I’ll admit, it was hard for me to think of 10 genuinely good albums that came out in 2016. Or that is to say, a lot of the music I listened to this year actually came out in 2015, as it turns out. Ultimately, I tend to just buy a lot of singles, and like a crazy amount of albums came out in December. That being said, here are my ten favorite albums from 2016:
1. Marshmello – Joytime
The individual parts that make up a Marshmello track shouldn’t work – there’s some drum and base lines serving as skeletons, candy/bubblegum pop style raises and blips, rap bars, dubstep wubs, house bloops, some 16-bit MIDI sounds, an obligatory “You ready for this?” and some classical piano sprinkled in for good measure – yet it deliciously flows so well. There’s no individual parts of a track I would take out or add in, no bits I rush over, nor parts I wish I would last longer, Joytime is a perfect blend.
2. The Weeknd – Starboy
When I first heard “Starboy” I was impressed, which is to be expected by anything produced by Daft Punk. Then I heard “False Alarm” and found myself relating to the lyrics not long before falling in love with the music video that’s a lovechild between The Prodigy’s “Smack My Bitch Up” and the opening scene of The Dark Knight. Within days these two tracks jumped to the top of my iTunes Top 25 playlist, so by empirical evidence alone, I gotta give Starboy a place on this list.
3. Lindsey Stirling – Brave Enough
Whereas Lindsey Stirling’s previous album Shatter Me felt as if the dubstep violinist’ wings had been clipped, Brave Enough is Lindsey Stirling’s triumphant return to the EDM scene. There’s some trip hop undertones, hauntingly beautiful vocals, and heavy hitting beats that feel as if they were ripped right from a Bassnectar track. Regardless of the style, Lindsey Stirling provides an album worthy of perfect songs for fighting an endless hallway’s worth of nightmares in order to reach your dreams. .
4. Bassnectar – Unlimited
The inaugural track on Unlimited, “Reaching Out,” is probably my favorite Bassnectar track of all time. Unlimited is an odyssey into an unknown, an auditory shapeshifter that entranced you before revealing it’s true form that invites you to explore this amorphous alien landscape beyond the horizon. Unlimited is amorphous music in action, resulting in sections that you fall in love with and hook you in, before tossing you into a completely different genre altogether without even switching a track.
5. Die Antwoord – Mount Ninji And Da Nice Time Kid
Let’s not mince words: Mount Ninji And Da Nice Time Kid is all over the place. It’s hard to tell when Die Antwoord is taking themselves seriously with songs like “Wings On My Penis”, or “Rats Rule” featuring a perfectly executed Jack Black, yet I find myself grinning like a goon on each and every listen. Also, I’ve found myself listening to “Banana Brain” on way too many occasions over the past year not to include it.
6. deadmau5 – W:/2016ALBUM/
7. Illenium – Ashes
8. Armin Van Buuren – A State Of Trance 2016
9. Various Artists – Suicide Squad: The Album
10. Perturbator – The Uncanny Valley
The Top 10 Singles Of 2016:
1. “Sing Me To Sleep (Marshmello Remix)” by Alan Walker
2. “Genghis Khan”” by Miike Snow
3. “I Took A Pill In Ibiza (Seeb Remix)” by Mike Posner
4. “Stand By Me” by Florence + The Machine
5. “Superstar” by Pegboard Nerds & NGHTMRE (Ft. Krewella)
6. “Amun” by Ilan Bluestone & Jason Ross
7. “The Greatest” by Sia (Ft. Kendrick Lamar)
8. “Shelter” by Porter Robinson & Madeon
9. “Wired” by Rodg
10. “Don’t Fight It” by Melano