AOTY 2017
Pretty Much Amazing's 60 Best Albums of 2016

Pretty Much Amazing's 60 Best Albums of 2016

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60. The Field - The Follower

The Field - The Follower
April 1, 2016
Critic Score
76
12 reviews

59. White Lung - Paradise

May 6, 2016
Critic Score
77
20 reviews
While this sort of economic chords and vocal/guitar/bass/drum hardcore punk rock record is easy to come by, what’s rarer is when its aggression—not necessarily just in the vocals and lyrics—comes from someplace genuine.

57. G.L.O.S.S. - Trans Day of Revenge

June 13, 2016
Critic Score
83
2 reviews

56. Deftones - Gore

April 8, 2016
Critic Score
76
19 reviews

Gore is a challenging, fluid, and wholly engrossing album from a band who, 28 years after their inception, should by all accounts be past their prime. But Gore ferociously asserts that Deftones haven’t lost any of their creative spark.

55. Roosevelt - Roosevelt

Roosevelt - Roosevelt
August 19, 2016
Critic Score
72
10 reviews

It’s pop music that sticks with you. If the genre’s most assailable characteristics are its fleeting shelf life and surface-level affectations, Roosevelt proves that they don’t necessarily have to be.

54. Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam - I Had A Dream That You Were Mine

September 23, 2016
Critic Score
80
19 reviews
What better indie rock duo could we get than this?

53. Frank Ocean - Endless

August 19, 2016
Critic Score
70
12 reviews

Like Wilson before him, Ocean has delivered a non-commercial pop curio that now and then slows down to focus on an idea long enough to form a “complete” song, or not.

52. dvsn - Sept. 5th

April 1, 2016
Critic Score
74
6 reviews

Despite some glaring issues, Sept. 5th manages to stay listenable, and offers occasional glimpses of genuine inspiration. 

50. Olga Bell - Tempo

Olga Bell - Tempo
May 27, 2016
Critic Score
77
5 reviews

49. Lady Gaga - Joanne

October 21, 2016
Critic Score
69
24 reviews
By abandoning the dance club for the dive bar, she may have tossed aside her status as a pop star once and for all. But Gaga has emerged as something better and truer. Stefani Germanotta is a theatrical rock goddess. And, baby, she was born that way.

47. Paul Simon - Stranger to Stranger

June 3, 2016
Critic Score
79
17 reviews
Simon’s bemused yet quietly furious slyness is an exemplar to us all.

45. Tim Hecker - Love Streams

April 8, 2016
Critic Score
79
20 reviews

I found Love Streams less fulfilling than most of Hecker’s recent output. But fans with a high stress tolerance and an inclination towards the noisier side of ambient will likely find plenty to love about this record.

42. S U R V I V E - RR7349

September 30, 2016
Critic Score
77
12 reviews

41. PJ Harvey - The Hope Six Demolition Project

April 15, 2016
Critic Score
76
32 reviews

For those seeking guidance with regard to broken governments, armed conflict, and debilitating poverty—maybe reach for a book, not a pop album. If it’s solace you’re after, The Hope Six Demolition Project has a few remarkable tunes you might want to hear.

39. Pinegrove - Cardinal

February 12, 2016
Critic Score
80
7 reviews

While it never really strives for inventiveness, Cardinal is steeped in honesty so raw and delivered so loosely that it almost feels like a private show that your friends would put on in your basement. There’s no flash here, just a finely crafted batch of searingly personal indie rock songs.

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

November 11, 2016
Critic Score
86
23 reviews
All told, there’s more flaws here than there is greatness. But with each of Tribe’s albums up until now, it’s pointless to dissect it track by track when really, it should be taken as one, singular groove (made up of smaller grooves). And the question remains the same: can you kick it?

37. Underworld - Barbara Barbara, we face a shining future

March 18, 2016
Critic Score
78
19 reviews

Underworld have made some of their most vital work without compromising any of the aspects of their sound that a modern audience might scan as dated.

36. Preoccupations - Preoccupations

September 16, 2016
Critic Score
79
19 reviews
Whereas bands like Protomartyr and Savages tend to operate in shades of grey, Preoccupations speaks in a monochromatic tongue, which, in addition to translating to more color, also means albums that are not as wearying.

35. Chairlift - Moth

January 22, 2016
Critic Score
76
22 reviews

Moth is a breezy, immensely enjoyable pop record that provides just the amount of pep that you’ll need to make it through the winter. It makes a very upbeat soundtrack to cleaning the snow off your car.

34. HINDS - Leave Me Alone

January 8, 2016
Critic Score
76
26 reviews

Two words come to mind not a minute into Leave Me Alone—“effortless” and “simple”. If I’m pressed for a couple more, they’d be “warm” and “sloppy”.

33. Nicolas Jaar - Sirens

September 30, 2016
Critic Score
79
15 reviews

This is brave stuff, even if it is masked in poetry. For someone who has concealed himself behind other monikers and never truly followed up his beloved Space is Only Noise until now, this is a surprising record.

32. De La Soul - and the Anonymous Nobody...

August 26, 2016
Critic Score
72
23 reviews

It’s their most musically ambitious record ever and their best since Buhloone Mind State way back in ’93, eclectic with the beats and gnomic with the wit, and it serves as a heartening rejoinder to the emotional and intellectual thinness of most of even the best current hip-hop.

31. Mitski - Puberty 2

June 17, 2016
Critic Score
86
24 reviews
As confessional as singer/songwriters; as confrontational as punk. People have brought up St. Vincent in comparison because both are women and both wield guitars (sometimes noisily), but Annie Clark has never been this naked and poseless.

30. Deakin - Sleep Cycle

April 8, 2016
Critic Score
80
9 reviews

What he’s presented us with, essentially, is the skeleton of Animal Collective’s fleeting creativity, stripped down to its roots, revealing that even at its rawest, purest form the music still has an instinctive grasp of sincere emotion and beauty.

29. Aphex Twin - Cheetah

July 8, 2016
Critic Score
73
11 reviews

If you’re looking for something groundbreaking, you’re probably going to be disappointed, but this is still one of 2016’s best electronic releases, and a worthy addition to the Aphex Twin canon.

28. Swans - The Glowing Man

June 17, 2016
Critic Score
78
17 reviews

The album is monumental in every sense of the word, a visceral testament to the abilities of an incredible group of musicians, each member contributing equally to its breathtaking chiaroscuro.

27. Whitney - Light Upon The Lake

June 3, 2016
Critic Score
80
17 reviews
Whitney knows what you and I am going through—because they’ve gone/are going through the same thing too.

26. M.I.A. - AIM

September 9, 2016
Critic Score
63
28 reviews

You’ve got a few pieces of trash, a couple of sketches whose mileage varies on how well you dig their hooks, and plenty of fantastic stuff that ranks with M.I.A.’s best work.

24. Death Grips - Bottomless Pit

May 6, 2016
Critic Score
81
12 reviews

Bottomless Pit’s bloodthirsty joyousness is infectious, refreshing, and exactly what you’d hope for from a new Death Grips release. It’s the culmination of everything they’ve been working towards since the beginning, and in absolutely no respect does it disappoint.

23. KAYTRANADA - 99.9%

May 6, 2016
Critic Score
78
19 reviews

99.9% could play from start to finish behind a house party, and no one would accuse the setlist of being duplicative or boring.

22. Angel Olsen - My Woman

September 2, 2016
Critic Score
86
30 reviews

It’s more ambitious than her last one; better too. But I simply don’t think the formulaic songwriting is worthy of praise, nor the very notion of being more ambitious.

21. James Blake - The Colour in Anything

May 6, 2016
Critic Score
79
25 reviews

Even if Colour doesn’t drastically alter Blake’s sound, it widens and refines it, keeping what made his first two records so memorable while hinting that there remains ever further room for growth.

20. M83 - Junk

April 8, 2016
Critic Score
65
23 reviews
Strangely enough, the album ends up pretty darn good in spite of its hackneyed self-awareness.

19. Parquet Courts - Human Performance

April 8, 2016
Critic Score
82
27 reviews

Their less-than-zero aesthetic is as crisp as ever and they again show impeccable taste.

18. Danny Brown - Atrocity Exhibition

September 27, 2016
Critic Score
83
29 reviews
The raps are at a peak there, but it’s the beats on the album that you consistently sink your ears into.

17. ANOHNI - Hopelessness

May 6, 2016
Critic Score
81
27 reviews

Even if I miss the personal struggles of I Am a Bird Now and The Crying Light, Anohni and her collaborators have created a dazzling musical artifact.

16. Rihanna - ANTI

January 27, 2016
Critic Score
70
28 reviews
Like anything else Rihanna has ever done, it is a strangely compelling musical artifact in its own right. The finished product is just as bizarre as the journey to its release.

15. Kendrick Lamar - untitled unmastered.

March 4, 2016
Critic Score
84
26 reviews

A testament to hip-hop’s undeniable spearhead, Untitled Unmastered does away with excessive decadence. There is no flashiness on its facade, nor no grand showing as to how good the music is, it’s simply a collection of eight tracks recorded during the To Pimp A Butterfly sessions that demands to be lauded.

14. Solange - A Seat at the Table

September 30, 2016
Critic Score
86
23 reviews

A Seat at the Table shines due to Knowles’ unwavering commitment to her own complexity, both musically and personally. You won’t pin her down on the first, second, or third listen, but each listen will give you a better understanding as to why you never will.

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

April 15, 2016
Critic Score
83
16 reviews

Compared to the industry standard, A Sailor’s Guide feels at least five years too early. Artists spend decades working up to the level of instrumental variety and emotional awareness that Simpson seems to comprehend at his core.

11. Young Thug - Jeffery

August 26, 2016
Critic Score
78
11 reviews

Jeffery’s immediacy is what makes it make such an impression the first time around, and it’s a break from the increasingly experimental leanings of hyped pop releases.

Original Source: http://prettymuchamazing.com/features/best-albums-2016
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