List: The Reel Deal Staff Pick Their Favorite Albums of 2016

2016 brought us a lot of great albums. As a response, the Reel Deal music team have comprised some thoughts on their favorite albums of 2016. Here they are:

Madyson McGill: Panic! At the Disco’s Death of a Bachelor

While there were many albums that caught my ear in 2016, my favorite has to be Death of a Bachelor by Panic! At the Disco. It was an inspiring piece of work made by the only original member of the band left. Brendon Urie really showcased his talents with this album. Not only did he show off his melodic voice with an array of high notes, he also showed off his composing and storytelling skills.

The album contains a variety of different songs, from power ballads to swinging horns. The title song, which is a tribute to the late Frank Sinatra, is presented with a very Sinatra-esque sound thanks to the mixing together of Urie’s vocals and the musicality of the piece. The album closes the door to what Panic! At the Disco used to be, and opens up to what it’s becoming, which makes it stand out from the other four Panic! albums.

Braxton Randolph: Frank Ocean’s Endless and Blond

While 2016 was a stellar year for music in general, my favorite albums this year definitely came from Frank Ocean. After a 4 year hiatus, Frank delivered on the suspense built up over years with pushed back release dates and mysterious Tumblr posts. It’s been 4 months since both Endless and Blond have been released to the public, and I still can’t choose a favorite. While I feel Endless is a more complete project, Blond has hits like “Ivy” and “Self Control” that take it to another level. All in all there were a lot of great projects released this year, but the second coming of Frank Ocean tops all.

Caroline Meister: With Confidence’s Better Weather

2016 has been widely regarded as one of the worst years ever; however, not all of it was bad. With Confidence’s debut album, Better Weather, was the exception. Released in June, Better Weather quickly rose to be one of the top punk records of the year, even with comeback albums from greats such as Blink-182, Green Day, and Sum 41. The album doesn’t have a single song that I don’t like, which is impressive, because it’s hard to manufacture a product that is flawless, especially if you have little to no experience with producing an entire album. The album is so pure pop punk, filled with the angst of wanting to leave home, the sadness over lost loves, and the declaration that “despite the weather it gets better” (see album title).

Perhaps Better Weather resonates so much with me because 2016, like the album, was a delicate balance between positives and negatives. In 2016, I left high school (a positive) and started college (also a positive). However, I was incredibly anxious and for a long time unhappy (obviously both negatives). My favorite songs on the album, in no particular order, are: “Waterfall,” “Long Night,” and “Voldemort.” So thank you, With Confidence, for making one of the best albums of 2016. Thank you for keeping the genre of pop punk alive, and thank you for indirectly supporting me when I needed it the most.