It looks like it’s finally my turn! But we’re still not done yet. We’ll have at least one more top music article soon enough. -Ed.
2016 marked my first anniversary with KXUA in October and my first semester as the station manager. It’s been nothing short of exciting, and music has been even more present in my life than ever before. With that in mind, I’m glad to present my first albums of the year list.
- Mitski – Puberty 2
Mitski created the best album of 2016 without a doubt. Puberty 2 feels incredibly raw but carefully honed to perfection simultaneously. My favorite tracks from the album, “My Body’s Made of Crushed Little Stars” and “Your Best American Girl,” have some of the absolute best lyrics I’ve ever heard, and I don’t think I could adequately do them justice in this review. I eagerly look forward more from Mitski in the future, and to catching up on her previous albums that I’ve missed.
2. case/lang/veirs – case/lang/veirs
This album passed mostly under my radar when it was originally released this past summer, admittedly eclipsed by Mitski’s album released around the same time. Looking back, it was me that decided to put this album into rotation, describing it as “like smoking a Marlboro light.” I’m not sure that I agree with my own previous assessment, but I can say that this album’s sound and lyrics make me nostalgic for when I used to only listen to country music.
3. Michael Mayer – &
I think I speak for a lot of us at KXUA when I say that there’s a great appeal to a clean electronic music album that’s mostly instrumental. Michael Mayer’s contribution this year with just that sort of album is greatly appreciated, especially so in a year where no other such album has lived up to expectations. “&,” however it is pronounced (ampersand? or just and?) has become one of my go-to albums when I’m not sure what to listen to.
4. clipping. – Wriggle
I used to think of clipping. as “discount Death Grips” before this EP landed in our office this summer and proved me dead wrong. The title song, “Wriggle,” was one of my favorites this year. The percussion sounds like it’s punching your ears in the best way possible. Another favorite from this EP, “Shooter,” features some of my favorite wordplay I’ve heard in 2016.
5. Animal Collective – Painting With
While I missed Animal Collective’s show in Fayetteville at George’s this past year, I’m glad I got into Animal Collective with this year’s album “Painting With.” When this album came out, our station manager at the time became frustrated that the first track, “Floridada,” was being played so often, but I was partially responsible for that. Of the Animal Collective albums that I’ve listened to repeatedly so far, this is among my favorites.