NME's Albums of the Year 2016

NME's Albums of the Year 2016

Original Source

50. Bon Iver - 22, A Million

Bon Iver - 22, A Million
September 30, 2016
Art Pop
Critic Score
88
33 reviews
User Score
81
671 reviews
This is a febrile folktronica album which confounds and astounds in equal measure, melting your heart one minute and agitating your eardrums the next, but always baffling and beautiful.
Full Review →

49. Public Access T.V. - Never Enough

Public Access T.V. - Never Enough
September 30, 2016
Indie Rock
Critic Score
76
6 reviews
User Score
74
11 reviews

48. Show Me The Body - Body War

Show Me The Body - Body War
June 17, 2016
Post-Hardcore
Critic Score
80
3 reviews
User Score
83
17 reviews

47. Wild Beasts - Boy King

Wild Beasts - Boy King
August 5, 2016
Art Pop
Critic Score
74
25 reviews
User Score
68
111 reviews

This time they’ve decided to house their fulsome electro-indie randiness in something of a concept album, one that picks apart the idea of masculinity, stripping it down in an attempt to reveal its hidden depths.

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46. Savages - Adore Life

Savages - Adore Life
January 22, 2016
Post-Punk
Critic Score
79
33 reviews
User Score
74
313 reviews
For the most part, this is an album of love songs: not in the trite, wishy-washy sense of the word but as an elemental and all-consuming force.
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45. Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Denial

Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Denial
May 20, 2016
Indie Rock
Critic Score
82
20 reviews
User Score
82
458 reviews
‘Teens Of Denial’ is the work of a precocious talent. Most tracks last over five minutes and the longest comes in at 12. It gives the impression that Toledo is doing what he wants and making the music he wants to hear. You can’t help but love him for it.
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44. The Lemon Twigs - Do Hollywood

The Lemon Twigs - Do Hollywood
October 14, 2016
Baroque Pop
Critic Score
73
12 reviews
User Score
76
28 reviews

43. ANOHNI - Hopelessness

ANOHNI - Hopelessness
May 6, 2016
Art Pop
Critic Score
81
27 reviews
User Score
78
422 reviews
Making relevant, accessible, uncringey protest music in this day and age is such a difficult task that most artists have decided not to bother. Anohni has been brave enough to take that risk, and the most vital album of recent times is the reward.
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42. Whitney - Light Upon The Lake

Whitney - Light Upon The Lake
June 3, 2016
Indie Rock
Critic Score
80
17 reviews
User Score
79
296 reviews
All 10 tracks on ‘Light Upon The Lake’ share a serene, peaceful bond, with Ehrlich’s startling falsetto bringing to mind Bobby Charles and Shuggie Otis, two genial artists whose personalities have always shone through on their records.
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41. Solange - A Seat at the Table

Solange - A Seat at the Table
September 30, 2016
Alternative R&B
Critic Score
86
23 reviews
User Score
83
459 reviews
These are complicated topics to address on record, but ‘A Seat At The Table’ succeeds because it’s musically soothing even when her lyrics are challenging.
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40. Rihanna - ANTI

Rihanna - ANTI
January 27, 2016
R&B
Critic Score
70
28 reviews
User Score
72
463 reviews
It’s not quite the revelatory departure we might have hoped for, and has the rich but unfocused feel of something worked on perhaps too long with obsessive fervour, but it’s also subtle and interesting; an intriguing soundtrack to an era of change.
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39. Green Day - Revolution Radio

Green Day - Revolution Radio
October 7, 2016
Pop Punk
Critic Score
63
23 reviews
User Score
58
88 reviews
Every great downfall deserves a redemption, however, and with ‘Revolution Radio’, Green Day now have theirs.
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38. Slaves - Take Control

Slaves - Take Control
September 30, 2016
Garage Punk
Critic Score
65
10 reviews
User Score
75
9 reviews

37. Soft Hair - Soft Hair

Soft Hair - Soft Hair
October 28, 2016
Psychedelic Pop
Critic Score
69
14 reviews
User Score
71
21 reviews

More than anything else, ‘Soft Hair’ is about intimacy, creativity and a zest for life – two singular musicians liberated by collaboration.

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36. Swet Shop Boys - Cashmere

Swet Shop Boys - Cashmere
October 14, 2016
Hip Hop
Critic Score
78
8 reviews
User Score
75
31 reviews

35. Glass Animals - How to Be a Human Being

Glass Animals - How to Be a Human Being
August 26, 2016
Indietronica
Critic Score
77
14 reviews
User Score
75
133 reviews
On ‘How To Be A Human Being’, the four Oxford dudes have found bigger and broader stomping grounds, stepping out of ‘Zaba’’s intoxicating murk and into the glare of a strange new reality.
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34. Let's Eat Grandma - I, Gemini

Let's Eat Grandma - I, Gemini
June 17, 2016
Ambient Pop
Critic Score
73
14 reviews
User Score
74
35 reviews
While their pop sensibilities are clear, the music is surreal and dense, with guitar, synthesiser, saxophone, glockenspiel, recorder and vocals that lurch from sugary to shouty.
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33. Margo Price - Midwest Farmer's Daughter

Margo Price - Midwest Farmer's Daughter
March 25, 2016
Country
Critic Score
80
10 reviews
User Score
76
72 reviews

32. Kings of Leon - WALLS

Kings of Leon - WALLS
October 14, 2016
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
55
19 reviews
User Score
59
75 reviews

They’ve done what comes naturally – and also what they’re very good at. To put it simply, it’s clear that they like big, possibly-a-bit-cheesy choruses, and so have written 10 of them.

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31. Bastille - Wild World

Bastille - Wild World
September 9, 2016
Synthpop
Critic Score
73
9 reviews
User Score
71
46 reviews

30. Nao - For All We Know

Nao - For All We Know
July 29, 2016
Alternative R&B
Critic Score
79
14 reviews
User Score
76
122 reviews

At an impressively thorough 17 tracks long – including a couple of brief but lovely demos in the shape of iPhone voice memos – Nao’s debut album certainly isn’t shy about setting her out as one of the UK’s brightest new talents.

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29. Kate Tempest - Let Them Eat Chaos

Kate Tempest - Let Them Eat Chaos
October 7, 2016
Hip Hop
Critic Score
84
12 reviews
User Score
78
57 reviews

28. GOAT - Requiem

GOAT - Requiem
October 7, 2016
Psychedelic Rock
Critic Score
74
14 reviews
User Score
73
33 reviews

27. Giggs - Landlord

Giggs - Landlord
August 5, 2016
Hip Hop
Critic Score
70
3 reviews
User Score
70
5 reviews

26. Biffy Clyro - Ellipsis

Biffy Clyro - Ellipsis
July 8, 2016
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
69
11 reviews
User Score
62
36 reviews
The whole feel of the album is fun, shackle-free, uninhibited, but still masterfully crafted. In fact, by opening themselves up Biffy Clyro have captured the spirit of a brand-new band again.
Full Review →

25. Blossoms - Blossoms

Blossoms - Blossoms
August 5, 2016
Indie Rock
Critic Score
66
9 reviews
User Score
70
18 reviews

24. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Skeleton Tree

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Skeleton Tree
September 9, 2016
Art Rock
Critic Score
90
27 reviews
User Score
84
447 reviews

This is not an album for the rest of us; it’s a reflex reaction to a torment most people will thankfully never have to endure. It goes back to that old instinct of self-preservation: just as a shark must keep moving, so an artist must keep working, even in the face of unimaginable loss.

Full Review →

23. Michael Kiwanuka - Love & Hate

Michael Kiwanuka - Love & Hate
July 15, 2016
Soul
Critic Score
83
17 reviews
User Score
79
160 reviews
While Adele, Ellie Goulding and Sam Smith have gone on to be bigger than the Brexit backlash, Kiwanuka has avoided becoming a household name. ‘Love & Hate’ could change all that.
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22. Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool

Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
May 8, 2016
Art Rock
Critic Score
87
34 reviews
User Score
86
1000 reviews

Thom Yorke and co remain reluctant saviours of rock, and 'A Moon Shaped Pool' doesn’t so much grab you by the throat as creep into your house in the night and paint your walls an enigmatic shade of blue.

Full Review →

21. Anderson .Paak - Malibu

Anderson .Paak - Malibu
January 15, 2016
Neo-Soul
Critic Score
79
15 reviews
User Score
81
580 reviews

20. Lady Gaga - Joanne

Lady Gaga - Joanne
October 21, 2016
Pop
Critic Score
70
23 reviews
User Score
68
314 reviews
Gaga Americana is not the Nashville kind, nor the big-beards sort, but a schlocky, thrill-packed theme-park. When Gaga strips herself back, what’s underneath is just a more streamlined strangeness.
Full Review →

19. White Lung - Paradise

White Lung - Paradise
May 6, 2016
Noise Rock
Critic Score
77
20 reviews
User Score
75
159 reviews
Seamlessly bringing together beauty and brutality, ‘Paradise’ is an album which proves that after four decades, punk isn’t just alive and well, but that it still has the power to take your breath away.
Full Review →

18. Tegan and Sara - Love You to Death

Tegan and Sara - Love You to Death
June 3, 2016
Synthpop
Critic Score
76
22 reviews
User Score
68
95 reviews
Eight albums into their career, Canadian twins Tegan and Sara have made their definitive record.
Full Review →

17. Drake - VIEWS

Drake - VIEWS
April 29, 2016
Hip Hop
Critic Score
67
28 reviews
User Score
60
361 reviews
‘Views’ should be a slog. But remarkably, his signature brand of downbeat introspection remains gripping.
Full Review →

16. Danny Brown - Atrocity Exhibition

Danny Brown - Atrocity Exhibition
September 27, 2016
Hip Hop
Critic Score
83
29 reviews
User Score
85
469 reviews

15. Kano - Made in the Manor

Kano - Made in the Manor
March 4, 2016
Grime
Critic Score
67
6 reviews
User Score
72
17 reviews

14. Jamie T - Trick

Jamie T - Trick
September 2, 2016
Neo-Psychedelia
Critic Score
78
11 reviews
User Score
76
45 reviews
The full, colourful spectrum of Jamie is on show here, as broad as it’s ever been.
Full Review →

13. Angel Olsen - My Woman

Angel Olsen - My Woman
September 2, 2016
Indie Rock
Critic Score
86
30 reviews
User Score
82
496 reviews

As with her previous efforts Olsen’s unique vocal steals the show, but this is the singer opening up all the other parts to her personality. The more we see, the more there is to love.

Full Review →

12. Sunflower Bean - Human Ceremony

Sunflower Bean - Human Ceremony
February 5, 2016
Neo-Psychedelia
Critic Score
73
15 reviews
User Score
74
58 reviews
On debut album ‘Human Ceremony’, they fuse Led Zeppelin’s raunchy riffs with the blissful mid-’80s indie of Felt, the best bits of ’80s alt-pop (The Cure) and krautrock (Neu!) and, in front-duo Julia Cumming and Nick Kivlen, have the kind of boy-girl chemistry last seen in the White Stripes.
Full Review →

11. Beyoncé - Lemonade

Beyoncé - Lemonade
April 23, 2016
R&B
Critic Score
89
30 reviews
User Score
80
756 reviews

‘Lemonade’'s first four tracks are a thrillingly honest sucker-punch from a famously guarded pop star.

Full Review →

10. Frank Ocean - Blonde

Frank Ocean - Blonde
August 20, 2016
Alternative R&B
Critic Score
86
33 reviews
User Score
85
782 reviews

9. Chance The Rapper - Coloring Book

Chance The Rapper - Coloring Book
May 13, 2016
Hip Hop
Critic Score
85
22 reviews
User Score
77
530 reviews
Fizzingly fun, this third mixtape sees Chance finessing but certainly not hampering, his freewheeling nature.
Full Review →

8. Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression
March 18, 2016
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
75
28 reviews
User Score
74
182 reviews
Iggy’s vocals and lyrics are astounding – he’s like an angry young man all over again, and is far more gnarly and potent than any of his contemporaries. It’s an intelligent, sassy garage rock record that’s obsessed with two things: sex and death.
Full Review →

7. DIIV - Is the Is Are

DIIV - Is the Is Are
February 5, 2016
Dream Pop
Critic Score
72
25 reviews
User Score
73
286 reviews

‘Is The Is Are’ could be DIIV’s definitive statement. Forget all the baggage, this is just a band in a room, and the noise they make is thrilling.

Full Review →

6. David Bowie - Blackstar

David Bowie - Blackstar
January 8, 2016
Art Rock
Critic Score
85
33 reviews
User Score
85
862 reviews
Warped showtunes, skronking industrial rock, soulful balladeering, airy folk-pop, even hip-hop – it all has a place on this busy, bewildering and occasionally beautiful record.
Full Review →

5. KAYTRANADA - 99.9%

KAYTRANADA - 99.9%
May 6, 2016
Electronic
Critic Score
78
19 reviews
User Score
77
280 reviews

4. Skepta - Konnichiwa

Skepta - Konnichiwa
May 6, 2016
Grime
Critic Score
80
16 reviews
User Score
74
179 reviews
‘Konnichiwa’ is a landmark in British street music, a record good enough to take on the world without having to compromise one inch in the process.
Full Review →

3. Christine and the Queens - Chaleur Humaine

Christine and the Queens - Chaleur Humaine
May 19, 2014
Electropop
Critic Score
85
6 reviews
User Score
78
61 reviews

2. Kanye West - The Life of Pablo

Kanye West - The Life of Pablo
February 14, 2016
Hip Hop
Critic Score
79
32 reviews
User Score
76
917 reviews
More an obscure self-portrait than a Picasso masterpiece, ‘The Life Of Pablo’ retains its author’s status as the most interesting man in music. But he makes it seem like harder work than the effortlessness we’re used to.
Full Review →

1. The 1975 - I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It

The 1975 - I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It
February 26, 2016
Synthpop
Critic Score
71
21 reviews
User Score
63
179 reviews
When a band conquers the charts with a fun but inoffensive debut album, you don’t expect them to return with a 17-track follow-up that tempers pop tunes with swampy post-rock instrumentals and references mental health, religion, addiction, loneliness and fame. But The 1975, whose self-titled debut hit number one in 2013, aren’t concerned with playing it safe.
Full Review →
Original Source: http://www.nme.com/list/nme-best-albums-2016-1869261

MORE 2016 YEAR END LISTS:


MORE YEAR END LISTS FROM NME:


Check out our 2016 Year End Summary.