Dec 142016
 

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2016 has been a great year for music. I have been lucky enough to churn through many albums on my 40-minute walk commute to and from work, using review sites like Pitchfork as a guide on what albums to give a try. For the most part they have been worthy recommendations.

It was a year of few disappointments – notably, new work from The Avalanches, Bon Iver and Frank Ocean that didn’t do much for me – but of many surprises. Several bands and artists (Swans, White Lung, Death Grips, Danny Brown, Blood Orange) that I have recently become fans of came out with new albums every bit as exciting as their predecessors. Leonard Cohen and David Bowie released incredible swan song albums. A Tribe Called Quest returned with a killer new album, their first in 18 years, while Metallica turned out their best work in 20.

Here are 25 albums that I liked a hell of a lot in 2016 – no honourable mentions this year, just right into it – a mix of styles and emotions that have defined this year for me through music. I hope this selection brings some awareness to these albums and encourages you to give them a spin if you’re looking for something new to listen to.

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25. Skeleton Tree – Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

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24. Teens of Denial – Car Seat Headrest

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23. Human Performance – Parquet Courts

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22. Bottomless Pit – Death Grips

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21. Sirens – Nicholas Jaar

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20. Coloring Book – Chance the Rapper

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19. Blackstar – David Bowie

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18. Atrocity Exhibition – Danny Brown

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17. The Life of Pablo – Kanye West

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16. Puberty 2 – Mitzki

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15. My Woman – Angel Olsen

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14. Freetown Sound – Blood Orange

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13. A Seat at the Table – Solange

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12. Paradise – White Lung

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11. Hardwired…To Self Destruct – Metallica

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10. You Want it Darker – Leonard Cohen

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9. 2 – Mudcrutch

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8. blackSUMMERS’night – Maxwell

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7. Malibu – Anderson .Paak

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6. D-J-Kicks – Moodymann

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5. The Colour in Anything – James Blake

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4. We got it from here…Thank you 4 your Service – A Tribe Called Quest

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3. A Moon Shaped Pool – Radiohead

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2. The Glowing Man – Swans

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1. Love and Hate – Michael Kiwanuka

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