AllMusic's Best of 2016

AllMusic's Best of 2016

Original Source

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
389 reviews

This is no nostalgia trip or callous comeback. It's a giant exclamation point on the end of a brilliant career. It's also a tribute to the everyman genius of Phife, a widescreen look at the record-making skills of Q-Tip, and most importantly, it's a pure, undiluted, joyous thrill to have the Tribe back and still sounding this vital.

Full Review →

Agnes Obel - Citizen of Glass

Agnes Obel - Citizen of Glass
October 21, 2016
Chamber Pop
Critic Score
78
9 reviews
User Score
79
51 reviews

Obel's penchant for pairing elements of Elizabethan choral polyphony with millennial angst, not to mention her liberal use of spinet and celeste, would seem pedantic in less skilled hands, but there isn't a single moment on the quietly stunning Citizen of Glass that doesn't feel authentic.

Full Review →

Alejandro Escovedo - Burn Something Beautiful

Alejandro Escovedo - Burn Something Beautiful
October 28, 2016
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
80
5 reviews
User Score
76
3 reviews

Amos Lee - Spirit

Amos Lee - Spirit
August 19, 2016
Critic Score
80
2 reviews
User Score
70
4 reviews

Anderson .Paak - Malibu

Anderson .Paak - Malibu
January 15, 2016
Neo-Soul
Critic Score
79
15 reviews
User Score
81
580 reviews
Throughout, he's a (stoned) common man making the best of his consequences, yet he has an otherworldly quality, like he has been beamed down to mine the L.A. County sewer system and Pacific Ocean floor for cosmic slop.
Full Review →

Andy Stott - Too Many Voices

Andy Stott - Too Many Voices
April 22, 2016
UK Bass
Critic Score
79
10 reviews
User Score
74
84 reviews

It's a soundtrack for a sort of lovers' lane -- a moonlit path made treacherous by tar pits and sinkholes.

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Angel Olsen - My Woman

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

While some tracks will surprise established fans, to say that My Woman is a departure or style swap for Olsen doesn't really take into account the album as a whole. The elements that are new here play out like a means to an end for a songwriter with a tale to tell, one chock-full of raw emotions.

Full Review →

Astronoid - Air

Astronoid - Air
June 10, 2016
Critic Score
80
1 review
User Score
76
18 reviews

Air is not the sound of one serenely floating in space. It's the manifestation of the intensity, anxiety, and pure elation that comes during blast-off, as the rockets blare and the spaceship rumbles and the body is propelled into the unknown.

Full Review →

Aubrie Sellers - New City Blues

Aubrie Sellers - New City Blues
January 29, 2016
Country
Critic Score
73
2 reviews
User Score
76
3 reviews

Beyoncé - Lemonade

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

Romantic conflict is nothing new for her, but there is a degree of concentration and specificity, and an apparent disregard for appealing to commercial radio that makes Lemonade a distinct addition to her catalog.

Full Review →

Brandy Clark - Big Day in a Small Town

Brandy Clark - Big Day in a Small Town
June 10, 2016
Country
Critic Score
84
4 reviews
User Score
80
13 reviews

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

Rock history teaches us you can't will a masterpiece into existence, but with Car Seat Headrest's Teens of Denial, Will Toledo has created something like a novel after previously offering us short stories, and it's a piece of rough-hewn brilliance.

Full Review →

Chance The Rapper - Coloring Book

Chance The Rapper - Coloring Book
May 13, 2016
Hip Hop
Critic Score
85
22 reviews
User Score
77
529 reviews
It's a joy to hear all this zeal from a rapper operating at the top of his game.
Full Review →

Charles Bradley - Changes

Charles Bradley - Changes
April 1, 2016
Soul
Critic Score
76
16 reviews
User Score
75
48 reviews

Changes shows Bradley still has plenty of new ground to explore at the age of 68.

Full Review →

Danny Brown - Atrocity Exhibition

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

Atrocity Exhibition is Danny Brown at his least diluted, almost unrelentingly grim and completely engrossing.

Full Review →

David Bowie - Blackstar

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

This comfort with the now is the most striking thing about Blackstar: it is the sound of a restless artist feeling utterly at ease not only within his own skin but within his own time.

Full Review →

Donny McCaslin - Beyond Now

Donny McCaslin - Beyond Now
October 14, 2016
Critic Score
72
4 reviews
User Score
68
2 reviews

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

American Band is an op-ed column with guitars, and it presents a message well worth hearing, both as politics and as music.

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Esperanza Spalding - Emily's D+Evolution

Esperanza Spalding - Emily's D+Evolution
March 4, 2016
Jazz Fusion
Critic Score
83
10 reviews
User Score
75
186 reviews
While Spalding never sounds anything less than original on the album, part of the beauty here is in recognizing her inspirations and reveling in how she has made them her own.
Full Review →

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

Pop has suggested that Post Pop Depression may be his last album, and if that's true, it wraps up his career with a strong and atypical work.

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Jóhann Jóhannsson - Orphée

Jóhann Jóhannsson - Orphée
September 16, 2016
Modern Classical
Critic Score
73
4 reviews
User Score
82
13 reviews

Jenny Hval - Blood Bitch

Jenny Hval - Blood Bitch
September 30, 2016
Art Pop
Critic Score
82
20 reviews
User Score
77
181 reviews

Sounds and concepts flow into each other as potently as blood itself on Blood Bitch, a bewitching album from an artist at the peak of her powers.

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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
She and Greenspan refract techno-pop in their own way while binding additional forms of electronic post-disco that cross four decades, from boogie to juke.
Full Review →

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith - EARS

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith - EARS
April 1, 2016
Folktronica
Critic Score
80
7 reviews
User Score
77
69 reviews

Focused without sounding rigid or confined, Ears is imaginative and alive.

Full Review →

KAYTRANADA - 99.9%

KAYTRANADA - 99.9%
May 6, 2016
Electronic
Critic Score
78
19 reviews
User Score
77
280 reviews
The assortment of vocalists -- rappers, singers, and a few who pull double duty -- naturally results in a diverse set of perspectives, most of which regard love and relationships of short- and long-term natures. Combined with beats seemingly tailored for each voice, the album could have resembled a disorderly production showcase, yet Celestin applies his experience as a deeply knowledgeable selector to stitch it all together with few obvious seams.
Full Review →

Kendrick Lamar - untitled unmastered.

Kendrick Lamar - untitled unmastered.
March 4, 2016
Hip Hop
Critic Score
84
26 reviews
User Score
81
644 reviews

untitled unmastered. is no mere offcut dump. It's as vital as anything else its maker has released.

Full Review →

King - We Are King

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

We Are King is all about plush, impeccable grooves and spine-tingling harmonies. It's without fault.

Full Review →

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - Nonagon Infinity

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - Nonagon Infinity
April 29, 2016
Psychedelic Rock
Critic Score
81
11 reviews
User Score
77
194 reviews

King Gizzard's inventive sound, giant hooks, and hard-as-titanium playing make Nonagon Infinity not only their best album yet, but maybe the best psych-metal-jazz-prog album ever.

Full Review →

Kvelertak - Nattesferd

Kvelertak - Nattesferd
May 13, 2016
Hard Rock
Critic Score
79
7 reviews
User Score
73
36 reviews

It's blood, booze, and sweat-soaked concrete floors, high five-worthy rock & roll that takes itself just seriously enough to be flat-out legit, but never forgets that inclusiveness is the metal community's most vital commodity -- the band has its own brand of beer.

Full Review →

Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein - Stranger Things, Vol 1

Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein - Stranger Things, Vol 1
August 12, 2016
Synthwave
Critic Score
83
7 reviews
User Score
81
58 reviews

While the show itself is clear about its influences, its soundtrack manages to do this too, while ultimately culminating as an in-depth and invigorating piece of atmospheric electronic music.

Full Review →

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
218 reviews

You Want It Darker is a hell of a record.

Full Review →

Maren Morris - Hero

Maren Morris - Hero
June 3, 2016
Country
Critic Score
75
3 reviews
User Score
70
32 reviews

By drawing upon so many cross-currents, Hero belongs to the digital era but it's the songs -- smart, sharp, and hooky -- that make this a great modern pop album, regardless of genre.

Full Review →

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

This tension between the head and heart, between the country and the city, is what fuels Midwest Farmer's Daughter, placing it on a warm, hazy plane that feels simultaneously sophisticated and down-home.

Full Review →

Michael Spiro, Wayne Wallace & La Orquestra Sinfonietta - Canto América

Michael Spiro, Wayne Wallace & La Orquestra Sinfonietta - Canto América
February 12, 2016
Critic Score
80
1 review
User Score
NR

Miranda Lambert - The Weight of These Wings

Miranda Lambert - The Weight of These Wings
November 18, 2016
Country
Critic Score
80
9 reviews
User Score
78
34 reviews

By radically shifting her sound, she winds up focusing attention on her songwriting and musicality: it may have mainstream songs, but The Weight of These Wings isn't produced like a country-pop album, so it demands attention and rewards close listening.

Full Review →

Mitski - Puberty 2

Mitski - Puberty 2
June 17, 2016
Indie Rock
Critic Score
86
24 reviews
User Score
80
402 reviews
A visceral work that shares the immediacy of classic punk and confessional singer/songwriter fare at once, Puberty 2 takes listeners behind closed doors with the kind of no-holds-barred lyrics that are likely to leave a lasting impression.
Full Review →

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

Even by Cave's dour standards, Skeleton Tree is a tough listen, but it's also a powerful and revealing one, and a singular work from a one-of-a-kind artist.

Full Review →

Niki & The Dove - Everybody's Heart Is Broken Now

Niki & The Dove - Everybody's Heart Is Broken Now
April 8, 2016
Synthpop
Critic Score
80
8 reviews
User Score
76
48 reviews

Omni - Deluxe

Omni - Deluxe
July 8, 2016
Post-Punk
Critic Score
75
8 reviews
User Score
76
13 reviews

Paul Simon - Stranger to Stranger

Paul Simon - Stranger to Stranger
June 3, 2016
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
79
17 reviews
User Score
75
74 reviews

Where the specter of 9/11 hung heavily over Surprise, Simon seems at peace on Stranger to Stranger, acknowledging the twilight yet not running toward it because there's so much to experience in the moment. He's choosing to push forward, not look back, and the results are invigorating.

Full Review →

Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool

Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
May 8, 2016
Art Rock
Critic Score
87
34 reviews
User Score
86
996 reviews
For the first time Radiohead feels comfortable in their own skin.
Full Review →

Sarathy Korwar - Day to Day

Sarathy Korwar - Day to Day
July 8, 2016
Critic Score
83
3 reviews
User Score
73
4 reviews

Savages - Adore Life

Savages - Adore Life
January 22, 2016
Post-Punk
Critic Score
79
33 reviews
User Score
74
313 reviews

A striking second album, the different perspectives Adore Life bring to Savages' music make them sound more vital than ever.

Full Review →

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
Their restrained ornamentation and moderate tempos are perfectly suited for Knowles, an undervalued vocalist who never aims to bring the house down yet fills each note with purposeful emotion.
Full Review →

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

It's an old-fashioned concept album, one that tells a story -- it's a letter to his newborn son, telling him how to become a man -- and is dressed in garish art suited to the side of a Chevy van.

Full Review →

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

Their honesty and intelligence shine through at all times, and they take the sublime parts of the modern pop landscape, while giving no time to the ridiculous. Like Heartthrob, this is pop music that is all heart all the time, and for that, the sisters deserve every accolade that comes their way.

Full Review →

The Dear Hunter - Act V: Hymns With the Devil In Confessional

The Dear Hunter - Act V: Hymns With the Devil In Confessional
September 9, 2016
Progressive Rock
Critic Score
90
2 reviews
User Score
82
14 reviews

The Rolling Stones - Blue & Lonesome

The Rolling Stones - Blue & Lonesome
December 2, 2016
Blues Rock
Critic Score
78
14 reviews
User Score
73
50 reviews

William Tyler - Modern Country

William Tyler - Modern Country
June 3, 2016
Folk
Critic Score
80
7 reviews
User Score
78
57 reviews
The sprawl of motion, texture, and color is reined in by immense, emotive lyricism and dynamic group interplay, making this musical "letter" to his vanishing nation well worth repeated listening.
Full Review →

Yussef Kamaal - Black Focus

Yussef Kamaal - Black Focus
November 4, 2016
Jazz Fusion
Critic Score
80
4 reviews
User Score
80
15 reviews
Original Source: http://www.allmusic.com/year-in-review/2016/allmusic-best-of-2016

MORE 2016 YEAR END LISTS:


MORE YEAR END LISTS FROM ALLMUSIC:


Check out our 2016 Year End Summary.