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Best Albums of 2016: Top 10 Records of the Year

Best Albums of 2016
2017 is approaching quickly, so we are continuing our look back at 2016 records.

This week, we present our ten best albums of 2016. These are not in order of rank, but rather listed alphabetically.

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Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Denial (Matador)

Teens of Denial is the first official studio album from Car Seat Headrest, and Toledo takes full advantage of the new environment and the full band, moving from bedroom pop to something with grander sonic and narrative ambitions.

Car Seat Headrest’s Teens of Denial is out through Matador Records and available on Amazon, iTunes, and Matador Records’ online store.

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Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book (Independent)

Released without any major label backing (though it was available exclusively through Apple Music for its first two weeks), Chance’s third mixtape beautifully combines gospel and rap into an uplifting and socially conscious album filled to the brim with guest appearances.

Coloring Book is available on Amazon, and iTunes.

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Japanese Breakfast – Psychopomp (Yellow K)

Psychopomp, Michelle Zauner’s first full-length under the name Japanese Break, captures an experience of grief through deft lyrics and a mixture of rock, folk, and electronic music. In addition to brand new songs, the record includes reworked tracks from Japanese Breakfast’s previous releases, all from the summer of 2014.

Psychopomp by Japanese Breakfast is out now through Yellow K Records and Dead Oceans and is available on Amazon, Bandcamp, and iTunes.

Konono N°1 meets Batida - "Nlele Kalusimbiko"

Konono No. 1 – Konono No. 1 Meets Batida (Crammed Discs)

Beginning with Migiedei Mawangu’s creation of the electric likembe, Congolese folk orchestra Konono N˚1 has mixed folk traditions with modern techniques and technology for decades. The band’s collaboration with the Portuguese-Angolan artist Batida is the latest step in this journey, and the two artists’ complementary sounds elevate their collaboration to new heights.

Konono N˚1 Meets Batida is available on Amazon, iTunes, and Crammed Discs’ online shop.

Mount Moriah - Precita (Official Music Video)

Mount Moriah – How to Dance (Merge Records)

How to Dance sees the North Carolinians reexamine territory explored on their first two records in new detail and with new perspectives and a more guitar-forward sound. The prominence of Jenks Miller’s guitar plays a large part in making How to Dance Mount Moriah’s most rocking album to date. No doubt this record, like their others, is steeped in southern Americana, but the songs push harder, sounding more like Neil Young and Crazy Horse than Nebraska.

How to Dance is on Amazon, iTunes, and the Merge online shop.


River Whyless – We All the Light (Roll Call Records)

We All The Light is a gorgeous indie pop album performed on traditional folk instruments. River Whyless’ vocal harmonies, evocative lyrics, and multilayered instrumentation allow the band to stand out from the indie folk crowd.

We All The Light is available on Amazon, Bandcamp, and iTunes.


Solange – A Seat at the Table (Columbia Records)

A Seat at the Table is too powerful an album to be summarized in a few short sentences, but Solange Knowles has managed to create an amazing R&B record and one of the most powerful statements on racism in 2016.

A Seat at the Table is available on iTunes

The So So Glos - Dancing Industry

The So So Glos – Kamikaze (Votiv Music)

The Bay Ridge trio embeds a self-conscious critique of technology in 12 Ramones-esque punk anthems.

Kamikaze is available on Amazon, iTunes, and on the band’s web store.

Swet Shop Boys: Phone Tap

Swet Shop Boys – Cashmere (Customs)

Produced by Redinho, Cashmere is filled with energy—drawing from Qawwali hand claps, harmonium, Bollywood string drama, sitar, Western synths, and an arsenal of drums – from 808s to tablas and tars, dholaks and doumbeks—and cutting verses from dual emcees, Heems (formerly of Das Racist) and Riz MC (a.k.a. Riz Ahmed of The Night Of and Nightcrawler).

Swet Shop Boys’ Cashmere is out now via Customs and is available for purchase on Amazon, Bandcamp, and iTunes.

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Véronique Vincent & Aksak Maboul – 16 Visions of Ex-Futur (Crammed Discs)

Crammed Discs released seminal art-rock band Aksak Maboul’s lost collaboration with Véronique Vincent, Ex-Futur Album, in 2014. The collaboration inspired a multitude of artists from around Europe—including Lætitia Sadier of Stereolab, Burnt Friedman, and Aquaserge to reinterpret some of the album’s songs. The result? 16 Visions of Ex-Futur.

16 Visions of Ex-Futur is available on Amazon, Crammed Discs’ online shop, and iTunes.

The 30 best biographies to add to your reading list
Some stories involve incredible, larger-than-life characters. These are the best biographies ever written.

Writing a great biography is no easy task. The author is charged with capturing some of the most iconic and influential people on the planet, folks that often have larger than life personas. To capture that in words is a genuine challenge that the best biographers relish.

The very best biographies don't just hold a mirror up to these remarkable characters. Instead, they show us a different side of them, or just how a certain approach of philosophy fueled their game-changing ways. Biographies inform, for certain, but they entertain and inspire to no end as well.

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The 10 best Adam Sandler movies (they’re not all comedies)
From Uncut Gems to Happy Gilmore, these are the movies that have defined Adam Sandler's career to date.
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What is there left to say about Adam Sandler? The Sand-Man has been a fixture of pop culture for well over 20 years, having worked first on Saturday Night Live and then broken out in a series of farcical, wonderful comedies in the years after his departure. He's one of the biggest comedy stars on the planet, and we know that in part because he's made plenty of movies that nobody should be forced to watch twice.
For every movie that has immediately been relegated to the trash bin of history, though, Sandler has also made an indelible comedy or a surprising turn into drama. While he may have emerged looking a little bit like a one-trick pony who relies on funny voices for cheap laughs, Sandler turned out to be far more complicated than that. He is a genuinely great actor whenever he wants to be. The rest of the time, he's content to make silly movies with his best friends.

The Waterboy (1998)

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Every ‘Creed’ and ‘Rocky’ movie, ranked
Where does "Creed III" fall on our list of the best "Rocky" and "Creed" movies?
Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan in Creed.

Good sports movies are fairly easy to come by, but great ones can be almost impossible to find. Over the years, the Rocky and Creed franchises have produced movies that fall into each of those categories. When they're good, the movies in this franchise are among the best fighting movies ever made. Even when they're only okay, though, they're still pretty great sports movies.

With the recent release of Creed III, it feels like the appropriate time to take stock of the entire franchise and determine which Rocky movies rise to the top and which ones sink to the bottom. A great Rocky or Creed movie can take a wide variety of  forms, but what matters most is the emotion it evokes in the viewer, and how authentic those feelings are.

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