2016 has been a poor year, let’s get that out there. Nearly everyone that was good that died, and racism/xenophobia seemed to win. Yet it’s come with an abundance of music that has helped me through one of the toughest years I’ve experienced in life so far. In the new year you can expect many more articles mostly appearing on HitTheFloor.com. Please check out any albums that you havent heard on this list as that’s what this is all about and recommend any if I haven’t posted it on here! Happy Christmas and New Year!
1. Frank Ocean – Blond(e)
Sexuality, loneliness, duality and identity are tackled head on with what might be Frank Ocean’s greatest achievement yet, ‘Blonde’. This is an album so deeply personal yet entirely moving without having to know specifically what instances Frank is singing of. The lyrics are so clever against a sonic template that’s inspired more by ambient than it is the more grand RnB sounds of ‘Channel Orange’. Frank hasn’t been in the public eye all too much in recent years so him stripping himself bare and letting his audience piece him back together came as the greatest and most emotionally engaging work of art of the year.
2. David Bowie – BlackStar
David Bowie’s final masterpiece was one that will go down in history. Released two days prior to his death, ‘Blackstar’ documents the thoughts of someone who knows they’re dying, even if the audience who was listening to it didn’t know that yet. The album was a sharp turn to the experimental for Bowie as he took inspiration from Death Grips and Kendrick Lamar for the album, resulting in one of the most musically challenging popular albums of the year. On ‘Blackstar’ Bowie reflects on his life, looks to the future and gives us all his final and one of his best ever messages on an album.
3. A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service
A Tribe Called Quest returned after 18 under sad circumstances. Donald Trump had just been elected president and member Phife Dog had passed away earlier in the year after recording his sections for the album. ‘We Got It From Here…’ is a relevant album and a bittersweet one. The members show that they still have what it takes to rival most MCs now and they deliver a message to the coming generations. A Tribe Called Quest leave their career with one of the best discographies in rap music and this is one of their crowning achievements.
4.Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition
Danny Brown has always wanted to push boundaries in his music, but it was only when he signed to Warp that he was given The freedom to do so. ‘Atrocity Exhibition’ is one of the most crazy experimental rap albums in modern years when considering how Danny Brown delivers his vocals so seamlessly over the top of these crazy instrumentals. Danny covers topics like depression, suicidal thoughts and addiction in a way that’s so convincing. Listening to this album gives you a sense of the feeling that Danny might have been feeling when writing these songs.
5.Death Grips – Bottomless Pit
Against all odds Death Grips continue their streak of compelling albums by utilising Black Metal sounding instrumentals as well as taking influence from themselves by sounding more similar to their breakout album ‘The Money Store’ than in previous releases. Lyrically it’s one of their best yet with MC Ride delivering his typical cryptic lyrics that get more and more entertaining to unpack as their career progresses.
6. Car Seat Headrest – Teens Of Denial
7. Kanye West – The Life Of Pablo
8.Angel Olsen – My Woman
9. Mitsuki – Puberty 2
10.Radiohead – a Moon Shaped Pool
11. The 1975 – I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It
12. YG – Still Brazy
13. Pinegrove – Cardinal
14. Rostam/Hamilton – I Had a Dream You Were Mine
15. Solange – A Seat At The Table
16. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – The Skeleton Tree
17. Beyoncé – Lemonade
18. The Dillinger Escape Plan – Dissasociation
19. Kweku Collins – Nat Love
20.Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid
21. Kendrick Lamar – Untitled Unmastered
22. Common – Black America Again
23. Chance, The Rapper – Colouring Book
24. Anderson Paak – Malibu
25. Bon Iver – 22, a Million
26. Jeff Rosenstock – WORRY
27. Anohni – Hopelessness
28. Christine & The Queens – Chaleur Humaine
29. Denzel Curry – Imperial
30. Touché Amore – Stage Four
31. Nails – You Will Never Be One Of Us
32. Nao – For All We Know
33. Pup – The Dream Is Over
34. Whitney – Light Upon The Lake
35. Kaytranada – 99.9%
36. The Range – Potential
37. Young Thug – Jeffrey
38. King Gizzard & The Wizard Lizard – Nonagon Infinity
39. Luh – Spiritual Songs For Lovers To Sing
40. Mr. Lif – Don’t Look Down
41. Japanese Breakfast – Psychopomp
42. Carly Rae Jepsen – Emotion (B Sides)
43. Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor’s Guide To Earth
44. Porches – Pool
45. Open Mike Eagle & Paul White – Paul White Hella Personal Film Festival
46. Crying – Beyond The Fleeting Gates
47. Schoolboy Q – Blank Face LP
48. Childish Gambino – Awaken, My Love!
49. Isiah Rashad – The Sun’s Tirade
50. Jenny Hval – Blood Bitch