You’ve already licked your plate clean, now it’s time to feast your ears on some of the best albums from 2016 with a little help from iTunes’ annual Thanksgiving weekend sale.
From Lady Gaga’s No. 1-charting Joanne and Ariana Grande’s hit-filled Dangerous Woman to Norah Jones’ criminally under-appreciated Day Breaks, check out the stellar collection of discounted studio sets available right now on iTunes.Joanne by Lady Gaga – $6.99
Marking a notable sonic departure from the pop icon’s signature electro-dance aesthetic, Joanne, named after the Oscar nominee’s late aunt, sees Lady Gaga showing off her powerful vocal range across genres ranging from light, sitar-assisted dancehall (“Dancin’ In Circles”) and doo-wop (“Come to Mama”) to glam rock (“Perfect Illusion”) and windswept country (“Million Reasons”). The LP’s standard edition features 11 new tracks — all of which were co-produced by Gaga, BloodPop, and Mark Ronson, with additional contributions from Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme, Jeff Bhasker, and Emile Haynie.
Packed with hit after hit, Ariana Grande’s third studio album, Dangerous Woman, is one of 2016’s must-have titles. Grande’s smoldering vocals mesh with featured artists including Nicki Minaj and Future on rhythmic bangers like “Side to Side” and “Everyday” and soar over irresistible pop arrangements on standout cuts “Be Alright” (an airy, house-tinged toe-tapper) and “Into You,” one of the best mainstream releases of the year.
One of the most successful names in contemporary jazz, Norah Jones has sold over 50 million albums to date. Her last solo effort, 2012’s Little Broken Hearts, saw the singer-songwriter dabbling with dreamy indie pop strings and throwback rock tracks that recall the work of Nancy Sinatra and Dusty Springfield. Day Breaks, released in October, sees Jones returning to her roots as a jazz pianist, with a glowing collection of subdued genre numbers that ooze with their maker’s Platinum-verified penchant for organic instrumentation.
Trolls continues to make bank at the domestic box office, and its accompanying soundtrack is worth every penny. The compilation includes groove-heavy tunes from the film’s voice cast, including Justin Timberlake (the No. 1 single “Can’t Stop the Feeling!”), Gwen Stefani (club stomper “What U Workin’ With?”), and Anna Kendrick (pop ditty “Get Back Up Again”). Zooey Deschanel, James Corden, and Earth, Wind & Fire also make appearances on this soaring collection of original tracks and covers of time-tested classics.
Currently the top-selling album on iTunes, A Pentatonix Christmas is a timely addition to any contemporary music lover’s holiday collection. The quintet puts a catchy spin on classic numbers like “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” and “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” even tackling N*SYNC’s “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” for the set, which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 in October.
The seventh full-length LP by Kings of Leon became their first No. 1 studio set amid their nearly 20-year career. WALLS sees the band doing what they do best: powering through addictive, arena-ready rock tracks with fierce lyricism and palpable bravado.
After almost three decades together, Green Day is still topping the charts with Revolution Radio, which premiered atop the U.S. charts upon its release in early October. The band made headlines last weekend after they dinged president-elect Donald Trump during their American Music Awards performance of “Bang Bang,” lifted from Radio, proving the trio is still as edgy (and socially commentative) as ever.
Nearly 30 producers crafted Usher’s eighth studio album, which first dropped in September a full four years after its maker’s previous studio effort, 2012’s Looking 4 Myself. Though it became the R&B hitmaker’s first album to miss the top spot on the Billboard 200 in over 15 years, Hard II Love contains all the groovy, vocally-towering swag that made the 38-year-old an industry staple in the first place.
Tegan and Sara have fully transitioned from alt-rock queens to pop stars on this sonic continuation of their 2013 synthpop venture Heartthrob. Produced entirely by one of mainstream pop’s biggest names, Greg Kurstin (Stefani, Sia, Kelly Clarkson, Taylor Swift), Love You to Death boasts several standout numbers like uptempo gems “Boyfriend” and “U-Turn” that deserve their fair share of top 40 radio airplay.
Chicago rapper Dreezy has made a name for herself with irresistible collaborations with other artists, releasing songs with the likes of Jeremih, Dej Loaf, Common, Gucci Mane, AlunaGeorge, and T-Pain over the past two years. Her debut album, No Hard Feelings, is a fierce kickoff to a promising career, complete with bass-heavy bangers and sultry jams alike.