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Top 10 Albums of 2016

The year is coming to a close, so it’s time to look back at some of the amazing albums we were blessed with this year. 2016 was a cracking year in music, here are 10 of my favourite albums that were released this year. These are in no particular order, don’t make me choose a favourite. Don’t be that cruel.

Christine and the Queens – Chaleur Humaine

This was originally released in France in 2014, but didn’t make it’s way over the English channel, or onto my Spotify, until this year.

Chaleur Humaine is a strong album, lacking any filler, with lyrics intertwining two languages, heavy beats and soft flows. Chaleur Humaine feels appropriate for all times of day, for all moods. I could dance to ‘Tilted’ in a club, listen to ‘Science Fiction’ in the gym, but most of all I jam out to it in the house.

Lead single: ‘Tilted’

Stream on Spotify.

Buy on iTunes.

More after the jump.

Bastille – Wild World

I’ve talked about this album a couple of times now, you can find my full review here.

Wild World encapsulates 2016 in 19 tracks (complete edition). Whether you’re angry at politicians (who isn’t?), wish to avoid the world all together, feel a disconnect with old friends, or have lost someone dear to you, you’ll find something deep in this album. Everyone can find a connection to the words behind the music.

Bastille keep to their unique genreless brand in their sophomore album, with brass horns paired with dark beats and intense acoustics.

Lead single: ‘Good Grief’

Stream on Spotify.

Buy on iTunes.

Lady Gaga – Joanne

I also reviewed Joanne, you can read that here.

Joanne is another evolution of Gaga. We feel influences that harken back to ‘The Fame era’, and sounds we never expected from the once called ‘Queen of Pop’. Now she’s just the Queen of all music, as it doesn’t seem there’s much Gaga can’t do.

This album is quintessentially Gaga, but open and relaxed enough to welcome those who initially thought they disliked her sound.

Lead single: ‘Perfect Illusion’

Stream on Spotify.

Buy on iTunes.

Solange – A Seat at the Table

Solange proves the Knowles family really are a musical threat. With interludes hitting on very real and important topics, and songs hitting us all on deep personal levels, it’s hard to not find yourself lost in her music. It’s impossible to not find yourself feeling fired up for many causes.

This album is an encapsulation of 2016 also, covering the racial issues many face every single day.

Lead single: ‘Cranes in the Sky’

Stream on Spotify.

Buy on iTunes.

Panic! At the Disco – Death of a Bachelor

Panic! now is almost a completely different line up to the Panic! I once knew as an angsty teen, however they’re like a fine wine; they get better with age. Whether it’s a sweet ballad like ‘Death of a Bachelor’, or something that can only be described as a ‘total banger’ like ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’, Panic! nail it. Brendon Urie’s vocals nails all the styles they aim for, creating an addictive album.

Lead single: ‘Hallelujah’

Stream on Spotify.

Buy on iTunes.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu – KPP BEST

Kyary’s eclectic style, unique sounds and seemingly bizarre lyrics all meld together into an immersive pop and synth experience. Kyary is unabashedly herself, and feels no shame in singing about seemingly mundane topics, like false eyelashes, personal blunders like getting wasted on your birthday, and even stories as wild as invading and destroying the planet.

There’s no question as to why kids in Japan love Kyary, she shows how fun doing what you want can be, and that no one can stop you from doing it.

Lead single: This is a greatest hits album, so doesn’t really have one. Have one of my favourites instead.


Stream on Spotify.

Buy on iTunes.

The Weeknd – Starboy

The Weeknd is back with more R+B hits intertwined with some soon to be pop chart toppers. Coupled with an impressive list of collaborators, I’m shook at the Stargirl interlude featuring Lana Del Rey, this album makes for easy repeat listening.

Lead single: ‘Starboy’

Stream on Spotify.

Buy on iTunes.

Banks – The Altar

Banks ethereal voice, paired with pop beats and synth tones make The Altar an experience to listen to. Banks’ dark melodic pop feels like it could be from any era, she’s creating a brand of timeless music any and all can find solace in. The Altar could belong on a different plane of existence, that may make no sense to you until you listen to the album in full. It’s from a whole other world.

Lead single: ‘Fuck with Myself’

Stream on Spotify.

Buy on iTunes.

Sia – This is Acting

Sia’s vocals could be over the sounds of nails on a chalkboard, and it would still be an absolute pleasure to listen to. Sia’s voice is incomparable, she’d still be a fantastic artist without her killer lyrics and composition. ‘House on Fire’ stands out to me lyrically.

Furthermore, the deluxe edition contains ‘The Greatest’, the acclaimed song dedicated to the Orlando Pulse massacre. No one but Sia could have created a song like that, one which empowers you, pays respect and makes you want to dance and cry all at the same time.

Lead single: ‘Alive’

Stream on Spotify.

Buy on iTunes.

Childish Gambino – “Awaken, My Love”

Donald Glover is one of the biggest names on any scene this year, with 2017 bringing him a credit in Spider-Man Homecoming, and a role as Lando Calrissian in the upcoming  Untitled Han Solo movie. 

“Awaken, My Love” feels like a collection of Gambino’s different lyrical and vocal abilities rather than one cohesive album. That being said, it’s a cohesive album too. Gambino does as Gambino does, and no one does it like Gambino.

Lead single: ‘Me and Your Mama’

Stream on Spotify.

Buy on iTunes.

And there’s my top 10. Special shoutout to Frank Ocean’s Blonde, it was a tough choice to relegate that one. It’s fantastic.
What albums did you love this year?


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