Exclaim!'s Top 10 Dance & Electronic Albums Best of 2016



 
4. Jessy Lanza
Oh No
(Hyperdub)
 
Expectations were high for Canadian Jessy Lanza's sophomore Hyperdub outing. Pull My Hair Back from 2013 put the jazz-trained, R&B-loving vocalist in the spotlight seemingly overnight, her subdued, effortlessly charming vocals and '80s-inflected production earning her instant fans and accolades. Luckily, when Oh No dropped in May, it was just as good, if not better than her impressive debut, pairing well-honed pop sensibilities with a willingness to get weird when appropriate.
 
As before, Jeremy Greenspan of Junior Boys lends his talents to the mix, and he and Lanza prove a winning combination once again. The production is more sure-footed this time around, the tempos quicker, and Lanza's vocals more playful, cooing breathily one second and admonishing dismissively the next. The minimalist production matches this energy, holding steady for a hooky chorus as readily as pursuing an oddball tangent for 45 seconds. It's an album full of personality, and Lanza pulls it off winningly, building on her strengths as well as broadening her horizons on this huge step forward.
Luke Pearson