My 2016 Album Favorites Pt.1


I have a somewhat odd way of listening to music; within a certain time I usually focus on a select few albums in all their glory exclusively. Now, that doesn't mean that I don't listen to anything else ever, but when I make the conscious decision to turn on music, I choose between about 5 albums at a time. I also don't like shuffle these albums together, I usually will listen to the full albums in order, just because I feel like that's how the artists and producers intended it.

Being that 2016 is coming to a close I thought I would talk about some of my favorite albums of the year. So today I'll be talking about 3 of my current favorite albums and then I'll be making another post or two about some more. So be on the look out for a continuation of this post!

Alright so I'm going to go in order of release date just to have objective order.

1. Lemonade- Beyoncé

Listen, don't stone me! I know this album has literally been spoken about all year, a bunch of the songs get played on the radio, and its Beyoncé, everyone knows Beyoncé. But listen! I just want to start off by saying that I have never listened to a Beyoncé album more than I have listened to this one. Its genius! The writers, producers and Beyonce's that have worked on this album really did their thing.

Album Order
I feel like since Queen B decided to snatch our edges with not just a regular album but also a FULL MOVIE with poems and all that the order of it just creates a whole story.
When I listen to it I feel like I can follow the her thought process. The theme of the whole album is going through being cheated on: the suspicion, the pain, the anger, the hurt, the sadness, the exhaustion, the feeling of betrayal, the coming to terms, and then the forgiveness. I feel like each song portrays those feelings in a way that's so relatable, and at the same time each of these songs can stand alone and be enjoyed individually.

Favorite Song
Now I love this album as a whole and love all the songs so this is really hard for me to answer; I feel like it depends on my mood, but for the sake of this post I will choose one. (I've literally been sitting here thinking for 15 minutes ugh). "Sandcastles" wins the title for this album because SINGG BEYONCE! This song is just such a beautiful ballad and the music video/segment was just so beautiful and airy. The simplicity of the piano and its melodically pleasing nature make this song my most craved song to listen to on this album. I also feel like the placement in the album is so great and the song right after it (FOWARD ft James Blake) is create an awesome transition into a more upbeat "FREEDOM" ft Kendrick Lamar.

Least Favorite
When I say least favorite its not that I don't like the song, because as I stated I enjoy all of them, it just means that of the full album this is the song I probably wouldn't specifically choose to listen to it. Or like this song may receive the occasional skip when listening to this album, and that song is "6 INCH" which features The Weeknd.
NOW HOLD ON!  You will absolutely catch me singing this song and going off because its a great song, however, if it wasn't in the album, I don't think that the flow would be too greatly affected.

Most Slept on Song
Now this category is for the a great song that I just feel like is overlooked or just not given enough attention out of the full album. "LOVE DROUGHT" is taking the title this round. The lyrics are great, the music is great, the singing is great, and I believe it! I feel like I heard what she was saying and I believed what she was saying; I feel like that's hard to do when it comes to studio recorded music. Music that has all these layers and goes through so many production steps oftentimes ends up losing the authenticity of the artists feelings, but I feel like this one still got it and should be given more credit. This is honestly one of my favorite songs on the album.

Anthem
This section is just the song that I feel sums up the mood of the album/the first song that comes to mind when I think about the album. This one is "SORRY."

2. A Seat at the Table- Solange
Now ya'll Knowles I had to mention my girl Solange. I'm nearly speechless about this album! This compilation of songs snatched my edges and then resurrected them in three days with coconut oil and love. If we hang out there is a 90% chance that I have either made you or tried to make you listen to this album because I honestly just feel like everyone needs to experience it at least. The melodies are everything, the messages are everything, the lyrics are everything, the harmonies are everything like this album is just everything! Aunty really came through with this album and I have listened to it fully in order too many times to remember.

Like first of all come through black female artist making woke, relatable music! I am all here for this trend, I love it because this is music makes me feel great; I listen to it and I feel inner strength like yes life is hard but its okay you got this!
I am also just a huge fan of these interludes in albums. I love these excerpts and poems and spoken transitions, they're just so great and add so much to the album.

Album Order
When I tell you that I can listen to this album all the way through over and over again, I am not lying. I do not skip songs I do not skip interludes, I keep it exactly like it was given to me and IT IS GREAT. I don't even know what else to say... This is a solid 51 minutes of just story telling and rhythm and riffs. Each interlude relates to the song either before or after it. Its great, that's all I can say.

Favorite Song
This is a difficult section because I genuinely enjoy these albums and I don't wanna pick favorites!
Even though I doubt Lil' Wayne has a Seat at the table, "Mad" is probably one of my favorite songs on this album. I GOT A LOT TO BE MAD ABOUT! Aunty is spitting truth and its just over all such a beautiful song. I need you all to know that Solange wrote, arranged and co-produced every song on this album! This lady is a genius and is so slept on. I can promise you that I was not ready for her to release this album and that it was one of the best things to happen in 2016.

ALSO because she has so many interludes I will add that my favorite interlude from the album is "Tina Taught Me," which is mama Knowles spitting truth.

Least Favorite
I can honestly look at this song list and have no least favorite song. I know, I really wanted to have something for each of these categories, but I would be lying if I put any song name here.

Most Slept on Song
I feel like this whole album is slept on, however, for this category the song is "Don't Wish Me Well." Ugh what can I say about it, its just so good. I chose this song because I feel like this just isn't a song that many people rave about (because all of them are so good). My favorite lyric from this song is "They say I changed, what a pity if I stayed the same," like you're saying I've changed as if its a bad thing. Just be ready for great lyrics and harmonies in every song.

Anthem
"F.U.B.U"

3. Here-Alicia Keys
Of course I had to add this one to the holy trinity of 2016 albums. Don't sleep! As if we weren't blessed enough, Alicia Keys decides that she needed to sprinkle some more black girl magic into our year, and I would like to take this time to thank God. "Here" comes yet another album full of interludes, truth, pride, and relatable lyrics (see what I did there).
Drums and rhythm is all over this album, and you can here where a lot of the music was inspired from, which I enjoy. Also this song will make you feel like a NY native.
I feel like Keys definitely had more freedom with this album; its raw and its real and I'm here for all parts of it. Like yess girl sing in your range!

Album Order
The order of this album is great, a perfect 45 minute journey. With the finely placed interludes, this album is a great balance of spoken word and rhythmed poetry.

Favorite Song
Here we go again. Okay, so for this album I am definitely between two songs: "Pawn it all" and "Kill Your Mama"
"Pawn It All" has fire lyrics, fire piano, and fire drums! Its such a great song, like its real. My favorite line in the song is "How we gonna feed the babies now." Like thank you Alicia, thank you for refocusing our energy! We wanna do this and that but at the end of the day, how we gon feed the babies? That's the most important. And not even just physical feeding. Whos feeding these kids emotionally, who is nurturing our young kings and queens? I feel like this song is just about the real sacrifice, what you have to do to survive, to make sure the kids are fed!

"Kill Your Mama" is another just beautiful song. I'm getting southern vibes and I'm here for it. It kind of gives me the vibe that "DADDY LESSONS" gives to Lemonade. Keys did not hold back in this one. " If we're in love with hell why the hell would heaven visit" is my favorite line from this song.

I feel like this album is definitely one to quote on your social media (If you're that person), shes got some powerful phases.

My favorite interlude is "You Glow."

Least Favorite Song
I feel like I need to change the name of this category. Obviously I love these albums which is why I am talking about them, but alas. The song I'm choosing for this category is "Work on it." This song is beautiful (I listen to the songs as a write about them and I'm lowkey regretting this choice). I mean, I feel like she's talking about her relationship with her mans, and of course she's spitting truth. I think I just chose this song because I connect to it the least ( wow I sound so lonely), but yea, its still a great song.

Most Slept on Song
"Illusion of Bliss" Takes the cake for this round. SOUL! SING! Keys I believe you . This song is so raw, one of the most authenic songs on the album (And all of them are supes-auth). I imagine that recording this song took some diving deep down. I feel like this song has so many

Anthem
"Girl Cant Be Herself" - My favorite line from this song "Maybe all this Maybelline is covering my self esteem" #dragthem


Alright so this concludes Part 1 of this segment, I hope you enjoyed! Let me know if you have/plan on listening to any of these albums and tell me your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree?

Some music to look forward to for the next posts include Chance The Rapper, Willow Smith, The Hamilton Mixtape and more.

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