Slant Magazine's 25 Best Albums of 2016

Slant Magazine's 25 Best Albums of 2016

Original Source

25. Jenny Hval - Blood Bitch

Jenny Hval - Blood Bitch
September 30, 2016
Art Pop
Critic Score
82
20 reviews
User Score
77
181 reviews
An intimate existential chronicle of imprisonment and liberation, its visceral, blood-smeared intensity works off a steady heartbeat of acute artistic ferment, the roiling passion underlying Hval's powerful declaration of self.
Full Review →

24. Blood Orange - Freetown Sound

Blood Orange - Freetown Sound
June 27, 2016
Alternative R&B
Critic Score
81
27 reviews
User Score
80
321 reviews

Freetown Sound certainly has the sprawl, hyperactivity, and potential of a personal masterwork, but its master is more conduit and conductor than confessor.

Full Review →

23. 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
460 reviews

22. Gwen Stefani - This Is What The Truth Feels Like

Gwen Stefani - This Is What The Truth Feels Like
March 18, 2016
Electropop
Critic Score
56
14 reviews
User Score
59
108 reviews

It's easy to chastise aging pop stars for chasing trends or trying to recapture past glories, but those efforts here are thrown into sharp relief by the maturity of the album's first half. 

Full Review →

21. Big Black Delta - Trágame Tierra

Big Black Delta - Trágame Tierra
April 22, 2016
Electronic
Critic Score
59
4 reviews
User Score
53
3 reviews

20. Allen Toussaint - American Tunes

Allen Toussaint - American Tunes
June 10, 2016
Funk
Critic Score
74
7 reviews
User Score
74
5 reviews

19. Drive-By Truckers - American Band

Drive-By Truckers - American Band
September 30, 2016
Alt-Country
Critic Score
85
13 reviews
User Score
74
55 reviews
Eloquently plainspoken as ever about the pressing issues we face as a nation, they've made an album multiple decades into their career that establishes them as more directly relevant than ever.
Full Review →

18. Tove Lo - Lady Wood

Tove Lo - Lady Wood
October 28, 2016
Electropop
Critic Score
72
14 reviews
User Score
67
116 reviews

Lady Wood is admirably lean and tightly focused, and though it doesn’t boast confessionals on the order of Like a Prayer‘s, it offers a peek inside the psyche of a smart, burgeoning young star.

Full Review →

17. 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

16. Julianna Barwick - Will

Julianna Barwick - Will
May 6, 2016
Ambient Pop
Critic Score
78
19 reviews
User Score
76
108 reviews

It's the sound an artist, whose mysterious and celebrated process has ironically created theatrical and curated work to this point, finally achieving subtlety.

Full Review →

15. Sturgill Simpson - A Sailor's Guide to Earth

Sturgill Simpson - A Sailor's Guide to Earth
April 15, 2016
Alt-Country
Critic Score
83
16 reviews
User Score
79
232 reviews

Even beyond the chances Simpson takes, A Sailor's Guide to Earth remains a sonically stunning album.

Full Review →

14. Garbage - Strange Little Birds

Garbage - Strange Little Birds
June 10, 2016
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
74
17 reviews
User Score
72
61 reviews

Strange Little Birds emerges as the band's most compelling, adventurous album in 15 years.

Full Review →

13. 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
463 reviews

12. Lucinda Williams - The Ghosts of Highway 20

Lucinda Williams - The Ghosts of Highway 20
February 5, 2016
Americana
Critic Score
81
14 reviews
User Score
74
58 reviews
More than anything else, and almost ironically, Williams's location-specific concept album serves as a reminder that her best songs need not inhabit one specific place, geographically or emotionally.
Full Review →

11. Lambchop - FLOTUS

Lambchop - FLOTUS
November 4, 2016
Indietronica
Critic Score
81
20 reviews
User Score
72
67 reviews

10. Britney Spears - Glory

Britney Spears - Glory
August 26, 2016
Pop
Critic Score
68
11 reviews
User Score
63
151 reviews

By eschewing the harsh, dubstep-influenced EDM of her past two albums and embracing subtler pop and R&B sounds, Britney's made her most daring, mature album in years.

Full Review →

9. Leonard Cohen - You Want It Darker

Leonard Cohen - You Want It Darker
October 21, 2016
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
87
19 reviews
User Score
82
220 reviews

The culmination of 50 years of moody, often melancholic music, You Want It Darker stands out as the musical equivalent thereof, a wry reckoning of a lifetime's worth of damaged relationships, upheld vows, and broken promises from pop's preeminent emotional accountant.

Full Review →

8. Chance The Rapper - Coloring Book

Chance The Rapper - Coloring Book
May 13, 2016
Hip Hop
Critic Score
85
22 reviews
User Score
77
532 reviews

7. 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
451 reviews

Cave and the Bad Seeds have been responsible for a lot of great albums, but nothing they've ever released matches Skeleton Tree's sonic cohesion, consistent front-to-back quality, or gut-level resonance.

Full Review →

6. Frank Ocean - Blonde

Frank Ocean - Blonde
August 20, 2016
Alternative R&B
Critic Score
86
33 reviews
User Score
85
788 reviews
While Ocean's previous album was about currency of the monetary and interpersonal sort ... this one digs inward to examine issues of identity and personality in the shadow of growing recognition.
Full Review →

5. David Bowie - Blackstar

David Bowie - Blackstar
January 8, 2016
Art Rock
Critic Score
85
33 reviews
User Score
85
869 reviews

Blackstar is defiantly a thing of its own, allowing Bowie to revisit his career-spanning, paradoxical fears—either that his life is ending imminently, or that it never will—with fascinating new sounds.

Full Review →

4. A Tribe Called Quest - We got it from Here... Thank You 4 Your service

A Tribe Called Quest - We got it from Here... Thank You 4 Your service
November 11, 2016
Hip Hop
Critic Score
86
23 reviews
User Score
84
395 reviews

3. Beyoncé - Lemonade

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

Lemonade, is her most lyrically and thematically coherent effort to date, taking a concept—the breakup album—as old as the LP itself, and reinventing it in both presentation and narrative.

Full Review →

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
921 reviews
Kanye is the rare artist who can turn a cry for attention into something more: a distillation of his artistic output to date that’s quintessentially Kanye, whether you like him or not.
Full Review →

1. Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool

Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
May 8, 2016
Art Rock
Critic Score
87
34 reviews
User Score
86
1004 reviews

While A Moon Shaped Pool offers little in the way of new sonic territory, its newly naked and incisive portrayal of emotional vulnerability remains a resoundingly major achievement.

Full Review →
Original Source: http://www.slantmagazine.com/features/article/the-25-best-albums-of-2016

MORE 2016 YEAR END LISTS:


MORE YEAR END LISTS FROM SLANT MAGAZINE:


Check out our 2016 Year End Summary.