There is no doubt now. 2016 will be remembered as the year the music died. Bowie. Lemmy. Prince. Okay, Glen Frey, too.

Of course, rock is dinosaur music these days, and we know what happened to the dinosaurs . . . they turned into (Imagine) Dragons. Good grief. Maybe death is preferable.

But that doesn't mean I can't be bummed. And anyway, Prince was only 12 years older than me. Or, to look at it another way, he was only nine years older than Kurt Cobain. Perhaps that fact will put his musical accomplishments into better perspective. If Prince had died after Sign 'O' the Times or even the symbol album, we're talking about a cataclysm in the culture. Instead, he had the bad taste to grow up (a bit) and fade from the popular consciousness.

Damn. Gone way too soon.


Because Jon and Matt say so

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Don't forget the umlauts!

Sometimes the whole collage thing gets a little precious. Most of the time, actually. But Bür Gür (Corbin Clarke and Makan Negahban) keeps its sound streamlined and simple, leaving addictively trippy songs in its wake.

Bür Gür
Have You Lost Your Faith in God?
(New Los Angeles)
The number of moving parts here is astonishing, and yet each piece has the feel of a lullaby. The sort of uncomplicated tunes that might soothe the soul. I'm still trying to wrap my head around this paradox. Luckily, my ears have moved on. Because there's so much to hear.

Yes, I know, the name of the band should have warned me. The creative ferment is impressive, but this is fun music, first and foremost. If you can't find a smile after a few seconds, then you should consider getting screened for depression.

I'm sorry. My descriptions have been far too vague. These songs feature a simple, unifying, midtempo beat, an assortment of sounds and instrumentation and vocals that tend toward the sing-songy. The sort of sound that ought to annoy--except that it's way too charming.

Maybe this is simply happy music for music critics. I have to cop that much. But I'm thinking Bür Gür has a lot more appeal than that. There's too much joy for just a few ears.