Friday, December 30, 2016

My Top Albums of 2016

By Emmanuel Legrand

It's been a good year for music, although there were no obvious masterpieces (maybe Bowie's Blackstar and Nick Cave's Skeleton Tree will earn this status in a while). I had a lot of pleasure listening to a wide range of music styles over the year, but I found the most satisfying listening experiences with music from the fringes, especially electronic music. Acts like Arnaud Rebotini, Mark Pritchard, Nicolas Jaar, Ólafur Arnalds or Nils Frahm rarely grace the cover of magazines but their music is rewarding if not at times challenging.

There were lots of great albums by female solo acts such as Agnes Obel, Angel Olsen, PJ Harvey, Fiona Brice, to name but a few. And if you were not afraid to hear languages you're not familiar with, there were quite a few outstanding records from the likes of Baabal Maal, Bombino, CéU or Fumaça Preta.

Of course, there were quite too many good musicians and artists who left this world in 2016. But their music is alive and well, and we'll keep tuning in.

Enjoy the music and best musical wishes for 2017.

Top 50 albums of 2016
(in no specific order, and there's actually 52)

Agnes Obel    Citizen Of Glass PIAS
Anakronic Electro Orkestra, David Krakauer    Anakronic / Krakauer    Balagan Box
Angel Olsen    My Woman    Jagjaguwar
ANOHNI    Hopelessness    Secretly Canadian
Arnaud Rebotini & Christian Zanési    Frontieres    Blackstrobe Records / !K7 Records
Baaba Maal    The Traveller    Marathon Artists
The Besnard Lakes    A Coliseum Complex Museum    Jagjaguwar
Black Mountain    IV    Jagjaguwar
Bombino    Azel    Partisan Records
Bon Iver    22, A Million    Jagjaguwar
Brian Eno    The Ship    Warp
Cass McCombs    Mangy Love    Anti-   
CéU    Tropix    Urban Jungle Records
David Bowie    Blackstar   ISO/Columbia

DIIV    Is the Is Are    Captured Tracks
DJ Shadow    The Mountain Will Fall    Mass Appeal Recordings
Drake    Views    Young Money/Cash Money/Republic
Dylan LeBlanc    Cautionary Tale    Single Lock Records
The Field    The Follower    Kompakt
Field Music    Commontime    Memphis Industries
Fiona Brice    Postcards From    Bella Union
Frank Ocean    Blonde    Boys Don't Cry
Fumaça Preta    Impuros Fanáticos    Soundway Records
Gilles Peterson's Havana Cultura Band    Havana Club Rumba Sessions    Brownswood Recordings
Hiss Golden Messenger    Heart Like a Levee    Merge Records
Jack Garratt    Phase    Island
Jamie Lidell    Building a Beginning    Jalulin
Joan As Police Woman & Benjamin Lazer Davis    Let It Be You    Reveal Records
Kendrick Lamar    untitled unmastered.    Dawg/Aftermath/Interscope
La Femme    Mystere    Born Bad Records
Lambchop    Flotus    City Slang
Leonard Cohen   You Want It Darker   Columbia

M83    Junk    Naive
Marissa Nadler    Strangers    Bella Union
Mark Pritchard    Under The Sun    Warp
Max Jury    Max Jury    Marathon Artists
Metronomy    Summer 08    Because Music
Money    Suicide Songs    Bella Union
Neko Case, k.d. lang and Laura Veirs    case/lang/veirs    Anti-
Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds    Skeleton Tree    Bad Seed
Nicolas Jaar    Sirens    Other People
Ólafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm    Trance Frendz    Erased Tapes
Pavo Pavo    Young Narrator in the Breakers    Bella Union
PJ Harvey    The Hope Six Demolition Project    Island
Radiohead    A Moon Shaped Pool    XL Recordings
Ray LaMontagne    Ouroboros    RCA
Sonzeira    Tam Tam Tam Reimagined    Brownswood Recordings
Steve Hauschildt    Strands    Kranky
Tricky    Skilled Mechanics    False Idols / !K7
Wilco    Schmilco    Anti-
William Tyler    Modern Country    Merge Records

Woodkid & Nils Frahm   Ellis   Erased Tapes   
The Weeknd   Starboy   XO/Republic

Check some tracks on Spotify.