Top 50 Albums of 2016

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I’ve been making these album lists for the last five years or so. What started as an attempt to be a hack critic is now an individual exercise of reflection through another year of great music. As I scramble to scoop up and sift through everything I listened to in 2016, I never fail to appreciate how much music, or life for that matter, can be forgotten in even a small amount of time. Each album is a nice personal benchmark of where I was or what I was doing. So, no reviews here (many of them were discussed throughout the year already). This list is simply a ranking of stuff I liked for the last 12 months. Playlist attached. Check them out yourself if you’re curious. Enjoy.

 

50. From Caplan To Belsize – Muncie Girls

50 - From Caplan To Belsize - Muncie Girls

49. Drive North – SWMRS

49 - Drive North - SWMRS

48. No One Deserves Happiness – The Body

48 - No One Deserves Happiness - The Body

47. Welcome The Worms – Bleached

47 - Welcome The Worms - Bleached

46. Chaosmosis – Primal Scream

46 - Chaosmosis - Primal Scream

45. Congrats – Holy Fuck

45 - Congrats - Holy Fuck

44. Adore Life – Savages

44 - Adore Life - Savages

43. Junk – M83

43 - Junk - M83

42. Breakin’ Point – Peter Bjorn And John

42 - Breakin' Point - Peter Bjorn And John

41. I’m Not Well – Black Foxxes

41 - I'm Not Well - Black Foxxes

40. Pillars Of Ash – Black Tusk

40 - Pillars Of Ash - Black Tusk

39. Hit Reset – The Julie Ruin

39 - Hit Reset - The Julie Ruin

38. Mono No Aware – Johnny Foreigner

38 - Mono No Aware - Johnny Foreigner

37. Alas Salvation – Yak

37 - Alas Salvation - Yak

36. Schmilco – Wilco

36 - Schmilco - Wilco

35. Outer Heaven – Greys

35 - Outer Heaven - Greys

34. RR7349 – Survive

34 - RR7349 - Survive

33. Whatever Forever – Oozing Wound

33 - Whatever Forever - Oozing Wound

32. Babes Never Die – Honeyblood

32 - Babes Never Die - Honeyblood

31. Good Luck And Do Your Best – Gold Panda

31 - Good Luck And Do Your Best - Gold Panda

30. Pennied Days – Night Moves

30 - Pennied Days - Night Moves

29. Life Of Pause – Wild Nothing

29 - Life Of Pause - Wild Nothing

28. Heads Up – Warpaint

28 - Heads Up - Warpaint

27. Fading Lines – Amber Arcades

27 - Fading Lines - Amber Arcades

26. The Violent Sleep Of Reason – Meshuggah

26 - The Violent Sleep Of Reason - Meshuggah

25. Nice As Fuck – Nice As Fuck

25 - Nice As Fuck - Nice As Fuck

24. Woman – Justice

24 - Woman - Justice

23. Strange Diary – Psychic Twin

23 - Strange Diary - Psychic Twin

22. Pretty Years – Cymbals Eat Guitars

22 - Pretty Years - Cymbals Eat Guitars

21. Patch The Sky – Bob Mould

21 - Patch The Sky - Bob Mould

20. Running Out Of Love – The Radio Dept.

20 - Running Out Of Love - The Radio Dept

19. Cody – Joyce Manor

19 - Cody - Joyce Manor

18. Pool – Porches

18 - Pool - Porches

17. Stranger Things – Yuck

17 - Stranger Things - Yuck

16. Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not – Dinosaur Jr.

16 - Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not - Dinosaur Jr

15. Hypercaffum Spazzinate – Descendents

15 - Hypercaffum Spazzinate - Descendents

14. Nothing’s Real – Shura

14 - Nothing's Real - Shura

13. The Party – Andy Shauf

13 - The Party - Andy Shauf

12. Preoccupations – Preoccupations

12 - Preoccupations - Preoccupations

11. Blonde – Frank Ocean

11 - Blonde - Frank Ocean

10. Hopelessness – Anohni

10 - Hopelessness - Anohni

09. Human Performance – Parquet Courts

09 - Human Performance - Parquet Courts

08. The Life Of Pablo – Kanye West

08 - The Life Of Pablo - Kanye West

07. 22, A Million – Bon Iver

07 - 22, A Million - Bon Iver

06. Light Upon The Lake – Whitney

06 - Light Upon The Lake - Whitney

05. Vile Child – Milk Teeth

05 - Vile Child - Milk Teeth

04. Sweatbox Dynasty – Tobacco

04 - Sweatbox Dynasty - Tobacco

03. Goodness – The Hotelier

03 - Goodness - The Hotelier

02. Up To Anything – The Goon Sax

02 - Up To Anything - The Goon Sax

01. Teens Of Denial – Car Seat Headrest

01 - Teens Of Denial - Car Seat Headrest

 

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Author: Nathan Kowalski

Nathan grew up in East County San Diego playing pop punk and indie music with the rascally neighborhood children of Ryder Road. While big, energetic sounds and catchy hooks remain a priority, he keeps a close ear on the broader musical spectrum and attempts to listen to 25-30 new albums each month. He’s not on the vinyl bandwagon and will be buried with the same iPod classic he’s had since college. He still writes and records solo tracks which he hopes will successfully transform into his own children’s definition of dad rock. You can currently find him searching for some semblance of a decent taco shop in Orange County.

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