20 Best Pop Albums of 2016

Rihanna, Gaga, the 1975 and more of the year in hooks

Fifth Harmony, '7/27'
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10. Fifth Harmony, '7/27'

Keeping the girl-group torch alive in 2016 proved to be simple for Fifth Harmony, who have outlasted the TV show that spawned them and become gale forces in pop. "Work From Home," their second album's winking collaboration with Ty Dolla $ign, was the mega-hit, an "Afternoon Delight" for the smartphone generation that fluttered by on minimalist synths. But the album thrived on its unapologetic celebration of girl power. "That's My Girl" was a joy-saturated back-pat for all the independent women in their squad of Harmonizers, "Not That Kinda Girl" rebuked unwanted advances with the assistance of sizzling keyboards, and "All in My Head (Flex)" rounded up the chorus of Mad Cobra's "Flex" and the gleeful "Trap Queen" MC Fetty Wap to assist its self-admiration. M.J.

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