2016 Album Capsules (with Twitter Restricted Length)

Ausmuteants - Band of the Future (2016): 65.
I've seen the future baby, it is DEVO.

Beyoncé - Lemonade (2016): 71.
Peaks early and loses momentum but this is far and away the best album Beyoncé has put out.

Bon Iver - 22, A Million (2016): 54.
Bon Iver in fragments. A deconstructed and scattered jigsaw puzzle that's missing half the pieces.

David Bowie - Blackstar (2016): 85.
His best since LOW. Already plenty heavy before he died, but now has a nearly supernatural level of heft

Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Denial (2016): 82.
Turns out I was starving for a good 90s style indie rock LP and this is served buffet-style.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Skelton Tree (2016): 78.
Album sequencing, with Cave singing saved for final 3 tracks, packs an emotional punch.

Chance the Rapper - Coloring Book (2016): 51.
I guess Gospel Rap is on trend in 2016 but I don't like things this aggressively feel good.

Leonard Cohen - You Want it Darker (2016): 65.
Not a BLACKSTAR-level swan song, but much more tastefully produced than recent Cohen albums.

Cosmonauts - A-OK! (2016): 59.
More melodic, less noisy effort from shapeshifting garage rockers now exploring shoegaze and dream pop.

Deakin - Sleep Cycle (2016): 80.
Expands the troubling trend of Animal Collective solo efforts easily out-shining their proper LP output.

The Double - Dawn of the Double (2016): 76.
Hypnotic, minimalist riff on garage rock with one chord strummed to shifting Jim White drums.

The Drones - Feelin Kinda Free (2016): 77.
Stark, almost apocalypic sounding post-punk from Australia, with heavy Birthday Party influence.

Eleanor Friedberger - New View (2016): 75.
Settling into a 70s soft rock vibe similar to PERSONAL RECORD but a little more low key this time

PJ Harvey - The Hope Six Demolition Project (2016): 71.
A continuation of LET ENGLAND SHAKE and not as successful, but still quite good.

Kristin Kontrol - X-Communicate (2016): 64.
Welcome shift from Dum Dum Girls frontwoman to synth pop, title track is a new classic of genre.

Kendrick Lamar - untitled unmastered (2016): 66.
Continues BUTTERFLY's light Jazz Rap without conventional pop hooks. Nice background music.

Kevin Morby - Singing Saw (2016): 73.
Nothing here reaches "The Ballad of Arlo Jones" on previous LP, but Morby is quietly filling an impressive songbook.

Frank Ocean - Blonde (2016): 70.
I had some big problems with Channel Orange but I'm mostly onboard with this, despite the fussy production.

Parquet Courts - Human Performance (2016): 74.
Finally warmed to these guys who always seemed like they were trying even less than Pavement.

Puro Instinct - Autodrama (2016): 51.
Pretty straight-forward pop record without the dreamy haze of their previous work to distinguish it.

Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool (2016): 76.
Gorgeous, lush & cinematic. Wish it had more noisy, dissonance and silences to break it up.

Ty Segall - Emotional Mugger (2016): 62.
Segall surrounded by supergroup of collaborators but, as result, no one really shines. His weakest.

Spacin' - Total Freedom (2016): 75.
Grooves pushed into druggy dub level abstraction. A singular sound in the crowded garage rock scene.

Thee Oh Sees - A Weird Exits (2016): 72.
A nice showcase for their two drummers lineup but lacks the punchiness of their best material.

Thee Oh Sees - An Odd Entrances (2016): 63.
Oddly lethargic and meandering effort from one of the best, most consistent rock bands around.

Tindersticks - The Waiting Room (2016): 79.
What if Tindersticks released their best album in more than a decade and no one noticed?

A Tribe Called Quest - We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service (2016): 84.
Reunion album so great it makes you mourn the years apart

Kanye West - The Life of Pablo (2016): 57.
Feels like such an incoherent, goopy mess after YEEZUS, which was so immediate and well-realized.

Woods - City Sun Eater in the River of Light (2016): 68.
Some reggae influence mixed in this time. Woods are consistently good, never great.