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Iris North's Top Rock Albums Of 2016

David Bowie Iggy Pop The Kills Dandy Warhols

Rock royalty deaths easily earned the "least favorite musical moments of 2016" award. Despite the loss of talented artists, the music that came into being in 2016 had quite a few highlights. Here are ten enjoyable, rock-oriented albums, arranged chronologically, ranging from contemporary radio pop to underground hardcore thrash.

David Bowie - Blackstar

Jan. 8, 2016: The year's first entry is David Bowie's immaculate and stunning finale, "Blackstar". An eclectic mix of art rock, modern jazz, and honest pop, the seven songs (five new, two re-recorded) provide a solemn glimpse into the perspective of someone facing their final days on Earth. "Blackstar" may have been Bowie's final recording before his death, but his estate has fortunately planned that it will not be the last for this immortal, genre defining artist.

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Kate Moss And Jamie Hince Have 'Quietly' Settled Divorce

Kate Moss Jamie Hince The Kills

Kate Moss and The Kills frontman Jamie Hince are reportedly now divorced, after quietly reaching a settlement some months ago.

The couple, who were married for four years, separated last year, but didn't formally file for divorce until earlier this year.

Kate Moss and Jamie HinceKate Moss and Jamie Hince are said to be officially divorced

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The Kills - Ash & Ice Album Review

"Ash & Ice" is the fifth studio album by The Kills, a duo who got its start as a feral, garage punk rock act, riffing alongside a drum machine. This album, the band's first in five years, almost didn't happen though, as guitarist Jamie Hince endured six surgeries on his arm, leaving him unable to play guitar for a while. He thankfully recovered, relearned, and prevailed, and "Ash & Ice" may have some 'fight song' victorious spirit and hard toil embedded.

The Kills - Ash & Ice Album Review

The duo's sound has morphed, matured, and mellowed, and the 13-track disc seems to be its most sophisticated offering to date. Due to the unchanging, mechanical drum machine, programmed samples, and synth programming, the music's dynamic fortunately stays human, the shared responsibility of Hince and vocalist Alison Mosshart. Broad appeal envelopes a feeling of the now, the here today, the immediacy of the listen and the ephemeral.

Produced by three and mixed by a small army of nine, with that many proverbial cooks in the kitchen, the music naturally shares traits with contemporary "radio" pop. "Doing It To Death", "Days Of Why and How", and "Let It Drop" all share a nightclub theme or a dance music, mass-appeal, radio friendly direction, lending some current direction or modern soul and groove to the album. The album's rock influence is more subtle, but present: blues-rooted guitar peppers "Hum For Your Buzz" and "Siberian Nights". "Black Tar" and "Echo Home" retain the a relaxed tempo and feel, and feature some sparse, rock-oriented guitar, with effects, like reverb, used sparingly. Album closer "Whirling Eye" is the most uptempo and upbeat song.

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Taylor Swift Stars In The New Promo For The Grammys

Taylor Swift Harry Styles Snoop Dogg The Kills Black Keys Rihanna

The first promotional clip for the upcoming Grammy Awards has been released via ETOnline, with country-pop starlet Taylor Swift taking a staring role in the first look at the music awards.

Only a minute long, the promo doesn't show much, but it is the multi-Grammy winning artist who shows her self most prominently in the clip featuring Swift alongside some new and some established talent. With her includes Snoop Lion (formerly Dogg) and The Kills with some emerging artists, like Grace Potter, Kishi Bashi and Dam-Funk.

The new promo is part of three unlinked trailers, with Rihanna staring in one and The Black Keys in the third, titled 'Soundcheck.' The mini-clips were commissioned by The Recording Academy under the Twitter-friendly title #TheWorldIsListening, which seeks to encourage and highlight burgeoning musical talent - and the Grammys now as well. On top of this, the organisation has also set up a page on SoundCloud giving people a chance to upload their own music, whilst presided over by a crack panel featuring members of Linkin Park, RZA, and Snoop.

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The Kills - Future Starts Slow

The Kills have released their new single 'Future Starts Slow', from their fourth album 'Blood Pressures', which came out in April 2011 on Domino Records. Future Starts Slow is also the second single from the album, following 'Satellite'.

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The Kills - Satellite

Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince make a return with their anticipated fourth studio album 'Blood Presure' which is set for release on 4th April 2011 through Domino Records, this is the follow-up to their critically acclaimed third album, 'Midnight Boom'.

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The Kills, Black Balloon EP Review

Review of The Kills EP Black Balloon released through Domino Records on 23/02/09.

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The Kills, Nottingham Rescue Rooms Live Review

Review of The Kills and XX Teens live at Nottingham Rescue Rooms on Monday 10th November 2008.

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