Bullet Music's Top 20 Albums Of 2016
2016 brought in woozy, groovy 70’s beats mixed in with funk and hip-hop. We took a spin in a time machine. There was major competition in rap and hip-hop, making a transcend, but also making a lack in the other genres who are just seeming to catch up. What truly wanted to be heard were weirder beats and changes in the sounds of musicians voices, making us stop and ponder, “Who am I actually listening to?”
Thus ending with a light thought: The stranger, the better. Here is our countdown:
Light Upon the Lake
Whitney, Smith Westerns and Unknown Mortal Orchestra super combined, with an overall invigorating psychedelic folk sound. Released in June of 2016, Light Upon the Lake is the perfect album for a summer cruise, windows down, while basking in the sun rays or while swaying on wooden floors holding the one you love most.
19. Parquet Courts
Human Performance is an album representation of the kind of person you would find yourself talking to in a grunge bar with an IPA in hand and a cigarette in the other. At times this album gives you a sort of spook and other songs such as, “I Was Just Here”, provides the feeling of contemplating running off with this stranger and becoming uncivilized.
Pinkshinyultrablast are a shoegaze group from Russia, with A Sunny Day In Glasglow sensation. Grandfeathered features sweet youthful songs such as “I Catch You Napping”, dazed into rock chords featured on songs like “The Cherry Pit.” The balance of these assorted sugary rock tones in this final composition keeps the built anticipation.
17. Mutual Benefit
Skip A Sinking Stone
Beginning with light piano chords meshing into chimes, the feeling of your first crush ultimately noticing you on the track “Skipping Stones”. Mutual Benefit has a way with putting poetry into lyrics, one second being comforted by this warm feeling captivating your entire body, the next second shriveling up into a ball and losing everything you have ever known about love.
16. Glass Animals
How To Be A Human Being
Bringing you back into the college void of smoking a joint on “Season 2 Episode 3”, Glass Animals are obscure yet amusing nonsense. You can’t help but to break out into an immense grin. Following their 2014 album Zaba, they intrigue listeners with their usage of food in lyrics, such as mayonnaise and pineapples. They are the definition of trip pop, with hardly any other bands to put into comparison. How To Be A Human Being proves to us how unique, strange, yet delightful Glass Animals truly are.
A Canadian jazz group, BadBadNotGood pushes the experimental hip hop sensations on IV, with features such as Samuel T Herring (Future Islands), Mick Jenkins, and Kaytranada. This album places one in a jazz lounge, smoking a cigar, making love to a saxophone on tracks like “Confessions Pt. II”, or leaving the lounge after having a few too many and finding yourself in an alleyway on “Lavender.”
14. Angel Olsen
MY WOMAN opens up with “Intern” as Angel’s voice captivates our hearts, yet her lyrics sort of burn like rubbing alcohol spiraling into the pit of one’s stomach. It’s the comparison of love and a person’s daily tasks, how it all eventually breaks you down, but “you still got to wake up and be someone.” Her vocals and lyrics are an emotional roller-coaster addiction. It’s womanhood.
13. David Bowie
A rock legend lost on January 10th, 2016. Far from forgotten, Blackstar, released January 8th of 2016. It is whimsical yet darkening, conveying true Bowie vocals. “Lazarus” projects one into a dark jazzy spell. He gifted the world this album before parting ways and it’s nothing short of brilliance.
12. James Blake
A Colour In Anything
James Blake perfectly portrays the sad boy blues. Every track highlights individual electronic background noises meshed into an array of his lyrics. A beautiful trance landscape on the track “Love Me In Whatever Way.” Yet James mesmerizes us into a club beat on “I Hope My Life - 1-800 Mix.”
11. Blood Orange
An exceptional example of where music is progressing to, an art form with no pinpoint. From gospel sounds, to 80’s beats, soul, and reverie. Freetown Sounds possesses mixed emotions, ideas, yet providing a strong free will and expression. An alluring multi-layer piece.
10. Big Gigantic
A Brighter Future
A Brighter Future offers collaborations with Waka Flocka Flame, GRiZ, and Pell. It’s a dance floor hit guaranteed to pleasure your ears in live action and make you shuffle your booty off. Saxophone riffs join in with electronic thrashing, there is a ton of bass, female vocals, and R&B. Big Gigantic knows how to enthrall.
Delivering a trance entrance into a fairy filled wonderland, Skin has features from Vic Mensa to AlunaGeorge. 2012 was Harley Streten’s last self release Flume. Marking four years between the two albums, Harley practically sold out every show. Fans patiently waited for this exquisite dance mix.
8. Frank Ocean
Frank Ocean kept us on our toes with staggering his release date on Blonde. Whether people were pleased at his indecisiveness or pissed seemed to fade swiftly once he presented his release. Fans patiently waited for this piece since Channel Orange in 2012. He expresses interesting vocal changes on “Nikes.” 2016 hip hop produced identical vocal subs overall with countless musicians. Blonde is a masterpiece example.
7. Bon Iver
22, A Million
Another prime example of the movement music is creating. One of the first observations are the strange alienated song names. Discovering piano, drums, sub on voice, acoustic, and long electronic wheezy sounds. Bon Iver stays pretty true to his original vocals and lyrics, yet the album itself is a brand new piece. 22, A Million is literally a million different textures and emotions tightly knotted together.
Working alongside artists such as Disclosure, Anderson Paak, and BadBadNotGood. His album is an acid groove flow mixed with hip hop chords and a few ethereal female voices featured on some tracks. "Track Uno" ends with those across the room club vibes, after the confidence of a few drinks set in. 2016 was the “glow up.”
Anderson .Paak simmered into 2016 with his masterwork Malibu, released on January 15th. With his own original swagger from Wells, his accent isn’t recognized unless you watch an interview of him or catch a live act. He received a grammy nomination this year and is in a constant continuation of collaborations, for example with NXworries.
A shocking release for 2016, since their last album was in 2000. It’s a classic experimental hip hop cross bred with neo-psychedelia. Each song fluidly places a red carpet out for the next song. Wildflower is a journey in itself, a night ride around LA. This album provides such a vulnerable feeling, it only feels right experiencing it from beginning to end.
“Awaken, My Love!”
This album gives a remembrance of Michael Jackson, especially on “Redbone”. Childish Gambino’s voice varies on each track, with an onsetting ambiance of Prince. “Have Some Love” and “California” possess a similar sound to Lenny Kravitz. Childish Gambino really outdid himself contributing a myriad of genres. This album experiments with country riffs, funk, experimental, pop, and electronic. 70’s funkadelic is making a comeback, and 2016 had the full escapade.