Staff Picks: Top Albums of 2016 Pt. II

This is Pt. II of this year end list. If you missed Pt. I – check it out here!


At ZUMIX, all of the staff have one thing in common: music moves us. In our space, all tastes are welcomed and that is truly something to be celebrated. As a student, you are encouraged to bring the music you love to the classroom whether that be a video game theme song, the latest from Bruno Mars, an old favorite from Nirvana, or anything in-between. As staff, we like to share whenever we get a chance. With this year coming to a close, we thought we’d take this opportunity to share with you.

Enjoy Part II of our picks from this year and perhaps find something new to love on both a national and local scale. Cheers to more great music in 2017!

A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service

Like every classic Tribe album, this one defies simple descriptions. Jazz feels funk with clever vocals coming from familiar voices. Old school nostalgic feel with modern day themes. Even the title states to sit back and relax, they got it. – Corey DePina, Staff

Ali McGuirk – Ali McGuirk

Ali McGuirk packs a punch! Her sound combines deep 60’s soul/funk with a decidedly modern twist, simultaneously catchy and deep. Off the charts, raw talent, Ali surrounds herself with the most soulful players in town. Her 4-song debut EP is one of my go-to favorites of 2016. – Madeleine Stecynski, Staff

Lady Lamb – Tender Warriors Club

I love the bare bones vocals and guitar. No autotune. A little rough around the edges, which I like because it adds to the emotional content of the songs. – Jenny Shulman

Bruno Mars – 24K Magic

No question. It’s everything I love and miss about 80’s and 90’s R&B in one album. – Brandon Allen, Staff

It’s hip, funk…retro…takes me back to my kid years …the album is ageless… – Gaby Perry, Board Member

Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Denial

Teens Of Denial is largely a collection of the quiet thoughts from the dark spaces within ourselves. Will Toledo puts the spotlight on them, narrates them, and creates dynamic musical beds for them to rest upon. Throughout this record you will be up, down, angry, and exhausted; sounds just about right for 2016. – Jeeyoon Kim, Staff

Aoife O’Donovan – In The Magic Hour

Aoife O’Donovan’s takeaways from her eclectic background in genres ranging from jazz, to bluegrass, to classical all show up with bells on in her second full-length solo release. With a collection of songs grappling with the tensions between wanderlust and loneliness, loss and connection, all elevated by her always buttery-warm vocals, this album has stayed on repeat from top to bottom all year long. – Anni Leff, Staff

Krill – Krill

A collection of songs Krill was putting together before their sudden break-up. The EP kicks off on an unexpected light and upbeat tone, a stark contrast from their previous record’s brooding mood, that makes listening to these songs post-break up so bittersweet. – Ramsel Gonzalez, Staff

Xenia Rubinos – Black Terry Cat

I’ve had this album on repeat for the past 72 hours. Xenia Rubinos draws on indie rock, hip-hop, jazz, Afro-Carribean beats and and funky rhythms to create her own inventive sound. Her lyrics are smart, funny, biting, and political, and she delivers them all with an incredible voice. – Sarah Saydun

Beyoncé – Lemonade

We tried to pick the under-appreciated and less well known albums of 2016, but we would be remiss to leave Lemonade off the list just because of its well-deserved hype. An admin-office favorite, Lemonade was exactly the pro-feminist, black lives-affirming, anthem-packed album we needed to lend some sparkle to a crazy year. – Anni Leff


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