Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
Thom Yorke and co remain reluctant saviours of rock. Lead single ‘Burn The Witch’ is a bit of a red herring, a classic slice of Radiohead scaremongering with cellists wielding their bows like pitchforks. But then, musically, we’re treated to a host of new, subtly-wielded scenes in a largely familiar landscape. “Decks Dark” is particularly imposing early on but it’s Yorke’s candid delivery that really cements the album throughout. “As my world comes crashing down/I’m dancing, freaking out/Deaf, dumb, and blind,” he imparts on “Present Tense”.
Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
Chance the Rapper offered something completely new irresistible. His songs are smart and inspirational and they make the viewer feel safe and calm. Colouring Book, made him the first artist to get an album in the Billboard chart based on streams alone and without a record company. So that’s pretty dope…
Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
The amazing hot mess that was Kanye’s Life of Pablo. Causing publicity drama, it was a statement piece. It may not have been his biggest album to date, but it was a statement. It was unstable, unexpected and just downright genius at times. Who can forget that Kanye feels like he and Taylor might still have sex?
Blossoms – Blossoms
Blossoms made a splash with their self titled album. Named after a pub they’re tipped for greatness by the BBC Sound Of 2016 poll. Their debut album opens as radio-friendly as it can be; the irrepressible ‘Charlemagne’ is their lead single and really sets the tone for the rest of the tracks. By the end of the album is takes a disco turn – ‘My Favourite Room’ is their take on the acoustic Noelrock of the late ’90s, and ‘Blow’ and ‘Deep Grass’ delve into full-on psychotropic blues scree.
Skepta – Konnichiwa
Konnichiwa reached No 2 in the charts and won the Mercury prize, but the biggest gift of all is that Skepta managed to sell grime to an entirely new group of fans. With absolute hits like “Shut down” and “That’s not me” He managed to do something that many have failed at… make British music cool again.
The 1975 – I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it
Full of 80’s sounding bangers and melodic vulgarity. It’s an album of catchy and well written pop songs, with thought provoking themes and lyrics. Healy was quoted himself saying “I’m challenging people to sit through an hour and 15 minutes and 17 songs that all sound completely different from each other. It’s quite an emotional investment. It’s art … the world needs this album.” And it sure does.
David Bowie – Black Star
The haunting release of ‘Black Star’, timed eerily with his passing was perhaps the perfect parting gift from the absolute hero that is Bowie. Arguably the whole album was an omen for the disaster that ended up being 2016. With songs such as “Look up here, I’m in heaven.” and “Where the fuck did Monday go?” the album inspired a media frenzy of interpretation. It was deep and thought provoking – just like Bowie himself.
Hooton Tennis Club – Big Box of Chocolates
The Second album from the Wirral based 4 piece was every bit as good as the first and quite possibly even better. Just the knowledge of this album being in the offy, it’s so easy to see why they packed out the Market Stage early doors on Friday. Produced by Truck favourite Edwyn Collins, the album flows through 12 chapters of Big Box Of Chocolates it’s clear to see his influence. It’s actually impossible to pick stand out tracks from the album they all so good and has been permanently on the Truck office stereo ever since.
Beyoncé – Lemonade
I just feel like we can’t talk about the music of 2016, without discussing Beyoncé’s explosive visual album ‘Lemonade’. Everyone took her album as a tell all on her marriage to Jay Z and had woman dumping their men and then calling them back to give them another chance all around the country. Her songs such as “Formation”, “Hold Up” and “Don’t Hurt Yourself” were passionate and aggressive and clever all at once.