From Janelle Monáe and Robyn to Cardi B and the all-star “Black Panther” soundtrack, here is a roundup of the 10 best LPs that we had on repeat this year.
Janelle Monáe — “Dirty Computer”
Ever since Prince died in May 2016, there has been a cold, sad void in the pop world. When Monáe returned to music — after making Oscar-bait movies such as “Moonlight” and “Hidden Figures” — it was clear that the Purple One’s spirit lives on in her, perhaps more than in any other artist currently on the landscape. Genre-bending and sexually fluid, she made an album that is erotic and empowering, soulful and soul-baring — more than she had ever been behind her sci-fi alter ego Cindi Mayweather.
Robyn — “Honey”
Eight years is an eternity-and-a-half between albums these days, but finally following up her 2010 “Body Talk” opus, the Swedish dance-pop dynamo dropped a killer album that delivered on sticky-sweet melodic hooks (“Missing U,” “Ever Again”) while deepening the club grooves (“Send to Robyn Immediately,” “Beach2k20”) with some dope beatmasters. It was a balancing act that we hadn’t seen anyone pull off this well since Madonna last decade.