20 Best Pop Albums of 2016

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

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Lizzo, 'Coconut Oil'
20
14/20

14. Lizzo, 'Coconut Oil'

"Good as Hell," the first single from Minneapolis MC-singer Lizzo's major-label debut, was one of 2016's most potent expressions of self-empowerment, its shout-along chorus and Lizzo's support-system verses combining for a song that would have the grumpiest listener flipping their hair and flaunting their manicure. The rest of Coconut Oil, produced by the year's pop alchemist-of-choice Ricky Reed, is imbued with a similarly confident spirit, showcasing Lizzo's ability to turn any type of song into something joyous and unmistakably hers. The title track is a sparse R&B track that flaunts her formidable voice, "Phone" turns late-night regrets into a dizzying broadside against achy footwear and gnat-like men, and "Worship" uses her gospel background in service of self-love. M.J.

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