Best Albums of 2016 So Far

Today I want to do a non-business related post. So, let’s talk about music.

There have been some great albums released in 2016, but as we head towards the halfway mark of the year I want to talk about 3 that have really been special to me.

  1. Anderson .Pakk – Malibu

This album is sublime. Paak appeared frequently on Dr Dre’s latest album and has already released 2 albums before this one, but this is the release that’s really light touchpaper for him and catapulted him into the limelight.

The west-coast based Paak combines a gospel upbringing with early influences of Motown, funk, and soul but combines into a tidy Dilla-like hip-hop package full on instrumental shine and complex beats with a depth and richness that’s hard to find in the genre.

There’s a host of guests on the album from Schoolboy Q to Hiatus Kaiyote, with The Game appears on one of the best tracks of the album with ‘Room in here’.

2. Kaytranada – 99.9%

Another album that features a host of guests and also features the above rapper, Anderson .Paak, 99.9% is the debut album from SoundCloud superstar Kaytranada.

Montreal-based producer Kaytranada, whose real name is Louis Kevin Celestin, has released a string of singles to critical acclaim in previous years including ‘At All’ and a tasty remix of Janet Jackson’s ‘If’, but this is his first full-length EP and it doesn’t disappoint.

Including guests as diverse as Syd, Karriem Riggins and Craig David, the diversity of textures on the album is astounding and Kay always succeeds in producing beats that resonate deeply without being derivative. His unique soundĀ jumps around so much it’s hard to put a finger on but the drums are a strong element on the album and the polyrhythmic and jazz sounds that appear on tracks like ‘Glowed up’ hint at Kay’s roots in Haiti.

Overall, a highly anticipated debut LP that doesn’t fail to disappoint.

3. Parquet Courts – Human Performance

Taking it in a different direction, Parquet Court’s third album Human performance is one that I could only describe as being thinking man’s punk. After signing to legendary rough trade records they continue with their brand of punk characterised by a hardcore and rough, yet refined, sound that resonates with the energy of everyday life in their native New York. With background’s in the NY hardcore and punk scene, the album has a raw sound that could simultaneously appeal to the masses on mainstream radio, and it’s an album that sees the band’s sound mature considerably. I personally am hugely looking forward to seeing Parquet courts on the festival scene this summer as I’ve heard great things about their live act, too.

Other notable albums this year:

James Blake – The Colour in Anything

Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book

Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

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