The countdown begins...

Let's face it: 2016 has not been one of humanity's finest moments.

A year bookended by the death of David Bowie and the election of Donald Trump, a year dominated by the ongoing shit-show that is Brexit and the humanitarian catastrophe engulfing Aleppo.

It's been a year to forget, really. In times of crisis, though, we often turn to music, and 2016 has provided plenty moments of solace in amongst the chaos.

All week Clash will be counting down our favourite albums to be released in 2016 - starting now...

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40. Jessy Lanza - 'Oh No'

Clash said: "Prime evidence of the blossoming roster of dance talent from directly across the pond."

39. Red Hot Chili Peppers - 'The Getaway'

Clash said: "A band reborn? Possibly. Refined? Definitely. The brilliance of ‘The Getaway’ is in its subtleties, which define their most intimate and expressive album to date, and suggest that, after 32 years, the Chilis can still keep us guessing."

38. Rihanna - 'ANTI'

Clash said: "'ANTI' is a bold statement. Whether planned or not, Rihanna ended up giving away one million copies of the album and still managed to reach number one. It might not have had a huge single to push those extra sales, but it feels real, it feels soulful, and it’s a representation of Rihanna that she will hopefully still be proud of 15 years on."

37. Yamaneko - 'Project Nautilus'

Clash said: "This is a fascinating, if at times disorienting, piece of music; one that blends and weaves some of the tropes of grime and techno with an approach that borders on Geeneus, and pierces dubstep via the medium of 8-bit loops with the idiosyncrasy of a young Dylan Mills, offering glimpses of a fleeting humanity in an ominous sci-fi void."

36. D∆WN - 'Redemption'

Clash said: "When she sets her time machine dial even further back to a time when the spasmodic beats of The Neptunes ruled the airwaves, her sound becomes fresh and futuristic."

35. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith - 'EARS'

Clash said: "...a magnificent aural topography of Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith’s inspired imagination."

34. Kero Kero Bonito - 'Bonito Generation'

Clash said: "Become a fully paid-up member of the Bonito Generation, 2016’s most uplifting movement."

33. NZCA Lines - 'Infinite Summer'

Clash said: "Harnessing the perfect marriage of sci-fi and synthesizers, is the mellifluous ‘Infinite Summer’; a record eclipsing NZCA Lines / Michael Lovett’s former works with the expeditious use of propulsive beats, sparkling keys and his typically introverted vocals."

32. Let's Eat Grandma - 'I, Gemini'

Clash said: "Encompassing both a fairy-tale purity and an almost malevolent level of darkness, Let’s Eat Grandma fall somewhere in between the child-like innocence of Hansel and Gretel and the spectral qualities of the twins from The Shining."

31. Ariana Grande - 'Dangerous Woman'

Clash says: A bold, confident return, 'Dangerous Woman' moves from heavyweight hip-hop (Lil Wayne appears on 'Let Me Love You') to straight, effervescent pop, all held together by that towering voice and unmistakeable personality. In tearing up the rulebook, Ariana may just have written one of her own.

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Clash Album Of The Year countdown continues all this week - keep checking back...

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