Best Albums of 2016

Ignoring the fact that I never posted last year’s list of the year’s best albums, my year-end lists have tended to be multi-post, overwrought affairs that have tested the reader’s patience and my ability to beat the clock before the calendar turns and the list becomes irrelevant.

Fewer than eight hours remain in 2016 and my best-laid plans of an extensive review of the music of 2016 have fallen apart. But it’s not too late to post a brief summary. (I’ll be glad to justify my choices later if anyone wants an explanation.)

To mix things up a bit, I’m going to post my favorite album on top and the remaining 19 in alphabetical order. The list does not include BeyoncéSolangeKanye West, or Chance the Rapper. Those were intentional exclusions.

My favorite album of 2016, one which most people have slept on is:


The remaining 19 are:

The 1975, I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It

A Tribe Called Quest, We Got It From Here, Thank You 4 Your Service

The Avalanches, Wildflower

Beach Slang, A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings

Car Seat HeadrestTeens Of Denial

Common, Black American Again.

David BowieBlackstar

Drive-By Truckers, American Band

Frank Ocean, Blonde

Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam, I Had a Dream That You Were Mine

The Hotelier, Goodness

Leonard Cohen, You Want It Darker

Maxwell, blackSUMMERS’night

Mitsky, Puberty2

Modern BaseballHoly Ghost

The Monkees, Forever

Paul Simon, Stranger to Stranger

Radiohead, A Moon Shaped Pool

Run The Jewels, RTJ3

And one that didn’t make the Top 20. Bruno Mars‘, 24K Magic. The album is a bit inconsistent, but it’s a hell of a throwback to the 70s and 80s and it made me smile a lot more than it didn’t.

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