As 2016 comes to an end, so begins list of the best things to come out of this year. We’ve got your top twenty albums for 2016 to listen to whether you’re studying for finals, driving around or in need of new music.
1. “Awaken My Love!” – Childish Gambino
Listen to some music for the soul as Gambino takes a trip to a time of funk. His third album is truly something different as it combines age old sounds with new age synths.
Standout Tracks: Boogieman & Stand Tall
2. I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it – The 1975
The 1975 return with an 80’s retro album the meshes together their own sound from their first album as well as some nostalgic pop. It ranges from dances to tears as their lyrics pierce the heart.
Standout Tracks: The Sound & This Must be My Dream
3. Signs of Light – The Head and the Heart
A nice alternative option for those who want to dive into the genre of indie folk. For their third album, The Head and the Heart make music for the hopeless romantic in all of us.
Standout Track: False Alarm
4. Cleopatra – The Lumineers
After four very long years, The Lumineers return with yet another gut punch of an album. This folk band had me in tears with Cleopatra.
Standout Tracks: Ophelia & Sleeps on the Floor
5. Big Mess – Grouplove
This album may seem a bit of a stretch for those who aren’t too into indie music. However, if you’re looking for something strange but good, then give this a listen.
Standout Track: Good Morning
6. Everything You’ve Come To Expect – The Last Shadow Puppets
This is a must listen for fans of The Arctic Monkeys. Singer, Alex Turner, released this side project with his other band, The Last Shadow Puppets. It’s a rock album that will have you driving over the speed limit.
Standout Tracks: Miracle Aligner & Bad Habits
7. Views – Drake
Drake has been taking 2016 by storm, Views being only one of many projects. The album itself is truly an experience, going through themes of summer and winter with pop hits as well as signature deep cuts.
Standout Tracks: Feel No Ways & Controlla
8. The Life of Pablo – Kanye West
An album as bipolar as Kanye himself, TLOP is a signature of modern Kanye with rough transitions and standout, bizarre lyrics. For some reason, the album just works with banger after banger.
Standout Tracks: Ultralight Beam & Fade
9. ANTI – Rihanna
As a Rihanna super fan, I had to include ANTI. It’s an album for everyone with songs that range from party bangers to bedroom hits.
Standout Tracks: Work & Sex With Me
10. Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight – Travis Scott
Travis Scott’s sophomore album is a true masterpiece in trap music. Every track is a certified banger, and there’s no fear of the next track when playing it in shuffle.
Standout Tracks: Goosebumps & Lose
11. Coloring Book – Chance The Rapper
Nominated for seven Grammys, Chance has dominated the year with his 3rd mixtape. It’s a standout piece with a unique range of sounds.
Standout Tracks: No Problems & All Night
12. Coming Home – Leon Bridges
For the oldies out there, this is not one to miss. Bridges nostalgic sounds are reminiscent of sixties soul from the likes of Sam Cooke. I, myself, gave it a standout review earlier in the semester
Standout Tracks: Better Man & River
13. Skin – Flume
Flume returns with a standout album that just makes you feel amazing. A true EDM masterpiece, Skin, along with its companion, is a full experience similar to ODESZA’s In Return back in 2014.
14. Blonde – Frank Ocean
After many years of rumors and teases, Frank Ocean has finally released another album. Receiving praise from across the music world, it was what everyone wanted.
Standout Tracks: Nikes & Pink + White
15. GENERATIONWHY – ZHU
Zhu’s first full fledge album is a real standout with tracks that blend pop vocals with EDM very well. It is both chill and intense with a nice range of beats.
Standout Tracks: Hometown Girl & Working For It
16. Starboy – The Weeknd
The Weeknd’s surprise album is very different from what we expected. Similar to how Gambino channeled funk, The Weeknd successfully channeled past pop icons with his collaboration with Daft Punk. The album is reminiscent of Michael Jackson with The Weeknd’s voice sounding better than ever.
Standout Tracks: Rockin’ & I Feel it Coming
Jorge Chabo is a sophomore majoring in Economics BA. He’s from Miami, heavily into politics, and enjoys going to the movies.