The Top 20 Albums of 2016, according to me, who has impeccable taste but doesn’t really listen to pop or hip hop so take this list with a grain of salt I guess

Greetings, loyal readers! 2016 was a year that happened, and is in fact still happening. During said year, many musical artists released new albums, a significant portion of which I listened to in whole or in part at some point. Here is a list of the ones I liked the most.

In all seriousness, I probably listened to more new albums in 2016 than I did any other year previously. There were only a couple of records that really blew me away–fewer than last year, for instance–but a whole lot of consistently enjoyable ones. And no, neither of those classifications include the comically awful, inexplicably lauded Bon Iver record, which sounds like a dial-up modem getting a hand job from Kanye West, or the new Radiohead album, which put me to sleep, as most Radiohead albums tend to do. Nope, below is a list of 20 records from 2016 that I really dug, plus a few honorable mentions. You can read  blurbs I wrote for a few of these albums on Slant Magazine’s list of the 25 Best Albums of 2016. You’ll also find full reviews of several of these over on Slant, as well as Spectrum Culture. Happy listening!

  1. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Skeleton Tree
  2. Drive-By Truckers, American Band
  3. Car Seat Headrest, Teens of Denial
  4. Hiss Golden Messenger, Heart Like a Levee
  5. Michael Kiwanuka, Love & Hate
  6. Bob Mould, Patch the Sky
  7. Parquet Courts, Human Performance
  8. Wussy, Forever Sounds
  9. Lydia Loveless, Real
  10. Sturgill Simpson, A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
  11. Robbie Fulks, Upland Stories
  12. Lucinda Williams, The Ghosts of Highway 20
  13. Beach Slang, A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings
  14. William Tyler, Modern Country
  15. DIIV, Is the Is Are
  16. Margo Price, Midwest Farmer’s Daughter
  17. Eleanor Friedberger, New View
  18. Lambchop, FLOTUS
  19. Flock of Dimes, If You See Me, Say Yes
  20. Against Me!, Shape Shift With Me

Honorable mentions, in no particular order:

Wheeler Walker, Jr., Redneck Shit

Freakwater, Scheherazade

David Bowie, Blackstar

Luke Winslow-King, I’m Glad Trouble Don’t Last Always

Kelsey Waldon, I’ve Got A Way

case/lang/viers, case/lang/viers

Steve Gunn, Eyes on the Lines

Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, A Man Alive

Cymbals Eat Guitars, Pretty Years

Natural Child, Okey Dokey

Sarah Jarosz, Undercurrent

Ray LaMontagne, Ouroboros

Mitski, Puberty 2

The Rolling Stones, Blue & Lonesome

Two Cow Garage, Brand New Flag

The Dexateens, Teenage Hallelujah



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