The Best Albums of 2016

Hello friends! Some of us are unlucky enough to have to work this week, so why don’t we pass the time by reflecting on our favorite things of 2016? We’ll start with albums.

Many albums by popular recording artists were released in 2016 and some of them even were allegedly good! People seemed to like Lemonade and also Little Beyonce’s album A Seat at the Table. Apparently there was a Radiohead album this year, but my Radiohead-obsessed little sister never mentioned it in my presence so it can’t be all that great. People I have heard of but never listened to like Chance the Rapper, Angel Olsen and Frank Ocean are on Metacritic’s best albums of the year list. Good job, guys!

I personally only purchased two albums this year because for somebody who considers music their passion I really am very bad at listening to new stuff. So here is my list:

#1 Alaska Thunderfuck – Poundcake

This has been either a very good or a very bad year for Alaska Thunderfuck. On the one hand, she (very deservedly) won RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 2 and released a delightful album named for her surly child pageant puppet Lil Poundcake. On the other hand a bunch of Drag Race fans decided that she was a force of evil on par with Donald Trump because… she got upset when she didn’t do well in a challenge? I don’t know. They sent her millions of snake emojis and it was stupid. Anyhow, Poundcake is a lot of fun! Highlights include “Slaytina,” “The T” and “Puppet,” however my vote for top track goes to “Stun” which is very surprising as the featured collaborate, Gia Gunn, was not one of my favorite queens. But even if you aren’t into Alaska’s sound, you can at least appreciate the Puppet music video in which Alaska dresses as Lil Poundcake herself.

#2 David Bowie – Blackstar

You can all stop clutching your pearls about me ranking this second after a semi-comedic album by a reality TV drag queen because the fact of the matter is that on the day it was released I went to a record store and tried to procure a copy of Blackstar on vinyl, but it was sold out. I said “Well that’s a bummer, but I’ll try again when I’m in this neighborhood again next week, no rush.” Two days later, David Bowie died and everything was terrible and I just could not bring myself to listen to his final album because that would mean he was really and truly gone. I did eventually buy a copy over the summer but I still have not listened to it beyond watching the videos for the title track and Lazarus once each. I do intend to listen to it for the first time this week as a sort of sad cherry on top of a shit sundae of a year but for now it remains a mystery.

I know my list really can’t be beat for thoroughness and accuracy, but feel free to talk about your own faves in the comments!

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About catweazle

Catweazle is an 11th century wizard trying to make his way through the modern world while living in a disused water tower with his pet toad.
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4 Responses to The Best Albums of 2016

  1. FRQ says:

    I voted in a bunch of polls for AOTY, and these are the albums that I kept choosing (in no particular order):

    Kaytranada: 99.9%
    White Lung: Paradise
    Sturgill Simpson: A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
    Nothing: Tired of Tomorrow
    Angel Olsen: My Woman
    Shura: Nothing’s Real
    Tegan and Sara: Love You to Death
    Chairlift: Moth
    Yumi Zouma: Yoncalla
    Kamaiyah: A Good Night in the Ghetto

    I liked some of the big name albums, too, but none of them really stuck with me.

  2. flanny says:

    One Direction did not release an album this year (because they are on hiatus, not because they have broken up because they haven’t), so I did not have a favorite album of 2016.

  3. martinmegz says:

    I think the only new album I bought this year was Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminal’s Call It What It Is. I love the opening track, as well as the titular track, Shine, and Pink Balloon. You can hear all these tracks and more here: http://www.benharper.com/music/albums/call-it-what-it-is

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