AllMusic 2016 Year In Review

Favorite Latin and World Albums -

 2016 also featured plenty of excellent albums from beyond the mainstream framework of Western music, including Gaby Moreno's Ilusión, New Zion Trio's collaboration with Brazilian perussion master Cyro Baptista, and La Santa Cecilia's groundbreaking Buenaventura.
Caribbean Roots

Anthony Joseph

Caribbean Roots

On his second solo date, the poet and his ensemble use the spectrum of Caribbean rhythm and bridge it to jazz-funk, Afro-beat, and soul.

Konono No. 1 Meets Batida

Batida / Konono No. 1

Konono No. 1 Meets Batida

Exuberant collaboration between the long-running Congolese percussion ensemble and Lisbon-based Angolan DJ/producer Pedro Coquenão.

Palermo Hollywood

Benjamin Biolay

Palermo Hollywood

The French nouvelle chanson master songwriter uses a Buenos Aires neighborhood as a muse for experimenting with new rhythms and textures.

Azel

Bombino

Azel

The fifth album by the Tuareg guitarist places all of his gifts -- as player, composer, and singer -- up front.

Sunshine Seas

Cyro Baptista / New Zion Trio

Sunshine Seas

With the Brazilian percussion master in its ranks, this dubwise trio reaches an expansive new creative peak.

Tropix

Céu

Tropix

The Brazilian singer and songwriter gets cool and nocturnal on this wildly diverse back-to-the-beat dancefloor killer.

Ere Gobez

Debo Band

Ere Gobez

Sophomore full-length from an American group adding their own spin to vintage Ethiopian pop sounds.

Hiperasia

El Guincho

Hiperasia

After a six-year wait, the Spanish electro-pop wizard returns with a new mutilated R&B sound.

1000 Watts

Flowering Inferno / Quantic

1000 Watts

After a six-year break, this side project returns with a joyous, sensual set of rootsy reggae, dub, and cumbia.

Impuros Fanáticos

Fumaça Preta

Impuros Fanáticos

On its sophomore full-length, the trio makes all genres bleed into an experimental, obsessively listenable whole.

Ilusión

Gaby Moreno

Ilusión

On her finest recording to date, this set showcases the contemporary singer/songwriter's skills in commanding a dazzling array of styles.

Highway

Intocable

Highway

The veteran norteño outfit employ their roots genre as they embrace cumbia, reggae, rock, and country with excellent results.

Energía

J Balvin

Energía

Balvin's fourth studio album includes the phenomenally successful single "Ginza," plus a host of seductive grooves.

Vestido de Etiqueta por Eduardo Magallanes

Juan Gabriel

Vestido de Etiqueta por Eduardo Magallanes

The imaginative revisioning of songs from the duo's four-plus decades of creative partnership is an exercise in awe-inspiring beauty.

Canto América

La Orquesta Sinfonietta / Michael Spiro / Wayne Wallace

Canto América

Led by Wayne Wallace and Michael Spiro, this large group criss-crosses the musical history and traditions of the New World with grooves galore.

Buenaventura

La Santa Cecilia

Buenaventura

Los Angelino quartet evolve their quirky musical blend into a pop genre of their own on this transcendent release.

Magnetismo

La Yegros

Magnetismo

The sophomore effort by this sophisticated electro cumbia band absorbs many influences and expands musical frontiers.

Forever Is 4 U

Malawi Mouse Boys

Forever Is 4 U

The third release from this Malawi-based folk and gospel group is humble, rustic, and inspiring.

No Lo Había Dicho

Pepe Aguilar

No Lo Había Dicho

The great ranchera singer and balladeer successfully branches out into cumbia, rock, pop, and more on this wide-ranging collection.

Né So

Rokia Traoré

Né So

The Malian singer/songwriter's sixth LP is uncompromising, richly detailed, and utterly compelling.

En Estos Dias

Régulo Caro

En Estos Dias

Two years in the making, this album extends the norteño singer/songwriter's genre-blurring innovative reach over 15 new songs.

Sing Me Home

Silk Road Ensemble / Yo-Yo Ma

Sing Me Home

This album gives insights into the musical and personal depth of the Silk Road players.

The  Magical Forest

Sinikka Langeland / Trio Mediæval

The Magical Forest

Enlisting Trio Medieval and her Starflowers quintet, the Finnskogen musicologist, composer, and singer delivers songs about the mythological "world tree."

Revelation, Pt. 2: The Fruit of Life

Stephen Marley

Revelation, Pt. 2: The Fruit of Life

The reggae singer, songwriter, and producer is joined by Rick Ross, Waka Flocka, Wyclef, Rakim, and many others on this stunning LP.

O Horizonte

Teresa Salgueiro

O Horizonte

Hauntingly beautiful second album from the Madredeus singer.

Latina

Thalía

Latina

The Latin cultural icon refuses to rest on her laurels. She seamlessly combines pop invention with various traditions.

Venezuela 70: Cosmic Visions of a Latin American Earth: Venezuelan Experimental Rock in the 1970s

Various Artists

Venezuela 70: Cosmic Visions of a Latin American Earth: Venezuelan Experimental Rock in the 1970s

Trippy, highly engaging compilation of experimental, psychedelic rock and jazz that emerged out of Venezuela in the '70s.

Bobo Yéyé: Belle Époque in Upper Volta

Various Artists

Bobo Yéyé: Belle Époque in Upper Volta

Numero's handsome box set is equal parts musical overview of pre-revolutionary Burkina Faso, and poignant historical photo essay.