The Telescope presents: the top albums of 2016. We gathered best-of lists from staff and contributors, crunched some numbers and came up with a list of records that unanimously wowed us this year.
2016 found New York sensation Mitski vaulting to new levels of success with her dare-to-be-me fourth album, an in-depth look at coming to terms with mid-20s sexuality and romance while finding your way in the world. It’s a record of how our viewpoints change in the post-grad era of our lives—how we see that love and relationships are nothing like the first chapters we lived through in high school.
Puberty 2 is sort of a Sex In The City or post-Felicity for people who want a more honest look at a young woman’s struggles with courtship, acceptance, and giving a fuck about other people. Many artists are praised for their take-charge persona; Mitski finds a way to bring all of this to her story while enjoying life as the “little spoon.” She’s only speaking for herself on this album, and she’s telling us that you can be heard and be passive at the same time.
In her video for “Your Best American Girl,” you can see how she struggles with being an American who isn’t of European descent, and how she comes to terms with the realities and complexities of being different (this is her ‘second puberty’). All this and songwriting that’s as powerful as Annie Clark’s, and she does it without ever trying too hard to be artistic. Mitski Miyawaki’s album is infectious and deserves to hold rank on any year-end list.