TheBLACKMedia’s Greatest Albums Of 2016
The list created is from the expertise of college educated singer-songwriter and producer Tahir Register. Holding a BA in Contemporary Arts, playing several instruments, and having a Classical, R&B, Hiphop, & Soul background in music.
Each choice was picked based on reach, lyrical content, production, sound quality, musicality, track to track flow, the amount of like-able-records, uniqueness, and overall appeal. Every single album released in 2016 was not reviewed, just those of interest to Tahir Register, TheBLACKMedia’s readers, popularity, and urban popular records.
Disagree With The List? Let us know in the Comments. ..
1. Rihanna – ANTI a modern take on R&B/Soul with elements of Jazz, was a story telling masterpiece that spoke to millennials. Raw, and uncut, Rihanna left it all on the record. With songs like “Higher”, “Kiss It Better”, and of course hit singles like; “Work” ANTI is a full body of work. Truly Complete.
2. Keke Wyatt – RATED LOVE a solid R&B album with elements of Country and Hiphop. Although this album had very little to no mainstream success, that fact makes it even greater. Keke delivers unforgettable vocals, sensual lyrics, and takes you on a journey. Sonically it was like watching a movie, like one of those films that did ok in the box office, but years later became a cult classic.
3. BJ The Chicago Kid – IN MY MIND pure passion, pure soul. BJ is a rare Man in the industry creating passionate music for the common man without staying in a box. BJ is soul, and while I cannot personally relate to his lyrical content, BJ is tapping into something many can’t. BJ’s music captures the young and the older Man bringing back love, and pain to young R&B.
4. Beyonce – LEMONADE a poetic body of work turned instant classic. Beyonce managed to make it ok again to be Black, to be proud, to be angry, and a Woman all in one album. Even though the music speaks directly to the female experience, Beyonce’s choices in production, strong, explicit lyrical content, and release made LEMONADE an instant classic because it’s never been done quiet like that before. Amazing!
5. Alicia Keys – HERE is effortless nostalgia spread like butter over your favorite corn muffin! What’s that you ask? It’s feel good! How to make a perfect album? Alicia Key’s HERE is the photo you’d see next to the latter. “Hallelujah” being a defining record on the album, changing the way we think about the word in terms of song. It’s memories, classic Keys and real topics that reaches your soul and makes you feel…just FEEL!
6. Fantasia – THE DEFINITION OF… Rock Soul is what she called it, and rock soul is what cha’ got! Fantasia is soul, with the grit and new found softness of voice Fantasia created an album undefined! This album will make you move, make you jump out of your chair at work and get different! No holding back, Fanny fought for this album, and you can hear it throughout, it’s Milk and Honey with a splash of Hotsauce!
7. Musiq Soulchild – LIFE ON EARTH is a vocal masterpiece re-introducing technique to simple music. Musiq, after returning to R&B, created a singers album. Giving listeners the love lyric we fell in love with, and returning skill to R&B. Life On Earth is a simple smooth and B, press play and relax record, the sound that’s missing from mainstream, but going no where, no time soon.
8. Frank Ocean – BLONDE is a trippy R&B psychedelic vibe with strong metaphorical and literal lyrics. Frank Ocean will get you to think, not just listen, but think and question. That’s what art is supposed to do, evoke the minds eye and inspire, and that’s exactly what BLONDE did.
9. Solange – A SEAT AT THE TABLE a Neo-interpretive R&B collection of reality, Solange created simplistic power. The lyrics extend themselves to this years greatest hashtag #BLACKGIRLMAGIC unapologetically. A strong sense of self and lessons learned Solange let it all hang out lyrically, which she has managed to make the forefront of her album, vs the production like most. She made us care about lyrics.
10. Azealia Banks – SLAY-Z is hip-hop revisited with strong elements of R&B, House, and Tech. Slay-Z though, considered a “mix-tape”, which is different from an “EP” is an album of imagination! Azealia has a way of breaking the rules and expressing herself without any concerns. It’s freedom music, you will sing, dance, rap, feel like a gangster, but also feel like you’re in a fantasy. It’s pure creativity!
While every album couldn’t make the list, I feel this is a great representation of 2016, and if you listened to each of these albums, I’m sure you’d agree. Some albums, like A Tribe Called Quest’s new album, J. Cole’s new album etc. will be considered for 2017.
#SOULdiers, DISAGREE? LEAVE A COMMENT WITH YOUR TOP 10
– Thanks For Reading #SOULdiers
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