By Jaran Chance
The following is simply a list of albums released this year that I, Jaran Chance, personally enjoyed. I do not want to place a value on any of the music in this list. All of the musicians mentioned are incredibly talented and valuable in their own ways.
50: Regina Spektor – Remember Us to Life
Probably best known as the artist who wrote the “Orange Is the New Black” theme, Regina Spektor is also a musician and writes entire albums as well. “Remember Us to Life” was recorded with a whole orchestra and contains some beautiful melodies. For the most part, the album is overbearingly mellow and at times struggles to hold interest. However, tracks like “Bleeding Heart” and “Small Bill$” shine through the lull.
49: Angel Olsen – My Woman
Angel Olsen is an indie-folk singer/songwriter from Chicago, Illinois. My Woman is her fourth studio album, finding its way onto many best-of 2016 lists from notable publications like Pitchfork and Billboard. The first half of the album with catchy and poppy tracks like “Shut Up Kiss Me” and “Give It Up,” comes off incredibly strong but when the energy winds down on this album it really winds down.
48: Phantogram – Three
Phantogram incorporates an interesting blend of rock and hip-hop beats into their music. Technically Phantogram is “electronic rock,” similar to their peers in Sleigh Bells.
47: Seratones – Get Gone
Seratones play a soulful vein of rock’n’roll most easily associated with Alabama Shakes.
46: Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition
Danny Brown, a wordsmith well known for his style of raw lyrical content and his experiences with poverty and drug abuse, is back with what might be considered his magnum opus. Brown’s music has always slowly been moving toward the sound of “Atrocity Exhibition,” getting more and more comfortable in experimentation. The lead single featuring Ab-Soul, Earl Sweatshirt, and Kendrick Lamar is likely the strongest single of 2016.
45: Tove Lo – Lady Wood
Tove Lo makes peculiar 80’s influenced pop music most notable for its shamelessly honest lyrics. “Lady Wood,” for those who do not know is another way of saying that a woman is aroused.
44: Sia – This Is Acting
Sia Furler is an Australian singer-songwriter that has gained massive popularity in the past few years. “This Is Acting” is Sia’s seventh studio album, peaking at #4 on the US Billboard
43: Drake – Views
Drake has definitely had his fair share of time in the spotlight and it’s more apparent than ever now. A lot of albums this year were bogged down in their ratings due to their unreasonable length. Clocking in at one hour twenty-one minutes, “Views” definitely strained many fans attention spans. He’s proven that he has no trouble in the studio but hopefully in the future Drake is more meticulous in his writing.
42: NxWorries – Yes Lawd!
NxWorries is a joint effort of singer and rapper, Anderson Paak and experimental hip-hop producer Knxwledge. The combination is an interesting rendition of funky hip-hop.
41: Kevin Devine – Instigator
Instigator is Kevin Devine’s tenth studio album not counting his recordings with the Godamn Band, Bad Books, and Miracle of ’86 and gosh darn it he’s still got it. The singer-songwriter’s style is popular amongst fans of indie and emo. The sound is easily compared to his friends Andy Hull of Manchester Orchestra and Jesse Lacey of Brand New.
40: Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam – I Had A Dream That You Were Mine
Hamilton Leithauser and Rostam Batmanglij are former members of The Walkmen and Vampire Weekend respectively and together they form a band that is just their names. Together Hamilton and Rostam create delicately weaved blends of numerous genres while sticking to their 00’s indie roots.