Pitchfork's 20 Best Pop and R&B Albums of 2016

Pitchfork's 20 Best Pop and R&B Albums of 2016

Original Source

Anderson .Paak - Malibu

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

This is powerful art, not only for people of color, but for everyone who exists beyond societal constraints. It’s for those who’ve been told they don’t quite fit, those viewed through a different lens because of their circumstances.

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Ariana Grande - Dangerous Woman

Ariana Grande - Dangerous Woman
May 20, 2016
Pop
Critic Score
72
11 reviews
User Score
74
269 reviews

As Minaj says on “Side to Side,” “young Ariana run pop.” This is indeed evident on Dangerous Woman, even if the results are uneven at times.

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Beyoncé - Lemonade

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

Lemonade is a stunning album, one that sees her exploring sounds she never has before. It also voices a rarely seen concept, that of the album-length ode to infidelity.

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Blood Orange - Freetown Sound

Blood Orange - Freetown Sound
June 27, 2016
Alternative R&B
Critic Score
81
27 reviews
User Score
81
320 reviews

Dev Hynes' third album as Blood Orange is a searing and soothing personal document, striking the same resonant chords as Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly or D’Angelo’s Black Messiah.

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Carly Rae Jepsen - EMOTION Side B

Carly Rae Jepsen - EMOTION Side B
August 26, 2016
Dance Pop
Critic Score
75
7 reviews
User Score
78
172 reviews

Side B is less a collection of b-sides than it is a continuation of last year's full-length smash, heart-swelling and heart-draining pop that exists in worlds just before or after love. 

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Chairlift - Moth

Chairlift - Moth
January 22, 2016
Synthpop
Critic Score
76
22 reviews
User Score
73
236 reviews

The songs on Moth feel related and extroverted, pulled together by a common purpose. They have a charming asymmetry, they drift in sometimes oblique and irregular patterns. This is pop that wants to show you what it’s made of.

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Dawn Richard - Redemption

Dawn Richard - Redemption
November 18, 2016
Alternative R&B
Critic Score
77
9 reviews
User Score
74
35 reviews

dvsn - Sept. 5th

dvsn - Sept. 5th
April 1, 2016
Alternative R&B
Critic Score
74
6 reviews
User Score
74
157 reviews
This group is wise and capable enough to eschew nearly every shortcut of today's personality-first music culture and dial into the silence between the noise. It's what confidence sounds like.
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Frank Ocean - Blonde

Frank Ocean - Blonde
August 20, 2016
Alternative R&B
Critic Score
86
33 reviews
User Score
85
783 reviews
Frank is 28 now, and his voice has grown stronger and more dexterous, while some of his tales have become more abstract.
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James Blake - The Colour in Anything

James Blake - The Colour in Anything
May 6, 2016
Alternative R&B
Critic Score
79
25 reviews
User Score
78
496 reviews

In the best way possible, in no way shape or form is The Colour in Anything a rapid departure or reversal of what Blake does well. He still paints in deep blues and greys. His production is still unparalleled, spacious, and impossibly textured. His voice is still chilly and metallic, but maintains all its choir boy charm. His music is still towering and menacingly sad.

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Jamila Woods - HEAVN

Jamila Woods - HEAVN
July 7, 2016
Alternative R&B
Critic Score
83
4 reviews
User Score
80
61 reviews
With the assistance of fellow Chicagoans Chance the Rapper, Saba, and Kweku Collins, R&B artist Jamila Woods makes vital, resonant protest music that sounds like a children’s playground.
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Jessy Lanza - Oh No

Jessy Lanza - Oh No
May 13, 2016
Alternative R&B
Critic Score
79
19 reviews
User Score
76
135 reviews

Oh No is a gorgeous and deadly pop music manifesto that proves yet again the sad girls are not vulnerable and silent subjects.

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KAYTRANADA - 99.9%

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

The genre-defying stew of funk, soul, R&B, and beat and dance music that Kaytranada has cooked up on 99.9% nods back at that heritage of percussion-driven synthesis.

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King - We Are King

King - We Are King
February 5, 2016
R&B
Critic Score
80
9 reviews
User Score
74
75 reviews

KING harkens back to a time when there were clearer distinctions between R&B, pop, and hip-hop, when acts like Jodeci and SWV ruled the airwaves, and the music was lighter and more sensuous. We Are KING recalls the best of that era without completely rehashing it.

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Maxwell - blackSUMMERS'night

Maxwell - blackSUMMERS'night
July 1, 2016
Neo-Soul
Critic Score
82
10 reviews
User Score
77
100 reviews

With forever-sophisticated lyrics sung in his still-creamy voice over a band so tight they sound loose, blackSUMMERS’night is probably Maxwell’s most cohesive effort since his sublime (critics panned it; they were wrong) sophomore album, Embrya—and the first since then with no skippable tracks.

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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

Her music inhabits the arena of high-stakes R&B, where women’s voices are dominant, acrobatic, and impossible for unsympathetic listeners to tune out.

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NxWorries - Yes Lawd!

NxWorries - Yes Lawd!
October 21, 2016
Neo-Soul
Critic Score
79
17 reviews
User Score
76
119 reviews
It’s another major accomplishment in .Paak’s continued rise.
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Olga Bell - Tempo

Olga Bell - Tempo
May 27, 2016
Glitch Pop
Critic Score
77
5 reviews
User Score
73
35 reviews
The results resemble dance music as glimpsed through a funhouse mirror: strangely distorted, sometimes goofy, and deeply pleasing on a simple, almost childlike level.
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Rihanna - ANTI

Rihanna - ANTI
January 27, 2016
R&B
Critic Score
70
28 reviews
User Score
72
462 reviews

ANTI is a rich and conflicted pop record, at its most interesting when it’s at its most idiosyncratic. It’s not crammed with bloodthirsty, dance-oriented jams and feels distinctly smaller, more inward-facing than her previous records, as if it were intended as a kind of spiritual stock-taking, a moment of reckoning for both Rihanna and her fans.

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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
460 reviews
Even though it’s been out less than a week, it already seems like a document of historical significance, not just for its formidable musical achievements but for the way it encapsulates black cultural and social history with such richness, generosity, and truth.
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Original Source: http://pitchfork.com/features/lists-and-guides/9988-the-20-best-pop-and-rb-albums-of-2016/

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