AOTY 2017
The Line of Best Fit's 50 Essential Albums of 2016

The Line of Best Fit's 50 Essential Albums of 2016

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50. PWR BTTM - Ugly Cherries

PWR BTTM - Ugly Cherries
September 18, 2015
Critic Score
79
6 reviews

49. Glass Animals - How to Be a Human Being

August 26, 2016
Critic Score
77
14 reviews
Each listen reveals more, scrapes back another layer. You'll get more and feel more each time you hit play.

48. Dj Flugvél & Geimskip - Nott a Hafsbotni

Dj Flugvél & Geimskip - Nott a Hafsbotni
December 11, 2015
Critic Score
90
1 review

47. MMOTHS - Luneworks

March 11, 2016
Critic Score
79
7 reviews

It’s only when considered in its full form that the true beauty, complexity, and intricacy of this coming-of-age debut can be fully appreciated.

46. Wild Beasts - Boy King

August 5, 2016
Critic Score
74
25 reviews

That’s how Boy King comes across on the first few listens, as if it’s squaring up to us, strutting, all testosterone and violent, eyeballing virility.

45. Leonard Cohen - You Want It Darker

October 21, 2016
Critic Score
87
19 reviews

Melancholy lyrical ruminations on fatality are nothing new for Cohen, but on these nine new songs he seems resigned – even comforted – that the end is getting near.

43. Douglas Dare - Aforger

Douglas Dare - Aforger
October 14, 2016
Critic Score
72
6 reviews

42. AURORA - All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend

March 11, 2016
Critic Score
74
8 reviews
Torn between home and adventure, fantasy and reality, AURORA is looking for - and carving out - her own path out of the forest. Getting lost and angsty is part of a journey filled with leaps of faith and imagination.

40. Julianna Barwick - Will

May 6, 2016
Critic Score
78
19 reviews
It’s an emotional record first and an ambient record second, and one that will resonate even with those who typically aren’t fans of the niche genre.

39. Charles Bradley - Changes

April 1, 2016
Critic Score
76
16 reviews
Ultimately the Screaming Eagle of Soul continues to soar, and despite all of the changes, the reasons to fall for Charles Bradley remain constant.

37. Frightened Rabbit - Painting of a Panic Attack

April 8, 2016
Critic Score
71
15 reviews
Each track is filled with Frightened Rabbit’s usual poetically blunt explorations of the darker side of life. As much as they often retrace their thematic steps, they still find new, beguiling ways to do so.

36. Isaiah Rashad - The Sun's Tirade

September 2, 2016
Critic Score
75
12 reviews

The unsettling irony of this album is that it sounds mellow as hell. And it’s amazing - Rashad’s raspy-suave flow floats over subtle jazz-inflected beats, sounding like Vince Staples hotboxing a Cadillac.

35. Pascal Pinon - Sundur

Pascal Pinon - Sundur
August 19, 2016
Critic Score
78
3 reviews

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

February 26, 2016
Critic Score
71
21 reviews

Not every moment of I Like It When You Sleep works perfectly, but it’s exhilarating to hear a band stretch past their comfort zone in so many different ways.

33. Tove Lo - Lady Wood

October 28, 2016
Critic Score
72
14 reviews
It’s pop music of the highest calibre, music for the head, heart, feet and everywhere in between.

32. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Skeleton Tree

September 9, 2016
Critic Score
90
27 reviews
Death and loss have always been topics mined by Cave, but this may be the most visceral and powerful portrait of those feelings he’s ever painted.

31. Nico Muhly & Teitur - Confessions

Nico Muhly & Teitur - Confessions
October 14, 2016
Critic Score
73
3 reviews

30. Sad13 - Slugger

November 11, 2016
Critic Score
77
15 reviews

Dupuis’s credo on Slugger is so simply, yet still colorfully as expected, stated and essential that flash-drive copies of Slugger should accompany all high school freshman Health class textbooks.

29. Schoolboy Q - Blank Face LP

July 8, 2016
Critic Score
77
18 reviews
He isn’t a terrifically technical MC, but he has a stellar ear for beats and macabre samples that imply the negatives of his rock star lifestyle even if he never explicitly states them.

26. Let's Eat Grandma - I, Gemini

June 17, 2016
Critic Score
73
14 reviews
The end result is consistently wonderful. Let’s Eat Grandma have made one of the most intoxicating, inventive and original records of the year.

25. Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool

May 8, 2016
Critic Score
87
34 reviews

A Moon Shaped Pool stems from such a vital and private place that its quiet cohesion yields some devastatingly beautiful results.

24. Whitney - Light Upon The Lake

June 3, 2016
Critic Score
80
17 reviews

For a band trying to embody the mindset of an “old-ass dude living alone” you’ll be surprised at just how warm and inviting Light Upon the Lake is, as well as the size of the smile it leaves on your face.

23. Frank Ocean - Blonde

August 20, 2016
Critic Score
86
33 reviews

For an album that is at times intentionally difficult to follow - for all its vague and indistinct meanderings between subjects, between minds and bodies, between place and time, Blonde remains a highly accessible album - and not just sonically.

22. Honeyblood - Babes Never Die

October 28, 2016
Critic Score
77
15 reviews

This is an assured step forward in every sense - Honeyblood are back from the brink and there’s a new sting in their tail.

21. MONEY - Suicide Songs

January 29, 2016
Critic Score
76
16 reviews

This is not as bleak or as unrelenting a record as it might seem on the face of it, and it isn’t, either, quite the record we might have expected to follow The Shadow of Heaven. Rather than build on that record’s elegance and lightness of touch, MONEY have traded it out for something less polished, that’s often brutal in its emotional delivery.

20. HINDS - Leave Me Alone

January 8, 2016
Critic Score
76
26 reviews

Leave Me Alone is flawed, but its flaws are what makes it so beguiling. Trying something new isn’t their focus right now, and that’s fair enough when they're intent on making sure everyone is having this much fun.

19. RM Hubbert - Telling the Trees

RM Hubbert - Telling the Trees
April 29, 2016
Critic Score
80
2 reviews

18. Preoccupations - Preoccupations

September 16, 2016
Critic Score
79
19 reviews

Preoccupations' greatest asset is in its breadth of ability; spontaneous, yet considered; off-kilter, but instinctive; eccentric, although well composed.

17. Angel Olsen - My Woman

September 2, 2016
Critic Score
86
30 reviews

Angel Olsen isn’t a chameleon; she’s simply one of the best songwriters we have, who can play any style of music she turns her muse to. MY WOMAN is Olsen at the top of her game - heartfelt, insightful and musically adventurous.

15. Kamaiyah - A Good Night in the Ghetto

March 14, 2016
Critic Score
85
3 reviews

A Good Night in the Ghetto is an outstanding listen for so many reasons. It’s smart, it’s catchy and it even manages to successfully reclaim the word ‘hoochie’.

14. David Bowie - Blackstar

January 8, 2016
Critic Score
85
33 reviews
Bowie has always maintained an expert balance between heady intellectualism and histrionic nonsense, both on stage and in the studio, and this record is a fitful combination of the two.

13. Samaris - Black Lights

Samaris - Black Lights
June 10, 2016
Critic Score
78
4 reviews

12. Savages - Adore Life

January 22, 2016
Critic Score
79
33 reviews
By the end of the record, Savages have left little doubt that love is indeed the answer, and that they are unquestionably the best rock band in the world at the moment.

11. ANOHNI - Hopelessness

May 6, 2016
Critic Score
81
27 reviews

Hopelessness essentially represents the fight to find your own unique place in a world that has grown ugly, and a sincere desire for us all to wake up and take action to ensure it doesn’t get any uglier than it already is.

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

November 11, 2016
Critic Score
86
23 reviews

In the end, A Tribe Called Quest were all about beats, rhymes and life, and this album has that in spades. They may have grown older but their wit and skill with the mic have not eroded. It’s a real joy to hear these three men, particularly Q-Tip and Phife, get back to it like old times.

9. The Radio Dept. - Running Out of Love

October 21, 2016
Critic Score
80
15 reviews

Running Out Of Love isn’t the sound of hectoring; it’s The Radio Dept. getting on with the business of making important records, being one of the most challenging, uncompromising and rewarding bands we have and proving that political music is as vital as ever.

8. Skepta - Konnichiwa

May 6, 2016
Critic Score
80
16 reviews

Whether or not grime loses its threat in the near future, Konnichiwa will still stand tall as a hard-hitting soundtrack to unfulfilling life in cruel Britain that's achieved by giving a microphone to voices that otherwise wouldn't have been heard.

7. Shura - Nothing's Real

July 8, 2016
Critic Score
79
16 reviews
As with the best pop albums, it sounds like a greatest hits record. The songs flow into each other seamlessly as well as standing on their two own feet, which is an astonishing achievement.

6. Chance The Rapper - Coloring Book

May 13, 2016
Critic Score
85
22 reviews

Coloring Book is a staggeringly mature record, and while it isn’t on par with Acid Rap in terms of unforgettable lyricism, it also has a different mission.

5. Bon Iver - 22, A Million

September 30, 2016
Critic Score
88
33 reviews
It's a record that feels challenging only on the surface: hidden behind its cryptic exterior is a generous and rewarding collection of songs that represent one of the most cohesive and affecting musical undertakings produced in recent years.

4. Mitski - Puberty 2

June 17, 2016
Critic Score
86
24 reviews

Equal amounts tender and wild, Mitski places power in vulnerability. Validating every topsy turvy emotion, Puberty 2 is a soundtrack of self-awareness and self-acceptance at its most real.

3. Anna Meredith - Varmints

March 4, 2016
Critic Score
83
6 reviews

Meredith consistently does a phenomenal job of blending her concert hall ambition with a more mainstream musical sensibility.

2. Danny Brown - Atrocity Exhibition

September 27, 2016
Critic Score
83
29 reviews

Rich, deep, full of wit, rapid fire lyrics and fantastically unusual production, it’s Danny Brown proving yet again that he is one of the most exciting rappers working right now.

1. Jenny Hval - Blood Bitch

September 30, 2016
Critic Score
82
20 reviews

Jenny Hval remains one of the most powerful, honest and funny performers working in music today, and this dissection of her self and her work is fascinating to the point of obsession.

Original Source: https://www.thelineofbestfit.com/features/listomania/fifty-best-albums-2016
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