Music in the first half of 2016 has been weird. A ton of great albums have been released, and we’ve also lost a lot legendary artists. For now, though, I want to stick to the music. It’s all about the tunes, man!
There’s no doubt that 2016 has already been one of the best years for new music in a long, long time. In just a matter of months, we had new albums from huge names such as Kanye West, —Radiohead, Beyoncé, David Bowie, Drake, Rihanna, Paul Simon, and Bob Dylan. Heck, even Kendrick Lamar–arguably the biggest artist in music today—got in on the action, officially releasing a series of demos and leftover tracks from the To Pimp a Butterfly sessions.
Also, numerous newer acts made names for themselves in the first half of 2016. For every legend who has dropped a new record, we’ve had a young band come out of nowhere and provide evidence that they might just be a legend in the making.
These are exciting times, friends; don’t take it for granted. 2017 could be a year full of flops and disappointments for all we know!
Anyway, I’ve determined my 10 favorite albums from the first 6 months of the year. I didn’t go into detail about each one, because that’s what year-end lists are for, but there are some significant surprises here. For example, as much as I loved Beyoncé’s last album, I can’t believe I have her ahead of Kanye, Kendrick, and Radiohead. I would have never predicted that at the start of the year, I can promise you that. Also, you’ll notice the new Bob Dylan album isn’t even listed as an honorable mention. I’m completely obsessed with the guy, yes, but a second album of covers of old standards just didn’t do much for me. I’m still happy it exists, and I’m glad to own it, but I can’t say I’d ever recommend it to anyone outside of fellow diehards like myself.
Please take this list as an official endorsement of all of these albums. If you missed any of these when they first came out, consider this my way of kicking you in the rump and saying, “hey, listen to this!” Maybe you will discover a new favorite …
Honorable mentions: Paul Simon – Stranger to Stranger, Whitney – Light Upon the Lake, Kaytranada – 99.9%, Anderson .Paak – Malibu
10. Kevin Morby – Singing Saw
9. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
8. Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
7. Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
6. David Bowie – Black Star
5. Kendrick Lamar – untitled unmastered.
4. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
3. Flatbush Zombies – 3001: A Laced Odyssey
2. James Blake – The Colour in Anything
1. Beyoncé – Lemonade
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