The Red Headed Stranger and the Boss broke hearts , revealing their anxieties as each meditated on legacy and mortality, and FKA twigs warped heartache and depression into the most glinting sounds of tomorrow imaginable. LP smashed through the public consciousness.
Extreme lyrical confession is the mode du jour, and the real winners are us, the listeners. These are the best albums of Nearly a decade into her dizzying career—one full of futuristic sounds, dreamy vocals, and physics-defying dancing—British born artist Tahliah Barnett arrived with her finest work yet as FKA twigs in It's incredible to see Earl Sweatshirt completely reject popular hip hop music. After his breakthrough solo album, Doris, it seemed that he was primed to be the next big star in the genre. But, throughout this decade, he's spurned that possibly trajectory more and more, as his music becomes more strange, more experimental, and increasingly more unique.
His latest collage of creativity comes in the form of Feet of Clay , a 7-song album that clocks in at less than 15 minutes. It's a fascinating, and brief, collection of music. Mostly produced by Earl himself, the lo-fi sound and crackling samples blanket these seven songs with an air of underground hip-hop sent through a modern filter. There's no chorus outside of the "Pray for the people" sample floating hauntingly in the background while Earl speaks a single verse on his own tempo. His 19th studio album— handily his best outing in a decade —surprised in June with its embrace Laurel Canyon folk balladry and cinematic strings, as well as a smattering of new West Coast personas.
On his second studio album, the artist—who grew up between Nigeria and the United States—finds a vibrant and joyous harmony of the two cultures. And, as if to illustrate the globalization of pop and hip-hop, DaVido brings in collaborators from around the globe with features from Gunna, Popcaan, and A Boogie Wit da Hoodie.
A modern reimagining of Nashville's fabled Highwaymen act. Play it for your friends, family, coworkers, or random passersby, just turn it way up. The opening track to her expansive fifth album, "Lark" places the listener directly in the middle of Angel Olsen's vast sonic landscape. Olsen's vaulting, echoing vocals bound over a wide-reaching chorus of strings and bold, marching drums. But she's proved that was no flash-in-the-pan viral moment with her soulful and bright debut LP, Heard It in a Past Life.
The set, which released in January and somehow makes a swirl of synthy electro-pop and Joni Mitchell-esque balladry feel inevitable, takes stock of a young woman and the storm that surrounds her.
Just when it seemed like indie-rock was running out of new ideas, Sandy Alex G released two albums back-to-back that proved this corner of music could still be inventive, weird, and forward-thinking. Rocket —released in —was a lush, motley album that proved both the fluidity, as well as his general disregard for, genre boundaries.
That approach landed Alex Giannascoli a gig writing for Frank Ocean, one of the most revered innovators in music to-date. This year he debuted his newest collection—a blistering Southern rock shredfest that embraces disco and psych across its 10 songs—alongside a highly produced anime film.
Music fans and critics have spent the last decade arguing about Lana Del Rey. Her melancholy style, her unbreakable persona, and her carefully manicured pop have all been subject to debate over the course of her first five albums. On Igor , Tyler, the Creator distills love, and loss, and heartbreak, down to its purest, most innocent point of view. At the half-way mark , she is the fourth most streamed artist of Drake, Ariana Grande, and Post Malone make up the top three and she has 9 of the most-streamed cuts on the year.
The singer-songwriter digs into her past, her mental health, her life as a mother, her strength, and her capacity to grow stronger yet. At 86 years old and nearly studio albums into a revolutionary career, the Red Headed Stranger has precious little left to prove.
These are people who changed the foundation of art as we know it today, and paved the way for artists like Woods who continue to build upon their foundations. But despite the scholarly inspirations, Legacy! After a multi-year climb, Lizzo has finally arrived in the mainstream national pop consciousness.
Cuz I Love You is bone-rattling, booty-shaking self-love in musical form. Thom Yorke's third album takes us further into the depths of the baleful chaos of our modern, lucid dystopia. Driven by production from longtime collaborator Nigel Godrich, Yorke's voice floats through A Moon Shaped Pool -adjacent orchestral scores and palpitating electronic beats.
It's a cacophony which often resolves into somber melodies and Yorke's longing, haunting vocals. He gracefully wanders through philosopher Carl Jung's theories on dreams and their relationship to persona. Yorke searches for meaning, individualism, and a sense of place in a time when the human mind and our place in the collective consciousness seems ever more fractured. Her follow-up, which released alongside a short film, satisfies—even exceeds—every craving A Seat at the Table birthed within us. She has positioned the collection as an exploration of the Houston of the mind.
Knowles hails from the Texas city. And as such it is a sprawling, slow-living, ambient, throbbing account of the places that make us. Tracks and features arrive as naturally as sighs, flowing in and out effortlessly, almost overlapping where one ends and another begins; meandering between verses and chorus and bridges as they will in between. The effect is downright beguiling. Within the past year Ariana Grande has—at 25 years old—dealt with what most people hope to never go through in a lifetime. As she continues to cope with the psychological trauma of a bombing after her concert in , Grande has broken off an engagement and mourned the loss of her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller—all under the watchful eye of tabloids and blogs.
Despite all of this, Grande released two of the biggest pop albums of the decade within a span of three months. The second of these is Thank U, Next , on which she unpacks celebrity, our digital era, pain, loss, mental health, and more in a shiny pop veneer.
The set, their first since the departure of founding band member Rostam Batmanglij was produced by Modern Vampires cohort Ariel Rechtstaid as well as DJ Dahi Drake and BloodPop Justin Bieber and sees the group fold orchestral strings, jazzy piano, folk instrumentation, and even a vocoder into their well-worn pop- and ska-infused rock grooves.
United States. Type keyword s to search. Today's Top Stories. The 35 Best Comedies on Netflix. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below. FKA twigs — Magdalene. Earl Sweatshirt — Feet of Clay. Bruce Springsteen — Western Stars. DaVido — A Good Time. The Highwomen — The Highwomen. Angel Olsen — All Mirrors. Sandy Alex G — House of Sugar.
Tyler, the Creator — Igor. Jamila Woods — Legacy! Lizzo — Cuz I Love You. Solange — When I Get Home. Ariana Grande — Thank U, Next. Vampire Weekend — Father of the Bride. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano. More From Best of Guide.