PeteHatesMusic’s Top Albums of 2016

Twitter: @PeteHatesMusic

Hot on the heels of our Top Songs of 2016 list comes our Top Albums of 2016. Sadly, the Jingle Cats failed to release an album this year, so they are not featured.

We’ll keep it short and sweet this year: 5 Honourable Mentions, and a Top 5 for you to debate.

PeteHatesMusic – Honourable Mentions

In absolutely no order that I am consciously aware of:

David Bowie – Blackstar: Album #25 for the legendary artist, and sadly, his last. Those 3 days from album release to shock death feels like the perfect way to remember Bowie.

Basia Bulat – Good Advice: A fuller sound, with help from producer Jim James, propels the multi-instrumental Toronto indie folk artist to another fab song collection.

Michael Kiwanuka – Love & Hate: The talented Kiwanuka avoids the sophomore slump with this solid disc.

Angel Olsen – My Woman: A wide variety of song styles and arrangements highlight the best record of her career to date.

Explosions in the Sky – Wilderness: Another great record by the post-rock collective, which might have flown under the radar given their strong back catalogue.

Top 5

5 – Porches – Pool: Silky smooth production and sounds highlight this instantly accessible album. Repeated listens will only make you like this album more.

Key Tracks
Be Apart

4 – The Field – The Follower: The Field has yet to release an album I didn’t love. I’m always afraid the songs will become monotonous and boring, but there is always that special something in the Swede’s electronic noodling to draw me in and keep me and my ears happy.

Key Tracks
Reflecting Lights
Soft Streams

3 – Jean-Michel Blais – il: I somewhat dislike having 2 of my top 5 as instrumental artists, but it was that kind of year for me. This piano artist instantly won me over with his unique approach to modern piano playing. Moderate success and critical recognition has followed, and now that he has landed at #3 on my list, what else is left for this young man to accomplish? Seriously though, buy his album.

Key Tracks

2 – Frightened Rabbit – Painting Of A Panic Attack: After many good albums, with increasing consistency, Frightened Rabbit have put out what I feel is a career-defining album. From great lyrics to unique melodies to incredible vocals, the Scottish indie band is at the top of their game.

Key Tracks
Get Out
I Wish I Was Sober
Woke Up Hurting

1 – Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool: While I am an unapologetic Radiohead junkie, I still feel this was the best release of 2016. It combined many of Radiohead’s strengths with a fresh new direction, a direction in which many fans wished they would take. Gone are the iciness of electronic blips and beeps, replaced with lush orchestral arrangements that we’ve seen in a few songs here and there across the decades. Add to this the recent break up of long time partner and mother to his two children, and you have the often heartbreaking lyrics that dot the album. It might not be a sonic leap forward for the oft-experimental band, but instead a much needed collection of simply great tunes.

Key Tracks
Burn the Witch
True Love Waits
The Present Tense

Bam! 2016! Let’s hope we see a few less deaths from key musicians in 2017, okay? And let’s keep the great music flowing. Until next year, hit me up on Twitter and let me know what colour socks Santa brought you.

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