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Digital Subscriptions > Gay Times > January 2017 > MUSIC


The best albums and singles of 2016


BEYONCÉ Lemonade

Beyoncé didn’t just release an album this year – she released an album with no prior warning and an accompanying film that shone a spotlight on the black female experience. That alone made Lemonade a remarkable achievement, but the actual music turned it into something special. Over 12 songs she tells a tale of marital infidelity and reconciliation that’s filled with anger, passion and romance as it darts from rock to reggae to R&B. “If you try this shit again, you gon’ lose your wife,” she spits on Don’t Hurt Yourself. God know what Jay-Z made of it, but the rest of us savoured Bey’s best album yet.

SHURA Nothing’s Real

In May, Shura dropped one of 2016’s best music videos: What’s It Gonna Be?, a pastiche of 80s teen movies that cleverly subverts heteronormative expectations. A couple of months later, she dropped one of 2016’s best pop albums with this near-flawless debut. Her bittersweet ‘80s-style pop recalls The Human League on the sublime 2Shy and Haim on the shimmering, guitardriven Make It Up, but the consistently lovely melodies and intriguing lyrics ensure it always sounds mainly like Shura. It’s the album we turned to whenever 2016 dealt us a shitty day, which was quite often, tbh.

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