Whatever your taste, has been a great year for music. Pop goddess Robyn returned from an eight year break with an instant classic in Honey and St Vincent flipped her excellent album to give each track a more melancholy sound. The German musician's ninth solo album mixes classical and electronic music in a way that is both arresting and soothing. Skip to: 'All Melody' - The title track unfolds around a throbbing central force which expands and shrinks away inviting in different instruments to slowly melt into one. Three years since their slightly disappointing second album and the London-based pop-rock-indie-psychedelic band are back. From the jazzy riffs and laid-back chords of 'Sundials' to the moody grunge-pop in 'Beam Me Up' to the extraterrestrial and bouncing 'Real Gone', Marble Skies straddles every genre within reach - and it works.
49. Rejjie Snow – ‘Dear Annie’
Janelle Monáe – Dirty Computer
The year in music was filled with powerful emerging voices, existential searches for identity, and personal and national tragedies. With celebrity deaths, rap feuds, an urgent concern for mental health, and seismic shifts at the highest reaches of pop, the world of music has been a dramatic one. It's a time of transition, when new faces and styles have materialized across genres. Young indie artists are showing the strengths of the basics in guitar music. Soundcloud rappers have introduced a new era of intimate, anxious hip-hop. And the biggest stars in the world are addressing their personal family struggles openly through their art. The best albums of represent a time in flux within the industry, within culture, and beyond to our uncertain social-political climate. Amazon iTunes. Those are my people.
1. Janelle Monáe, ‘Dirty Computer’
This year felt more like a changing of the guard than any year in recent memory. It was a fantastic year for ambitious Latin-pop, psychedelic Southern rap, Gen Z indie rock and boundary-defying country. After three albums, 34 songs and
Our countdown is complete, and top spot goes to a timely blast of identity pop — adding to a fine selection of albums that range from the socially conscious to the political, as well as pure slices of ecstatic rock and cutting rap. Fri 21 Dec Read our full review. Soon after Robyn released her era-defining album Body Talk, similar armour-plated bangers about female empowerment duly took over the charts.