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

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

Original Source

50. PWR BTTM - Ugly Cherries

PWR BTTM - Ugly Cherries
September 18, 2015
Power Pop
Critic Score
79
6 reviews
User Score
74
24 reviews

49. Glass Animals - How to Be a Human Being

Glass Animals - How to Be a Human Being
August 26, 2016
Indietronica
Critic Score
77
14 reviews
User Score
75
133 reviews
Each listen reveals more, scrapes back another layer. You'll get more and feel more each time you hit play.
Full Review →

48. Dj Flugvél & Geimskip - Nott a Hafsbotni

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

47. MMOTHS - Luneworks

MMOTHS - Luneworks
March 11, 2016
Electronic
Critic Score
79
7 reviews
User Score
75
49 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.

Full Review →

46. Wild Beasts - Boy King

Wild Beasts - Boy King
August 5, 2016
Art Pop
Critic Score
74
25 reviews
User Score
68
111 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.

Full Review →

45. 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
217 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.

Full Review →

44. The Comet Is Coming - Channel the Spirits

The Comet Is Coming - Channel the Spirits
April 1, 2016
Space Rock
Critic Score
85
2 reviews
User Score
80
12 reviews

43. Douglas Dare - Aforger

Douglas Dare - Aforger
October 14, 2016
Indie Pop
Critic Score
72
6 reviews
User Score
68
9 reviews

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

AURORA - All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend
March 11, 2016
Art Pop
Critic Score
74
8 reviews
User Score
75
122 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.
Full Review →

41. Julia Jacklin - Don't Let the Kids Win

Julia Jacklin - Don't Let the Kids Win
October 7, 2016
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
75
9 reviews
User Score
78
31 reviews

40. Julianna Barwick - Will

Julianna Barwick - Will
May 6, 2016
Ambient Pop
Critic Score
78
19 reviews
User Score
76
108 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.
Full Review →

39. Charles Bradley - Changes

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

38. Christine and the Queens - Chaleur Humaine

Christine and the Queens - Chaleur Humaine
May 19, 2014
Electropop
Critic Score
85
6 reviews
User Score
78
61 reviews

37. Frightened Rabbit - Painting of a Panic Attack

Frightened Rabbit - Painting of a Panic Attack
April 8, 2016
Indie Rock
Critic Score
71
15 reviews
User Score
70
47 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.
Full Review →

36. Isaiah Rashad - The Sun's Tirade

Isaiah Rashad - The Sun's Tirade
September 2, 2016
Hip Hop
Critic Score
75
12 reviews
User Score
79
181 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.

Full Review →

35. Pascal Pinon - Sundur

Pascal Pinon - Sundur
August 19, 2016
Critic Score
78
3 reviews
User Score
72
2 reviews

34. 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
178 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.

Full Review →

33. Tove Lo - Lady Wood

Tove Lo - Lady Wood
October 28, 2016
Electropop
Critic Score
72
14 reviews
User Score
67
115 reviews
It’s pop music of the highest calibre, music for the head, heart, feet and everywhere in between.
Full Review →

32. 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
446 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.
Full Review →

31. Nico Muhly & Teitur - Confessions

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

30. Sad13 - Slugger

Sad13 - Slugger
November 11, 2016
Synthpop
Critic Score
77
15 reviews
User Score
75
22 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.

Full Review →

29. Schoolboy Q - Blank Face LP

Schoolboy Q - Blank Face LP
July 8, 2016
Hip Hop
Critic Score
77
18 reviews
User Score
76
243 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.
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28. Karl Blau - Introducing Karl Blau

Karl Blau - Introducing Karl Blau
May 13, 2016
Alt-Country
Critic Score
77
5 reviews
User Score
77
14 reviews

27. Kano - Made in the Manor

Kano - Made in the Manor
March 4, 2016
Grime
Critic Score
67
6 reviews
User Score
72
17 reviews

26. Let's Eat Grandma - I, Gemini

Let's Eat Grandma - I, Gemini
June 17, 2016
Ambient Pop
Critic Score
73
14 reviews
User Score
74
35 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.
Full Review →

25. Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool

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

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

Full Review →

24. Whitney - Light Upon The Lake

Whitney - Light Upon The Lake
June 3, 2016
Indie Rock
Critic Score
80
17 reviews
User Score
79
296 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.

Full Review →

23. Frank Ocean - Blonde

Frank Ocean - Blonde
August 20, 2016
Alternative R&B
Critic Score
86
33 reviews
User Score
85
780 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.

Full Review →

22. Honeyblood - Babes Never Die

Honeyblood - Babes Never Die
October 28, 2016
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
77
15 reviews
User Score
74
25 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.

Full Review →

21. MONEY - Suicide Songs

MONEY - Suicide Songs
January 29, 2016
Indie Pop
Critic Score
76
16 reviews
User Score
73
77 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.

Full Review →

20. HINDS - Leave Me Alone

HINDS - Leave Me Alone
January 8, 2016
Indie Rock
Critic Score
76
26 reviews
User Score
68
202 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.

Full Review →

19. RM Hubbert - Telling the Trees

RM Hubbert - Telling the Trees
April 29, 2016
Critic Score
80
2 reviews
User Score
76
1 review

18. Preoccupations - Preoccupations

Preoccupations - Preoccupations
September 16, 2016
Post-Punk
Critic Score
79
19 reviews
User Score
77
185 reviews

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

Full Review →

17. Angel Olsen - My Woman

Angel Olsen - My Woman
September 2, 2016
Indie Rock
Critic Score
86
30 reviews
User Score
82
493 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.

Full Review →

16. KAYTRANADA - 99.9%

KAYTRANADA - 99.9%
May 6, 2016
Electronic
Critic Score
78
19 reviews
User Score
77
280 reviews

15. 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
68 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’.

Full Review →

14. David Bowie - Blackstar

David Bowie - Blackstar
January 8, 2016
Art Rock
Critic Score
85
33 reviews
User Score
85
859 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.
Full Review →

13. Samaris - Black Lights

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

12. Savages - Adore Life

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

11. ANOHNI - Hopelessness

ANOHNI - Hopelessness
May 6, 2016
Art Pop
Critic Score
81
27 reviews
User Score
78
420 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.

Full Review →

10. 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
388 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.

Full Review →

9. The Radio Dept. - Running Out of Love

The Radio Dept. - Running Out of Love
October 21, 2016
Synthpop
Critic Score
80
15 reviews
User Score
71
103 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.

Full Review →

8. Skepta - Konnichiwa

Skepta - Konnichiwa
May 6, 2016
Grime
Critic Score
80
16 reviews
User Score
74
179 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.

Full Review →

7. Shura - Nothing's Real

Shura - Nothing's Real
July 8, 2016
Synthpop
Critic Score
79
16 reviews
User Score
77
158 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.
Full Review →

6. Chance The Rapper - Coloring Book

Chance The Rapper - Coloring Book
May 13, 2016
Hip Hop
Critic Score
85
22 reviews
User Score
77
527 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.

Full Review →

5. Bon Iver - 22, A Million

Bon Iver - 22, A Million
September 30, 2016
Art Pop
Critic Score
88
33 reviews
User Score
81
670 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.
Full Review →

4. Mitski - Puberty 2

Mitski - Puberty 2
June 17, 2016
Indie Rock
Critic Score
86
24 reviews
User Score
80
401 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.

Full Review →

3. Anna Meredith - Varmints

Anna Meredith - Varmints
March 4, 2016
Art Pop
Critic Score
83
6 reviews
User Score
76
167 reviews

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

Full Review →

2. Danny Brown - Atrocity Exhibition

Danny Brown - Atrocity Exhibition
September 27, 2016
Hip Hop
Critic Score
83
29 reviews
User Score
85
464 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.

Full Review →

1. Jenny Hval - Blood Bitch

Jenny Hval - Blood Bitch
September 30, 2016
Art Pop
Critic Score
82
20 reviews
User Score
77
180 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.

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

MORE 2016 YEAR END LISTS:


MORE YEAR END LISTS FROM THE LINE OF BEST FIT:


Check out our 2016 Year End Summary.