AllMusic 2016 Year In Review

Favorite Pop Albums -

 Some of the biggest names in pop delivered excellent new albums in 2016, including Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, Britney Spears and Rihanna, while fresh faces like Shura, Broods, and Niki and the Dove also made their marks.
Dangerous Woman

Ariana Grande

Dangerous Woman

On her third album, Ariana Grande consolidates her R&B and pop influences with restraint and flair.

Wild World

Bastille

Wild World

The band's second album builds on "Pompeii"'s success with style, adding hints of R&B and rock to their anthemic pop.

Glory

Britney Spears

Glory

Modern and mature but also playful, Glory is Britney Spears' best album in a decade.

Conscious

Broods

Conscious

A great leap from their downtempo debut, the New Zealand siblings' sophomore set vaults them into a glimmering pop future.

Wings

BTS

Wings

The chart-busting sophomore effort from the K-pop septet that dares to combine substance and style with a genre-blurring mix of influences.

E-MO-TION [Side B]

Carly Rae Jepsen

E-MO-TION [Side B]

Another parcel of perfectly crafted pop from the sessions for Jepsen's second album.

DNCE

DNCE

DNCE

The debut from Joe Jonas' dance-rock-meets-disco band is a hooky and exuberant party album.

KoKoro

El Perro del Mar

KoKoro

Adding a diverse array of world instruments to the already forward-thinking pop sound makes for the Swedish artist's most interesting record to date.

Two Vines

Empire of the Sun

Two Vines

The band's third album is dipped in sunshine and full of sleekly warm modern pop.

Identity

Far East Movement

Identity

Bright and joyous fifth LP from the Asian-American electronic rap crew, which enlists a global team of guests on its cross-cultural mission to uplift.

Skin

Flume

Skin

With the help of some well-chosen -- and similarly genre-hopping -- collaborators, the producer delivers a more mature and memorable second album.

All I Need

Foxes

All I Need

Vibrant blast of deftly produced, emotionally stirring, and stylish pop from the young British singer.

X-Communicate

Kristin Kontrol

X-Communicate

Leaving the Dum Dum Girls behind, Dee Dee changed her name and moved to an '80s/'90s pop-influenced, synth-heavy sound.

Joanne

Lady Gaga

Joanne

Lady Gaga teams up with producer Mark Ronson and streamlines her eccentricities.

Wanderlust

Little Big Town

Wanderlust

Unexpected, unusual collaboration between the pop-country band and R&B producer Pharrell Williams.

iii

Miike Snow

iii

Beat-heavy and soul-infused collection of intelligent avant pop gems from hook maestro trio.

Last Year Was Complicated

Nick Jonas

Last Year Was Complicated

A confident, assured R&B-infused dance-pop album imbued with heartbreak.

Everybody’s Heart Is Broken Now

Niki and the Dove

Everybody’s Heart Is Broken Now

Channeling joyous disco and luminous synth pop -- as well as Prince and Bowie -- the duo dances its troubles away in epic, politically charged fashion.

Super

Pet Shop Boys

Super

PSB and producer Stuart Price means the same crew that created 2013's Electric, but this is a looser, freer LP with some welcome experiments.

Anti

Rihanna

Anti

Perched halfway between heartbreak and ennui, Anti is melancholy, cohesive, and compelling.

Take Her Up to Monto

Róisín Murphy

Take Her Up to Monto

Recorded at the same time as Hairless Toys, Murphy's fourth solo album is some of her most personal and eclectic music yet.

99 Cents

Santigold

99 Cents

Santi White's third album offers some of her catchiest and most subversive music yet.

Nothing's Real

Shura

Nothing's Real

The singer/songwriter's debut mixes 2010s atmosphere and '80s vibrancy with results that are as ephemeral and powerful as a crush.

Love You to Death

Tegan and Sara

Love You to Death

The twin sisters' eighth album is, like Heartthrob before it, wrenchingly honest modern pop music made with heart and no silly frills.

Excommunication

Tyler Glenn

Excommunication

The Neon Trees frontman goes solo on a cathartic, funny, and danceable set of songs about his breakup with the Mormon Church.