Trevor’s Top 10 Albums of 2016

Trevor’s Top 10 Albums of 2016

Trevor Davies

December 18th, 2016

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10. Weezer – Weezer (The White Album)

Weezer (The White Album)


After a somewhat disappointing 2014 release, Weezer has proven to fans that they’re back. The band’s fourth self-titled record (dubbed The White Album), brings a summer beach vibe never heard on a Weezer record before. All summer I’ve had this album in my summer rotation, loved driving with the windows down and this album playing. It’s just a feel good, fun album.

You can read my review of Weezer (The White Album) here.

Favorite tracks: (Girl We Got A) Good Thing, King of the World, Summer Elaine and Drunk Dori, L.A. Girlz

9. Joyce Manor – Cody

Joyce Manor - Cody

I’m going to get flack for saying this, but this is Joyce Manor‘s best album. While I’d say no song on here tops the track “Constant Headache,” this album is short, catchy and I’ve been in love with it since it dropped. Many people are upset that Cody sounds more “polished” and not as “raw” as the band’s first two albums, and while I see it, I don’t think it’s a bad thing. Fake I.D. is an absolute banger. I was driving back to school coming back from break, and head banged to the entire album. Better believe I regretted it for the next week.

Underrated album, flew under a lot of people’s radar.

Favorite tracks: Fake I.D., Eighteen, Last You Heard of Me, Stairs

8. Preoccupations – Preoccupations

Preoccupations - Preoccupations

(fka Viet Cong) Apparently people found the old name racist, or something. This album defined the first few weeks of my fall semester. I had it on constant repeat once it leaked. Memory is definitely one of my favorite songs of 2016. When I saw the track-listing for this album I thought it’d be another Death from their first album. That couldn’t be any farther from the truth, in fact this track is a completely different beast. This album is far darker than their freshman album, and I welcome more like this.

You can ready my review of Preoccupations here.

Favorite tracks: Zodiac, Memory, Degraded

7. Nothing – Tired of Tomorrow

Nothing - Tired of Tomorrow

ALBUM OF THE SUMMER. God I absolutely love this band. The atmosphere this album creates is second to none. I don’t know if you want to characterize this album as shoegaze or what, just whatever it is, I NEED MORE. When the band dropped A.C.D. (Abcessive Compulsive Disorder) before the album’s release, I knew this album was going to be great.

“Here we are again
Will someone find a cure cause
You know me and you know I am not well
I always knew I’d eventually hurt you”

Curse of the Sun is a real headbanger as well. If there’s one thing I regret in this past year, it’s not driving 70 minutes to see these guys live.

Favorite tracks: Fever Queen, Vertigo Flowers, A.C.D. (Abcessive Compulsive Disorder), Curse of the Sun

6. Tim Hecker – Love Streams

Tim Hecker is my all time favorite ambient artist. Love Streams is the follow to his 2013 release Virgins (which is an absolute masterpiece). Hecker incorporated choir samples on this record and sampled them like you would with instruments, which leaves for an absolutely haunting experience. Voice Crack is the best example of him using the choir to create sounds you wouldn’t expect. When you tell some people about the ambient genre, they usually expect that you just have the music playing in the background, and you don’t really pay attention to it. That’s far from the truth though, to really appreciate the genre you have to give the album full attention. This album is no exception, every time I relisten I hear something new I didn’t hear before.

You can read our review of Love Streams here.

Favorite tracks: Obsidian Counterpoint, Castrari Stack, Voice Crack

5. David Bowie – Blackstar

David Bowie - Blackstar

The world of music lost a real legend early this year. David Bowie inspired many artists your hear on the radio today. Two days after the release of Blackstar, Bowie tragically passed due to liver cancer. The lyrics within the record leaves fans wondering if Blackstar was Bowie’s swan song. If you go into this album with that in mind, it’s actually a spooky listening experience.

Favorite tracks: Blackstar, ‘Tis a Pity She Was a Whore, Lazarus

4. Kendrick Lamar – untitled unmastered.

Kendrick Lamar - untitled unmastered.

Pimp-pimp, hooray. Kendrick’s 2015 release To Pimp a Butterfly was vastly regarded as the album of the year by multiple music critics. Now in 2016, Lamar drops a project of b-sides that have not been mastered and it’s still showing up on critic’s album of the year list. From the album’s release I said that untitled 05 | 09.21.2014. was his best song to date, now as I type this in December I still wholeheartedly stand by my statement. Who would’ve thought an album of scrapped b-sides would be so great?

Also, I guess we have to thank LeBron James for this release.

Favorite tracks: untitled 02 | 06.23.2014., untitled 05 | 09.21.2014., untitled 07 | 2014 – 2016

3. Frank Ocean – Blonde

Frank Ocean - Blonde

Frank Ocean really surprised me with Blonde. As someone who wasn’t big on channel ORANGE, when I heard rumors that Frank was about to release a new album, I was like “eh.” However, after hearing this album you can throw me in on the Frank Ocean bandwagon. My favorite song on the album has to be Ivy, the opening line

“I thought that I was dreaming

When you said you loved me”

gets me ready for a feels trip. The song was actually covered (badly) by Car Seat Headrest (lol).

Favorite tracks: Nikes, Ivy, Self Control, Nights

2. Bon Iver – 22, A Million

Bon Iver - 22, A Million

My first introduction to Bon Iver was when he was all over Kayne West‘s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Soon after I listened to For Emma, Forever Ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. On 22, A Million Justin Vernon steps away from his folk-rock roots and starts to incorporate more electronic elements into the music. Autotune is heavily used on many tracks, it’s most apparent on 715 (Creeks). 22, A Million has my favorite musical moment this year as well. The ending of 33 “God” when Justin sings the lyrics

“Well we walked up on that bolt in the street
After you tied me in in the driveway of the apartment of his bede
Sent your sister home in a cab
Said I woulda walked across any thousand lands
(No not really if you can’t)
I didn’t need you that night
Not gonna need you anytime
Was gonna take it as it goes
I could go forward in the light
Well I better fold my clothes”

into the epic outro never fails to send chills down my spine. Hidden behind all the cryptic track titles and album art, is a message that’s left up to the listener to unravel. Easily the best Bon Iver record to date, excited to see what Justin brings to the table in the future.

Favorite tracks: 715 (Creeks), 33 “God”, #29 Strafford Apts, 8 (Circle), 1000000 (Million)

1. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool

I really don’t know what more I can say about this album, it’s absolutely perfect. Every time Daydreaming comes on I still get the euphoric feeling I got when the band first released the song. Before I go off on a tangent, if you really really want to know how I feel about this album, please just read the review. I can’t summarize this album, because it doesn’t deserve to be summarized. Another masterpiece added to the Radiohead discography.

You can read my heartfelt review of A Moon Shaped Pool here.

Favorite tracks: Daydreaming, Decks Dark, Identikit, Present Tense, True Love Waits