December 22, 2016

hmv staff pick their favourite albums of 2016
by hmv
hmv

by hmv Staff

hmv London; 22/12/2016

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hmv staff pick their favourite albums of 2016

As the year winds to a close and we look back at the many great albums that have arrived over the course of 2016, we asked our staff at hmv stores around the UK to pick their favourite album from this year and tell us why. Here's what they had to say for themselves...

Blackstar

David Bowie: Blackstar

RCA

“Even before his untimely passing this was a well anticipated album and it did not disappoint. It was a beautiful reinvention and glorious comeback.”
Julia, Westfield Stratford

“The best art statement about your own death”
Rupert, Plymouth

“I loved this album strictly for the reason that Bowie has always been an influence in my life and always will be, but the main reason is the subliminal messaging behind the music of Blackstar.”
Daryl, Chichester

“Great final album from a great artist.”
William, Manchester Trafford

All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us

Architects – All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us

Epitaph

“This album is by far the best and most complete album to come from Architects. My personal favourites have to be 'A Match Made in Heaven' and 'Memento Mori'. It seemed this album would take Architects to the next level was it not for the untimely passing of guitarist Tom Searle. A key songwriter for the band and all-round nice guy who will be missed by all, but Architects will rise through this, growing larger and dominate the British hardcore scene for years to come.”
Josh, Chichester

"It's passionate. It's incredible. The writing is fantastic. It was released at an incredibly difficult time for the band and it makes you feel things.”
Leona, Plymouth

“Architects are one of my favourite bands and this album is the best they've released since Hollow Crown. It addresses current world issues that get overlooked by the majority. The band faced a huge tragedy this year and still strive to be the best metal going.”
Terri, Luton

“Because Architects.”
David, Cwmbran

Skeleton Tree

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: Skeleton Tree

Bad Seed Ltd

“Sombre mellow and beautiful. The pain of losing his son comes through in lyrics only Nick could write. Cave's best in years.”
Peter, Carlisle

“An absolute masterpiece, pulled from the wreckage of enormous personal tragedy. Also be sure to see the making-of movie, One More Time With Feeling.”
Simon, Bury St. Edmunds

"Just a beautiful album. Short, sweet and nothing short of amazing.”
Elly, Westfield Stratford

Malibu

Anderson .Paak: Malibu

Steel Wool Entertainment

“Anderson .Paak is the proud owner and nurturer of one of the finest voices of the many current popular neo-soul acts; it is instantly distinguishable - but more importantly - instantly likeable. His breezy phrasing wanders about the compositions tactfully; particularly on the popping 'The Season / Carry Me'. Above everything else 'Malibu' glows brightly. A somewhat sugary display of modern rap, uniquely framed and somehow courteous. A very poetic, refreshingly pleasant listen.”
Leigh, Chichester

“Probably one of the best hip hop albums made this year, channels some De La, Tribe etc. with a modern twist. Soundtrack to my summer for sure.”
Jack, Chichester

A Sailor's Guide to Earth

Sturgill Simpson: A Sailor's Guide to Earth

Atlantic

“A great concept for an album, he reminds me of Elvis and Charlie Rich. I have listened to this over and over and love the mixture of country and soul.”
Darren, Portsmouth

“Epic cover of a Nirvana song. Amazing country vibes from this album.”
Chris, Carlisle

“His previous album was an outlaw country tribute to Carl Sagan so I was pretty interested to see how you go about following that. Turns out the answer is to recruit the Dap Kings and make the most raucous country album of the year.”
Andrew, Chichester

Let Them Eat Chaos

Kate Tempest: Let them Eat Chaos

Fiction

“A fantastic look into the lives of people awake at 4:18AM. Tempest does an incredible job of weaving together believable stories and great tunes.”
Stephen, Blackpool

“Lyrically, the album is outstanding, perfectly encapsulating life in modern Britain and the varying trials and tribulations that go with it. Each song is interconnected, creating a thematic narrative throughout the album, forcing the listener in to self reflection but never taking itself too seriously. The minimalist tones of her first album give way to complex beats and catchy riffs further elevating the record.”
Sam, Cwmbran

“The most immersive album I've heard in a long time.”
Ryan, Bristol

99.9%

Kaytranada: 99.9%

XL

“Some brilliant lyrics and beats to all of these tracks, having not known about Kaytranada before this album definitely made an impact on me. Not only that but the artists featured on the album (Anderson .Paak, Craig David, Chance the Rapper) each add their own distinct flavour to the tracks giving it a lot of variety."
Lewis, Westfield Stratford

“Just a good album, by a good producer.”
Matt, Bristol Cribbs

Teens of Denial

Car Seat Headrest: Teens of Denial

Matador

“It's like returning to the alternative scene of my 1990's youth, with Will Toledo taking his favourite parts of Malkmus, Barlow, & numerous other slacker rock moments & creating a new, wonderful, messy world. Beautiful.”
Paul, Livingston

“Their first true studio debut of new material after a succession of homemade releases. That's not to say this is 'produced' though... The album still retains Will Toledo's classic DIY sound but it's a big, ambitious story-driven album filled with witty moments. Definitely worth checking out.”
Steven, Aberdeen

“As a massive fan of Pavement and the Pixies, this album just struck a chord with me straight away, great raw indie rock sound, great lyrics, fantastic stuff.”
Paul, Glasgow Fort

Konnichiwa

Skepta: Konnichiwa

Boy Better Know

“I really appreciate how Skepta worked so independently to produce this album, without a record label. His win of the Mercury Prize Album Of The Year was very much deserved for such a diverse album.”
Dali, Cwmbran

“It really was a big push in the right direction for Grime Music a genre that was close to fading away. Top with a huge performance at Glastonbury and grabbing the Mercury Prize.”
Jamie, Carlisle

Love & Hate

Michael Kiwanuka: Love & Hate

Polydor

“Chilled out but full of emotion, a great album to relax to. Each track has a story to tell, told with real soul.”
Sean, Chichester

“Michael's soulful voice, mixed with Pink Floyd-influenced guitar riffs; what's not to love?”
Natasha, Basingstoke