The Swaggiest Albums of 2016

It’s no secret that 2016 was a wild year, but it really was a fantastic year for music! Here are my picks for the top 10, swaggiest albums of the year!

  1. A Moon Shaped Pool – Radiohead
    1. The 9th studio album from the English rock band is without a doubt, my favorite album of the year. Every aspect of the record is deliberate; from the track listing to the interesting sounds found within each song. The album was recorded from 2014-2016 and many of the songs were written and performed years ago, but never made it onto an album until this year. The song “True Love Waits” was written in 1995, and this leads me to believe that they’d been plotting to create this album for years.
  2. I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It – The 1975
    1. The 2nd studio album from The 1975 is nothing short of brilliant. It’s artistic, beautiful, and a response to the band’s first album. The record starts with the same first track as their previous album, but it is slightly altered. Lyrics on the new tracks also respond directly to lyrics from old songs. I listened to this album on repeat for days once it finally was available on Spotify in the United States, and I show no sign of stopping!
  3. Misadventures – Pierce The Veil
    1. Pierce The Veil released the highly anticipated album after 4 years of writing, recording, and touring! Fans of the band patiently waited for this album and I can promise that it was worth the wait! The record shows that Pierce The Veil is capable of countless sounds and techniques ranging from the heavier side of rock to a lighter, pop sound. To top it all off, the band celebrated the release of their music by hitting the road, and playing the entire album to sold out crowds!
  4. The Ride – Catfish and the Bottlemen
    1. As a follow-up to the group’s first album, The Balcony, this album proves that Catfish and the Bottlemen are serious about writing great rock music! In a world of overplayed pop music, and ever-changing sounds, Catfish sticks to their rock roots and continue to perfect their sound and style.
  5. Abandoned Mansion – Dr. Dog
    1. Dr. Dog released this album with no warning, and I’m so glad they did! With a sweet post to their social media pages they joked that they cranked out more tunes “than the Wolfman and Frankenstein combined”, but it’s obvious that they love their art. This album is definitely a little lighter than a lot of the Dr. Dog music I’ve listened to before, but the sweet, folky melodies are perfect
  6. The Life of Pablo – Kanye West
    1. I had stayed away from Kanye music for years. All I knew about him was that he dissed Taylor Swift on live television and that he seemed like a jerk. While I can’t say that I respect some of his choices, I can say that The Life of Pablo is one of my favorite albums of 2016. It is dynamic and it touches on so many different issues through different styles of music.
  7. Outgrown Things – Movements
    1. The first time I heard Movements was during their opening set at a Pierce The Veil concert, and I was instantly hooked. I went home that night and binge-listened to all of their music, and fell in love with their sound. This EP is one of my favorites and it makes me excited to hear more from Movements!
  8. La La Land (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – Various Artists
    1. If you haven’t seen La La Land in theaters, you’re missing out! I’m not only in love with the score but with the film itself. I think it’s the best movie of the year. The score features instrumental pieces composed and orchestrated by Justin Hurwitz, and the songs feature the voices of Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, and John Legend. The entire soundtrack is thematic and those themes flit in and out of each song.
  9. Joanne – Lady Gaga
    1. When Lady Gaga released Joanne I was definitely skeptical. I’d only ever heard her music in passing on the radio, but when I read raving reviews about the album I knew I had to listen. This record shows the beautiful range that Lady Gaga has as a singer, and I am so impressed! Her songs go from spunky and sassy to soft and tender.
  10. 22, A Million – Bon Iver
    1. I was excited when I found out Bon Iver was going to release new music, and 22, A Million did not disappoint! It’s completely different than anything I was expecting, but I love it! The album is such an interesting listen and incorporates countless musical techniques.

      -Swaggie Maggie

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