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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 beyoncenow.net

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 allraphiphop.com

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 sonar.es

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. 

 

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Feature image via allraphiphop.com

 

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