2016 has been a momentous year in regards to album releases. Major music powerhouses like Beyonce, Rihanna, Adele, Drake and Frank Ocean all returned with long-awaited albums. However, the anticipation over these albums being released, has in effect clouded and overshadowed many other album releases in 2016. Some great albums have gone unnoticed and essentially been under appreciated for their quality. Here are my top five most underrated albums of 2016 so far.
5- ANDERSON PAAK -‘MALIBU’
Relatively new to many music listeners and not widely known by people outside the hiphop and RnB sphere. But his tracks ‘Room In Here’ and ‘The Bird’ from the album have gained serious popularity within the music scene in general. This album is littered with a strong summer Malibu feel. The album is a wave we can all surf on taking us up (with up tempo tunes) like ‘Am I wrong’ and down (with slow old school funky vibes) in ‘Celebrate’.
ALBUM SCORE =4/5
4- ALUNA GEORGE – ‘I REMEMBER’
The duo did not surprise or disappoint anyone here with their rich blend of soft vocals and infective beats. What worked well is their ability to dip into multiple genre effectively and with ease. Dubstep, Hiphop, and Pop were greatly displayed in the album.
ALBUM SCORE =4/5
3- Ty Dolla Sign – FREE TC
This album was crafted with pure emotion and rawness as it revealed the struggles of Ty Dolla Sign in him dealing with the ‘wrongful’ incarceration of his brother. The album is abundant in RnB triumphs, for example ‘Straight Up’ and ‘Miracle’. Even though this album carries more sentimental meaning than any of his works to date, he did not neglect the club scene rightly spoiling us with his hit ‘Saved’.
ALBUM SCORE = 4.3/5
2- James Blake – ‘THE COLOUR IN ANYTHING’
James Blake had not released an album since 2013, so it is not wrong to state that this album was faced with great expectancy. The album did not fail to deliver. His voice communicates a poignant message of consternation and anxiety in 2016.
ALBUM SCORE = 4.5/5
1- Twenty 88 (Big Sean & Jhene Aiko) – ‘TWENTY 88’
This album was close to perfection. One thing that was outstanding about this album was the fact you could map a storyline from the start of the album to the end through each song. The message of the album is cleverly left ambiguous by the pair, forcing us to unpick their hints at the demise that love may experience as a result of technology, or celebrity culture. Every song was effortless in transition and there have been hints that the two are going to be making more music together.
ALBUM SCORE= 5/5
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