American Songwriter's Top 50 Albums of 2016

American Songwriter's Top 50 Albums of 2016

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48. Brothers Osborne - Pawn Shop

Brothers Osborne - Pawn Shop
January 15, 2016
Critic Score
80
2 reviews

46. The Felice Brothers - Life in the Dark

June 24, 2016
Critic Score
68
8 reviews

On Life In The Dark, the Felice Brothers continue their decade-plus quest of chronicling our crooked national pathologies with quirky humor, slacker indifference and guarded folkie optimism.

45. Frank Ocean - Blonde

August 20, 2016
Critic Score
86
33 reviews

This is music that fascinates on first listen but requires multiple spins for its complexities and idiosyncrasies to take hold.

44. Pinegrove - Cardinal

February 12, 2016
Critic Score
80
7 reviews

43. Amanda Shires - My Piece of Land

Amanda Shires - My Piece of Land
September 16, 2016
Critic Score
76
3 reviews

42. Conor Oberst - Ruminations

October 14, 2016
Critic Score
74
23 reviews

Oberst’s naked presentation and generally obtuse concepts feel genuine and are worth mulling over for a deeper understanding of his expressive and largely enticing thoughts.

41. Lera Lynn - Resistor

Lera Lynn - Resistor
April 29, 2016
Critic Score
77
3 reviews

40. Maren Morris - Hero

June 3, 2016
Critic Score
75
3 reviews

39. Warpaint - Heads Up

September 23, 2016
Critic Score
74
22 reviews

35. Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool

May 8, 2016
Critic Score
87
34 reviews

For a long time now, Radiohead has been achieving mesmerizing results by blazing the trail for synthetic sounds in rock and roll. But it’s the humanity, oh, the humanity, that makes A Moon Shaped Pool so moving.

34. Savages - Adore Life

January 22, 2016
Critic Score
79
33 reviews

33. Cass McCombs - Mangy Love

August 26, 2016
Critic Score
77
18 reviews

This is shrewd, layered music that demands the songs be mulled over and scrutinized; even if that may not provide answers to questions McCombs poses.

32. Kelsey Waldon - I've Got a Way

Kelsey Waldon - I've Got a Way
August 12, 2016
Critic Score
80
1 review

31. Lambchop - FLOTUS

November 4, 2016
Critic Score
81
20 reviews

FLOTUS fits surprisingly neatly into Lambchop’s catalog, capturing what makes this band so special and hinting at new directions it might take in its next two decades.

30. Against Me! - Shape Shift With Me

September 16, 2016
Critic Score
75
16 reviews

Shape Shift With Me, with its provocative title and explicit, non PC cover art no major label would approve, continues the band’s string of powerfully uncompromising but surprisingly tuneful albums that make you think, but only if you’re not busy thrashing in the mosh pit.

29. Brian Fallon - Painkillers

Brian Fallon - Painkillers
March 11, 2016
Critic Score
76
10 reviews

Painkillers quickly veers off from that attention-grabber, dials down the intensity of the music, and lets Fallon tread through settings more reflective and restrained.

27. Dawes - We're All Gonna Die

September 16, 2016
Critic Score
72
5 reviews

26. Lydia Loveless - Real

August 19, 2016
Critic Score
78
12 reviews

Melodies take longer to reveal themselves and choruses don’t have the natural hooks Loveless has crafted before. Which just means you’ll need to spend additional time exploring the songs, mulling them over, absorbing the lyrics and letting their more elusive charms sink in.

25. Bonnie Raitt - Dig In Deep

February 26, 2016
Critic Score
78
10 reviews

Dig In Deep is another distinguished and near perfect entry into a classy, bulging catalog that has seen few missteps.

23. Beyoncé - Lemonade

April 23, 2016
Critic Score
90
31 reviews

20. Paul Simon - Stranger to Stranger

June 3, 2016
Critic Score
79
17 reviews

Carrying over the momentum from his last excellent release, 2011’s So Beautiful Or So What, this disc features Simon at his most restless, in terms of both his questioning lyrics and his search for the right sound, and that restlessness pays off for the listener in endlessly fascinating ways.

19. Mitski - Puberty 2

June 17, 2016
Critic Score
86
24 reviews

18. Aaron Lee Tasjan - Silver Tears

October 28, 2016
Critic Score
76
5 reviews

14. Bon Iver - 22, A Million

September 30, 2016
Critic Score
88
33 reviews
Though the methods might be unconventional, the emotions expressed are still riveting.

13. Mudcrutch - 2

May 20, 2016
Critic Score
81
5 reviews

7. Drive-By Truckers - American Band

September 30, 2016
Critic Score
85
13 reviews

Taken as a whole, American Band is the group’s most thematically coherent work since their pinnacle of Jason Isbell-assisted records in the early 2000s.

6. David Bowie - Blackstar

January 8, 2016
Critic Score
85
33 reviews
Lyrically, Bowie it at his best here when he dives fully into off-kilter impressionism and ponders the uncertain present and apocalyptic future.

5. case/lang/veirs - case/lang/veirs

June 17, 2016
Critic Score
80
20 reviews
This collaboration works not just on a vocal level, as the women share lead and backing chores, but on a conceptual one as well since their occasionally offbeat Americana sensibilities also dovetail perfectly.

2. Michael Kiwanuka - Love & Hate

July 15, 2016
Critic Score
83
17 reviews

It’s intimate and sprawling, personal and universal, affectionate and daring. It’s also not background music. Sit down in front of your largest speakers, turn up the volume, push play, close your eyes and let Michael Kiwanuka’s Love & Hate envelope your senses while taking you on a journey to the sonic expanses of your mind.

1. Angel Olsen - My Woman

September 2, 2016
Critic Score
86
31 reviews

Individually, all of the songs are strong, self-contained bits of cleverly written and emotionally gripping indie rock ... Olsen has always been a compelling songwriter, but more than ever she showcases a range evident in just how versatile that songwriting is.

Original Source: http://americansongwriter.com/2016/12/top-50-albums-2016/
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