Music lovers downloading the most popular albums in 2016 didn’t play favourites when it came to music genres. From the soft folk rock melodies in Beck’s “Morning Phase” to the old-fashioned Chicago blues of Jimmie Lee Robinson, audiophiles in the United States and Canada downloaded a wide range of popular music albums from Acoustic Sounds Super HiRez™ this year. Some artists that made it onto this top albums list like Coldplay strayed from their usual sound to try something different in the disco pop arena, while others like the Foo Fighters stayed true to their rock ‘n’ roll roots. Singaporean singer Vanessa Fernandez even changed the sounds of other R&B music artists in her popular cover album “Use Me.” But the common thread running through all the popular music albums was the creativity and passion each artist poured into these albums to make a significant contribution to their music genre of choice.
Read on to learn more about all the top 10 most popular music albums of 2016 downloaded on Acoustic Sounds Super HiRez™.
1. “Saint Cecilia”
Artist: Foo Fighters
Dedicated to the victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris last year, “Saint Cecilia” was released as a free EP in the hopes of “bring[ing] a little light into this sometimes dark world.” This popular music album marks the Foo Fighter’s return to old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll and gives fans an upbeat, familiar soundtrack that pays tribute to the band’s 20 year history. “Saint Cecilia” will make its namesake — the patron saint of musicians — and audiophiles everywhere smile.
Artist: Michael Jackson
The best-selling music album of all time to this day, “Thriller” touches on the pop, post-disco, rock and funk genres. Four of the nine songs on the album were written by Jackson himself and seven of the nine songs were released as singles. This classic album from the ’80s was included in the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry of culturally significant recordings and has secured its spot in many music lovers’ personal music libraries.
3. "Come Away with Me"
Artist: Norah Jones
An audiophile favourite, this debut album by Norah Jones has stolen the hearts of many since its release in 2002. “Come Away with Me” traverses a wide spectrum of genres such as acoustic pop, jazz, country and folk. Jones’ silky, smooth vocals shine through on each and every track and make it clear why she secured the eight Grammy Awards she walked away with 14 years ago.
4. “Down in Kansas”
Artist: Jimmie Lee Robinson
This electric blues album by Chicago blues great Jimmie Lee Robinson was his last contribution to the genre. Featuring a full band of Chicago music legends including Wild Child Butler, Sam Lay and Jimmy D. Lane, “Down in Kansas” pays tribute to the way blues used to be played in the post-war Windy City. Robinson’s passion for the music and the artists who created it is evident in this final album recorded by APO Records.
5. “Singles 1969-1981”
Artist: The Carpenters
American singing duo and siblings Karen and Richard Carpenter became best-sellers in the soft rock and adult contemporary genres. Karen’s perfect pitch and Richard’s unparalleled composing and arranging abilities made their soft tunes easy to listen to as well as rich in melody. This popular music album includes all of The Carpenters most memorable hits, from “Top of the World” to “Only Yesterday.” Let these singles relax you and take you back to a simpler time.
6. “Use Me”
Artist: Vanessa Fernandez
In “Use Me,” Singaporean songstress Vanessa Fernandez covers soul and R&B classics from the ’70s and ’80s using only acoustic instruments. You’ve certainly never heard these songs by Marvin Gaye, Earth Wind & Fire and Bill Withers quite like this before. Fernandez brings her own creative flair to these masterpieces, providing listeners with unplugged versions of some of their favorite R&B singles.
7. "Kind of Blue"
Artist: Miles Davis
This certified quadruple platinum record is Davis’ most popular music album for a reason. “Kind of Blue” was recorded in two sessions with very little preparation, showcasing Davis’ raw creative genius. Davis gave his musicians simple instructions and a set of scales to define the improvisation style. This recording method played into the spontaneous spirit of the jazz genre, and the end results have enchanted and inspired music lovers for years.
8. “Morning Phase”
Beck is an artist of many colours, never letting one genre paint him into a corner. Dabbling in soul, hip hop, alternative and country, Beck recorded “Morning Phase” in a distinctive folk rock sound. This popular music album was received with critical acclaim, winning Album of the Year at the 2014 Grammy Awards. This album takes you on a journey, from the sleepy, mellow tones of “Morning” to the darker notes of “Turn Away.”
9. “I Robot”
Artist: The Alan Parsons Project
Exploring themes of artificial intelligence, this art rock album was the second studio album released by British progressive rock band The Alan Parsons Project. Fans of the science fiction genre will love listening to the lyrics of this reflective album. These experimental songs will get music lovers of all kinds contemplating.
10. “A Head Full of Dreams”
“A Head Full of Dreams” served as the centerpiece of the Super Bowl 50 halftime show, filling Levi’s® stadium with the colour and whimsical nature found in this popular music album. The lead single, “Adventure of a Lifetime,” was critically acclaimed, and its disco style was a stark contrast from the band’s usual alternative rock groove. The eighth best-selling album of 2015, “A Head Full of Dreams” continues to be a go-to album for many audiophiles.
Experience Popular Music Albums in High-Res Audio
The MDR-1000X noise-cancelling Bluetooth® headphones were created for the music lover who wants to focus on the music and tune out all other sources of distraction. Listen to the most popular albums of 2016 in High-Resolution Audio quality while using the Personal NC Optimizer to analyze your personal characteristics to create the perfect sound for you. And the MDR-1000X headphones’ S-Master HX™ technology reduces distortion and allows you to enjoy all the subtleties of your music library. With industry-leading noise cancellation technology and your favourite albums of 2016, nothing is stopping you from enjoying high-quality music as you go throughout your day.