2016 has come, and as it’s on its way out we can’t finish the year off without a “Best Of” list. So from all genre’s here are my top 6 albums of 2016, and I even tossed in a few honorable mentions because this year was just mind-blowingly amazing music wise.
The hype leading up to Anti almost had me a little on the fence about how the album would actually go. Even more so because all the singles we got, in my opinion, didn’t seem to mesh with one another. It felt kind of like throwaway tracks. But when Anti was a Tidal exclusive, I definitely signed up for the free month subscription and gave it a listen. Once I heard SZA on the intro track it was a wrap for me. This was an album of growth for Rihanna, and I couldn’t have been more proud of it. Of course we got our typical Drake feature on Work (WHICH IS STILL A BANGER). And we even got a Tame Impala cover, which put a lot of people to check out their discography which I thought was cool also. Anti has definitely been in rotation all year long, and Pose definitely became the anthem that’s on a never ending loop in my head.
James Blake- The Colour In Anything
James Blake has always been an artist that touches my spirit just right. I’ll never forget what I was doing when I first listened to this album. It was an almost magical moment. The Colour In Anything didn’t hold back with the moodiness and came at the perfect time. This album was a great way for me to balance the summer I had. Everyone loves a good breakup song/album, and James Blake definitely went above and beyond with this one. I could not hold back the tears by the time “I Need A Forest Fire” starts playing. Because let’s face it, you’re sad and heartbroken then you hear Bon Iver’s voice telling you to basic set it on fire and start all over? Yeah, You cried too.
The Lumineers- Cleopatra
I’ve always loved The Lumineers because they remind me of home and love when it’s sweet. Cleopatra is an album that tells a story. The album from start to finish made me feel like I was moving forward, and when it ended I felt complete. A little homesick for my small town Texas skies, but complete nonetheless. The Lumineers have a really special way of stirring up those gentle emotions inside of you. And for that reason Cleopatra was definitely a hit for me in 2016.
Leave it to Beyonce, to not only drop another great album, but for the visuals to be a freaking movie. Lemonade is the perfect soundtrack to being hurt in a relationship and realizing that you’re still the shit, and wholeheartedly owning your femininity. I watched Lemonade the day after it was released from start to finish, glued to my seat and not saying a single word. And immediately watch it all over again, this time with my mom, except this time both of us stuck to the couch holding our breaths. When it was over, all we could get out was, “Wow”. Lemonade helped me to channel my inner boss lady and I sent out more than a few “I can do bad all by myself” messages. (Still not ashamed btw!) Lemonade could have been interpreted a few different ways, but it definitely was a hit all across the board. We were all wondering how Beyonce could have possibly topped “Beyonce” and she definitely showed us with Lemonade.
Anderson .Paak- Malibu
If 2016 has been good to anyone, it’s definitely been Anderson .Paak! If you love feel good music, being able to get up and dance, and just raw talent Malibu is it. Malibu dropped and I couldn’t think about anything at work the next day except which way would put me in the most traffic heading home, so that I could listen to the album more than once. From start to finish Malibu has you grooving, slowing it down at times but bringing it right back up. What made Malibu even better is that it translated so even more beautifully live. Malibu hands down is a classic album, that I still feel like is under appreciated. Malibu could even make it’s way onto a list for 2017, honestly.
Last but not least…
Solange- A Seat At The Table
2016 being the year we elected a new president, racial tension becoming seemingly more prevalent than before, #blackgirlmagic and #blackboyjoy amongst countless other things, A Seat At The Table could not have come at the most perfect, if not crucial time. We got a feature from God’s sweet angel Sampha, we got to get a check-in from Master P, and everything that we as black people have been feeling was put all on the table with this album. From Weary, to the breathtaking Cranes In The Sky, Don’t Touch My Hair (and I still don’t think I can tell people that enough), to FUBU, Solange fucking killed it. What makes this album even better is that this album seemed to catch nearly everyone off guard. Solange found her lane and put her foot down on the gas in it. A Seat At The Table is also another hands down classic album.
- Frank Ocean- Blonde
- Kaytranada- 99.9%
- Blood Orange- Freetown Sound
- Chance the Rapper- Coloring Book
- Zayn- Mind of Mine
- Kanye West- The Life of Pablo