The student news site of Midlothian High School

Midlo Scoop

  • Send pictures to [email protected]!

  • Out of the loop? Get the Midlo Scoop!

  • To place an ad in the Midlo Scoop, contact Mrs. Tully at [email protected] Thanks for your support!

Filed under A & E

Best Albums of 2016

Photo by: Sam Stenner

Photo by: Sam Stenner

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






2016 proved a strong year for music. In no particular order, here are some of the best:

Coloring Book

Chance the Rapper follows up his previous mixtapes with his first mainstream release, Coloring Book, making a politically and socially charged album, while also creating immense waves in the music community. Coloring Book builds on Kanye West’s gospel-fueled anthems while not emulating, but making them Chance’s own. The commercial release also includes an array of tracks like the soulful opener, All We Got, and the polar opposite, auto-tune saturated track, No Problem. Chance helps bring out a more positive side of hip hop in Coloring Book, the one that has seemingly been fazed out by the trap/southern rap genre that seems to have overtaken not only hip hop, but music as a whole. In the end, Coloring Book is a breath of fresh air for today’s music listener.

Atrocity Exhibition

Through Atrocity Exhibition, Danny Brown describes his struggles with mental illness and living in the crime-ridden areas of Detroit. The album came out shortly after he changed record labels, from Fool’s Gold, to Warp Records. This refreshing change helped make this album his most experimental work yet. Almost every second of this album is jam-packed with eclectic, abstract instrumentals that would not be touched by today’s average music artist. Brown’s current Magnum Opus brings a more sobering view on the typical gangster rap genre with an even wilder personality.

Life of Pablo

Kanye West’s first album since 2013, The Life of Pablo, went through many different names before landing on this homage to Pablo Picasso. The original release date came and went with no album. West said he delayed the album to better fine-tune it for a release date a week later as a Tidal Music Streaming exclusive. Throughout the next month, West did something unheard of in music: he continuously critiqued the album with different track lists, features, and mixings, making it a living work of art. Besides this very unorthodox method of release, the album took on a strong gospel theme from the fantastic first track, Ultralight Beam, to nostalgic callbacks to his earlier life in 30 Hours. Throughout the album, The Life of Pablo pays tribute to his mother, Donda, who recently passed away .

Blonde

Blonde by Frank Ocean gives albums like The Life of Pablo a run for their money in terms of unorthodox releases. The album was originally promised to release July 2015 with much lore surrounding impending release dates. Suddenly, a mysterious live-stream appeared online of Frank Ocean building a staircase, which later received a musical scoring and the title: Endless. Days later, Ocean released Blonde, which explores finding beauty in simplicity. Much of the album showcases stripped back instrumentals with very minimalist instrument use. Ocean’s voice shines through the thin instrumentals with a range left unseen in his prior projects. Blonde has emerged as a white whale, hard to find, but even more immaculate than the average listener could ever imagine.

 

IV

Modern jazz group, BADBADNOTGOOD, released its sophomore work, IV, as a follow up to its 2014 debut album, III. This follow up elaborates on BADBADNOTGOOD’s idea of making jazz music for the average listener, rather than the more commonly found, cosmopolitan audience. The group’s mission statement is making new jazz rather than simply continuing the defining works that built the genre. Leland Whitty and his powerful, seductive saxophone join the group for the entirety of this album, along with vocal features from the likes of Samuel Herring and Mick Jenkins. IV also brings a longer and more diverse track list with vocal performances and jazz sounds from the smooth, somber Chomp’s Paradise to the menacing, heavy Lavender. BADBADNOTGOOD has created another masterpiece that will not only resonate with the Jazz Community, but also with the average listener of today’s music scene.

 

Bottomless Pit

Experimental music group, Death Grip, continue its hot streak of earth-shaking, fast-paced albums with Bottomless Pit. Bottomless Pit predominantly continues on the sound most present in the group’s debut studio album, Money Store, while also taking elements from its last project to release, Jenny Death. Listeners can see the chaos that Death Grips typically bring to its projects from the first track, Giving Bad People Good Ideas, with a hauntingly lonesome opening vocal performance, followed by an onslaught of abrasive guitars and drums, backed by vocalist, MC Ryde’s trademark delivery. Another nice touch to the album is producer Flatlander, who uses the lead vocalist’s voice as not only the forefront of the track, but also a part of it, by using Ryde’s voice as an instrument as well. Throughout the album, the group elaborates on past ideas and sounds from its debut album, The Money Store, while combining aspects from previous works. Lead vocalist, MC Ryde, said in one of the group’s few interviews that they try to move forward because they believe staying in the same place, even if it works, is boring and presents no point for music to sound the same. Death Grips is one of the few dark horses for music by bringing fresh, innovative ideas and approaches to its audience, rather than singing the same old song.

Ash & Ice

At the turn of the 21st Century, Alison Mosshart of Nero Beach, Florida, and Jamie Hince of Buckinghamshire, England, formed a revolutionary, indie rock band called The Kills. This dynamic duo instantly hit stardom in 2003 with their first album, Keep on Your Mean Side, a stirring twist of grit and minimalism. Each record they released in succession consistently contained both gritty, throwback tracks to the roots of The Kills, as well as tracks treading on completely untouched ground. The 5th album in The Kills’ legacy, Ash & Ice, released on June 3, 2016, from Domino Records. The group’s longest and most successful album contains fantastic songs like Bitter Fruit, Hum For Your Buzz, and Black Tar, instilling the sense of beauty and angst that drove the continuity of this Double LP, making it more than worth a listen.

Charley Hicks

Charley Hicks resides in London, England, revitalizing American Delta Blues from its long overdue slumber from the public eye. He takes much of his inspiration from Charley Patton, an American blues legend from the 1920’s. Hicks released his first, self-titled album on October 28, 2016. The incredibly simplistic album consists of only Charley, his guitars, and his love for the blues. Some of the tracks including: Beehive Blues and Mule Rag truly set this album apart from others.

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Best Albums of 2016

    A & E

    A Flair for the Fabulous

  • Best Albums of 2016

    A & E

    Farewell to the Spotlight

  • Best Albums of 2016

    A & E

    Jazzin’ to the Beat of a Drum

  • Best Albums of 2016

    A & E

    A Celebration of Song

  • Best Albums of 2016

    A & E

    Learning Every Note, Rhythm, and Story

  • Best Albums of 2016

    A & E

    Les Misérables

  • Best Albums of 2016

    A & E

    Rockin’ Rhythms

  • Best Albums of 2016

    A & E

    Singing at States

  • Best Albums of 2016

    Performing Arts

    Singing Through the Summer

  • Best Albums of 2016

    Performing Arts

    One Day More

The student news site of Midlothian High School
Best Albums of 2016