Words By Dan Ashcroft
It may have been a dire one for musicians’ life prospects, but looking back on 2016 there were a fair few recorded gems. So in the spirit of the ‘Best Of…’ season, we’ve delved back across the last 12 months of albums. In no order:
Oranssi Pazuzu // Värähtelijä
Full of surprises and left turns, this album of black metal, psychedelic thrash and stoner rock has given us the most joy this year. A true masterpiece.
Beyoncé // Lemonade
Beyoncé just keeps raising her game. The variety of styles and the political content of the lyrics adds a level of maturity to this global megastar.
David Bowie // Blackstar
A triumphant final album from the White Duke. We massively preferred this record to 2013’s The Next Day. Somehow familiar and unusual both at once.
Kanye West // The Life of Pablo
His ridiculous lyrics battle with a ridiculously great use of cut-and-paste samples. If only he was just a producer.
Kendrick Lamar // Untitled Unmastered
Not on the level of 2015’s To Pimp A Butterfly, but these outtakes from the same recording sessions are still full of great moments.
K Michelle // More Issues Than Vogue
Dirty, funky and lots of fun. This one includes my favourite track of the year (below).
Anderson .Paak // Malibu
Like of soul version of Kendrick. Witty, funky and intelligent social commentary.
Bon Iver // 22, A Million
As well as creating a new genre, sci-fi folk, Bon Iver has fused a wild ride full of beautiful melodies.
Keep an eye out for Part Two, which will go live from Thursday 22 December, 2016.