MOJO’s 20 Best Albums Of 2016: Spring Watch!

Our team pick out their favourite records released in April, May and June this year.

20-best-lps-q2-2016-770

WE ARE ONLY half way through 2016 and if we had to name an album of the year tomorrow the competition would be fierce. Fortunately, having already rated the best records of the year’s first three months our attention is now firmly on this spring’s offerings.

Chosen by the MOJO team from all the new albums released in April, May and June, our Top 20 mixes resurgent brilliance from PJ Harvey, Laura Mvula and Radiohead with breakthrough works from lesser-known names like Mark Pritchard, Kevin Morby, The Still and more. Plus there’s a surprisingly excellent new Monkees album to boot!

Please note that the list is in alphabetical order and not ranked just yet (we reserve that honour for our final, end-of-year countdown). But please do contact us on Facebook or via Twitter (@MOJOmagazine) about anything we’ve missed out that you feel would enrich the listening lives of fellow MOJO readers.

AnohniHopelessness

Anohni
Hopelessness

ROUGH TRADE
“Anohni takes a harder radical line.” Jenny Bulley

Beyoncé  Lemonade

Beyoncé
Lemonade

RCA
“With its wealth of sonic adventure, Lemonade is a thoughtful merger of the personal and the political.” James McNair

Black Mountain IV

Black Mountain
IV

JAGJAGUWAR
“Their first album in six years adulterates their Stygian rock and squally guitar tangle with phalanxes of icy synthesizer, Mellotron and the occasional nod to Philip Glass.” Stevie Chick

James Blake The Colour In Anything

James Blake
The Colour In Anything

POLYDOR
“A serious talent that grows with every release.” Matt Yates

Charles Bradley  Changes

Charles Bradley
Changes

DAPTONE
Changes keeps Bradley's stock rising.” Geoff Brown

Case/Lang/Veirs  CLV

Case/Lang/Veirs
CLV

ANTI
“That this record was a joy to make is evident.” Sophie Harris

Bob Dylan Fallen Angels

Bob Dylan
Fallen Angels

COLUMBIA
“Latter-day Dylan may be the greatest efflorescence of artistry in playful old age since Eric Rohmer or even Picasso.” Mat Snow

Steve Gunn  Eyes On The Lines

Steve Gunn
Eyes On The Lines

MATADOR
“The guitar playing, which is superb throughout, feels inextricably bound to the structure and shape of the melodies." Mike Barnes

PJ Harvey The Hope Six Demolition Project

PJ Harvey
The Hope Six Demolition Project

ISLAND
“To watch, to bear witness, to report back – that is the impetus behind these vivid songs.” Victoria Segal

Max Jury Max Jury

Max Jury
Max Jury

MARATHON ARTISTS
“Elegantly pitched between modernist soul and the smoother end of the 1970s Laurel Canyon sound.” Tom Doyle

Minor Victories Minor Victories

Minor Victories
Minor Victories

PLAY IT AGAIN SAM
“It's a triumph for experimental chemistry: dramatic, deeply felt, dynamically designed.” Victoria Segal

The Monkees Good Times

The Monkees
Good Times

RHINO
“Pure bubblegum thrills.” Lois Wilson

Kevin Morby Singing Saw

Kevin Morby
Singing Saw

DEAD OCEANS
“Simple porch strums are upscaled with elegant strings and gritty, sophisticated arrangements.” Andy Fyfe

Laura Mvula The Dreaming Room

Laura Mvula
The Dreaming Room

RCA
“With Sing To The Moon, Laura Mvula set a new standard for 21st Century soul. With this follow-up, she’s raised that standard higher.” Lois Wilson

Parquet Courts Human Performance

Parquet Courts
Human Performance

ROUGH TRADE
“They've created an album which couldn't be more Rough Trade if it tried. Which, incidentally, is a compliment.” Ben Myers

Pet Shop Boys Super

Pet Shop Boys
Super

X2
“As energetic and avidly inquisitive as their debut.” Andrew Harrison

Mark Pritchard Under The Sun

Mark Pritchard
Under The Sun

WARP
“Each track has its own unique, haunting spirit.” Stephen Worthy

RadioheadA Moon Shaped Pool

Radiohead
A Moon Shaped Pool

XL Recordings
“A profoundly beautiful business.” Jim Irvin

Paul Simon  Stranger To Stranger

Paul Simon
Stranger To Stranger

VIRGIN EMI
“Most of its defining sounds come not from a culture but an invention.” Jim Farber

The Still The Still

The Still
The Still

BRONZERAT
“Hypnotic desert jazz explorations, mixed with scorched spaghetti western improv, late night acoustic doom and a dash of The Dirty Three's roiling melodic ruin.” Andrew Male

 

Now consider the 10 Best Reissues of 2016’s second quarter.