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40 That the Grammy Awards Forgot: 2016’s Best Albums From Around the World

The Huffington Post

Beyoncé or Adele? That was the message from this year’s Grammy Awards, and the debate they’d like us to continue until next year’s ceremony. While “25” sold millions, it was far from the best album of the year.

2016 will be remembered for its political earthquakes and for the tragic deaths of musical giants including David Bowie, Prince, George Michael, Leonard Cohen, Sharon Jones, Maurice White, Glenn Frey, and Esma Redzepova, several of whom shared their final thoughts and dreams for eternity in their last albums. Similar messages of hope and desperation can be found in magnificent recordings made in African prisons and in Syrian refugee camps. The plight of refugees and migrants have shaped the political climates on both sides of the Atlantic, their music and demanding stories can be found throughout this global list of the best recordings of 2016:

8. Calypso Rose: Far From Home (Because) (Trinidad & Tobago)

Simply put, this is one of the greatest albums in the history of Calypso music. Linda McCartha Monica Sandy-Lewis (aka Calypso Rose) was born in 1940, and began composing at the age of 15. Calypso has a history as an oral “sung newspaper” and Calypso Rose has used this platform to highlight countless issues including the exploitation of domestic servants. For her latest album Far From Home, she teamed up with producing heavyweights Ivan Duran and Manu Chao, and the result is magical: an acoustic masterpiece led by the undisputed Queen of Calypso’s poignant and timeless musical storytelling, backed with layers of vocals, intricate guitar work, and a brass section from the acclaimed Kobo Town.

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What does this say about the potential of calypso which many of our music entrepreneurs have already written off?

Can this breathe new life and confidence into this art-form?


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