These songs reveal that when all contradictions are nakedly exposed, all one can do is embrace them.” (Read the review)”Radiohead is older and wiser on A Moon Shaped Pool, deciding not to push at the borders of their sound but rather settle into the territory they’ve marked as their own. It’s a rare thing that will likely seem all the more valuable over the years.” (Read the review)”Thanks to Q-Tip’s visionary and pleasingly weird production, which draws from golden age hip-hop, old-school jazz, odd samples, dub reggae, and interplanetary electro, the fact the neither he nor Phife have lost even a small percentage of a step, and the seamlessly integrated contributions from the guests, the album is vibrant, intense, and alive.” (Read the review)”As always, Cave’s songs are both literate and emotionally honest, and though this music is genuinely passionate, he avoids histrionics. Respondents from all around the world made their choices, and we’re excited to share the results. Our 2016 year-end coverage finally, mercifully and happily ends with the top 10 albums of the year as voted on by the AllMusic readers. Rock history teaches us you can’t will a masterpiece into existence, but Will Toledo has created something like a novel after previously offering us short stories, and it’s a piece of rough-hewn brilliance.” (Read the review)”A Sailor’s Guide to Earth is an old-fashioned concept album, one that tells a story — it’s a letter to his newborn son, telling him how to become a man — and is dressed in garish art suited to the side of a Chevy van. Amid the list of gripes, sins, and losses detailed on You Want It Darker, Cohen remains open to whatever earthly light offers even as his gaze shifts toward the eternal. He makes no compromises. They regard persistent dehumanizing burdens dealt to her and other persons of color in a country where many are hostile to the phrase “Black Lives Matter” and the equality-seeking organization of the same name. Thanks again for reading and supporting AllMusic in 2016, and we look forward to bringing you more reviews and feature stories throughout 2017.”The writing talent on display is irrefutable, whether it’s a sharp aside, the precision and economy in the chorus of the Beyoncé-backed “Pink + White,” or the agony evoked in “Self Control” (with an outro multi-tracked to pull heartstrings).He’s clearly bemused with the industry and fan entitlement. This may not result in a radical shift in sound but rather a welcome change in tone: for the first time Radiohead feel comfortable in their own skin.” (Read the review)”Fittingly, the music itself is suspended in time, sometimes recalling the hard urban gloss of ’70s prog — Bowie’s work, yes, but also Roxy Music and, especially, the Scott Walker of Nite Flights — and sometimes evoking the drum’n’bass dabbling of the ’90s incarnation of the Thin White Duke, sounds that can still suggest a coming future, but in the context of this album these flourishes are the foundation of a persistent present. This comfort with the now is the most striking thing about Blackstar: it is the sound of a restless artist feeling utterly at ease not only within his own skin but within his own time.” (Read the review) An undoubtedly reactive work, this is undiluted and progressive nonetheless.” (Read the review)”Surrounded by a collaborative throng that includes Raphael Saadiq, Dave Longstreth, and Adam Bainbridge, Knowles composed and produced alleviating pro-black reflections of frustration and anger. Skeleton Tree isn’t about exorcizing the agony of being robbed of a loved one. …a cathartic yet poised album, one that weighs a ton and levitates.” (Read the review)”Teens of Denial is that rarity, an album about teenage life that sounds like it could have been created by a 17-year-old, though few would have the intelligence and discipline to get their ideas on tape with this level of skill. Instead, this music honors the dead by making sense of the pain of the survivors, Even by Cave’s dour standards, Skeleton Tree is a tough listen, but it’s also a powerful and revealing one, and a singular work from a one-of-a-kind artist.” (Read the review)”After coming to terms with the ghosts in his past and his acceptance of mortality, Cohen emits a resilient flicker of hope for total reconciliation in the shadows. The overarching aesthetics are a throwback to the golden age of vinyl, but Simpson is too smart to succumb to mere revivalism: he seeks to expand, not retract.” (Read the review)”If this winds up being the last Rolling Stones album, it provides a nice bookend to their 1964 debut, but it’s artistically satisfying because it’s the Rolling Stones allowing themselves to simply lay back and play for sheer enjoyment.