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 Beyoncé, Solange, Kanye 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 Headrest, Teens Of Denial
Common, Black American Again.
David Bowie, Blackstar
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
Modern Baseball, Holy 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.