On the record – 2016 wrap up

It has been an incredible year for me, listening to 100 albums in total across 50 weeks and learning an enormous amount about albums, artists, and music in general. The biggest lesson, though, is that there is so much more to learn. This album listening thing will continue into next year, but it seems only right to wrap up what has been a brilliant 2016 of albums for me.

Firstly, it’s worth saying that whilst I’ve always been a bit skeptical of the subscription music business model, this album adventure couldn’t have happened without it. When I was a listener of “just the songs that I like” then I wanted full control over what I did with them, which playlists I put them in, and wanted to hoard them which meant subscription services weren’t the right thing.

Now that I’m all about albums, which cost at lease a fiver a time, then there’s no way I could afford to listen to 100 in a year, and so the model is perfect. Thanks music subscription services, and thanks particularly to Apple Music.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about it for the last couple of weeks and have narrowed down my top ten albums that I’ve listened to over the course of the last twelve months. Here goes nothing!

  1. Native by OneRepublic
  2. Come On Over by Shania Twain
  3. Tracy Chapman by Tracy Chapman
  4. The First Time by Kelsea Ballerini
  5. WALLS by Kings of Leon
  6. Rumours by Fleetwood Mac
  7. Chaleur Humaine by Christine and the Queens
  8. Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morisette
  9. Get Weird by Little Mix
  10. The Chaos and the Calm by James Bay

It’s tricky compiling a list of best albums ever, because some albums are amazing but not really to be listened to all the time. For example, I loved Paul Simon’s Graceland but feel like I want to listen to it on special occasions. Similarly, Straight Outta Compton was top of my list for a while, until I realised that it’s reserved for when I’m angry.

Now, Mr C requested a top five list of specifically 2016 albums, of which I listened to 39.

  1. WALLS by Kings of Leon
  2. Chaleur Humaine by Christine and the Queens
  3. Oh My My by OneRepublic
  4. Wild World by Bastille
  5. Glory Days by Little Mix

Finally, a couple of honourable mentions, not because they are anywhere near the top ten but because they managed to get some special awards of their own.

  • Nine Track Mind by Charlie Puth, for the best timing ever. I wouldn’t have been able to listen to this one AFTER we watched Fast & Furious 7, so it was all very lucky.
  • Debut by Bjork, for turning out to be not intimidating at all. I was properly scared to listen to this one, but it was brilliant!
  • Thank You by Meghan Trainer, for being the biggest disappointment. I had been so looking forward to some great pop, but it was an eclectic mix of crazy.
  • Beneath the Skin by Of Monsters and Men, for being something I wouldn’t usually listen to, and turning out excellent.

A fantastic year of music, I can’t wait for 2017’s batch to begin!