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Top 79 Music Albums of 2016 by Skinny (2016)  

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After #41 this is a complete mess (obviously I like all of these records, but they're in no kind of order whatsoever, largely because I haven't yet figured out how much I like them). Will get it sorted properly when I have the time (maybe).

Chart updated: 06/18/2016 11:15 (Created: 01/07/2016 17:41). Chart size: 79 albums.

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Sort byOverall Rank | Number of Charts | Average Rating | Number of Ratings | Release Date | Title | Artist | Date Added
RankAlbumArtist
1. (=)

Still BrazyUnited States YG
Album of the year. YG staking a claim for best rapper alive. This is the type of hardnosed, angry g-funk shit that I've been needing. Every aspect of his rapping has continued to improve over the past few years, and he sounds completely comfortable switching up his flow at any given moment whilst definitely applying a much greater economy and sense of focus in terms of his lyrics, to the point that every line he spits now feels necessary. The production here is obviously in thrall to the likes of Dre and Quik, but there's a clarity and a muscular snap to these beats that stops them from sounding like cheap reconstructions, and they perfectly complement the confidence and newfound (subtle) ferocity in his rhymes. If Kendrick Lamar is Compton's conscience, YG is Bompton's soldier on the frontline, with all the paranoia that brings, not to mention the stubbornness and strict adherence to a street code which can seemingly only lead to an inevitably tragic/tragically inevitable ending. This is an uncompromising, relentlessly hard album, harking back to the spirit of Super Tight or, fittingly, The Don Killuminati, but mostly it's an album about standing tough even when the world seems to be crumbling around you, about refusing to let events in your life stop you from actually living. It's a love letter to the g-funk of Compton past, and it never feels less than utterly natural; this sort of shit is so obviously ingrained in YG's whole being and his artistry that he wears the city's musical history like a bulletproof vest. Right now, YG is a beacon of sorts, loudly declaring love for his city whilst steadfastly commenting on (and, crucially, never shying away from) the realities of being a wanted man in the ghetto, and he is in absolute beast mode here. I've commented before on Freddie Gibbs being the nearest thing modern hip-hop has to Tupac, but YG seems intent on proving me wrong about that. And making the best music of his life in the process.
(First added to chart: 06/18/2016)
Year of Release:2016Appears in:49 charts
Rank in 2016:104Rank Score:167
Rank in 2010s1,360Overall Rank:8,375
Average Rating:  73/100 (73 votes)
Comments: 5 comments
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2. (=)

01.01.16Mixed Nationality Jamal Moss / Mark Sanders / Orphy Robinson
Gurgling vibraphone, propulsive, jungle-referencing drums, choppy, simmering synths and tape loops - suggestive of a coming apocalypse of sorts - and third-eye revolutionist spoken word all come together here to create one of the most interesting and vital hours of music I've heard this year. Recorded at London's amazing Cafe OTO on New Year's Day, this thing is constantly evolving, starting off pretty heady and trance-like and just edging further towards the cliff from there. It sounds a little bit like Roy Ayers had a really bad acid trip that ended with him and Sun Ra jamming at a darkside drum'n'bass rave as the sky threatened to collapse, and is therefore something you absolutely need to hear (obviously). It's the only digital release I've actually spent money on - something I'm loath to do - since fuck knows when, and I don't even remotely regret it.
(First added to chart: 06/18/2016)
Year of Release:2016Appears in:2 charts
Rank in 2016:1,241Rank Score:6
Rank in 2010s11,724Overall Rank:46,552
Average Rating: Not enough data
Comments: 0 comments
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3. (=)

A Moon Shaped PoolUnited Kingdom Radiohead
I'm no Radiohead stan (I loved OK Computer when I was 13, but it's largely lost its lustre over the years; I think Kid A is really cool but still vastly overrated; I found their last album to be a total chore; all that said, I have lots and lots of love for Amnesiac, The Bends, and particularly In Rainbows), but A Moon Shaped Pool is one of my favourite albums of the year. It's dense, perfect for twilight listening, and utterly heartbreaking. Love the synthesis of their now-trademark subtle, gloomy electronics, spidery guitar work, and Greenwood's newly honed vibrant orchestral arrangements, not to mention the welcome addition of a distinct British folk rock vibe on a few of the tracks. Yorke's lyrics still feature that classic Radiohead cynicism and anxiety, but this time they feel more direct and personal than ever, often referring very specifically to tragically doomed romance. It might be their most laidback album musically, but it's still a heavy album, full of sonic nooks and crannies to hibernate in, with more than a few moments calling to mind the likes of Gavin Bryars, Brian Eno, William Basinski - it might even be their most accessible album, at least in terms of traditionally pretty melodies, since OK Computer (whisper it, but a significant proportion of these songs are downright catchy), though it cleverly eschews that album's sometimes cringeworthy youthful angst in favour of something far more mature and nuanced.
(First added to chart: 06/18/2016)
Year of Release:2016Appears in:929 charts
Rank in 2016:1Rank Score:17,931
Rank in 2010s6Overall Rank:142
Average Rating: Top rated 88/100 (1,452 votes)
Comments: 223 comments
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4. (=)

KonnichiwaUnited Kingdom Skepta
It's extremely lazy (and arguably a little harsh on the likes of Ruff Sqwad and Neckle Camp) to label this the best grime album since Boy in da Corner, but that's exactly what it is. Triumphant, but always true to his roots, Skepta manages what so few grime artists have managed and makes a genuinely enthralling, entertaining album from start to finish. His mix of bold braggadocio, bright, booming bass, self-aware humour, stubborn independence, and overt British culture references makes for a thoroughly loveable and relatable record. The production here draws from that classic eski sound, whilst also making nods to the US trap movement, and there's a cohesion here which - like YG's Still Brazy - gives the album sustained power and momentum. Not necessarily grime's most blessed technician, Skepta has made the most of his talents to finally produce a long-player worth cherishing.
(First added to chart: 06/18/2016)
Year of Release:2016Appears in:55 charts
Rank in 2016:53Rank Score:322
Rank in 2010s726Overall Rank:5,075
Average Rating:  74/100 (85 votes)
Comments: 6 comments
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5. (=)

BesEgypt The Dwarfs of East Agouza
Been vibing to this a lot since it dropped. They're a supergroup of sorts, with the most well-known member here being bassist Alan Bishop of mischievous, globe-hopping psych-rockers Sun City Girls, and this album certainly recalls some of that band's best moments (and even harks back to their best album, Torch of the Mystics, in its similar artwork). Basically the first half of this album is made up of scratchy, hypnotic, enjoyably ramshackle jams that take various motifs from North African music but instill them with a Kosmische pulse. It manages to feel very free and yet very disciplined at the same time, concentrating on upbeat, accessible rhythms, but underscoring them with muscular basslines that anchor everything. The real joy here is in the guitar-playing, which is agile and occasionally fraught, calling to mind early Wire if they were tripping on acid. Then the second half of the record jumps off a cliff into a Tangerine Dream-esque ambient puddle. Of course. Brilliant.
(First added to chart: 06/18/2016)
Year of Release:2016Appears in:6 charts
Rank in 2016:774Rank Score:16
Rank in 2010s7,778Overall Rank:34,058
Average Rating:  73/100 (3 votes)
Comments: 0 comments
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6. (=)

Outer AcidUnited States Mr. Fingers
This isn't the acid house Mr. Fingers I know and adore, but his transition to tasteful, constantly moving deep house befits a man whose career is now thoroughly in the 'mature' stage. His first release in years, this is like a perfect crossroads between Juan Atkins and Theo Parrish, mixing the mechanical Afrofuturism of the former with the soulful minimalism of the latter, and it's all done with an expert's touch. Really gorgeous, from start to finish.
(First added to chart: 06/18/2016)
Year of Release:2016Appears in:8 charts
Rank in 2016:428Rank Score:42
Rank in 2010s4,567Overall Rank:22,873
Average Rating:  74/100 (8 votes)
Comments: 0 comments
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7. (=)

ZauberbergMixed Nationality Kassel Jaeger / Stephan Mathieu / Akira Rabelais
This is a longform ambient piece that takes in field recordings, subtly glimmering synth sections, and old musical samples that crop up throughout like family spirits trying to communicate to you that they've finally found peace. There's lots of space here to walk around in, and the whole thing evolves constantly with a subtle dynamism that isn't necessarily apparent on the first couple of listens. Has become my go-to bedtime listening this year.
(First added to chart: 06/18/2016)
Year of Release:2016Appears in:7 charts
Rank in 2016:493Rank Score:32
Rank in 2010s5,200Overall Rank:25,244
Average Rating:  75/100 (6 votes)
Comments: 0 comments
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8. (=)

Lil B.I.G. PacUnited States Kodak Black
Thirteen tracks, that's what I'm talking about; I've wanted something focused from Kodak. This dude comes from that Boosie School of Helium-Voiced Conflicted Street Preachers, and that's obviously a brilliant thing (good look on getting two legends for very solid features that make complete sense, as well). His storytelling is clear and powerful, even if his weathered voice can sometimes slur in a way that suggests apathy, or at least numbness, and his lines are filled with heavy implications - his music has real pathos. That said, he's still capable of sounding triumphant as fuck when he wants to, and his celebration tracks are infectious. He just has that intangible ability to make a listener relate to him, and in a hip-hop landscape that's increasingly crowded it's a very special talent to have. Lots of melancholy, rainy-day, minor key piano chords here, but with enough variation and colour to stop the tape from getting too bogged down in one particular vibe, and the whole thing feels like a sonic 'rags-to-riches' microcosm, with things starting off bleak and getting brighter by the time the tape is through (the lean runtime also means that the tape flies by, with no room for any filler or unnecessary repetition). There's definitely room for improvement, but over a selection of loveably naive beats, Kodak proves himself to be an old-school straight-talker in a young man's body.
(First added to chart: 06/18/2016)
Year of Release:2016Appears in:4 charts
Rank in 2016:1,048Rank Score:9
Rank in 2010s10,322Overall Rank:42,121
Average Rating:  65/100 (11 votes)
Comments: 0 comments
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9. (=)

In The End His Voice Will Be The Sound Of PaperNorway Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Kim Myhr & Jenny Hval
So my current favourite artist from Norway (or possibly the world) finally lands on my current favourite label from Norway (or possibly the world), and the album still manages to surpass my expectations. In fairness, this album belongs not to Jenny Hval so much as it does to Kim Myhr, whose quietly direct 12-string acoustic guitar playing and slyly dynamic compositions are the real star here, with Hval's hypnotic falsetto and series of vivid non-sequiturs becoming simply another ingredient in a much bigger stew. Entirely acoustic, this record captures the sleepily sinister vibe of her previous collaboration with Susanna, Meshes of Voice, but features a far more varied sonic palette, with a plethora of stringed instruments working together in a controlled chaos to craft something akin to violent fairy tale soundtracks, evoking threatening woodland creatures jumping out at you from all angles as you try attempt to navigate a labyrinthine forest blanketed in a deep purple sky. This is the folk music of a faraway land where the willow trees whisper warnings and nothing is quite as it seems. Stunning, often breathtaking stuff.

Label: Hubro
(First added to chart: 04/13/2016)
Year of Release:2016Appears in:12 charts
Rank in 2016:563Rank Score:25
Rank in 2010s5,815Overall Rank:27,470
Average Rating:  72/100 (12 votes)
Comments: 0 comments
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10. (=)

Puberty 2Mixed Nationality Mitski
All over the place musically, Mitski can jump between glowing synth-pop, Pixies-aping quiet-loud-quiet indie rock, and abrasive, lo-fi, almost hardcore punk fare. Lyrically, this also runs the gamut, but there's a sort-of grown up contentedness here that shines and gives her more melancholy moments a necessary sense of maturity. She also has a very clever way with a deceptively catchy melody, and I've found a number of these songs getting stuck in my head recently.
(First added to chart: 06/18/2016)
Year of Release:2016Appears in:116 charts
Rank in 2016:30Rank Score:609
Rank in 2010s389Overall Rank:3,047
Average Rating:  76/100 (175 votes)
Comments: 3 comments
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Top 79 Music Albums of 2016 composition

Artist Albums %


Boosie Badazz 4 5%
Future 2 3%
Paint 1 1%
Sophia Loizou 1 1%
Gallant 1 1%
The Body 1 1%
Horsepower Productions 1 1%
Show all
Country Albums %


United States 41 52%
United Kingdom 15 19%
Mixed Nationality 6 8%
Canada 3 4%
Norway 3 4%
Germany 2 3%
Sweden 2 3%
Show all

Top 79 Music Albums of 2016 chart changes

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Other year charts (from the 2010s) by Skinny

Top 40 Music Albums of 2018 by Skinny (2018)
Top 50 Music Albums of 2017 by Skinny (2017)
Top 100 Music Albums of 2015 by Skinny (2015)
Top 100 Music Albums of 2014 by Skinny (2015)

Top 79 Music Albums of 2016 ratings

Average Rating: 
85/100 (from 7 votes)
  Ratings distribution  Average Rating = (n ÷ (n + m)) × av + (m ÷ (n + m)) × AV
where:
av = trimmed mean average rating an item has currently received.
n = number of ratings an item has currently received.
m = minimum number of ratings required for an item to appear in a 'top-rated' chart (currently 10).
AV = the site mean average rating.

Showing latest 5 ratings for this chart. | Show all 7 ratings for this chart.

Rating
Date logged
Member
No. chart ratings
Avg. chart rating
 
85/100
06/30/2017 20:21
90/100
 
75/100
02/10/2017 18:22
88/100
 
95/100
12/27/2016 02:55
91/100
  
70/100
06/08/2016 18:08
76/100
  
95/100
05/05/2016 14:59
90/100

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Top 79 Music Albums of 2016 favourites

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Top 79 Music Albums of 2016 comments

Showing all 6 comments | Most Helpful First | Newest First
(Only showing comments with -2 votes or higher. You can alter this threshold from your profile page. Manage Profile)

Rating:  
85/100
From bobbyb5 06/30/2017 20:22
Gold Panda!!!! Mr. Fingers!!!
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
75/100
From dgarr22 02/10/2017 18:21
(I usually end up rating year lists lower, but I just don't see some of my favs here, like A Tribe Called Quest, or the other fantastic rap albums this year, or say carseat headrest
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From CryingGameDahlin 07/19/2016 02:51
Yeah delectable as always for the endless stream of great recs and all the groovy jives my homie, anyways can't wait for the next update as well as your thoughts on Centres, and of course FDT
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
100/100
From GeevyDallas 02/16/2016 23:22
seen in your log you were looking for recs. skee mask and gunnar haslam's albums are both sick and worth checking out. cadell's album too.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
100/100
From meccalecca 02/16/2016 16:40
I will be coming here to pilfer frequently
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +2 votes (2 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From dividesbyzero 02/10/2016 20:58
Heya Skinny I think you'd really really enjoy this one https://liesrecords.bandcamp.com/album/jesus-freak-2

Awesome stuff so far with several things to check out, especially that Secret Boyfriend album which based on your description sounds like it was made specifically with me in mind
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
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