The Unknown Best Albums of 2016

There used to be a time when favorite albums lists came out and I would know each and every one of them.  Then Napster came along and the floodgates were open and I can guarantee that at 2 or more of the albums from a top ten list come from artists that I’ve never heard.

I’m not complaining.  I think it’s great that music is more diversified than ever and can be easily accessed.  There are now so many avenues for albums to get heard.  However, must music fans stay in their little niche of favorites.   I am guilty as charged and will probably listen to the latest mediocre album from a classic rock artist before I hear a record from Shawn Mendes (the LA Times put him in their top ten).  I’ve heard him and I just don’t have the patience nor desire to sit through a complete album.

With that in mind, I chose an album from a magazine’s (Rolling Stone), radio’s (NPR), newspaper’s (New York Times) and blog’s (Pitchfork) top ten list. Here are albums from artists I had no idea existed until they landed on these lists.  I sampled a bit and think they are worthy to be mentioned on this “highly influential” music blog and now you can listen as well.

Mannequin Pussy "Romantic"Artist/Album: Mannequin Pussy Romantic

Critic: Rob Sheffield for Rolling Stone rated this his third favorite behind Beyoncé and Bowie

Quote: “You’re my favorite but favorites always fail” is the greatest lyric in any love song this year

 

Big Thief 'Masterpiece'

Artist/Album: Big Thief, ‘Masterpiece’

 

Critic: NPR’s Bob Boilen rated this as number 4

 

Quote: I’ve listened to this album more than any other in 2016. It’s just about perfect.

 

Margaret Glaspy "Emotions and Math"Artist/Album: Margaret Glaspy Emotions and Math

Critic: Jon Pareles for the New York Times

Quote: Her voice wraps her lyrics in burlap: flexible, sturdy and a little rough to the touch.

 

Mitski "Puberty 2"Artist/Album: Mitski/Puberty 2

Critic: Alex Frank of Pitchfork

Quote: Puberty 2 is vividly, excitingly, and sometimes crushingly human, containing all the ups and downs of maintaining emotional sanity as told through her guitar’s indie fuzz.

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