2015 represented a turning point in dance music that saw the album format enjoying a renaissance, with a number of notable producers like Nero, Disclosure, Jack Ü and countless others releasing impactful records that helped shape the year in music. 2016 continued this trend with a particularly good selection of dance records, with big names like Eric Prydz, deadmau5, Justice, Steve Angello, DJ Snake and Kygo all releasing full length efforts over the last twelve months.
This year also saw dance music maturing in a number of ways, while the cross pollination between pop and EDM reached new heights (see: The Chainsmokers). Many of the biggest dance albums of the year went on to spawn hit singles that took the radio by storm, like DJ Snake’s “Let Me Love You” and Flume’s “Never Be Like You,” further cementing the fact that our once underground scene has reached the top.
Part of what defined the dance music offerings of the last year was the fact that a lot of promising acts were releasing their debut albums to great critical success. The best records in 2016 dropped the glitz and glam of mainstage EDM in favor of a more refined approach, offering up forward thinking productions with unique sonic elements and a flare for the unexpected. We’ve definitely come a long way since the EDM boom of five years ago, and the eclectic works heard throughout the year reflect that.
It’s been an epic twelve months for dance music to say the least, so it was no small task to decide on the year’s ten best outings. However, we’ve persevered in order to zero in on only the best LPs released throughout the year, and the following list will serve as your guide through the ten best EDM albums of 2016.