I have no pretensions to be a music critic and I do not comprehensively listen to new releases. But, I would still like to share my favourite records of 2016, and here they are:
5. Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
Not flawless and not without its lulls, but it contains my favourite songs of the year. Instantly accessible and a lot of its charms appear in the imperfections. It’s a spiritual mixtape, that gets me invested in its perspective for the duration.
4. Weezer – Weezer
Rivers brings his best lyrics ever, combining the nonsense of his mid-period, with some more meaningful content and delivery. Synths also return in a big way, and lend to a sound that evokes Pinkerton, but ultimately takes it in a new, upbeat and sunny direction. It doesn’t feel like they are ever trying too hard, like their last record sometimes did.
3. A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service
A lot of emotional catharsis, especially in the powerful and benevolent second track, which paves over a past homophobic indiscretion. A long album that isn’t constantly engaging at the same level, but is always enjoyable. Despite being a return after such a substantial wait, it feels necessary and contemporary.
2. Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition
Neither dumb nor pretentious, Atrocity Exhibition features abrasive sounds and bangers in equal proportion. This is the first album on this list where I wouldn’t ditch a single song.
1. Jeff Rosenstock- Worry.
We Cool? was a good, front-loaded collection of songs. Worry. is fully realised album: lopsided, but in terms of style rather than quality, giving way to a frantic roller coaster of different genres blended together. This makes it cohesive and always interesting.
Beyonce – Lemonade
David Bowie – Blackstar
Roar – Impossible Animals