Readers Digest
Magazine subscription Podcast

The 5 best albums of 2016

The 5 best albums of 2016

From Bowie's earthshattering swansong through Radiohead's surprise album drop to Beyoncé's scandalous visual feast, everyone's kept busy throughout 2016. Here are our five favourite records of the year. 

1. Lemonade by Beyoncé 

Image via

This sensational visual album caused an internet storm upon its surprise release back in April—and rightly so. It’s a triumph.

The story of Beyoncé reacting to her husband’s (rapper Jay-Z) infidelity, it’s an R&B record of dark, dazzling anger, razor-sharp sass and irrepressible strength, cut through with lilts of blues, rock, gospel and dancehall.


2. Blackstar by David Bowie 


The world mourned in January at the news of Bowie’s death. Released just two days before he passed, Blackstar is his 25th album.

Ethereal and odd, it’s a lush, jazz-infused record, fittingly absurd for the final work of this boundary-defying icon.


3. The Life of Pablo by Kanye West 

Image via

It's easy to forget how talented Kanye West is. His latest work wrestles with the discord between family life and the rap game. The album might be conflicted, but it's also joyful, reflective and—like anything West creates—very funny. 


4. Blond by Frank Ocean

Four years in the making, this hotly anticipated album delivers everything that Ocean’s absence promised.

Responding meditatively to US police brutality, his distorted and dreamlike hymns are sewn through with moving interviews with his family.


5. Hopelessness by Anohni

Image via

A creature of great beauty, fragility and a voice that haunts and mystifies, Anohni's latest album is a painfully candid manifesto tackling uncomfortable environmental and political issues.

It is raw and dramatic, but at the same time incredibly uplifting and, considering the bleak state of the world we find ourselves in today, cathartic. 


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more entertainment features

Enjoyed this story? Share it!

Feature image via


This post contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you. Read our disclaimer

Loading up next...
Stories by email|Subscription
Readers Digest

Launched in 1922, Reader's Digest has built 100 years of trust with a loyal audience and has become the largest circulating magazine in the world

Readers Digest
Reader’s Digest is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (which regulates the UK’s magazine and newspaper industry). We abide by the Editors’ Code of Practice and are committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism. If you think that we have not met those standards, please contact 0203 289 0940. If we are unable to resolve your complaint, or if you would like more information about IPSO or the Editors’ Code, contact IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or visit