10) Fifth Harmony | 7/27
Fifth Harmony took it home with a girl-power filled album full of march stomping bops such as ‘That’s My Girl’ and “Not That Kinda Girl”. Not only did “Work From Home” become a huge international success, but became repeatedly turned on by radio due to its massive pop appeal. In turn, 7/27 was exactly that, a pop fascination!
9) Lady Gaga | Joanne
Joanne, while experimental pop at best, exemplifies a turn in direction for many artists this year and was one that proved successful for Gaga. From the emotional impact of “Million Reasons” to the political endearment of “Angel Down”, the album showed mature lyricism and a vulnerable side that was hidden by the earlier dance-pop records of The Fame and Born This Way.
8) Charlie Puth | Nine Track Mind
Doo-wop grooves and major 50’s and 60’s influence make this album one of the few to include a throwback appeal. Puth’s voice purrs in straight layers and it’s no doubt that there is a buried old-soul behind songs like “Marvin Gaye”, “Suffer” and “Left Right Left”.
7) JoJo | Mad Love
Embracing delicate personal moments truly defined the magical power of this album. Even within the most uptempo numbers such as “Good Thing”, the lyrical moments capture the true intention of the record – to reintroduce an artist that captured the earlier R&B sound of the 2000’s decade.
6) Nick Jonas | Last Year Was Complicated
A celebration of all things kinky R&B, Jonas proved to be a force this year with silky vocals and a voice that while Timberlake-esque, has it’s own groove. The falsetto pressure of songs like “Dont Make Me Choose” makes you loose sight of all the bad and into a pure ecstatic moment of passionate love and erotica.
5) Zayn Malik | Mind Of Mine
Malik finds his own sound in Mind Of Mine and the record impeccably makes use of toned down moments. There’s no holding back and with slight piano-suited vocals such as shown in songs like “Drunk”, the record beautifully withstands it’s own weight. It’s a perfect balance of trip-hop love and syncopated beats.
4) Shawn Mendes | Illuminate
A more soulful approach than his past work, the Canadian musician brings pop acoustic to a whole new other level. His instrumental beginnings have proved to be a grand asset for his musical career and with songs like “Mercy” and “Ruin” it’s perfectly shown that he is capable of throwing out more pop goodness in the future years to come.
3) Little Mix | Glory Days
An album overcome with soaring vocals and dance-filled euphoria, the quartet showered the world with a Brit pop album that dominated playlist airways around the world. Besides its hugely successful place on worldwide charts, it’s songs like ‘Power’ and ‘No More Sad Songs’ that fully made the album a strong 2016 candidate.
2) Ariana Grande | Dangerous Woman
After the success of her prior two albums, Grande introduced a new underrated success in Dangerous Woman. “Into You” became a staple underground club hit and while it deserved much more success, it’s everyones secret EDM hit of the year. From the amazing collaborations with Macy Gray and Future, Grande only furthered her reign as the pop princess of this generation.
1) Sia | This Is Acting
Raw vocals and a passionate pop plea makes “This Is Acting” probably the best pop album of 2016. “Cheap Thrills” became a major pop hit and the subtle reggae hints on her record made this her most exciting presentation yet. The scathing vocals of “Alive” immediately showcases her vocal prowess – a breathtaking ballad that stole the whole 2016 show and quite frankly moved the world.