The 405's Top 30 Albums of 2016

The 405's Top 30 Albums of 2016

Original Source

30. Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool

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

When one wades into their first listens of A Moon Shaped Pool, they may feel as though they've entered this dreamy, somewhat surreal state of being as Radiohead's ninth studio album creates a powerful sensory experience across its 52-minute runtime. But make no mistake, the dreams conjured up by Radiohead on this record are not the type most would like to be having.

Full Review →

29. Danny Brown - Atrocity Exhibition

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

Brown has finally found a sonic backdoor into the A list rap career he's been destined for by huddling amongst the sharp genre-bending, sampled scraps of his own mental demise and the backing of his new eclectic label.

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28. NxWorries - Yes Lawd!

NxWorries - Yes Lawd!
October 21, 2016
Neo-Soul
Critic Score
79
16 reviews
User Score
76
101 reviews

It’s .Paak’s banner year, and its capper, Yes Lawd!, seems to further indicate that he has quite the future ahead of him. What remains to come is his decisive statement. While it's endlessly enjoyable throughout, what we have here feels like a placeholder, a victory lap.

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27. Kendrick Lamar - untitled unmastered.

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

Kendrick's untitled unmastered. ... stands well on its own as a cohesive gritty offering, but is better understood as an appendix to Kendrick's previous work, both sonically and conceptually.

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26. Childish Gambino - Awaken, My Love!

Childish Gambino - Awaken, My Love!
December 2, 2016
Neo-Soul
Critic Score
77
20 reviews
User Score
75
222 reviews
Glover has delivered an inter-generational, retro-futuristic 11-track history lesson on the healing and inspiring qualities of funk.
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25. Pinegrove - Cardinal

Pinegrove - Cardinal
February 12, 2016
Indie Rock
Critic Score
80
7 reviews
User Score
76
182 reviews

24. Mitski - Puberty 2

Mitski - Puberty 2
June 17, 2016
Indie Pop
Critic Score
86
23 reviews
User Score
80
362 reviews
It's sometimes easy to forget that Mitski didn't technically enter the greater music consciousness until last year, and what makes that worth pointing out is that despite her hitting her stride and turning out the most accomplished album of her career yet, she sounds like she's only getting started.
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23. Kamaiyah - A Good Night in the Ghetto

Kamaiyah - A Good Night in the Ghetto
March 14, 2016
Hip Hop
Critic Score
85
3 reviews
User Score
73
64 reviews

22. Drake - VIEWS

Drake - VIEWS
April 29, 2016
Hip Hop
Critic Score
68
27 reviews
User Score
60
306 reviews

Aubrey has reclaimed his position delivering the ardently despondent music he initially built his reputation on, through patented melancholy, petty pretentiousness and newly adopted riddims.

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21. Angel Olsen - My Woman

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

20. Skepta - Konnichiwa

Skepta - Konnichiwa
May 6, 2016
Grime
Critic Score
80
15 reviews
User Score
73
156 reviews
Throughout the sonic version of his mental journey around the matrix of fame, Skepta has learned to remain steadily himself in the face of hurdling success, while delivering one of the most vital albums in the history (and for the future) of globally accepted grime.
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19. David Bowie - Blackstar

David Bowie - Blackstar
January 8, 2016
Art Rock
Critic Score
84
30 reviews
User Score
85
747 reviews

18. Kanye West - The Life of Pablo

Kanye West - The Life of Pablo
February 14, 2016
Hip Hop
Critic Score
80
29 reviews
User Score
76
785 reviews

After seven manic albums attempting to prove his perfection, Kanye is seeking penance on The Life Of Pablo. Here, he delivers 18 heavenly hymns. It's everything else that needs forgiving.

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17. Nao - For All We Know

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

A generous full length introduction to one of the most healing vocals and optimistic sonic narratives currently in rotation. 

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16. YG - Still Brazy

YG - Still Brazy
June 17, 2016
Hip Hop
Critic Score
81
11 reviews
User Score
77
183 reviews

Still Brazy ... is undoubtedly the most urgent rap album of the year thus far.

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15. 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
22 reviews
User Score
84
303 reviews

14. Rihanna - ANTI

Rihanna - ANTI
January 27, 2016
R&B
Critic Score
71
26 reviews
User Score
71
382 reviews
After a three year album hiatus, Rih has rendered her most profoundly authentic and effortless act of rebellion yet – she’s making the music she wants to make without a singular fuck.
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13. Anderson .Paak - Malibu

Anderson .Paak - Malibu
January 15, 2016
Neo-Soul
Critic Score
80
14 reviews
User Score
80
508 reviews

Malibu’s millennial jazz appeal not only lived up to .Paak's hype but elevated it, proving vision and brilliance are not manufactured and marketed equipment.

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12. Bon Iver - 22, A Million

Bon Iver - 22, A Million
September 30, 2016
Art Pop
Critic Score
89
30 reviews
User Score
81
555 reviews

With 22, A Million ... Justin Vernon shows that his greatest skill as a performer is not simply his ability to craft beautifully original music, but is found in his knack for seamless reinvention.

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11. KAYTRANADA - 99.9%

KAYTRANADA - 99.9%
May 6, 2016
Electronic
Critic Score
78
17 reviews
User Score
77
250 reviews
To the gustatory synesthete, listening to Kaytranada's music is probably the equivalent of sucking on a pack of Starburst where all the flavours are orange: refreshing at first, if not a bit sickly in the end.
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10. Blood Orange - Freetown Sound

Blood Orange - Freetown Sound
June 27, 2016
Alternative R&B
Critic Score
81
25 reviews
User Score
80
288 reviews
It's a powerful thing when reports that would never have surfaced had not a safe place been made public, make one of the most sincere sonic statements of the year.
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9. Jherek Bischoff - Cistern

Jherek Bischoff - Cistern
July 15, 2016
Modern Classical
Critic Score
76
7 reviews
User Score
77
9 reviews

8. Ian William Craig - Centres

Ian William Craig - Centres
July 8, 2016
Ambient
Critic Score
84
6 reviews
User Score
76
57 reviews
This dialectical wobble between materialization and disintegration, comprehensibility and ineffability, the "angelic" beauty of Craig's voice and the shrieking death rattles of his physical loops billows through the record.
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7. Jenny Hval - Blood Bitch

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

Blood Bitch sees Hval re-united with Lasse Marhaug, with the two sharing production duties. Marhaug, is arguably more in his element here with Hval embracing noise and drone more than she has on any previous record. It makes Blood Bitch an interesting step forward from previous record Apocalypse, girl.

Full Review →

6. Frank Ocean - Blonde

Frank Ocean - Blonde
August 20, 2016
Alternative R&B
Critic Score
86
31 reviews
User Score
84
600 reviews

5. Beyoncé - Lemonade

Beyoncé - Lemonade
April 23, 2016
R&B
Critic Score
89
28 reviews
User Score
79
618 reviews

Pain is claimed, womanhood is nurtured, blackness is celebrated and family is prioritized and used as weaponry within the textured, often times profane and deeply contextual offering.

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4. ANOHNI - Hopelessness

ANOHNI - Hopelessness
May 6, 2016
Art Pop
Critic Score
81
26 reviews
User Score
77
377 reviews

3. Elysia Crampton - Demon City

Elysia Crampton - Demon City
July 22, 2016
UK Bass
Critic Score
83
7 reviews
User Score
71
56 reviews

A complement to Homer, whose exquisite myth catapulted the bard himself into the realm of myth, Crampton fashions a performative poetics that performs its own brown, queer, and sublime reality.

Full Review →

2. Chance The Rapper - Coloring Book

Chance The Rapper - Coloring Book
May 13, 2016
Hip Hop
Critic Score
86
21 reviews
User Score
77
439 reviews

His generously free spiritual-based tutorial - brimming with critical goodwill, religious undertones and conscious-minded hope - is a cohesive sonic statement directed at a generation struggling to find peace and purpose among conflicted priority, along with redemption for the windy city he hails from.

Full Review →

1. Solange - A Seat at the Table

Solange - A Seat at the Table
September 30, 2016
Alternative R&B
Critic Score
86
22 reviews
User Score
82
356 reviews

A Seat At The Table – like the headlines of 2016 - is the score of black pain, black rage, black strength and black joy. And for everyone else enjoying the enticing R&B, it's for the rest of us to quiet ourselves, listen, learn and respect.

Full Review →
Original Source: https://www.thefourohfive.com/music/article/the-top-30-albums-of-2016-148

MORE 2016 YEAR END LISTS:


MORE YEAR END LISTS FROM THE 405:


Check out our 2016 Year End Summary.