10 Greatest Albums Of 2016

Not everything about 2016 has been completely terrible...

Kanye West
2016 Getty Images

There's no denying that 2016 has been an incredibly significant year, following a string of high profile celebrity deaths as well as witnessing enormous (and enormously unexpected) political change. But when it comes to music, 2016 has actually been fantastic, seeing a host of absolutely brilliant releases.

In fact, many of these releases are from artists who put out music fairly rarely, usually waiting half a decade between albums. In this way, it seems that while the rest of the world has been in comparative anarchy, the stars have aligned to make 2016 a truly special year for music.

Refreshingly, there's been a nice mix of stellar releases both from music superstars and lesser-known artists, accommodating for a variety of different tastes.

Before we blindly leap into a brand new year with its own new music and complications, then, let's take a look back at the ten best releases of 2016.

10. Kanye West - The Life Of Pablo

Kanye West
Good/Def Jam/Roc-A-Fella

It's strange to be looking back on the release period of The Life Of Pablo with nostalgia. Back then, fans and critics were dumbfounded by West's erratic release schedule, wondering when he would finally confirm the track list and put the record out into the world. Now, of course, he's just cancelled the album's entire tour and has been forcibly hospitalised for apparent paranoia and depression. Perspective changes things.

For all its flaws, The Life Of Pablo is an incredibly significant release. In an age of video game DLC and director's cuts, it's amazing no artist up until now has toyed with the idea of "album as platform" before Kanye. What that means is that even after release, Kanye continued to tinker with the track list, swapping out tracks with edited versions and adding new tracks in the weeks that followed. The idea that an album can actually be modified post-release is quite fascinating.

As for the music itself, it's a bit of a mixed bag, but the tracks that work are absolutely brilliant. Opener Ultralight Beam is one of Kanye's most infectious ever, Real Friends sheds a light on the man's inner struggles and who in their right mind doesn't think I Love Kanye is hilarious?

Even if, as the lyrics state, we miss the old Kanye...

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Commonly found reading, sitting firmly in a seat at the cinema (bottle of water and a Freddo bar, please) or listening to the Mountain Goats.