In order to start wrapping up what has been an ‘interesting‘ year, I decided to divulge my top 10 favourite albums of 2016. Personally, I’m incredibly nosey when it comes to music taste, and always on the look out for new artists to listen to from people who do (or don’t!) share my musical preferences. These 10 LPs have been a constant backing tune to my 2016, and thus I thought it’d be fun to share them, if not just for personal record and satisfaction.
Before jumping in to the nitty gritty of my rankings, here are some honourable mentions:
Everything This Way is a poetic debut album by Walking On Cars: vulnerable and dreary in all the right places, this album was such a welcome discovery for me after they were a late announcement to the V Fest line-up.
They were pitch-perfect live, and the album contains some real lyrical gems.
Speeding Cars (the lead single does the album complete justice)
Always Be With You
As We Fly South
Lukas Graham’s self titled debut underpinned my Spring and Summer. The album was the perfect mix of anthemic belters, as well as melodic vulnerabilities, to introduce the world to Lukas Graham’s sound. And boy did the album “take the world by storm”
obligatory song joke, I apologise.
I was also lucky enough to see the band at V Fest, and they were incredible – probably one of the best performers there. Everyone singing Mama Said was so powerful, and whilst rounding of the set with 7 years was incredible, they definitely proved themselves with album tracks alone that probably only a select few in the crowd had heard.
Take The World By Storm
Strip No More
Funeral – I actually want this played at my funeral, can someone make that happen? (to clarify: I didn’t mean can someone please murder me)
Whilst it seems I’ve based all of my favourite albums from the V Festival line-up, Sia’s “This Is Acting” deservedly resides in my list. I really didn’t have expectations from this album, having never really had a stance on Sia, but it definitely surprised me in the best possible way.
Move Your Body
Alive – I’m so glad Adele turned this song down; it would never suit her as it does Sia’s choking voice.
Florence’s third album, although lacking in comparison to her prior two in my humble opinion, is a mixed bag with golden moments. It’s definitely a different sound, style, and schedule to Lungs, and Ceramonials, but I really appreciate the raw insights it provides.
Various Storms & Saints
Which Witch (Demo Bonus Track) – purely for the bit where she shouts (well explained, I know)
Joanne was definitely my surprise pick of the year. I stumbled upon Lady Gaga’s album (drawn in by her collaboration with Florence), having never really been excited by any of her previous ventures, and was subsided by an intimate, unveiled passion. While I’ll never be inspired to explore her louder discography, this album is an isolated work of art in my mind. The breadth of genre on show is stunning: from John Wayne to the titled-single Joanne, I loved every song present.
Angel Down (Work Tape) – raw, rough, rasping but bloody brilliant
After rave reviews from my peers, I dove straight into the Badlands and haven’t looked back since. Halsey’s distinct and unique blend of electronic backing, with a pop/rock/alternative topping is definitely worthy of a spot on my list.
I Walk The Line
Hold Me Down – purely for her licking the microphone when she sings it live
Long Live The Angels has been a recent exploration for me: I heard Hurts on the radio having had forgotten that Emeli Sande existed in all honesty. After a few listens, I decided to branch out track by track, and discovered an inner appreciation for Sande’s music I didn’t even know I had.
This album is lyrically inspiring, and harks back to the emotional intricacies of Read All About It and other tracks.
Selah – apparently no one actually knows what this word means though?
After genuinely raving about her V Fest perfomance, and immediately scrabbling to purchase her album, I’ve been hooked on the sultry and funky vibes of I Cry When I Laugh for months now. Jess Glynne is such a surprise – she has so many singles renowned world-wide, but I actually prefer all of her lesser known album tracks: they don’t have massive pop appeal, granted, but they seem to be more gritty and substantial.
Ain’t Got Far To Go – okay, this is one of her more famous ones, but I still love it.
Runner-up for me this year has to go to Rihanna’s Anti. Full of anthemic diss tracks, melodic interludes, and feel-good tunes, Anti has it all for me.
I know there’s a collection of hardcore Rihanna fans who feel this album is a weak change of pace from her usual work, but I don’t fall under this category… mostly because I’m not a diehard Rihanna fan by any stretch of the imagination, thus I look at this album as a stand alone artform. I LOVE IT.
Sex With Me
Love On The Brain
Needed Me – generally just my favourite song to come out of 2016 to be honest
Pertinent, powerful and punchy, Wild World deservedly resides on the top of this musical pecking order. A distinct evolution from Bad Blood, Bastille’s second album obliterates the “second album syndrome” barrier, by delivering track after track that’ll keep you coming back. (I’m so good at rhyming! Gold star)
I dedicated a solo post to this album, as it seemed impossible to cram how much I love it into just one paragraph. You can find that here if you so wish! (if you don’t have the urge to, just listen to the album and it will do the talking itself!)
Four Walls (The Ballad of Perry Smith) – literally Bastille wrote a song about a MASS MURDERER that still ended up enchanting.. HOW?!
Anyways, that about rounds up my musical splurge. Hope you managed to take something or other from that, if not just that giving an artist you really have no preference for a random listen to once in a while can be so rewarding!
If you ever are in a musical mindblank, and need some ideas for newer artists to listen to, feel more than free to check out my spotify. I’m definitely not musically qualified in any way to be of much benefit, but as I said before, I just love randomly flicking through others’ music tastes and so maybe you do too!