Best Albums of 2016 // Ranked.

So here we are! 15 days into 2017 and we haven’t published yet our ‘Best of the year’ list! Don’t worry –  we have you covered. It was very difficult to convey all of our favourite albums into one coherent list, we all differ greatly in our own personal rankings but I did my best!

*Note: I will write at the end of each paragraph the name of the author so you know who has good taste (me) or who doesn’t (the rest)!

**Note: You can click on the cover of the album to read our review (if available)!

20. DAWN – Redemption Heart

Truly an amazing genre-crossing gem! I really enjoyed the album when it came out but didn’t manage to make it into my personal top 20 simply because this year had really good albums and so, it was difficult to pick just 20. (Dan)

Underrated gem. If you still haven’t listened to this album – do it fucking now. You won’t be disappointed. (Tom)

19. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – This Unruly Mess I’ve Made

I’m not sure why everyone snubbed this show-stopping album in their lists! It has everything, from dance-able and carefree songs like Downtown & Dance-Off to one of the best songs released this year; White Privilege Pt. II. I strongly encourage our readers to give it a chance because it is a really enjoyable record! (Dan)

18. Shura – Nothing’s Real



Nothing’s Real is the kind of album I would get into easily; nice songs, cool melodies and a throwback production… It has everything needed to be one of my favourite albums of the year… Yet somehow it sounds boring, her voice just doesn’t do it for me. (Dan)

I was born way after the 80s and I’m known for despising anything old and dated *cough* Madonna *cough*. But this girl combines the 80s pop greatness with the current electronic trend and it sounds heavenly. Every song is its own highlight (even the 7 minute one), not to mention remixing your own tracks and putting that as your closer. I can say there’s no song that I’d delete, every song is a highlight on its own. Because of this it’s the only debut album that’s made it on this list. (Alvin)

17. Various Artists – The Hamilton Mixtape

 This one really impressed me! I didn’t expect such a good album – every single song stands out! Each artist contributes with their own sound without making everything messy but rather just a combination of influences that works incredibly well! The best tracks are Washingtons By Your Side & Immigrants (We Get The Job Done), check them out if you decide to get into this album! (Dan)

16. Bon Iver – 22, A Million

  Umm… This album is the musical representation of ‘try-hard alternative’! A collection of random sounds with overly reverberated male vocals on top that critics will overrate! If you’re into that kind of music then you’ll love this thing. Just so you get an idea of how bad it is: both Tom and Alvin ranked this within their top 20s yet none sent me comments on the album. Let’s all replace this with Glory in our minds! (Dan)

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15. Childish Gambino – Awaken, My Love!

 ”An amazing production”. That was my first thought after listening to the first track. It is a really enjoyable soul album, with strong funk influences, all performed quite ‘sharply’. I don’t know how to describe it properly, probably Tom will come up with some more appropriate term but I know I liked it a lot… and that’s all that matters! Truly one of the best albums from the Black Lives Matter album movement that has become increasingly popular this year. (Dan)

Damn, Bino really did it. It’s really THAT album. If you like Soul Train kind of vibes – this album is for you. (Tom)

14. Kanye West – The Life Of Pablo

 From the holy Ultralight Beam, all the way to rapping about his ‘debt’ in Saint Pablo, Kanye delivers yet another masterpiece. Even though chaotic at times, he still has it. (Dan)

Chaotic Kanye is still a good Kanye, but he should stop trying to make Desiigner happen. One Future is already enough. (Tom)

 13. The Weeknd – Starboy

A huge step back from Beauty Behind The Madness, could have been an incredible record if he had only reduced the tracklist – there’s just way too much filler for it to be ignored. On the other hand, Abel managed to deliver some really interesting songs such as Secrets or I Feel It Coming! (Dan)

18 tracks on an album mean either: 1) half of them are interludes, or 2) half of them are fillers, so when I saw the tracklist at first I was a bit scared that my boy Abel was gonna finally let me down. And he did let me down at first listen mainly because I can’t take so many new songs without forgetting the ones played before, but here’s the thing – Starboy has so many  good tunes that you forget the less superior ones. The whole 18 tracks for the whole Starboy persona too – I’m so rich and cool and talented that what would’ve been rejected on a normal 12-track STILL blows your brains out. But at the same time – Love To Lay can walk itself straight to the bin with Rihanna’s Woo and Yeah I Said It, maybe take a friend like Six Feet Under with you as well! (Alvin)

12. Kevin Abstract – American Boyfriend: A Suburban Love Story

I still wonder why is everyone up Frank Ocean’s ass and sleeping on this MASTERPIECE at the same time. Full of amazing songs with interesting lyrics exploring his sexuality and acceptance in the black community. I recommend our readers to check out this record, I promise you won’t be disappointed! (Dan)

11. Chance The Rapper – The Coloring Book

 For a second I completely forgot about who sang in this album whilst typing the line above. This really sums up my thoughts on this album: boring. I just don’t like it! And again, both Tom and Alvin forgot to send me their comments on this one… looks like they have included it by default because everyone does so! (Dan)

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10. Frank Ocean – Blonde

I prefer Endless over Blonde and every song in Endless is an interlude, so imagine how interesting is Blonde. Mhmm… No Alvin/Tom comment on this one either! Thoughts? (Dan)

9. BANKS – The Altar

Listenable. Not really interesting songwriting-wise and her voice is yet a new version of Lorde mixed with Halsey and more “indie!!” and “alternative!!!” acts… (Dan)

Goddess fans may seethe but this album is superior. (Tom)

8. Tove Lo – Lady Wood

 Yes!! Finally a good album! Tove DELIVERED again! A really good follow up for Queen Of The Clouds. Its immaculate production plus the near perfect songwriting won her a place within our Top 10! (Dan)

7. Ariana Grande – Dangerous Woman

  Who would have thought that girl from Nickelodeon would end up putting out such mind-blowing albums? After overplaying it a bit, I realised that in Dangerous Woman, every single song has its own role. It really grew on me and now I’m just waiting for her to drop yet another masterpiece! (Dan) 

Breaking the No. 2 curse here! 15 amazing 10/10 bops that nobody can deny shaking their heads to! Really speaks for itself here, I mean *insert all tracks of album here* TELL ME THIS ISNT POP PERFECTION. (Alvin)

If her next album is going to be this good or even better then Urbanov is cancelled. (Tom)

6. M.I.A. – AIM

 AIM sounds like the perfect way to say goodbye to the music industry after such a controversial career. It feels like she took a different approach to transmit the same message; by feeling good about everything. Instead of going ‘against the system’ in such a radical way, to me it feels like this  album is a big “let’s come together and do something”. (Dan)

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5. Alicia Keys – HERE



(Is it me or this picture looks exactly the same as BANK’s?)

 Alicia is very talented but she has never been good at albums… And this is just another proof of that. Very weak throughout, only saved by her stellar emotive vocals. Probably one of her best works yet… considering her discography is quite… embarrassing… (Dan)

All the emotion and character that you can hear from an album. You feel Alicia’s raw character here, when she starts preaching from Elaine Brown, her voice breaking your heart in Illusion Of Bliss, or clapping hands along to More Than We Know, the life you get from this album transcends all bops and bangers, because this is right in the feels. (Alvin)

One of Alicia’s best albums. (Tom)

4. Rihanna – ANTi

 It took her 7 albums to deliver a perfect record. That sounds like an awful lot of albums but when you release one every second then it’s not that much! Truly one of the best released this year, from dance-able songs such as the smash hit Work all the way to show-stopping ballads such as Love On The Brain, RiRi delivered her best! (Dan)

Huge step forward in Rihanna’s career. (Tom)

3. Jon Bellion – The Human Condition

What can I say about the best album released this year except that it is WILDLY underrated? Everyone is sleeping on this masterpiece, and you’ll regret in a couple of years when he becomes a world star. He has everything; good presence, unique voice, incredible songwriting, his own sound… We just have to wait for the right time for him to blow up! In the meantime you can check this album and his previous mixtapes, which match the album quality-wise by the way! (Dan)

2. The 1975 – I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It

  Yeah! I decided to include the full name just for the lols! (Dan)

This 75-minute long album that I discovered in late February finishing off essays at 2am, thinking ‘hmm this is pretty chill and solid stuff’. So then it stuck on to my imaginary best of list, then slowly climbed higher and higher and higher to the top. In very rare occasions this album flows so well, and has so many gems in so different styles, and I don’t know… just gets you thinking. (Alvin)

1. Beyoncé – LEMONADE



Wow! Surprise!!! I’m in SHOCK! I would’ve never guessed we all would agree on Beyoncé’s album being the best! Lemonade is a really good record, even though it is wildly overrated by everyone. We all had to agree on something and this is the closest thing to “universally acclaimed” at Popfection’s headquarters! From soft, heartfelt songs such as Pray You Catch Me to roaring anthems like Freedom, Beyoncé manages to deliver her first good album! (Dan)

Album sent from heaven. (Tom)



Hope you all enjoyed our year-end list! I would like to use this post to thank all of you who read us even though we tend to procrastinate an awful lot. One of the things I mostly looked forward when starting this wild project back in June was the year-end album list so here you have! Here’s for a productive 2017 full of music releases! Don’t forget to comment below on the snubs and whatnot!!

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  • Tiny

    No Emotion Side B? Popfection is OVER.

    • Popfection

      I had Emotion Side B at #3 in my personal list, but we had a “no EP’s allowed” rule! 🙁 Glad you like talent!!!

    • Chipmunk

      sorry but Emotion Side B isn’t that good :/

      • Popfection

        You’re fired! :/

      • Tiny

        You sit on a throne of lies!

  • Joanne is over hehehe

    • Popfection

      Was it even a thing to start with? hehe

  • Glad to see The Human Condition rank so high, could have claimed the #1 easily imo

    • Popfection

      It would have been if Tom & Alvin didn’t cockblock it with those lessers!!

  • RN

    ANTI is the best album of 2016 !!!