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

Craig Jenkins: 15 Best Albums of 2016

Craig Jenkins: 15 Best Albums of 2016 (as published by New York Magazine’s Vulture)

  1. Frank Ocean – Blonde
  2. David Bowie – Blackstar
  3. Beyoncé – Lemonade
  4. A Tribe Called Quest – We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service
  5. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
  6. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
  7. Miranda Lambert – The Weight of These Wings
  8. NxWorries – Yes Lawd!
  9. American Football – American Football
  10. Kevin Abstract – American Boyfriend: A Suburban Love Story
  11. Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
  12. Solange – A Seat at the Table
  13. Mitski – Puberty 2
  14. Dawn Richard – Redemption
  15. Pinegrove – Cardinal

Ann Powers: 10 Favorite Albums of 2016

Ann Powers: 10 Favorite Albums of 2016 (as posted by NPR)

  • Adia Victoria – Beyond the Bloodhounds
  • Amanda Shires – My Piece Of Land
  • Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition
  • Jamila Woods – HEAVN [pictured]
  • Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
  • Robbie Fulks – Upland Stories
  • Maxwell – blackSUMMERS’night
  • Martha Wainwright – Goodnight City
  • Robert Ellis – Robert Ellis
  • William Bell – This Is Where I Live

Pretty Much Amazing: 60 Best Albums of 2016

Lemonade - Beyoncé

Pretty Much Amazing: 60 Best Albums of 2016

  1. Beyoncé – Lemonade
  2. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
  3. Frank Ocean – Blond
  4. Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
  5. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
  6. David Bowie – Blackstar
  7. Anderson .Paak – Malibu
  8. Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Denial
  9. Bon Iver – 22, A Million
  10. The Avalanches – Wildflower
  11. Young Thug – Jeffery
  12. Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
  13. Blood Orange – Freetown Sound
  14. Solange – A Seat at the Table
  15. Kendrick Lamar – Untitled Unmastered
  16. Rihanna – Anti
  17. Anohni – Hopelessness
  18. Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition
  19. Parquet Courts – Human Performance
  20. M83 – Junk
  21. James Blake – The Colour in Anything
  22. Angel Olsen – My Woman
  23. KAYTRANADA – 99.9%
  24. Death Grips – Bottomless Pit
  25. Carly Rae Jepsen – E•MO•TION: Side B
  26. M.I.A. – AIM
  27. Whitney – Light Upon the Lake
  28. Swans – The Glowing Man
  29. Aphex Twin – Cheetah
  30. Deakin – Sleep Cycle
  31. Mitski – Puberty 2
  32. De La Soul – and the Anonymous Nobody…
  33. Nicolas Jaar – Sirens
  34. Hinds – Leave Me Alone
  35. Chairlift – Moth
  36. Preoccupations – Preoccupations
  37. Underworld – Barbara Barbara, we face a shining future
  38. A Tribe Called Quest – We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service
  39. Pinegrove – Cardinal
  40. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Nonagon Infinity
  41. PJ Harvey – The Hope Six Demolition Project
  42. S U R V I V E – RR7349
  43. ScHoolboy Q – Blank Face LP
  44. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
  45. Tim Hecker – Love Streams
  46. Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid
  47. Paul Simon – Stranger to Stranger
  48. Leon Vynehall – Rojus (Designed to Dance)
  49. Lady Gaga – Joanne
  50. Olga Bell – Tempo
  51. Kevin Morby – Singing Saw
  52. dvsn – SEPT. 5TH
  53. Frank Ocean – Endless
  54. Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam – I Had A Dream That You Were Mine
  55. Roosevelt – Roosevelt
  56. Deftones – Gore
  57. G.L.O.S.S. – Trans Day of Revenge
  58. The 1975 – I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It
  59. White Lung – Paradise
  60. The Field – The Follower

Quietus: Top 100 Albums of 2016

The Quietus: Top 100 Albums of 2016

  1. Årabrot – The Gospel
  2. Solange – A Seat at the Table
  3. Innercity Ensemble – III
  4. Jessy Lanza – Oh No
  5. Shirley Collins – Lodestar
  6. The Fat White Family – Songs for Our Mothers
  7. David Bowie – Blackstar
  8. Ian William Craig – Centres
  9. Dawn Richard – Redemption
  10. Jenny Hval – Blood Bitch
  11. Frank Ocean – Blonde
  12. Laura Cannell – Simultaneous Flight Movement
  13. Matmos – Ultimate Care II
  14. Klara Lewis – Too
  15. Skepta – Konnichiwa
  16. The Caretaker – Everywhere at the End of Time
  17. Oranssi Pazuzu – Värähtelijä
  18. Shackleton with Ernesto Tomasini – Devotional Songs
  19. Peder Mannerfelt – Controlling Body
  20. Marissa Nadler – Strangers
  21. Sote – Hardcore Sounds From Tehran
  22. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
  23. Katie Gately – Color
  24. Sex Swing – Sex Swing
  25. Brian Eno – The Ship
  26. KING – We Are King
  27. Gnod – Mirror
  28. Wolfgang Buttress & Bees – Be One
  29. Jute Gyte – Perdurance
  30. Huerco S – For Those of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have)
  31. Blood Orange – Freetown Sound
  32. The Stargazer’s Assistant – Remoteness Of Light
  33. A Tribe Called Quest – We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service
  34. Julianna Barwick – Will
  35. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
  36. Suede – Night Thoughts
  37. Jambinai – A Hermitage
  38. Convextion – 2845
  39. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
  40. Kemper Norton – Toll
  41. Puce Mary – The Spiral
  42. Black Merlin – Hipnotik Tradisi
  43. Daniel Patrick Quinn – I, Sun
  44. Lord Tang – Butterflies
  45. Underworld – Barbara Barbara, we face a shining future
  46. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Suzanne Ciani – FRKWYS Vol. 13: Sunergy
  47. Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids – We Be All Africans
  48. Equiknoxx – Bird Sound Power
  49. Anna Meredith – Varmints
  50. Factory Floor – 25 25
  51. Tim Hecker – Love Streams
  52. Bully Fae – Defy a Thing to Be
  53. Beyoncé – Lemonade
  54. Kano – Made in the Manor
  55. Bruxa Maria – Human Condition
  56. Grumbling Fur – Furfour
  57. Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker
  58. Skee Mask – Shred
  59. Oren Ambarchi – Hubris
  60. The Comet Is Coming – Channel the Spirits
  61. Babyfather – “BBF” Hosted By DJ Escrow
  62. The Body – No One Deserves Happiness
  63. G.H. – Housebound Demigod
  64. Darren Hayman – Thankful Villages, Vol. 1
  65. Laniakea – A Pot of Powdered Nettles
  66. Waclaw Zimpel – Lines
  67. Roly Porter – Third Law
  68. Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
  69. Atlantikwall – Atlantikwall
  70. SHXCXCHCXSH – SsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSs
  71. Marie Davidson – Adieux Au Dancefloor
  72. Pattern Man – Pattern Man
  73. Julien Marchal – Insight II
  74. Billy Bao – Lagos Sessions
  75. Gyða Valtýsdottir – Epicycle
  76. Noura Mint Seymali – Arbina
  77. Mica Levi & Oliver Coates – Remain Calm
  78. Hen Ogledd – Bronze
  79. Kassem Mosse – Disclosure
  80. Kristoffer Lo – The Black Meat
  81. Hannah Peel – Awake but Always Dreaming
  82. Sam Shalabi – Isis and Osiris
  83. Pangaea – In Drum Play
  84. Ghold – PYR
  85. FIS – From Patterns to Details
  86. Carla dal Forno – You Know What It’s Like
  87. Swans – The Glowing Man
  88. Bon Iver – 22, A Million
  89. Omar-S – The Best
  90. Knifeworld – Bottled out of Eden
  91. Gnaw Their Tongues – Hymns for the Broken, Swollen And Silent
  92. John Cale – M:FANS
  93. The Invisible – Patience
  94. Wire – Nocturnal Koreans
  95. Circuit Des Yeux – Jackie Lynn
  96. The Dwarfs of East Agouza – Bes
  97. Cat’s Eyes – Treasure House
  98. Ahrkh Wagner – Ahrkh Wagner
  99. Melt Yourself Down – Last Evenings on Earth
  100. Stein Urheim – Strandebarm

Les Inrocks: 50 Best Albums of 2016

Blackstar - David Bowie

Les Inrockuptibles: 50 Best Albums of 2016

  1. David Bowie – Blackstar
  2. La Femme – Mystère
  3. Frank Ocean – Blonde
  4. The Lemon Twigs – Do Hollywood
  5. PNL – Dans la légende
  6. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
  7. Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker
  8. Drake – Views
  9. Alex Cameron – Jumping the Shark
  10. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
  11. PJ Harvey – The Hope Six Demolition Project
  12. Bon Iver – 22, A Million
  13. Parquet Courts – Human Performance
  14. ALA.NI – You & I
  15. Angel Olsen – My Woman
  16. Michael Kiwanuka – Love & Hate
  17. The Weeknd – Starboy
  18. Grand Blanc – Mémoires vives
  19. Weyes Blood – Front Row Seat to Earth
  20. Soft Hair – Soft Hair
  21. Blood Orange – Freetown Sound
  22. James Blake – The Colour in Anything
  23. The Pirouettes – Carrément carrément
  24. Benjamin Biolay – Palermo Hollywood
  25. Young Thug – Jeffery
  26. Anohni – Hopelessness
  27. Bayonne – Primitives
  28. Jóhann Jóhannsson – Orphée
  29. Justice – Woman
  30. Lescop – Dérangé
  31. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
  32. Cullen Omori – New Misery
  33. Noura Mint Seymali – Arbina
  34. Solange – A Seat at the Table
  35. El’Blaszczyk Rock Band Himself – The Quirky Lost Tapes 1993-1995
  36. Field Music – Commontime
  37. ScHoolboy Q – Blank Face LP
  38. Rihanna – Anti
  39. Bjarki – “Б”
  40. The Fat White Family – Songs for Our Mothers
  41. Wati Watia Zorey Band – Moriarty & Friends Presents: Zanz in lanfér
  42. Karl Blau – Introducing Karl Blau
  43. Nicolas Jaar – Sirens
  44. M.I.A. – AIM
  45. DIIV – Is the Is Are
  46. Paradis – Recto Verso
  47. Céu – Tropix
  48. Fatou Seidi Ghali & Alamnou Akrouni – Les Filles de Illighadad
  49. Lost Under Heaven – Spiritual Songs for Lovers to Sing
  50. DJ Pone – Radiant

Pitchfork: 50 Best Albums of 2016

A Seat at the Table - Solange

Pitchfork: 50 Best Albums of 2016

  1. Solange – A Seat at the Table
  2. Frank Ocean – Blonde
  3. Beyoncé – Lemonade
  4. David Bowie – Blackstar
  5. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
  6. Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
  7. A Tribe Called Quest – We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service
  8. Anohni – Hopelessness
  9. Angel Olsen – My Woman
  10. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
  11. Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition
  12. Bon Iver – 22, A Million
  13. Anderson .Paak – Malibu
  14. Blood Orange – Freetown Sound
  15. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
  16. Kendrick Lamar – Untitled Unmastered
  17. Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker
  18. Mitski – Puberty 2
  19. Rihanna – Anti
  20. Nicolas Jaar – Sirens
  21. Young Thug – Jeffery
  22. YG – Still Brazy
  23. Jenny Hval – Blood Bitch
  24. Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Denial
  25. KAYTRANADA – 99.9%
  26. Parquet Courts – Human Performance
  27. Noname – Telefone
  28. NxWorries – Yes Lawd!
  29. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – EARS
  30. Esperanza Spalding – Emily’s D+Evolution
  31. Whitney – Light Upon the Lake
  32. Elza Soares – A Mulher do Fim do Mundo
  33. Maxwell – blackSUMMERS’night
  34. Kevin Morby – Singing Saw
  35. Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam – I Had A Dream That You Were Mine
  36. Jamila Woods – Heavn
  37. KING – We Are King
  38. ScHoolboy Q – Blank Face LP
  39. Moodymann – DJ-Kicks
  40. Vijay Iyer & Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith – A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke
  41. Huerco S – For Those of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have)
  42. Vince Staples – Prima Donna
  43. Weyes Blood – Front Row Seat to Earth
  44. Kevin Gates – Islah
  45. William Tyler – Modern Country
  46. Pinegrove – Cardinal
  47. Kamaiyah – A Good Night in the Ghetto
  48. Frankie Cosmos – Next Thing
  49. Porches – Pool
  50. 21 Savage & Metro Boomin – Savage Mode

Fact: 50 Best Albums of 2016

Fact Magazine: 50 Best Albums of 2016

  1. Jenny Hval – Blood Bitch
  2. Equiknoxx – Bird Sound Power
  3. Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition
  4. Lorenzo Senni – Persona
  5. Mitski – Puberty 2
  6. Kamaiyah – A Good Night in the Ghetto
  7. Steve Hauschildt – Strands
  8. A Tribe Called Quest – We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service
  9. Pangaea – In Drum Play
  10. Solange – A Seat at the Table
  11. Jessy Lanza – Oh No
  12. The Body – No One Deserves Happiness
  13. Rihanna – Anti
  14. YG – Still Brazy
  15. Beyoncé – Lemonade
  16. The Outfit, TX – Green Lights: Everythang Goin
  17. Konx-Om-Pax – Caramel
  18. Bjarki – “Б”
  19. Young Thug – Jeffery
  20. Peder Mannerfelt – Controlling Body
  21. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
  22. Demdike Stare – Wonderland
  23. David Bowie – Blackstar
  24. Negative Gemini – Body Work
  25. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
  26. Sophia Loizou – Singulacra
  27. DVA – Notu_Uronlineu
  28. FIS – From Patterns to Details
  29. Helena Celle – If I Can’t Handle Me at My Best, Then You Don’t Deserve You at Your Worst
  30. Powell – Sport
  31. Angel Olsen – My Woman
  32. Seekersinternational – RaggaPreservationSociety
  33. Ohal – Acid Park
  34. Anderson .Paak – Malibu
  35. Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein – Stranger Things, Volumes 1 and 2
  36. Jake Meginsky – Seven Psychotropic Sinewave Palindromes
  37. ABRA – Princess
  38. Second Woman – Second Woman
  39. Disasterpeace – Hyper Light Drifter
  40. Botany – Deepak Verbera
  41. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Suzanne Ciani – FRKWYS Vol. 13: Sunergy
  42. Will Long – Long Trax
  43. Mozzy – Mandatory Check
  44. Elon Katz – The Human Pet
  45. Klara Lewis – Too
  46. Cousin Stizz – Monda
  47. Chino Amobi – Airport Music For Black Folk
  48. Good Willsmith – Things Our Bodies Used to Have
  49. serpentwithfeet – blisters
  50. Lil Uzi Vert – Lil Uzi Vert Vs. The World

The Wire: Top 50 Releases of 2016

The Wire: Top 50 Releases of 2016 [see also: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015]

  1. David Bowie – Blackstar
  2. Shirley Collins – Lodestar
  3. Moor Mother – Fetish Bones
  4. Autechre – elseq 1-5
  5. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
  6. Jenny Hval – Blood Bitch
  7. Noura Mint Seymali – Arbina
  8. Yves Tumor – Serpent Music
  9. Gaika – SECURITY
  10. Mark Ernestus’ Ndagga Rhythm Force – Yermande
  11. Gate – Saturday Night Fever
  12. Solange – A Seat at the Table
  13. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
  14. Oren Ambarchi – Hubris
  15. Babyfather – “BBF” Hosted By DJ Escrow
  16. 75 Dollar Bill – Wood / Metal / Plastic / Pattern / Rhythm / Rock
  17. Anna Meredith – Varmints
  18. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – EARS
  19. A Tribe Called Quest – We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service
  20. Carla dal Forno – You Know What It’s Like
  21. David Toop – Entities Inertias Faint Beings
  22. Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker
  23. Kendrick Lamar – Untitled Unmastered
  24. Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids – We Be All Africans
  25. Laura Cannell – Simultaneous Flight Movement
  26. Ectoplasm Girls – New Feeling Come
  27. Steve Gunn – Eyes on the Lines
  28. Ian William Craig – Centres
  29. Matmos – Ultimate Care II
  30. Laraaji & Sun Araw – Professional Sunflow
  31. Scott Walker – The Childhood of a Leader (OST)
  32. Bitchin Bajas & Bonnie “Prince” Billy – Epic Jammers and Fortunate Little Ditties
  33. Elysia Crampton – Elysia Crampton Presents: Demon City
  34. Katie Gately – Color
  35. Shackleton with Ernesto Tomasini – Devotional Songs
  36. Anxiety – Anxiety
  37. Skepta – Konnichiwa
  38. Puce Mary – The Spiral
  39. The Dwarfs of East Agouza – Bes
  40. Catherine Christer Hennix – Live At Issue Project Room
  41. Horse Lords – Interventions
  42. Roy Montgomery – R M H Q: Headquarters
  43. Frank Ocean – Blonde
  44. Thalia Zedek – Eve
  45. Charlemagne Palestine – Cathédrale De Strasbourg
  46. Kepler Quartet – Ben Johnston: String Quartets Nos. 6, 7, & 8
  47. Circuit Des Yeux – Jackie Lynn
  48. Zomby – Ultra
  49. Klara Lewis – Too
  50. Peder Mannerfelt – Controlling Body

Spin: 50 Best Albums of 2016

Spin: 50 Best Albums of 2016

  1. Solange – A Seat at the Table
  2. Frank Ocean – Blond
  3. David Bowie – Blackstar
  4. A Tribe Called Quest – We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service
  5. The 1975 – I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It
  6. Beyoncé – Lemonade
  7. Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
  8. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
  9. Angel Olsen – My Woman
  10. Bon Iver – 22, A Million
  11. Blood Orange – Freetown Sound
  12. Rihanna – Anti
  13. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
  14. Mitski – Puberty 2
  15. Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker
  16. Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition
  17. Young Thug – Jeffery
  18. Esperanza Spalding – Emily’s D+Evolution
  19. Anohni – Hopelessness
  20. Kendrick Lamar – Untitled Unmastered
  21. KING – We Are King
  22. Kevin Gates – Islah
  23. Joyce Manor – Cody
  24. Anderson .Paak – Malibu
  25. Nicolas Jaar – Sirens
  26. ScHoolboy Q – Blank Face LP
  27. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
  28. KAYTRANADA – 99.9%
  29. Cymbals Eat Guitars – Pretty Years
  30. Jenny Hval – Blood Bitch
  31. The Hotelier – Goodness
  32. Parquet Courts – Human Performance
  33. Kamaiyah – A Good Night in the Ghetto
  34. dvsn – SEPT. 5TH
  35. Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Denial
  36. The Avalanches – Wildflower
  37. White Lung – Paradise
  38. Maxwell – blackSUMMERS’night
  39. YG – Still Brazy
  40. Miranda Lambert – The Weight of These Wings
  41. Whitney – Light Upon the Lake
  42. Bruno Mars – 24K Magic
  43. Marissa Nadler – Strangers
  44. Vijay Iyer & Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith – A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke
  45. Oranssi Pazuzu – Värähtelijä
  46. Bat for Lashes – The Bride
  47. Maren Morris – Hero
  48. Pinegrove – Cardinal
  49. Moodymann – DJ-Kicks
  50. Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor’s Guide to Earth

A.V. Club: 21 Best Albums of 2016

A.V. Club: 21 Best Albums of 2016

  1. David Bowie – Blackstar
  2. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
  3. Angel Olsen – My Woman
  4. Pinegrove – Cardinal
  5. The Hotelier – Goodness
  6. White Lung – Paradise
  7. Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
  8. Mitski – Puberty 2
  9. Frank Ocean – Blonde
  10. Joyce Manor – Cody
  11. Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker
  12. Eric Bachmann – Eric Bachmann
  13. Solange – A Seat at the Table
  14. Modern Baseball – Holy Ghost
  15. Lydia Loveless – Real
  16. Nails – You Will Never Be One of Us
  17. Touché Amoré – Stage Four
  18. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
  19. Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Denial
  20. Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam – I Had A Dream That You Were Mine
  21. [tie] Martha – Blisters In the Pit of My Heart