The 405's Top 30 Albums of 2016

The 405's Top 30 Albums of 2016

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30. Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool

May 8, 2016
Critic Score
87
37 reviews

When one wades into their first listens of A Moon Shaped Pool, they may feel as though they've entered this dreamy, somewhat surreal state of being as Radiohead's ninth studio album creates a powerful sensory experience across its 52-minute runtime. But make no mistake, the dreams conjured up by Radiohead on this record are not the type most would like to be having.

29. Danny Brown - Atrocity Exhibition

September 27, 2016
Critic Score
83
32 reviews

Brown has finally found a sonic backdoor into the A list rap career he's been destined for by huddling amongst the sharp genre-bending, sampled scraps of his own mental demise and the backing of his new eclectic label.

28. NxWorries - Yes Lawd!

October 21, 2016
Critic Score
79
20 reviews

It’s .Paak’s banner year, and its capper, Yes Lawd!, seems to further indicate that he has quite the future ahead of him. What remains to come is his decisive statement. While it's endlessly enjoyable throughout, what we have here feels like a placeholder, a victory lap.

27. Kendrick Lamar - untitled unmastered.

March 4, 2016
Critic Score
84
29 reviews

Kendrick's untitled unmastered. ... stands well on its own as a cohesive gritty offering, but is better understood as an appendix to Kendrick's previous work, both sonically and conceptually.

26. Childish Gambino - "Awaken, My Love!"

December 2, 2016
Critic Score
77
25 reviews
Glover has delivered an inter-generational, retro-futuristic 11-track history lesson on the healing and inspiring qualities of funk.

25. Pinegrove - Cardinal

February 12, 2016
Critic Score
80
7 reviews

24. Mitski - Puberty 2

June 17, 2016
Critic Score
85
26 reviews
It's sometimes easy to forget that Mitski didn't technically enter the greater music consciousness until last year, and what makes that worth pointing out is that despite her hitting her stride and turning out the most accomplished album of her career yet, she sounds like she's only getting started.

23. Kamaiyah - A Good Night in the Ghetto

March 14, 2016
Critic Score
87
3 reviews

22. Drake - VIEWS

April 29, 2016
Critic Score
67
30 reviews

Aubrey has reclaimed his position delivering the ardently despondent music he initially built his reputation on, through patented melancholy, petty pretentiousness and newly adopted riddims.

21. Angel Olsen - My Woman

September 2, 2016
Critic Score
86
33 reviews

20. Skepta - Konnichiwa

May 6, 2016
Critic Score
79
16 reviews
Throughout the sonic version of his mental journey around the matrix of fame, Skepta has learned to remain steadily himself in the face of hurdling success, while delivering one of the most vital albums in the history (and for the future) of globally accepted grime.

19. David Bowie - Blackstar

January 8, 2016
Critic Score
85
36 reviews

18. Kanye West - The Life of Pablo

February 14, 2016
Critic Score
78
34 reviews

After seven manic albums attempting to prove his perfection, Kanye is seeking penance on The Life Of Pablo. Here, he delivers 18 heavenly hymns. It's everything else that needs forgiving.

17. Nao - For All We Know

July 29, 2016
Critic Score
78
16 reviews

A generous full length introduction to one of the most healing vocals and optimistic sonic narratives currently in rotation. 

16. YG - Still Brazy

June 17, 2016
Critic Score
81
13 reviews

Still Brazy ... is undoubtedly the most urgent rap album of the year thus far.

14. Rihanna - ANTI

January 27, 2016
Critic Score
69
30 reviews
After a three year album hiatus, Rih has rendered her most profoundly authentic and effortless act of rebellion yet – she’s making the music she wants to make without a singular fuck.

13. Anderson .Paak - Malibu

January 15, 2016
Critic Score
79
15 reviews

Malibu’s millennial jazz appeal not only lived up to .Paak's hype but elevated it, proving vision and brilliance are not manufactured and marketed equipment.

12. Bon Iver - 22, A Million

September 30, 2016
Critic Score
87
37 reviews

With 22, A Million ... Justin Vernon shows that his greatest skill as a performer is not simply his ability to craft beautifully original music, but is found in his knack for seamless reinvention.

11. KAYTRANADA - 99.9%

May 6, 2016
Critic Score
76
21 reviews
To the gustatory synesthete, listening to Kaytranada's music is probably the equivalent of sucking on a pack of Starburst where all the flavours are orange: refreshing at first, if not a bit sickly in the end.

10. Blood Orange - Freetown Sound

June 27, 2016
Critic Score
79
30 reviews
It's a powerful thing when reports that would never have surfaced had not a safe place been made public, make one of the most sincere sonic statements of the year.

8. Ian William Craig - Centres

July 8, 2016
Critic Score
85
6 reviews
This dialectical wobble between materialization and disintegration, comprehensibility and ineffability, the "angelic" beauty of Craig's voice and the shrieking death rattles of his physical loops billows through the record.

7. Jenny Hval - Blood Bitch

September 30, 2016
Critic Score
82
21 reviews

Blood Bitch sees Hval re-united with Lasse Marhaug, with the two sharing production duties. Marhaug, is arguably more in his element here with Hval embracing noise and drone more than she has on any previous record. It makes Blood Bitch an interesting step forward from previous record Apocalypse, girl.

5. Beyoncé - Lemonade

April 23, 2016
Critic Score
90
32 reviews

Pain is claimed, womanhood is nurtured, blackness is celebrated and family is prioritized and used as weaponry within the textured, often times profane and deeply contextual offering.

3. Elysia Crampton - Demon City

July 22, 2016
Critic Score
84
7 reviews

A complement to Homer, whose exquisite myth catapulted the bard himself into the realm of myth, Crampton fashions a performative poetics that performs its own brown, queer, and sublime reality.

2. Chance The Rapper - Coloring Book

May 13, 2016
Critic Score
85
23 reviews

His generously free spiritual-based tutorial - brimming with critical goodwill, religious undertones and conscious-minded hope - is a cohesive sonic statement directed at a generation struggling to find peace and purpose among conflicted priority, along with redemption for the windy city he hails from.

1. Solange - A Seat at the Table

September 30, 2016
Critic Score
87
25 reviews

A Seat At The Table – like the headlines of 2016 - is the score of black pain, black rage, black strength and black joy. And for everyone else enjoying the enticing R&B, it's for the rest of us to quiet ourselves, listen, learn and respect.

Original Source: https://www.thefourohfive.com/music/article/the-top-30-albums-of-2016-148
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