls’ public image has undergone by appearing on perhaps the two most popular television programmes in the UK has underlined a different side to the politician who was once perceived simply to be Gordon Brown’s ‘henchman’ and typically took the public flack for government mistakes. Instead, by showcasing his terrible dancing and actually quite impressive baking, Ed Balls has managed to show a whole different side of his personality to the public, and one which politicians typically struggle with — he has shown that he is actually human too.

In an age when public dissatisfaction with machine-washed career politicians has reached a new peak, underlined by June’s vote to leave the European Union and Donald Trump’s ascension to the Presidency in the United States, Balls has been able to paint himself in a different light to the legions of career politicians to whom the public seem to be taking such a dislike.

In addition, the publicity that can be gained from appearing on these programmes far outweighs the publicity that politicians can gain by appearing on traditional political television programmes. Strictly Come Dancing ordinarily gets around eleven million viewers every week, whilst The Great British Bake Off viewer count was also always well into the millions. Compare this with the number of people who tune into traditional political programme such as Question Time and Newsnight. The publicity Balls receives nowadays far dwarfs what his compatriots who retained their seats will receive on a daily basis. Plus, he has the bonus of being able to sit out this Parliament and avoid any real association with the abortive party leadership of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell. All in all, a pretty big bonus.

I am pretty sure, that were Ed Balls keen to return to frontline politics and stand for Parliament again in the near future, there wouldn’t be many who would stand in the way. With his time spent making a fool of himself on television having ingratiated himself with the general public, one would except that many would be far more receptive to his candidacy.

Who knows, this stint on television could be first step on the way to Number 10? After all, they just elected a reality-television star in America…