I haven’t even heard a lot of the albums showing up on some of the lists I see going around, but here is the stuff that I was listening to in 2016 that stood above the rest.
1(tie) A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here…. Thank You 4 Your Service
1(tie) David Bowie – Blackstar
3) Angel Olsen – My Woman
4) Hiss Golden Messenger – Heart Like a Levee
5) Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
6) Drive-By Truckers – American Band
7) Mount Moriah – How To Dance
8) Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
9) Lambchop – FLOTUS
10) Savages – Adore Life
11) William Tyler – Modern Country
12) Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Denial
13) Loamlands – Sweet High Rise
14) Lydia Loveless – Real
15) Bob Mould – Patch the Sky
16) Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition
17) Wilco – Schmilco
18) DIIV – Is The Is Are
19) Skylar Gudasz – Oleander
20) Parquet Courts – Human Performance
I totally wussed out and had a tie at the top. Both were great albums in their own right, but made more important by when they were released. They might not be the top 2 I’d go back to in 5 years, but they were the ones that stood atop 2016 in 2016.
I initially tried to do a list of 10, but just couldn’t leave a lot of the things that came in 11-20 off the list entirely. Even so, it was hard leaving off others like Anderson Paak, Wye Oak, and Thee Oh Sees. Ranking was the hardest part. I’d probably come up with a very different order tomorrow.
There might very well be another great album get released this year, but it won’t get enough play by me in the hurry of the holidays to warrant being on the list the way I intend the list to represent the year.