Well, we’re entering the final months of 2016, and there have been some great albums released this year. I’d like to take this time to highlight a few albums that I think are worth looking forward to before the year is out. As there is always a deluge of music constantly coming out, I’m going to try and keep this list somewhat short to avoid becoming too long and boring. Of course, there is still time for artists to announce releases for this year, as well as the possible stealth release. But as of now here are the albums I think are worth getting hyped for in 2016!
A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service
Hip hop trio A Tribe Called Quest is releasing their final studio album this November, and it will be their first album since 1998. Not only will this album will feature contributions from the late Phife Dawg, other guest appearances are set to include Kendrick Lamar, Jack White, Elton John, and Anderson Paak. If that lineup does not warrant the term all-star, then nothing does. This is one of the ones to be most excited about.
Bruno Mars – 24K Magic
Bruno Mars is releasing his 3 rd studio album 24K Magic, and is the next step for the singer/songwriter. If the singles are any indication, it looks to continue Mars’ tradition of combining upbeat pop hits with more sentimental slower ballads, all carried by very impressive vocal performance on the part of Mars himself. Anyone looking forward to seeing how his music evolves and where he goes next should definitely be on top of this one.
Metallica – Hardwired… To Self-Destruct
The legends of heavy metal are back! Putting aside the pretty terrible album art, the preview tracks for this album seems to indicate that Metallica is back to doing what they do best, which is bringing the thunder and bringing it hard. While there is some concern about whether or not the now admittedly older band members still got the same talent they had in their heyday, the singles released seem to reassure fans thus far. Either way the pure pedigree of this band warrants a listen.
The Rolling Stones – Blue & Lonesome
Blue & Lonesome will be the first release for the Stones since 2005’s A Bigger Bang, but that’s not all. The album is the first by the band to consist entirely of covers, which may be a good or bad thing depending on what kind of Rolling Stones fan you are. Something that’s inarguably a good thing however is the appearance of Eric Clapton on guitar for two tracks.
Regardless, The Rolling Stones are legends in the world of rock n roll, and this December they’ll have a chance to reaffirm that sentiment.
Various – The Hamilton Mixtape
Hamilton is the definition of a pop culture phenomenon, with the Broadway show still going strong even after the departure of the original cast. This mixtape consists of covers of some of the songs from the original show, with contributors including John Legend, Chance the Rapper, and Usher. If you’re a Hamilton fan, you’re already pumped for this release. Even if you’re not, the pure star power of the contributing artists should warrant checking out if you’ve never listened to the original cast recording.
Sting – 57th and 9th
Former Police guitarist Sting is releasing his first self-proclaimed rock album in 13 years in 57th and 9th . The British songwriter has described this album as having a “spontaneous” feel with themes of searching and traveling while finding oneself. Sting fans would be wise to keep and eye out for this one this November.
DNCE – DNCE
If you’ve paid any attention to the chart toppers of this summer, you’ve no doubt heard Cake by the Ocean. With such a catchy (and successful) pop anthem under their belts, there are a lot of expectations that DNCE must fulfill for their first full-length studio album in order to maintain that momentum. If they are able to capture the same level of fun and energy in this album as they did in their first EP SWAAY, then this group will definitely be one to watch going forward.
The Weeknd – Starboy
After becoming the recipient of two wins at the 58th Grammy Awards and being nominated at the 88th Academy Awards, saying there are high expectations for The Weeknd after the success of Beauty Behind the Madness would be quite the understatement. From the looks of things, it seems the situation is quite under control, with a huge world tour planned to follow the album’s release. Things are looking promising for The Weeknd, so hopefully he can keep the momentum alive.
John Legend-Darkness And Light
Details are scarce right now on John Legend’s next project, but what we do know is that it will be reflective of Legend’s recent status as a father, so it will definitely be interesting to see how those changes reveal themselves in his music. We also know Chance the Rapper (whose been having a great year so far) will make an appearance and that Blake Mills (famous for producing Alabama Shakes’ Sound and Color) will be producing. Those details alone mean that Legend’s fifth album is one worth being excited about.
Neil Young – Peace Trail
Neil Young will be releasing his 37th (yes, 37th ) studio album in December, titled Peace Trail. This album looks to be a chiller affair, with Young describing it as a “mostly acoustic album”, which might just what the end of the year will need. At this point there’s no question that Young knows what he’s doing (once again, 37 albums), so any one who is a fan of his style will find something to like in this new album.
So there you have it, those are the major releases to look forward to for the rest of 2016.
Are you really looking forward to one of these in particular? Did I overlook a release that you’re excited for? Wanna just chat about music? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know. Have a great day!
My main source was Metacritic’s upcoming albums list (with some help from other sources):