Doing It in Lagos: Boogie, Pop, & Disco in 1980s Nigeria. "Let's do more music," Godfrey Odili suggests on one of the 20 dance-floor workouts on this energized, sung-mostly-in-English collection, which follows the success of the '80s reissues of Afro-beat synth-pop star William Onyeabor. Fabulous stuff. On Soundway Records.
Randy Newman Songbook. This three-volume set spans the career of the mordant Los Angeles songwriter and film composer, with stripped-down solo piano versions of satiric and sorrowful masterworks such as "Political Science," "Baltimore," and "Davy the Fat Boy." On Nonesuch Records.
Mix Picks: Sharon Jones, 'Manchester by the Sea' soundtrack, Matisyahu, Killiam Shakespeare, 'Jingle Barack'
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, "Please Come Home for Christmas." A touching Claymation video completed before the death last month of the dynamic, 60-year-old singer, from last year's Christmas album, It's a Holiday Soul Party. Directed by Alex Howard and David Hatter, the clip is made out of 3,200 iPhone photos. Watch here: youtube.com/watch?v=uuuK54ItvGY.
Christmas music sells, and not only in the sense that hearing Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime" or Brenda Lee's "Jingle Bell Rock" for the trillionth time allegedly puts one in the mood to whip out a credit card and participate in the seasonal shopping frenzy.
The songs on this best of 2016 playlist are not ranked or limited to big pop hits. You will find some of those here, from No. 1 albums by Drake, Rihanna, and Solange. But this 2016 musical survey is meant to be holistic, not hierarchical. It's put together to be heard as a whole - either in order or via shuffle - on a streaming Spotify playlist at philly.com/inthemix.
Dan DeLuca is an Inquirer pop music critic. But his "In the Mix" column in the Weekend section ventures further afield, into books, movies, TV, the Internet, graphic novels and anything you might call "popular culture."