Consequence of Sound's Top 50 Albums of 2016

Consequence of Sound's Top 50 Albums of 2016

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50. Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression

March 18, 2016
Critic Score
75
28 reviews

Post Pop Depression feels like salt in an open wound. The only thing more frustrating about the thought of Iggy leaving the game is the ample proof he’s left behind that he can still deliver the goods.

49. Weaves - Weaves

June 17, 2016
Critic Score
70
12 reviews
Weaves’ music is difficult to pin down, yet undeniably memorable. A distinctive wonky guitar sound, commanding vocals, and disobedient rhythms create something beautifully unhinged and challenging.

48. White Lung - Paradise

May 6, 2016
Critic Score
77
20 reviews

Paradise is White Lung pushing their limits and coming out bloodied, hungry for more. It’s a record full of disease, doubt, dumpsters, and death, with the band rising above it all and reveling in their filth. Damn anyone who tries to get in their way.

47. Japanese Breakfast - Psychopomp

April 1, 2016
Critic Score
75
7 reviews

Psychopomp is round and full, yet still light. Sure, it may have been smarter to crank out hits instead of inserting a few filler tracks, but at least she focuses on fullness over cheap melodies.

46. Martha - Blisters In the Pit of My Heart

July 1, 2016
Critic Score
77
10 reviews
There’s only a certain level of cute that some listeners can tolerate in their guitar rock cocktail, but for those willing to embrace a style of music that’s immediately satisfying and goes out of its way to relate to the people who need it most, it’s hard to do better than four Brits who, by their own admission, “stumble over words from time to time.”

45. Young Thug - Jeffery

August 26, 2016
Critic Score
78
11 reviews

44. Lambchop - FLOTUS

November 4, 2016
Critic Score
81
20 reviews

While FLOTUS may be Wagner’s calmest collection of music to date, his foray into a new genre is far from a safe bet. Full of meditative wisdom that he adds to his genre-blurring work, FLOTUS contains a restless energy that frequently surprises.

43. The Hotelier - Goodness

May 27, 2016
Critic Score
83
10 reviews

This music is powerful, eliciting physical responses, the feelings located in different parts of the body that the brain may otherwise tune out — arm hair bristling or the pulse booming in the ears. 

42. Kevin Gates - Islah

January 29, 2016
Critic Score
79
7 reviews

Like Boosie Badazz’s Touch Down 2 Cause Hell or Freddie Gibbs’ Shadow of a Doubt last year, it’s a showcase of versatility that plays to its creator’s strengths enough to feel like a definitive statement, no matter how many other projects he’s released before it.

41. Mothers - When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired

February 26, 2016
Critic Score
79
9 reviews

Like all impactful records, When You Walk a Long Distance You Are Tired elevates its words with sharp, aware, and plush instrumentation. 

40. Deftones - Gore

April 8, 2016
Critic Score
76
19 reviews

Gore could be the Deftones’ best album, but you can earnestly say that about any album they’ve ever created and make a strong argument. If anything, it’s the most modern, and a statement that style and substance are not mutually exclusive.

39. Savages - Adore Life

January 22, 2016
Critic Score
79
33 reviews

Adore Life is many things, but the thing it feels most like is a celebration. On one level, it’s a celebration of the fact that guitar-driven rock music is probably here to stay. But it’s also a celebration of life at its strangest, messiest, and most vital.

38. Whitney - Light Upon The Lake

June 3, 2016
Critic Score
80
17 reviews
Their dulcet, vintage tones intoxicate and overwhelm the senses, while the cutting lyrics set the table for a thoroughly emotional listening experience.

37. The Range - Potential

March 25, 2016
Critic Score
80
13 reviews

Potential not only makes a shockingly strong case for the top tier of contemporary sample-indebted achievements (alongside pillars including Burial’s Rival Dealer EP and Jamie xx’s In Colour), but does so while insisting that the universe, much like ourselves, will never be explored in its entirety.

36. Noname - Telefone

July 31, 2016
Critic Score
81
8 reviews

Telefone shows a great sense of promise and complex beauty, Noname using her art to salve wounds — both her own and others.

35. Into It. Over It. - Standards

March 11, 2016
Critic Score
74
8 reviews

Standards is by far the most bombastic album of Into It. Over It.’s career.

34. Sioux Falls - Rot Forever

Sioux Falls - Rot Forever
February 19, 2016
Critic Score
72
3 reviews

The massive Rot Forever gives Sioux Falls the capacity to be both: both sensitive and aggressive, messy and precise, cloyingly retro and fiercely modern.

33. Gojira - Magma

June 17, 2016
Critic Score
81
9 reviews

Magma is the most accessible and varied Gojira album yet.

32. Explosions in the Sky - The Wilderness

April 1, 2016
Critic Score
75
19 reviews

For a group whose bread and butter has until now been the musical equivalent of a whisper building to an H-bomb explosion over the course of twelve minutes, The Wilderness proves that Explosions in the Sky aren’t stuck in any creative rut.

31. Babymetal - Metal Resistance

April 1, 2016
Critic Score
67
5 reviews

Anybody still calling this novelty is either ignorant or in denial. BABYMETAL hone a fusion of technical metal, dance music, and power pop that’s both competent and emotionally invigorating. 

30. Pinegrove - Cardinal

February 12, 2016
Critic Score
80
7 reviews

Pinegrove builds and burns a lot on Cardinal, and they’re left with the hard-earned knowledge that everything’s probably going to be alright. It’s not the stuff teenage anthems are made of, maybe, but maturity comes with its own small pleasures.

29. Nicolas Jaar - Sirens

September 30, 2016
Critic Score
79
15 reviews

You don’t have to understand Sirens to enjoy it, and Sirens doesn’t make listeners feel at odds for not understanding it in full either.

28. Frankie Cosmos - Next Thing

April 1, 2016
Critic Score
77
17 reviews

Frankie Cosmos solidifies her style by strengthening her voice. Next Thing gives short songs life, chasing the vibe of impromptu chirps thanks to cushioned, velvety delivery.

27. Tegan and Sara - Love You to Death

June 3, 2016
Critic Score
76
22 reviews
These are tight pop cuts that pack a swift punch before disappearing in a cloud of glitter confetti, showcasing ’90s keyboard sounds and drum machine beats.

26. Jamila Woods - HEAVN

July 7, 2016
Critic Score
83
4 reviews

HEAVN itself feels like a happy secret, one that finds connection and joy despite the fuel of oppression.

25. Danny Brown - Atrocity Exhibition

September 27, 2016
Critic Score
83
29 reviews
These songs aren’t for everyone, but they stand as some of the most fearlessly created music of the year.

24. James Blake - The Colour in Anything

May 6, 2016
Critic Score
79
25 reviews

Now that a broken heart’s left him wounded, the melancholic fissure of his music widens, dropping him into a pool deeper than any he’s ever found himself swimming in before. Yet here he is, splitting it up, sectioning it off, and presenting a work that feels equal parts natural and divine.

23. The Body - No One Deserves Happiness

March 18, 2016
Critic Score
78
10 reviews
Despite the misery that inspires and thrives within their suffocating work, the band shows a remarkable sense of vitality, inspiring to longtime and new fans alike.

22. KAYTRANADA - 99.9%

May 6, 2016
Critic Score
78
19 reviews
Whether working in strands of hip-hop, house, funk, or whatever next might come to mind, there’s something inherently glowing about his beats. All those genres are jammed together into a single album, just like they are within Celestin; he finds joy and fun in them all, so why bother trying to deny any of it?

21. Jenny Hval - Blood Bitch

September 30, 2016
Critic Score
82
20 reviews

She experiments with darkness and various forms of liberation on the regular, particularly so in last year’s Apocalypse, girl, but Hval goes deeper on Blood Bitch while somehow staying lighter.

20. Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein - Stranger Things, Vol 1

August 12, 2016
Critic Score
83
7 reviews

While certainly many will picture the ordeals of Mike, Nancy, and Chief Hopper while listening, this is music that also stands on its own, a work by turns eerie and sparse, but also tinged in the warm nostalgia of bike rides at dusk and the loyalty of friends. The score is ultimately more than a mood. It’s a world unto itself.

19. Solange - A Seat at the Table

September 30, 2016
Critic Score
86
23 reviews
Here she evades definition entirely, bolted steadfast to the burden of the past, but stubbornly careening toward the future, life through death. Solange is R&B as hell.

18. Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Denial

May 20, 2016
Critic Score
82
20 reviews

Teens of Denial takes its power from its absence of blind spots, its lack of Freudian suppression. Toledo looks long at himself and us, a sort of nauseous survivor of modernity.

17. Tim Hecker - Love Streams

April 8, 2016
Critic Score
79
20 reviews

Very few composers can achieve this kind of beauty or this kind of experimentation, and yet Hecker does both, time and time again. Love Streams feels a lot like drifting along a cool river under the Northern Lights on a sailboat, until the boat sprouts wings and zooms into the heavens.

16. Wilco - Schmilco

September 9, 2016
Critic Score
74
22 reviews

The songs have chaos without ever being chaotic. This leaves room for some of Tweedy’s surliest (and best) one-liners that tie back to that idea of joyous negativity.

15. Schoolboy Q - Blank Face LP

July 8, 2016
Critic Score
77
18 reviews
It’s hard and sinister like a gangster rap album, but it’s also sprawling and even psychedelic at times. Nothing else sounds like it, and that’s a joy to behold.

14. Blood Orange - Freetown Sound

June 27, 2016
Critic Score
81
27 reviews

Built on that confidence and a bold, uncompromising vision singular in scope and execution, Freetown Sound stands concurrently as a deeply personal work and a striking representation of the struggles present in today’s society.

13. Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool

May 8, 2016
Critic Score
87
34 reviews

Only now does it seem like Radiohead, a group too big to break up, could call it quits after pouring everything into their music, ending with a record of personal exhaust examined through leisurely means.

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

November 11, 2016
Critic Score
86
23 reviews

It seemed like the best Tribe could hope for was an album that longtime fans would embrace, but excite few younger listeners unfamiliar with the group. As it turns out, We got it… is a triumphant defying of such expectations.

11. Mitski - Puberty 2

June 17, 2016
Critic Score
86
24 reviews
While this might sound like dangerous territory for an artist who’s known for searing riffs and vicious live performances that include screaming into the pickups of her guitar, Mitski uses her voice to measure the slightest nuances within complex emotions.

10. Leonard Cohen - You Want It Darker

October 21, 2016
Critic Score
89
20 reviews
Using his remaining time, he’s not only putting his house in order, he’s tidying up ours too.

9. Bon Iver - 22, A Million

September 30, 2016
Critic Score
88
33 reviews
Justin Vernon challenges listeners to accept a new, self-aware perspective, one delivered honestly and beautifully.

8. Anderson .Paak - Malibu

January 15, 2016
Critic Score
79
15 reviews

.Paak seems to be in total control of his talent. It might be a challenge for him to make something as relatable and soulful as Malibu again, but fortunately, the album has the kind of substance that suggests he’s built to last.

7. Angel Olsen - My Woman

September 2, 2016
Critic Score
86
31 reviews

My Woman oozes unhurried glamour and moments of sweeping grandeur. Olsen shifts between genres with graceful precision, breaking down the limiting (and, sometimes, sexist) critiques that have dogged her career.

6. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Skeleton Tree

September 9, 2016
Critic Score
90
27 reviews

Throughout the record, Cave moves in and out of focus, though always clearly to his own ends ... As an artist, he needed to release the record in just this way in order to process his pain. Skeleton Tree was released for us, but it’s for him.

5. ANOHNI - Hopelessness

May 6, 2016
Critic Score
81
27 reviews
For so long, ANOHNI had felt like a supernatural force, of this world but able to see a thread of love and hope through all the sadness. By expressing the grimmest realities, that thread becomes harder and harder to find. But ANOHNI’s music makes that struggle all the more powerful.

4. Frank Ocean - Blonde

August 20, 2016
Critic Score
86
33 reviews

Blonde is R&B minimalism that only Ocean could have made, and he created it as such so that its details emerge when they feel comfortable to do so — namely when the listener is prepared to face their similarities to his autobiographical faults with the same lack of a need for exoneration.

3. David Bowie - Blackstar

January 8, 2016
Critic Score
85
33 reviews

Blackstar is a battle cry against boredom, a wide-eyed drama set in a world just beyond our scopes. It doesn’t get more Bowie than that.

2. Chance The Rapper - Coloring Book

May 13, 2016
Critic Score
85
22 reviews
Serving as a stark antithesis to the drill movement, Chance’s gospel worship doesn’t seek to hold a mirror to the daily horrors of Chicago, but instead to uplift, empower, and heal its people.

1. Beyoncé - Lemonade

April 23, 2016
Critic Score
90
31 reviews

Lemonade marks Beyoncé’s most accomplished work yet. It is the perfect combination of the sharp songwriting of 4 with the visual storytelling acumen of her self-titled record. Here, we see Beyoncé fully coming into her own: wise, accomplished, and in defense of herself.

Original Source: http://consequenceofsound.net/2016/11/top-50-albums-of-2016/
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