TOP 10 of 2016

To some, music helps drown out the noise of the world. To me, music hurls me deeper into the trenches of reality. I don’t want to escape truth; I want to confront it and dance with it.

I think this is the 7th or 8th year in compiling a list like this. What I enjoy about it is the opportunity to share albums I’ve fallen in love with. Reciprocally, I appreciate hearing from you the songs and albums you loved.

I highly encourage you scroll to the bottom to listen the playlist I’ve created on Spotify to give you a cross-section of the albums. For the sake of brevity, I’ve kept my rationale for each album within 140-characters (give or take a few) in order to optimize your attention towards listening rather than reading. Feel free to leave in the comment section your favourite songs/albums of 2016 or even a URL to your Spotify or Apple Music playlist.

So with that, I begin with album number…

10.

Artist: Damien Jurado Album: Visions of Us on the Land

Immediately you are transported to a different era. It is nostalgic, dreamy, and immediate. I want to be lost wherever Jurado sings.

9.

Artist: James Vincent McMorrow Album: We Move

He keeps evolving and tweaking his work in such a way that you never feel abandoned by what you first loved about McMorrow.

 

8.

Artist: Frank Ocean Album: Blond

Is there a more gorgeously vulnerable album in 2016 than this one? I’d rather wait 4 years for an album like this than be inundated with The Weeknd and Drake.

 

7.

Artist: Chance The Rapper Album: Coloring Book

I bet you can’t listen to “Coloring Book” without wanting to A) join a Black Gospel Choir B) attend a Black church C) be BFF’s with Chance The Rapper.

 

6.

Artist: Solange Album: A Seat at the Table

If there were a table situated underneath a tree where the shade cooled your anger and the food helped you see the world with a little more hope-this would be that album.

 

5.

Artist: A Tribe Called Red Album: We Are the Halluci Nation

It’s important to dialogue about reconciliation between the Settlers and First Peoples of Turtle Island. But let’s not forget to dance!

 

4.

Artist: Bon Iver Album: 22, A Million

I hate how much I love Bon Iver. He could have sang to the sound of nails scratching a blackboard and it would still make my list. Luckily, this album is a little more soothing than that.

 

3.

 

Artist: Kaytranada
Album: 99.9%

Who is this guy and why is this album so damn hot?! It’s one of the most satisfying albums I’ve heard in a while. Happy to know the jury of the Polaris Prize thought 99.9% is 100.

 

2.

Artist: Kanye West
Album: The Life of Pablo

Once again Ye creates a triumphant and complicated body of work that redefines “artist”. He works extremely hard to not disappoint himself and in the process we benefit from his drive.

 

1.

Artist: Beyoncé
           Album: Lemonade

I had no interest in Beyonce but this album jolted me out of my coma and put me into formation. It’s an audio/visual masterpiece of emotional and spiritual proportions. To understand the songs you must watch the video first. Consider it a therapy session you never thought you needed.

 

 

3 thoughts on “TOP 10 of 2016

  1. Good list – and I have to admit I’ve only *partly* listened to ONE of these albums. Yeesh. I have some catching up to do.

  2. Still no ‘Life of Pablo’?!! C’mon. You can do it! Also, please make a list and share it with the world!

  3. such a fantastic list! Love the Damien Jurado, Solange, Bon Iver and Kaytranada. I automatically want to snub albums when I feel like everyone talks about them (you can call it my hipster achilles heel) so I still haven’t listened to Life of Pablo. I also am not as in love with Frank Ocean as the rest of the world…but when it comes to Beyonce.. absolutely.. theres no way you can look and listen to her work and not be amazed. Hmm. Now I’m feeling inspired to create my own list!

    Happy listening in 2017

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