Melody on Music: Mid-Year Top 30

Editor’s note: From 2012 to 2014, Melody Rice wrote the music column Matt on Music for The Eastern Echo, the student newspaper for Eastern Michigan University. In 2016, Melody relaunched this column on The Young Folks. You can read past installments of this column here.

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

To my ears, this has been a damn good year for music, and there’s so much I haven’t gotten to. Along with new releases from Jay Z, Public Enemy, and Lorde that I plan on getting to ASAP, there’s also world music (Omar Souleyman, Orchestra Baobab, Mariem Hassan), jazz (Mostly Other People Do the Killing, Harriet Tubman), and country (Sarah Shook, Steve Earle) albums, among others, that I need to spend more time with.

But, based on what I’ve heard (and reviewed), here are my favorites of the year.

Shitkid (Åsa Söderqvist)

1. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit: The Nashville Sound (Southeastern)

2. Zeal and Ardor: Devil is Fine (MVKA)

3. American Epic: The Soundtrack (Legacy)

4. African Rumba (Putumayo ’16)

5. The Bob’s Burgers Music Album (Sub Pop)


6. Khalid: American Teen (RCA)

7. Migos: Culture (Quality Control/300/Atlantic)

8. The Mountain Goats: Goths (Merge)

9. Jens Lekman: Life Will See You Now (Secretly Canadian)


10. Shitkid: EP 2 (PNKSLM)

Starlito & Don Trip

11. Neil Cicierega: Mouth Moods (free download)

12. Body Count: Bloodlust (Century Media)

13. Sunny Sweeney: Trophy (Thirty Tigers)


14. Starlito & Don Trip: Step Brothers Three (Grind Hard LLC)

15. Angaleena Presley: Wrangled (Thirty Tigers)

16. Willie Nelson: God’s Problem Child (Legacy)

17. Kendrick Lamar: DAMN. (Top Dawg/Aftermath/Interscope)

18. The Magnetic Fields: 50 Song Memoir (Merge)

19. Kehlani: SweetSexySavage (Deluxe Edition) (Atlantic)

20. Charly Bliss: Guppy (self-released)

Daddy Issues

21. The New Pornographers: Whiteout Conditions (Concord)

22. Whitney Rose: South Texas Suite (Thirty Tigers/Six Shooter)

23. Sheer Mag: Compilation LP (Wilsuns Recording Company)

24. Daddy Issues: Deep Dream (Infinity Cat)

25. Chuck Berry: Chuck (Dualtone)

26. The xx: I See You (Young Turks)

27. Emperor X: Oversleepers International (Tiny Engines)

28. Nnamdi Ogbonnaya: DROOL (Father/Daughter/Sooper)

29. Street Stains: Street Stains (self-released)

30. At the Drive-In: in•ter a•li•a (Rise)


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