Year-End Lists

Notable, browsable lists of the year's best music, movies, books, and TV shows. End-of-year lists are fingerprints; aggregate statistics are smudges. Therefore, no tallies. Follow the link for each list to see essential commentary from its authors, at the source.

Category: 2016 Albums

Jordan Cronk: 30 Favorite Albums of 2016

Jordan Cronk: 30 Favorite Albums of 2016 (as posted to Twitter)

  1. The Hotelier – Goodness
  2. David Bowie – Blackstar
  3. Jenny Hval – Blood Bitch
  4. Anohni – Hopelessness
  5. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
  6. Angel Olsen – My Woman
  7. Camp Cope – Camp Cope
  8. Elysia Crampton – Elysia Crampton Presents: Demon City
  9. Pinegrove – Cardinal
  10. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
  11. Cass McCombs – Mangy Love
  12. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – EARS
  13. Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker
  14. Nicolas Jaar – Sirens
  15. Huerco S – For Those of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have)
  16. Dedekind Cut – $uccessor (Ded004)
  17. Roy Montgomery – R M H Q: Headquarters
  18. Tim Hecker – Love Streams
  19. Mitski – Puberty 2
  20. The Range – Potential
  21. Julianna Barwick – Will
  22. The Avalanches – Wildflower
  23. Elza Soares – A Mulher do Fim do Mundo
  24. American Football – American Football (LP2)
  25. Anenon – Petrol
  26. Horse Lords – Interventions
  27. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Suzanne Ciani – FRKWYS Vol. 13: Sunergy
  28. Ian William Craig – Centres
  29. Arca – Entrañas
  30. Yves Tumor – Serpent Music

Tiny Mix Tapes: 51 Favorite Music Releases of 2016

Babyfather - BBF Hosted By DJ Escrow

Tiny Mix Tapes: 51 Favorite Music Releases of 2016

  1. Babyfather – “BBF” Hosted By DJ Escrow
  2. Lolina – Live In Paris
  3. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
  4. Arca – Entrañas
  5. Frank Ocean – Blonde
  6. [tie] Frank Ocean – Endless
  7. Jenny Hval – Blood Bitch
  8. James Ferraro – Human Story 3
  9. Charli XCX – Vroom Vroom
  10. Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition
  11. Elysia Crampton – Dissolution of The Sovereign: A Time Slide Into The Future (Or: A Non-Abled Offender’s Exercise in Jurisprudence)
  12. Yves Tumor – Serpent Music
  13. Lil Yachty – Lil Boat
  14. Young Thug – Jeffery
  15. Rihanna – Anti
  16. Jessy Lanza – Oh No
  17. Foodman – Ez Minzoku
  18. Dedekind Cut – $uccessor
  19. Kero Kero Bonito – Bonito Generation
  20. Elysia Crampton – Elysia Crampton Presents: Demon City
  21. Jeremih – Late Nights: The Album
  22. Princess Nokia – 1992
  23. DJWWWW – Arigato
  24. Solange – A Seat at the Table
  25. serpentwithfeet – blisters
  26. Puce Mary – The Spiral
  27. Noname – Telefone
  28. Tim Hecker – Love Streams
  29. Macula Dog – Why Do You Look Like Your Dog?
  30. David Bowie – Blackstar
  31. Crying – Beyond the Fleeting Gales
  32. Andy Stott – Too Many Voices
  33. Beyoncé – Lemonade
  34. Autechre – elseq 1-5
  35. death’s dynamic shroud.wmv – Classroom Sexxtape
  36. The Caretaker – Everywhere at the End of Time
  37. Future – Evol
  38. The Savage Young Taterbug – Shadow of Marlboro Man
  39. YTAMO – Mi Wo
  40. Julianna Barwick – Will
  41. Klein – ONLY
  42. Anohni – Hopelessness
  43. DJ Coquelin & MC Cloarec – JE M’EN TAPE
  44. Mitski – Puberty 2
  45. Huerco S – For Those of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have)
  46. Oren Ambarchi – Hubris
  47. Angel Olsen – MY WOMAN
  48. Amnesia Scanner – AS
  49. KA – Honor Killed the Samurai
  50. Sean McCann – Music for Public Ensemble
  51. N-Prolenta – A Love Story 4 @Deezius, Neo, Chuk, E, Milkleaves, Angel, Isis, + Every1else…. And Most of All My Damn Self

Austin Town Hall: Top 50 Albums of 2016

Austin Town Hall: Top 50 Albums of 2016

  1. Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam – I Had A Dream That You Were Mine
  2. Nap Eyes – Thought Rock Fish Scale
  3. Angel Olsen – My Woman
  4. Omni – Deluxe
  5. The Radio Dept. – Running out of Love
  6. The Coathangers – Nosebleed Weekend
  7. DOGBRETH – Second Home
  8. Operators – Blue Wave
  9. Real Numbers – Wordless Wonder
  10. Frankie Cosmos – Next Thing
  11. Chook Race – Around the House
  12. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
  13. The Gotobeds – Blood // Sugar // Secs // Traffic
  14. Holy Esque – At Hope’s Ravine
  15. Lost Animal – You Yang
  16. The Goon Sax – Up to Anything
  17. Teenage Fanclub – Here
  18. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – EARS
  19. John K. Samson – Winter Wheat
  20. Terry Malts – Lost at the Party
  21. Florist – The Birds Outside Sang
  22. Tycho – Epoch
  23. Ablebody – Adult Contemporaries
  24. Nada Surf – You Know Who You Are
  25. Adult Books – Running from the Blows
  26. Wild Nothing – Life of Pause
  27. Connections – Midnight Run
  28. Cass McCombs – Mangy Love
  29. Black Marble – It’s Immaterial
  30. Fruit Bats – Absolute Loser
  31. Quilt – Plaza
  32. Chris Cohen – As If Apart
  33. AT / ALL – Sun Dog
  34. EZTV – High in Place
  35. Tim Presley – The Wink
  36. Useless Eaters – Relaxing Death
  37. Pete Astor – Spilt Milk
  38. Happy Diving – Electric Soul Unity
  39. I Have A Tribe – Beneath a Yellow Moon
  40. Cool Ghouls – Animal Races
  41. Holy Balm – Activity
  42. Big Wave Riders – Endless Summer
  43. Still Parade – Concrete Vision
  44. Flowers – Everybody’s Dying to Meet You
  45. Steve Adamyk Band – Graceland
  46. So Cow – Lisa Marie Airplane Tour
  47. King Creosote – Astronaut Meets Appleman
  48. Bubblegum Lemonade – The Great Leap Backward
  49. Carter Tanton – Jettison the Valley
  50. Bent Shapes – Wolves of Want

Uproxx: 20 Best Albums of 2016

Blonde - Frank Ocean

Uproxx: 20 Best Albums of 2016

  1. Frank Ocean – Blonde
  2. Mitski – Puberty 2
  3. Bon Iver – 22, A Million
  4. Solange – A Seat at the Table
  5. Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Denial
  6. A Tribe Called Quest – We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service
  7. Beyoncé – Lemonade
  8. Childish Gambino – Awaken, My Love!
  9. Weyes Blood – Front Row Seat to Earth
  10. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
  11. David Bowie – Blackstar
  12. Rihanna – Anti
  13. Anderson .Paak – Malibu
  14. Maren Morris – Hero
  15. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
  16. PUP – The Dream Is Over
  17. Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
  18. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
  19. KAYTRANADA – 99.9%
  20. The Hotelier – Goodness

Drowned in Sound: 16 Favourite Albums of 2016

Drowned in Sound: 16 Favourite Albums of 2016

  1. David Bowie – Blackstar
  2. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
  3. The 1975 – I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It
  4. Anohni – Hopelessness
  5. Amber Arcades – Fading Lines
  6. Preoccupations – Preoccupations
  7. Angel Olsen – My Woman
  8. Frank Ocean – Blonde
  9. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
  10. Suede – Night Thoughts
  11. Jenny Hval – Blood Bitch
  12. Beyoncé – Lemonade
  13. School of Seven Bells – SVIIB
  14. Kate Tempest – Let Them Eat Chaos
  15. Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition
  16. Martha – Blisters In the Pit of My Heart

Magnet: Top 25 Albums of 2016

Magnet Magazine: Top 25 Albums of 2016

  1. Lucy Dacus – No Burden
  2. David Bowie – Blackstar
  3. case/lang/veirs – case/lang/veirs
  4. William Tyler – Modern Country
  5. Goat – Requiem
  6. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
  7. Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Denial
  8. Lucinda Williams – The Ghosts of Highway 20
  9. Beach Slang – A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings
  10. Dinosaur Jr. – Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not
  11. Drive-By Truckers – American Band
  12. Mitski – Puberty 2
  13. Cass McCombs – Mangy Love
  14. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
  15. Angel Olsen – My Woman
  16. The Avalanches – Wildflower
  17. Bon Iver – 22, A Million
  18. Parquet Courts – Human Performance
  19. Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam – I Had A Dream That You Were Mine
  20. Bob Mould – Patch the Sky
  21. Wilco – Schmilco
  22. Nada Surf – You Know Who You Are
  23. Bird of Youth – Get Off
  24. Anohni – Hopelessness
  25. Flock of Dimes – If You See Me, Say Yes

Pigeons & Planes: 50 Best Albums of 2016

Pigeons & Planes: 50 Best Albums of 2016

  1. Frank Ocean – Blonde
  2. Anderson .Paak – Malibu
  3. Solange – A Seat at the Table
  4. Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
  5. Noname – Telefone
  6. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
  7. Beyoncé – Lemonade
  8. Young Thug – Slime Season 3
  9. A Tribe Called Quest – We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service
  10. Travis Scott – Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight
  11. The Weeknd – Starboy
  12. KAYTRANADA – 99.9%
  13. 21 Savage & Metro Boomin – Savage Mode
  14. Rihanna – Anti
  15. ScHoolboy Q – Blank Face LP
  16. Bon Iver – 22, A Million
  17. Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition
  18. Hinds – Leave Me Alone
  19. NxWorries – Yes Lawd!
  20. Blood Orange – Freetown Sound
  21. D.R.A.M. – Big Baby D.R.A.M.
  22. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
  23. Kendrick Lamar – Untitled Unmastered
  24. Lil Yachty – Lil Boat
  25. Isaiah Rashad – The Sun’s Tirade
  26. James Blake – The Colour in Anything
  27. Jazz Cartier – Hotel Paranoia
  28. Giggs – Landlord
  29. Shura – Nothing’s Real
  30. A.CHAL – Welcome to GAZI
  31. YG – Still Brazy
  32. Angel Olsen – My Woman
  33. Denzel Curry – Imperial
  34. Skepta – Konnichiwa
  35. Kamaiyah – A Good Night in the Ghetto
  36. David Bowie – Blackstar
  37. Little Simz – Stillness in Wonderland
  38. 6LACK – FREE 6LACK
  39. Kevin Abstract – American Boyfriend: A Suburban Love Story
  40. Allan Kingdom – Northern Lights
  41. Trapo – Shade Trees
  42. Kemba – Negus
  43. Childish Gambino – Awaken, My Love!
  44. Saba – Bucket List Project
  45. Topaz Jones – Arcade
  46. Kid Cudi – Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’
  47. Kweku Collins – Nat Love
  48. Francis and the Lights – Farewell, Starlite!
  49. Cousin Stizz – Monda
  50. Post Malone – Stoney

Sasha Frere-Jones: 100 Favorite Albums of 2016

T.C.R. - Sleaford Mods

Sasha Frere-Jones: 100 Favorite Albums of 2016. See his spreadsheet for color codes and tiers; we’ve separated anything highlighted with “fire engine red,” which means “an exceptional thing.” Otherwise, albums are listed chronologically.

exceptional

  • David Bowie – Blackstar
  • Yves De Mey – Drawn with Shadow Pens
  • Rihanna – Anti
  • Kendrick Lamar – Untitled Unmastered
  • Emmy the Great – Second Love
  • Sunwatchers – Sunwatchers
  • Metá Metá – MM3
  • Beyoncé – Lemonade
  • Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
  • Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
  • Horse Lords – Interventions
  • Autechre – elseq 1-5
  • Abul Mogard – Works
  • Mitski – Puberty 2
  • Margaret Glaspy – Emotions and Math
  • 75 Dollar Bill – Wood / Metal / Plastic / Pattern / Rhythm / Rock
  • The Avalanches – Wildflower
  • Vince Staples – Prima Donna
  • Julius Eastman – Femenine
  • Helado Negro – Private Energy
  • Sleaford Mods – T.C.R.
  • A Tribe Called Quest – We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service
  • Mika Vainio – Mannerlaatta
  • Air Cushion Finish – Flink

stayed with me

  • Roly Porter – Third Law
  • Wet – Don’t You
  • Meyers – Negative Space (1981–2014)
  • SUGAI KEN – On the Quakefish
  • Clark – The Last Panthers
  • Vijay Iyer & Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith – A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke
  • Jan St. Werner – Felder (Fiepblatter Catalogue #4)
  • Lucy Dacus – No Burden
  • Tashi Dorji & Shane Parish – Expecting
  • Chris Abrahams – Fluid to the Influence
  • Tim Hecker – Love Streams
  • ROM – Possible Mountain
  • Cate Le Bon – Crab Day
  • Jochen Arbeit, Günter Schickert & Schneider TM – ASS
  • You’re Me – Plant Cell Division
  • Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid
  • Driftmachine – Colliding Contours
  • Julianna Barwick – Will
  • Jim O’Rourke – Steamroom 29
  • Maren Morris – Hero
  • Xenia Rubinos – Black Terry Cat
  • Paul Simon – Stranger to Stranger
  • Boobs of DOOM – (((WHITE NOISE)))
  • Brandy Clark – Big Day in a Small Town
  • KAYTRANADA – 99.9%
  • Swans – The Glowing Man
  • David Toop – Entities Inertias Faint Beings
  • Jeff Parker – The New Breed
  • Blood Orange – Freetown Sound
  • Noname – Telefone
  • M. Geddes Gengras – Interior Architecture
  • Unearth Noise – Prayer and Resonance
  • TOBACCO – Sweatbox Dynasty
  • Convextion – 2845
  • Aethenor – Hazel
  • Isaiah Rashad – The Sun’s Tirade
  • Princess Nokia – 1992
  • Daniel Lanois – Goodbye to Language
  • Jan Jelinek & Masayoshi Fujita – Schaum
  • Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
  • Biosphere – Departed Glories
  • Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition
  • Luisa Maita – Fio da Memória
  • Solange – A Seat at the Table
  • Innercity Ensemble – III
  • Monolake – VLSI
  • Hanno Leichtmann / Valerio Tricoli – The Future of Discipline
  • The Orb – COW / Chill Out, World!
  • Swet Shop Boys – Cashmere
  • Botany – Deepak Verbera
  • Kassem Mosse – Disclosure
  • Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker
  • D.R.A.M. – Big Baby D.R.A.M.
  • Weyes Blood – Front Row Seat to Earth
  • Faka – Bottoms Revenge
  • Casino Versus Japan – Frozen Geometry
  • NxWorries – Yes Lawd!
  • Ricardo Villalobos & Oren Ambarchi – Hubris Variation
  • Jay Glass Dubs – New Teeth for an Old Country
  • Mantra Percussion – Michael Gordon: Timber Remixed
  • various artists – Greek Composers of Electronic Music in Sci Fi Soundscapes
  • Qasim Naqv – Chronology
  • Streiber – The Whispering Awakening
  • Hexa – Factory Photographs
  • Oren Ambarchi – Hubris
  • Willie Lane – A Pine Tree Shilling’s Worth of Willie Lane
  • Miranda Lambert – The Weight of These Wings
  • Radian – On Dark Silent Off
  • Mirko – LP1
  • Conrad Schnitzler & Pyrolator – Con-Struct
  • Pinkcourtesyphone – Taking into Account Only a Portion of Your Emotions
  • Mike Majkowski – Swimming in Light
  • Demdike Stare – Wonderland
  • Rob Noyes – The Feudal Spirit
  • Sendai – Ground and Figure
  • Cindytalk – The Labyrinth of the Straight Line

NME: 50 Best Albums of 2016

NME: 50 Best Albums of 2016

  1. The 1975 – I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It
  2. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
  3. Christine and the Queens – Chaleur Humaine
  4. Skepta – Konnichiwa
  5. KAYTRANADA – 99.9%
  6. David Bowie – Blackstar
  7. DIIV – Is the Is Are
  8. Iggy Pop – Post Pop Depression
  9. Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
  10. Frank Ocean – Blond
  11. Beyoncé – Lemonade
  12. Sunflower Bean – Human Ceremony
  13. Angel Olsen – My Woman
  14. Jamie T – Trick
  15. Kano – Made in the Manor
  16. Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition
  17. Drake – Views
  18. Tegan and Sara – Love You to Death
  19. White Lung – Paradise
  20. Lady Gaga – Joanne
  21. Anderson .Paak – Malibu
  22. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
  23. Michael Kiwanuka – Love & Hate
  24. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
  25. Blossoms – Blossoms
  26. Biffy Clyro – Ellipsis
  27. Giggs – Landlord
  28. Goat – Requiem
  29. Kate Tempest – Let Them Eat Chaos
  30. NAO – For All We Know
  31. Bastille – Wild World
  32. Kings of Leon – WALLS
  33. Margo Price – Midwest Farmer’s Daughter
  34. Let’s Eat Grandma – I, Gemini
  35. Glass Animals – How to Be a Human Being
  36. Swet Shop Boys – Cashmere
  37. Soft Hair – Soft Hair
  38. Slaves – Take Control
  39. Green Day – Revolution Radio
  40. Rihanna – Anti
  41. Solange – A Seat at the Table
  42. Whitney – Light Upon the Lake
  43. Anohni – Hopelessness
  44. The Lemon Twigs – Do Hollywood
  45. Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Denial
  46. Savages – Adore Life
  47. Wild Beasts – Boy King
  48. Show Me the Body – Body War
  49. Public Access T.V. – Never Enough
  50. Bon Iver – 22, A Million

Complex: 50 Best Albums of 2016

Lemonade - Beyoncé

Complex: 50 Best Albums of 2016

  1. Beyoncé – Lemonade
  2. Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
  3. A Tribe Called Quest – We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service
  4. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
  5. Travis Scott – Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight
  6. Frank Ocean – Blonde
  7. Solange – A Seat at the Table
  8. Rihanna – Anti
  9. ScHoolboy Q – Blank Face LP
  10. Bon Iver – 22, A Million
  11. Kendrick Lamar – Untitled Unmastered
  12. Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition
  13. Young Thug – Jeffery
  14. Anderson .Paak – Malibu
  15. Drake – Views
  16. Young Thug – Slime Season 3
  17. KAYTRANADA – 99.9%
  18. Kevin Gates – Islah
  19. YG – Still Brazy
  20. Lil Uzi Vert – Lil Uzi Vert Vs. The World
  21. Kamaiyah – A Good Night in the Ghetto
  22. NxWorries – Yes Lawd!
  23. MAC MILLER – The Divine Feminine
  24. Gallant – Ology
  25. Noname – Telefone
  26. The 1975 – I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It
  27. James Blake – The Colour in Anything
  28. Bruno Mars – 24K Magic
  29. 2 Chainz – COLLEGROVE
  30. Rae Sremmurd – SremmLife 2
  31. Lil Yachty – Lil Boat
  32. Angel Olsen – My Woman
  33. dvsn – SEPT. 5TH
  34. David Bowie – Blackstar
  35. Baauer – Aa
  36. Joey Purp – iiiDrops
  37. KA – Honor Killed the Samurai
  38. Frank Ocean – Endless
  39. 21 Savage & Metro Boomin – Savage Mode
  40. The Weeknd – Starboy
  41. Esperanza Spalding – Emily’s D+Evolution
  42. D.R.A.M. – Big Baby D.R.A.M.
  43. Lady Gaga – Joanne
  44. Maxwell – blackSUMMERS’night
  45. Blood Orange – Freetown Sound
  46. Mitski – Puberty 2
  47. A$AP Ferg – Always Strive and Prosper
  48. DJ Khaled – Major Key
  49. Ariana Grande – Dangerous Woman
  50. Majid Jordan – Majid Jordan