20 Best Pop Albums of 2016

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

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Bruno Mars, '24k Magic'
20
12/20

12. Bruno Mars, '24k Magic'

No working pop star tells you to get naked quite as sweetly as Bruno Mars – he rhymes "Miami" with "no jammies" and announces his desire to see some "Versace on the Floor" as graciously as if he were offering to take your coat. But as Mars warns on the title track, he can also be "a dangerous man," whether he's channelling Morris Day on "Perm" or warning his lady of his other romantic options: "I got Alesha waiting, Iesha waiting, all the -eesha's waiting." 24k Magic laces the kind of high-energy Eighties dance-pop homage Mars perfected on "Uptown Funk" with some Nineties retro flavor (check out that new jack swing drum break on "Finesse") for a blissful exercise in retro escapism. K.H.

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