Drowned in Sound's 16 Favorite Albums of 2016

Drowned in Sound's 16 Favorite Albums of 2016

Original Source

16. Martha - Blisters In the Pit of My Heart

Martha - Blisters In the Pit of My Heart
July 1, 2016
Pop Punk
Critic Score
77
10 reviews
User Score
74
24 reviews

They’ve acknowledged a little personal reluctance to be plugging a new album at a time when society seems determined to eat itself alive, but Blisters in the Pit of My Heart couldn’t have come at a better time. The world needs Martha, now more than ever.

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15. Danny Brown - Atrocity Exhibition

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

Atrocity Exhibition isn't quite as breathtakingly brilliant as XXX was and will probably alienate some of the fans that Old gained him, but it's basically just a good Danny Brown album. 

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14. Kate Tempest - Let Them Eat Chaos

Kate Tempest - Let Them Eat Chaos
October 7, 2016
Hip Hop
Critic Score
84
12 reviews
User Score
78
57 reviews

On Let them Eat Chaos Tempest has cemented herself as a poet/rapper of the highest order, who isn’t happy just make the masses smile, but to challenge and make them think and love too.

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13. School of Seven Bells - SVIIB

School of Seven Bells - SVIIB
February 26, 2016
Dream Pop
Critic Score
80
18 reviews
User Score
73
135 reviews

It’s an encapsulation of everything SVIIB were, and tragically never will be ... Despite there being so much to drag this album under, it somehow claws to the surface every time. You’ll be smiling at the end, I promise.

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12. Beyoncé - Lemonade

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

Whatever the degree of fictionality of the plot ... Lemonade arrives as a cohesive, masterfully crafted project that resists the ephemerality and disposability of the pop song format.

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11. Jenny Hval - Blood Bitch

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

Hval’s always been a visceral storyteller, but now she really dips us into a new world, crimson-tinted and surreal, led by either her vampire self or her real artist self.

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10. Suede - Night Thoughts

Suede - Night Thoughts
January 22, 2016
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
78
22 reviews
User Score
76
164 reviews

Suede have always made music that is worth taking notice of, but with Night Thoughts the band have given us their first essential album in 20 years.

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9. Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool

Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
May 8, 2016
Art Rock
Critic Score
87
34 reviews
User Score
86
1000 reviews

It is a formidably layered, beautiful record that largely lacks big hooks or aggressive bite, and yet conspires to be endlessly satisfying on a micro level, a clutch of ballads that represent the band's most intricate musical trip.

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8. Frank Ocean - Blonde

Frank Ocean - Blonde
August 20, 2016
Alternative R&B
Critic Score
86
33 reviews
User Score
85
782 reviews

Blonde feels like a confessional, one of naked pain, powerful acceptance and so much knowing ambiguity that the man behind these often pitch-shifted words once again keeps those rapt at arm’s length even when finally delivering. 

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7. Angel Olsen - My Woman

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

In terms of composition and production, MY WOMAN is Olsen’s most ambitious album yet. Taking a more polished — though not straight-up glossy — approach, Olsen sounds more vulnerable for having made her vocals more central to the mix.

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6. Preoccupations - Preoccupations

Preoccupations - Preoccupations
September 16, 2016
Post-Punk
Critic Score
79
19 reviews
User Score
77
185 reviews
The interesting thing about Women/Viet Cong/Preoccupations is the extent to which they wantonly shun notions of music as an expression of personality: for all the undoubted passion that flows though it, their work never really seems to be about them, or indeed about anything in particular other than abstract, elemental feeling.
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5. Amber Arcades - Fading Lines

Amber Arcades - Fading Lines
June 3, 2016
Indie Pop
Critic Score
78
12 reviews
User Score
75
54 reviews
So here we are with an album that contains no filler whatsoever, that doesn't repeat itself even if some of the reference points are quite identifiable. And more importantly never loses the impact or initial excitement encountered by that first listen to every subsequent one after.
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4. ANOHNI - Hopelessness

ANOHNI - Hopelessness
May 6, 2016
Art Pop
Critic Score
81
27 reviews
User Score
78
422 reviews

An extremely compelling, beautifully articulated, bonafide masterpiece.

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3. The 1975 - I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It

The 1975 - I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It
February 26, 2016
Synthpop
Critic Score
71
21 reviews
User Score
63
179 reviews
What they’ve made is a bold body of work that sounds effortless and odd and sophisticated. What they do next is likely to be stadium-filling and bonkers and brilliant, but it matters little when what they're doing now is so sensational.
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2. 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

In the canon of Bad Seeds albums Skeleton Tree is immensely difficult to pin down. With my Cave fandom hat on I cannot help but feel this is a noticeably inferior record to its immediate predecessor, and one that is less powerful on early listens than the likes of Tender Prey, The Boatman’s Call or the chronically underrated No More Shall We Part.

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1. David Bowie - Blackstar

David Bowie - Blackstar
January 8, 2016
Art Rock
Critic Score
85
33 reviews
User Score
85
863 reviews
It sounds like a recipe for total fucking disaster, but in fact it’s wonderful: rock’n’roll has largely been purged, and the resultant musical canvases are melancholic, atmospheric, crepuscular affairs that set Bowie free from the banalities that creep into his pop and unleashes his inner dramatist for the first time in an age.
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Original Source: http://drownedinsound.com/in_depth/4150679-drowned-in-sounds-16-favourite-albums-of-2016

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