Required Listening: The First Half of 2016 | WGLT

Required Listening: The First Half of 2016

Jul 22, 2016

Credit @carseatheadrest

2016 has been a year of major loss in the music community. But halfway through the year, an incredible array of music has been released to help the healing process. WGLT's Taylor Bauer takes a look at five releases that caught his eye in the first half of 2016.

Radiohead: A Moon Shaped Pool

An album with the gravitas of a funeral might seem like an odd choice for a year that's had so much of that already. What Radiohead masters on this record, however, is finding the beauty in the bad, and the power to move forward in the darkest corners of our worst days. This is the ninth studio album from Radiohead, and the band will headline the Friday lineup of Lollapalooza.

Chance the Rapper: Coloring Book

Chance refuses to sign to a major label, so historically, this is more of a "mixtape" than an "album". But Chance and a campaign to change the industry's idea of a record actually convinced the Grammy's to allow nominations for "free" music. Acid Rap put Chance on the map, but with no signs of stopping, Coloring Book is the first album in the artist's career that feels as if he knows exactly what he's capable of, and just how great he can be.

Rihanna - ANTI

Rihanna has long been on the Mt. Rushmore of 2000s pop, but on ANTI, Rihanna wants something more. An album that leans more R&B than pop gives Rihanna room to flex her voice, composition skills, and most of all, swagger. She's a force to be reckoned with in hip-hop, a mainstream success, but ANTI is the first record Rihanna really makes a claim to being one of the greatest artists of the last decade.

Mitski - Puberty 2

Mitski has always been an artist that requires cautiousness when sharing her music with others. Art pop was perfected by the likes of Fiona Apple and St. Vincent, but Mitski delivers the message in a more raw, intense fashion. Behind the distortion and angst, however, is incredible songwriting, and the intelligence missing from most artists in 2016.

Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Denial

If you follow indie music, you'll know that most "indieheads" won't stop talking about this album. But, even if you lean more towards the traditional "radio alternative" genre, you'll find something you like. The songs are honest, brash, and most of all, more catchy than they probably should be. If Will Toledo, the man behind the moniker, wrote pop music, he'd be incredibly successful. Lucky for us, he wrote Teens of Denial instead.