Friday, November 25, 2016

McQ's Favorite Albums Of 2016

Just in time for Black Friday, I wanted to get my first listing of 2016 album recommendations online. 

I'm still at least six months away from assigning a final ranking to these records, but if I had to call the year in music today, this is how it would play out. 

I've listed everything I've given at least one listen to so far, but in truth the only albums I'd enthusiastically recommend as gifts are Teens Of Denial for indie rock fans, My Woman for fans of alt-country leaning female singer / songwriters,  Love & Hate for soul fans who also have a classic rock lean, A Sailor's Guide To Earth for country fans who aren't sticklers for traditional styles and also like Van Morrison a lot, Lemonade for mainstream R&B listeners, Black Star and/or You Wanted It Darker for older, classic rock-oriented listeners, and A Weird Exits for Psychedelic Music fans who like their rock bikery, crazy and super jammy.  

Skeleton TreeA Moon Shaped Pool, The Glowing Man, and Hopelessness are all excellent records, but all are either very dark/depressing in tone/lyrical content, or way outside the mainstream spectrum stylistically, or both.  Only recommend these as gifts for the very adventurous, edge-loving listener.

Happy shopping everybody!

Highest Recommends
1. Teens Of Denial - Car Seat Headrest (Lively Indie Rock)
2. Skeleton Tree - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (Very Dark Ambient Art Rock)

Strong Recommends
3. My Woman - Angel Olsen (Singer/Songwriter / Alt-Country)
4. A Moon Shaped Pool - Radiohead (Dark Art Rock)
5. Love & Hate - Michael Kiwanuka (Expansive Proggy Neo Soul)
6. A Sailor's Guide To Earth  - Sturgil Simpson (Eclectic Country)
7. The Glowing Man - Swans (Punishing Post Rock / Art Rock)
8. A Weird Exits - Thee Oh Sees (Lively Psych Rock / Jam Rock)

Solid Recommends
9. Hopelessness - ANOHNI (Electronic / Indie Rock)
10. You Want It Darker - Leonard Cohen (Singer/Songwriter)
11. Coloring Book - Chance The Rapper (Warm Hip Hop - Free Download Only)
12. 22, A Million - Bon Iver (Indie Rock / Soft Rock / Electronic)
13. Lemonade - Beyonce (Inventive Mainstream R&B)
14. Preoccupations - s/t (Post Punk)
15. Puberty 2 - Mitski (Alterntative / Indie Rock)
16. Barbara, Barbara, We Face A Shining Future - Underworld (Electronic)
17. Blackstar - David Bowie (Art Rock / Classic Rock)
18. case/lang/veirs - s/t (Singer/Songwriter / Alt-Country)
19. Sirens - Nicolas Jaar (Electronic)
20. Freetown Sound - Blood Orange (Chill Neo Soul)
21. Atrocity Exhibition - Danny Brown (Eccentric Hip Hop)
22. Light Upon The Lake - Whitney (Light Indie-Pop)
23. Cardinal - Pinegrove (Alt-Country / Indie Rock)
24. Post Pop Depression - Iggy Pop (Hard Rock / Proto Punk)
25. A Seat At The Table - Solange (Mellow Mainstream R&B)
26. The Ghosts Of Highway 20 - Lucinda Williams (Spare Alt-Country)
27. Weezer (The White Album) - Weezer (Lively Alternative)
28. Livin' On A High Note - Mavis Staples (Gospel)
29. Pretty Years - Cymbals Eat Guitars (Edgy Indie Rock)
30. Malibu - Anderson Paak (Soulful Hip Hop)
31. Blonde - Frank Ocean (Mellow Neo Soul)
32. Wildflower - The Avalanches (Electronic / Sample Pop)
33. Good Times - The Monkees (Pop / Classic Rock / First New Album In Decades)
34. Nonagaon Infinity - King Gizard & The Lizard Wizard (Psych Rock / Jam Rock)

Mild Recommends
35. Goodness - The Hotelier (Emo / Alternative)
36. Paradise - White Lung (Female Punk)
37. Huma Performance - Parquet Courts (Art Rock / Indie Rock)
38. SVIIB - School Of Seven Bells (Shoegaze)
39. Adore Life - Savage (Female-Fronted Post Punk)
40. Untitled, Unanswered - Kendrick Lamar (Hip Hop / Pimp A Butterfly Outtakes)
41. Sunlit Youth - Local Natives (Soft Rock / Indie Rock)
42. Junk - M83 (New Wave Flavored Electronic)

2016 Albums Of Critical Note I've Yet To Assess In Full
Too many to list at this point