Music of 2016

/ Listen on Spotify

Compiled across the year, these are my favourite tracks from the albums I liked in 2016. They’re not ranked; just ordered to a nice flow between genres.

Artist Title
Black Focus Play Yussef Kamaal Strings of Light
Mt. Crushmore Play Lettuce Elephant Walk
Instrumentalepathy Play The Gaslamp Killer Warm Wind (Frimpong)
Comet B Play Matt Chamberlain Grounded
The Catastrophist Play Tortoise Ox Duke
From the Deep Play Heliocentrics Outer Realms, Pt. 2
99.9% Play KAYTRANADA WEIGHT OFF
The Olympians Play The Olympians Sirens of Jupiter
Sounding Out The City Play El Michels Affair Too Late to Turn Back
6AM Play Kutiman I Think I Am
Changes Play Charles Bradley Good to Be Back Home
Special Night Play Lee Fields & The Expressions Lover Man
"Awaken, My Love!" Play Childish Gambino Have Some Love
IV Play BadBadNotGood Time Moves Slow
Man Made Object (Deluxe) Play GoGo Penguin Weird Cat
Spacebound Apes Play Neil Cowley Trio Governance
and the Anonymous Nobody... Play De La Soul Royalty Capes
Kindness For Weakness Play Homeboy Sandman Talking (Bleep) Explicit
The Mountain Will Fall Play DJ Shadow Nobody Speak (feat. Run the Jewels) Explicit
untitled unmastered. Play Kendrick Lamar untitled 03 05.28.2013. Explicit
We got it from Here... Thank You 4 Your service Play A Tribe Called Quest Melatonin Explicit
The Heir Vast Play Raticus D.W.I Explicit
Run the Jewels 3 Play Run The Jewels Legend Has It Explicit
Feature Magnetic Play Kool Keith Super Hero Explicit
Atrocity Exhibition Play Danny Brown Really Doe Explicit
A Fistful of Peril Play CZARFACE Machine, Man & Monster
The Impossible Kid Play Aesop Rock Lotta Years Explicit
Let Them Eat Chaos Play Kate Tempest Europe Is Lost Explicit
Blonde Play Frank Ocean Solo (Reprise)
The Spoils Play Massive Attack Come Near Me
Night Melody Play Rival Consoles Slow Song
Sisters Play Odd Nosdam Burrow
Monument Builders Play Loscil Drained Lake
The Last Panthers Play Clark Strangled To Death In A Public Toilet
Orphée Play Jóhann Jóhannsson De Luce Et Umbra
Trance Frendz Play Ólafur Arnalds 00:26
Atomic Play Mogwai U-235
Skeleton Tree Play Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Jesus Alone
Häxan Play Dungen Peri Banu vid sjön
Kuiper Play Floating Points Kuiper - Part II
Couple in a Hole (Original Soundtrack) Play Beak> Battery Point
Light Falls Play Wrekmeister Harmonies Light Falls III - Light Sick
The Glowing Man Play Swans Cloud of Unknowing
ATGCLVLSSCAP Play Ulver Moody Stix
Lightning at the Door Play All Them Witches Swallowed By the Sea
Requiem for Hell Play MONO Requiem for Hell
Mariner Play Cult Of Luna Approaching Transition
Guidance Play Russian Circles Vorel
What One Becomes Play Sumac Clutch of Oblivion (I)
What One Becomes Play Sumac Clutch of Oblivion (II)
Transcendence (Deluxe Edition) Play Devin Townsend Project Failure
The Madness Of Many Play Animals As Leaders Arithmophobia
The Violent Sleep of Reason Play Meshuggah Clockworks
Command Your Weather Play Big Business Popular Demand
Marked for Death Play Emma Ruth Rundle Protection
Post Pop Depression Play Iggy Pop Chocolate Drops Explicit
Monolith of Phobos Play The Claypool Lennon Delirium Boomerang Baby
A Moon Shaped Pool Play Radiohead The Numbers
Blackstar Play David Bowie Lazarus

Surprise

Childish Gambino. The track I have picked (Have Some Love) sounds like Parliment/Funkadelic at their absolute best. This shouldn’t be too surprising considering ‘Riot’ contains a sample of ‘Good to Your Earhole’ and ‘Redbone’ is clearly influenced by Bootsy Collins.

Disappointment

The Claypool/Lennon Delirium. I’m not sure why I still expect good things from Les Claypool recordings. It’s been almost 20 years since The Brown Album which is the last consistently great studio album (despite a glimmer of hope in the shape of Purple Onion and Oysterhead). This album suffers from the same issues as the last few solo Claypool albums - the recording quality isn’t great, and where Les/Sean have decided to handle the drums themselves the playing doesn’t match the standard of the other instruments.

You can always rely on Les Claypool for one thing though: No matter how average the studio album, the live shows that follow will be exceptional. I’ve not been able to see any of this album performed live but the recordings are excellent, especially with King Crimson and Pink Floyd covered flawlessly.

Special Mention

André 3000’s verse (which makes up the entire track) on Frank Ocean - Solo (Reprise) is probably the best 79 seconds of vocals all year.