Clash's Albums of the Year 2016

Clash's Albums of the Year 2016

Original Source

40. Jessy Lanza - Oh No

Jessy Lanza - Oh No
May 13, 2016
Alternative R&B
Critic Score
79
19 reviews
User Score
76
133 reviews

Driven by crispy drum machines and shimmering synths, Lanza’s second full-length Hyperdub offering is instantly more direct and relatable than its predecessor; cloudy reverb is replaced by sheeny production.

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39. Red Hot Chili Peppers - The Getaway

Red Hot Chili Peppers - The Getaway
June 17, 2016
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
64
21 reviews
User Score
66
150 reviews

A band reborn? Possibly. Refined? Definitely. The brilliance of ‘The Getaway’ is in its subtleties, which define their most intimate and expressive album to date, and suggest that, after 32 years, the Chilis can still keep us guessing.

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38. Rihanna - ANTI

Rihanna - ANTI
January 27, 2016
R&B
Critic Score
70
28 reviews
User Score
72
436 reviews

While Rihanna has put out great records throughout her career, the focus has always been on singles, and as such full-length listens can feel disjointed. ‘ANTI’ is one that you can vibe to from beginning to end.

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37. Yamaneko - Project Nautilus (Keygen Loops)

Yamaneko - Project Nautilus (Keygen Loops)
November 10, 2016
Critic Score
78
2 reviews
User Score
NR

36. Dawn Richard - Redemption

Dawn Richard - Redemption
November 18, 2016
Alternative R&B
Critic Score
77
9 reviews
User Score
75
34 reviews

35. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith - EARS

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith - EARS
April 1, 2016
Folktronica
Critic Score
80
7 reviews
User Score
77
67 reviews
‘EARS’ is fuelled by a real, palpable sense of ambition, of pushing further and further into the unknown.
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34. Kero Kero Bonito - Bonito Generation

Kero Kero Bonito - Bonito Generation
October 21, 2016
Electropop
Critic Score
80
8 reviews
User Score
76
97 reviews
‘Bonito Generation’ pulls off a neat trick by being a varied album whose individual tracks are all still unmistakably KKB.
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33. NZCA Lines - Infinite Summer

NZCA Lines - Infinite Summer
January 22, 2016
Synthpop
Critic Score
76
10 reviews
User Score
71
31 reviews
A more immersive, majestic and ultimately engaging release than album one.
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32. 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
34 reviews

That a record so dark and ripe with nuance can also harbour such blatant pop sensibility belies the duo’s young age while serving as a testament to their rampant eccentricities.

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31. Ariana Grande - Dangerous Woman

Ariana Grande - Dangerous Woman
May 20, 2016
Pop
Critic Score
72
11 reviews
User Score
74
246 reviews

30. Nao - For All We Know

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

It’s her vocal prowess that threads together the line-up of producer-du-jour types that feature on ‘For All We Know’. That, and the infectious grooves that dominate this album provide endless enjoyment.

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29. DJ Earl - Open Your Eyes

DJ Earl - Open Your Eyes
August 19, 2016
Footwork
Critic Score
77
4 reviews
User Score
66
10 reviews

28. Whitney - Light Upon The Lake

Whitney - Light Upon The Lake
June 3, 2016
Indie Rock
Critic Score
80
17 reviews
User Score
79
289 reviews
In its relentless fixation upon youth ‘Light Upon The Lake’ seems to have stumbled across the timeless.
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27. Rosie Lowe - Control

Rosie Lowe - Control
February 19, 2016
Alternative R&B
Critic Score
80
3 reviews
User Score
76
29 reviews

This is a near flawless record sounding both contemporary yet grounded by timeless themes we all can’t but love to relate to.

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26. Jenny Hval - Blood Bitch

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

25. Travis Scott - Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight

Travis Scott - Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight
September 2, 2016
Hip Hop
Critic Score
62
9 reviews
User Score
65
143 reviews

‘Birds…’ is peppered with guest spots left, right and centre, and that’s where it becomes obvious what Travis Scott’s real talent lies - as a platform for other artists to shine.

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24. Yussef Kamaal - Black Focus

Yussef Kamaal - Black Focus
November 4, 2016
Jazz Fusion
Critic Score
80
4 reviews
User Score
79
13 reviews

23. Machinedrum - Human Energy

Machinedrum - Human Energy
September 30, 2016
UK Bass
Critic Score
70
11 reviews
User Score
63
17 reviews

22. Childish Gambino - Awaken, My Love!

Childish Gambino - Awaken, My Love!
December 2, 2016
Neo-Soul
Critic Score
78
22 reviews
User Score
76
263 reviews
We’ve not had much to cheer for this year but it looks like Childish Gambino is offering a light at the end of the tunnel.
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21. Angel Olsen - My Woman

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

It’s addictive yet confusing, instantaneous yet difficult to fully understand – it continually forces to you to cease arguing, and simply listen.

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20. The Lemon Twigs - Do Hollywood

The Lemon Twigs - Do Hollywood
October 14, 2016
Baroque Pop
Critic Score
73
12 reviews
User Score
76
27 reviews

19. Danny Brown - Atrocity Exhibition

Danny Brown - Atrocity Exhibition
September 27, 2016
Hip Hop
Critic Score
83
29 reviews
User Score
85
435 reviews
Danny Brown casts off the more user-friendly EDM touches that brought his previous effort ‘Old’ some mainstream attention in 2013, and drags his fourth LP ‘Atrocity Exhibition’ into an altogether murkier zone – both sonically and thematically.
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18. Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Denial

Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Denial
May 20, 2016
Indie Rock
Critic Score
82
20 reviews
User Score
83
441 reviews

17. Blood Orange - Freetown Sound

Blood Orange - Freetown Sound
June 27, 2016
Alternative R&B
Critic Score
81
27 reviews
User Score
80
312 reviews

If Hynes had chosen to make the power of femininity the basis of this album it would be pretty much flawless ... But the single issue that undermines the cohesiveness of ‘Freetown Sound’ is Hynes’ decision to publicise it as an album about black identity, which it really isn’t.

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16. Michael Kiwanuka - Love & Hate

Michael Kiwanuka - Love & Hate
July 15, 2016
Soul
Critic Score
83
17 reviews
User Score
79
155 reviews
There are nods to the early ‘70s work of Curtis Mayfield and Isaac Hayes in these arrangements, comparisons that these songs are bold enough to withstand.
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15. Anderson .Paak - Malibu

Anderson .Paak - Malibu
January 15, 2016
Neo-Soul
Critic Score
79
15 reviews
User Score
81
558 reviews

14. Kano - Made in the Manor

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

13. Bon Iver - 22, A Million

Bon Iver - 22, A Million
September 30, 2016
Art Pop
Critic Score
88
33 reviews
User Score
81
640 reviews
Yes, ‘22, A Million’ is painfully, painfully sincere. Yes, it’s also hopelessly oblique, grandiose, and pretentious. Yet it’s also an absolute diamond of a record, at once fragrantly beautifully and also hopelessly complex, easy to disregard and yet thoroughly hypnotic.
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12. Kanye West - The Life of Pablo

Kanye West - The Life of Pablo
February 14, 2016
Hip Hop
Critic Score
79
32 reviews
User Score
76
868 reviews

11. TRIM - 1-800 Dinosaur Presents: Trim

TRIM - 1-800 Dinosaur Presents: Trim
July 29, 2016
Electronic
Critic Score
69
5 reviews
User Score
74
16 reviews

10. KAYTRANADA - 99.9%

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

It’s a record stacked with an adeptness of touch from a production standpoint, a modern tapestry that weaves in and out of genres defined by black artists of past.

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9. ANOHNI - Hopelessness

ANOHNI - Hopelessness
May 6, 2016
Art Pop
Critic Score
81
27 reviews
User Score
77
404 reviews

8. Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool

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

This is an emotionally brittle and dazzling collection that improves with each enthralling listen.

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7. 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
169 reviews

The album ultimately feels like the half-breed cousin of Duran Duran’s druggiest years, re-imagined in light of a millennial pop formula. It sounds like a band shooting for the moon too soon.

Full Review →

6. David Bowie - Blackstar

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

5. 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
366 reviews
The sheer timelessness of this album leaves me cautiously hopeful for a wake up call where institutions of love can be fortified, the close-minded open their borders to understanding and good music continues to be made. Thank you for your service, Tribe.
Full Review →

4. Beyoncé - Lemonade

Beyoncé - Lemonade
April 23, 2016
R&B
Critic Score
89
30 reviews
User Score
79
713 reviews
‘Lemonade’ is Beyoncé at her most benevolent, and her most unadulterated. Treating her blackness not as an affliction but a celebratory beacon, ‘Lemonade’ is a long overdue, cathartic retribution.
Full Review →

3. Skepta - Konnichiwa

Skepta - Konnichiwa
May 6, 2016
Grime
Critic Score
80
16 reviews
User Score
73
173 reviews

2. Frank Ocean - Blonde

Frank Ocean - Blonde
August 20, 2016
Alternative R&B
Critic Score
86
33 reviews
User Score
85
715 reviews
More quintessential than any of his previous releases, ‘Blonde’ rewards repeated listens. It demands your attention, but more importantly, it deserves it too. This is the sound of an artist in complete control, full of confidence and dazzling flair.
Full Review →

1. 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
82
430 reviews

‘A Seat At The Table’ is an expertly-curated, a near-perfect record that serves as a timely, musical manifesto on how to be black and proud.

Full Review →
Original Source: http://www.clashmusic.com/features/clash-albums-of-the-year-2016-10-1

MORE 2016 YEAR END LISTS:


MORE YEAR END LISTS FROM CLASH:


Check out our 2016 Year End Summary.