Best Albums Of 2016

edited November 2016 in Fight Club
Like last year, starting up with:
Ted Gioia - The 100 Best Albums of 2016
As the previous years, this is my kind of list. With Black Star as #1 and Radiohead as #28.

I'll have a closer look later  . . .


  • I have 3 on that list.  The two mention and Sunflower Bean.

    Sounds like Rolling Stone's list is out.  I haven't seen it, but allegedly Beyonce is #1.

  • edited November 2016
    I have two of Gioia's (Bowie and #66, Rokia Traore) and I think three of his honorable mentions (Lonnie Smith, Eno, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra).
  • Consequence of Sound list. (I have two, the Bowie and the Nicolas Jaar - I suspect those two are going to be the main overlap between me and most folk this year, though I'll probably buy the Leonard Cohen at some point when I see a good deal.)

    Rolling Stone. (Just the Bowie here.)

    NME. (Ditto. Beyonce didn't win this one)

    So far my one pop culture opinion is that Jaar should be on more of these.
  • I am going to have to make a 2016 playlist and remind myself what was actually from this year. The Bowie actually surprised me - feels like longer ago.
  • 21 on CoS.

    19 on RS.

    18 on NME.

    These lists are great in how predicable they are.  Rolling Stone?  The Stones, Green Day, Sting, etc. really over ranked? Yep.

    NME?  Average young British rock band taking the top spot?  Yep.

    The inclusion of Drake's godawful Views on the last two lists should invalidate them completely.


  • edited November 2016
    I like that on this (automated) list Ian William Craig appears high, even though it's got a lot of the pop albums on it too. Same thing happens on Metacritic. Totally scientific, of course.
  • Time Magazine. Just a top 10, but the #10 was unknown to me and sounds pretty interesting. It's on emusic.
  •  Rolling Stone.
    2: Bowie
    6: Radiohead

    From my must have list
    20: Nick Cave

    - I feel sooo hip with 2 in the top 10 ! :)

    NME.  - Same as RS

    Consequence of Sound list.
    29: Nicolas Jaar  (a @rostasi rec, as I remember it)
    21: Jenny Whal
    17: Tim Hecker (Yes !!!)
    13: Radiohead
    03: Bowie

    - 2 times Beyonce over Bowie, Hmmmm ? - I almost feel like listening to Beyonce. ;)

    The Gioia List:
    1: David Bowie - Blackstar
    12: Roomful of Teeth - The Colorado (wonderful album)
    28: Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
    59: David Lang - The National Anthems
    64: International Contemporary Ensemble - On The Nature of Thingness
    87: Daniel Wohl - Holographic

    - Under my radar:
    Nico Muhly & Teitur, Markus Stockhausen / Florian Weber, Michael Mizrahi, Glenn Kotche & Sō Percussion, Paul Moravec, Third Coast Percussion/Steve Reich

    - And no Brian Eno on neither of them :/
  • The Ted Gioia List is very interesting, I have 10 of them but there are many worth investigating. I normally go on hold on E Music for December but some of those titles might be worn staying on for if they are available
  • edited November 2016
    From the Giola list I have 8, the jazz ones providing 4 of those. Like Lowlife, I will be exploring further in a few minutes on emusic. I am unlikely to have much at all on the NME list, the time was a few decades ago when I'd have had most of their list! Five from Rolling Stone, surprises me it is so high - David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Paul Simon, Bon Ivor and Norah Jones. Four of those were Freegal downloads.
  • edited November 2016
    Was the Bowie Blackstar really that highly regarded?  Was there anyone on this site that was crazy about the album?

    Not asked in a snarky I'm-gonna-pounce-on-your-answer way.  Genuinely curious. And surprised. I thought it was good, but in the grand context of his entire discography, a bit underwhelming.  I found myself wanting to like it way more than I did because of how it corresponded to his passing.  I wanted to find more meaning and emotional impact in Blackstar because of that.  But eventually I had to admit that Bowie's final statement wasn't "Rock n' Roll Suicide" or "Time" or "Five Years" or any type of song that would, to my mind, be an appropriate coda to this music giant (and personal favorite of mine (even more than Frisell and Monk... I think).  Eventually I had to admit that were it not for it corresponding to his passing, this is an album that would inevitably gather dust on my shelf except for my annual visitation when I hoped it would resonate with me.

    I mean, I think it's a nice album. Enjoyable. Only one track that makes me want to skip through it.  But really no track that is particularly memorable either... which, in my experience, is not a common trait of a Bowie album.  Well, I suppose that isn't true of his new millennium music.

    I mean, I'm not giving much weight to those polls listed above.  Rolling Stone is a joke, NME has its flaws, even Gioia... he's got an admirably diverse listening habit, but where he goes wide, he rarely goes deep... most of his choices are on the tepid side of their respective genres.  I think the #2 spot on his list in an honorary ECM position, and most of his jazz selections tend to be on ECM/Bluenote... with the exception typically being a solo piano and/or vocal jazz selection on one of the NYC-based medium size labels.  Good stuff for sure, but not very daring music in the grand scheme of things.  But even with all that, I'm surprised to see Bowie at number one on his list.

    Curious what other people think.

    On the other hand, pretty thrilled for McCaslin and crew.  They're some talented musicians and it's nice to see them getting some rock n' roll treatment.

  • I have 8 Gioia, 10 COS, 13 RS and 8 NME. Although I have a number of these albums, I'm not sure that I'd put them all in a top 50 (or 100). I agree with Dave on the Bowie - nice, enjoyable, with hints of his passing, and one terrible song (imo), but not canonical. 

    The Gioia list I enjoy because it's more diverse than most lists, and I always find myself discovering music I would not be exposed to normally. 
  • I agree on the Bowie - it will not make my list. On the other hand, given the circumstances, it does feel like an important album, and maybe that's a legit thing to have going for it.
  • edited November 2016
    Oops - wrong thread!
  • The Bowie will likely make my list, but I haven't listened to it enough in the last couple months to explain why yet.

  • RE: the brainwashed readers poll:
    Hindsight is 20/20, right? 20 years ago launched. The economy was booming, the Internet was expanding exponentially with Web sites popping up all over. Social media wasn't a household term then, but there were plenty of people connected through chat rooms, IRC, newsgroups, community pages like geocities and tripod, and web sites.

    In our little corner of the world, we were providing as much info as we could about a tiny stable of acts long before the existence of discogs, wikipedia, blogs, and the like.

    Yet we hadn't started the Annual Readers Polls until a few years later,...

    Please join us in a little experiment here with a readers poll to see how well the music of 1996 has withstood the test of time. Nomination round is up now and voting round will begin December 4th and run for 1 week. The 2016 Readers Poll is on the horizon, and our staff is meticulously working on it currently so stay tuned for that one. Thanks again for your participation in these things.

    - Interesting, me thinks . . .
  • Stereogum

    22 for me, including 9 of the top ten.

  • Just the Bowie again for me. It struck me that that Jamila Woods cover art is going to be as head-scratching in a few decades time as those collections of 60s album covers on various blogs are now.
    We should start a competition to guess which of the top 10 Craig does not have. (I'll go with Danny Brown on the scientific grounds that I have never heard of him).
  • edited December 2016
    What we know: Craig has either Beyonce or Solange, not both

    eta, I've got just two on the jazz-centric Gioia list - But I'll probably have more soon!

    George Coleman and Allen Toussaint are the two, both delightful. I hope Allen's album gets some love on the year-end jazz lists. 

    I want to claim partial credit for seeing young piano whirlwind Daniil Trifonov in performance this year.

  • 8 on Stereogum, and the Lydia Loveless may be my favorite for the year.
  • GP - That Danny Brown album is fantastic. Some seriously dark hip hop (album is named after a Joy Division song).

    Doofy - Maaaaaybe.

  • Doofy - Maaaaaybe.

    Sorry, logic fail - You have at least one! Could have both...
  • First jazz list I have seen, by Howard Reich. Glad to see the Renee Rosnes Smoke Session get some notice, that was a good one. Likewise the Marquis Hill I played this morning, but this is a Chicago-centric list.

    Unlike last year (Kamasi), there's no big monster #1 in 2016. Gregory Porter will be on a lot of lists.
  • edited December 2016
    Gilles Peterson's Shortlist for the 'Worldwide Awards 2107' - Vote for your favorite! Lots to explore - The only one of these I have is Michael Kiwanuka - I voted accordingly
  • edited December 2016
    On that Gilles' list, the three that I like are the Shabaka Hutchings, the Yesel Kamaal and the Mette Henriette.  The first two are on Bandcamp; the third on ECM.
  • 5 on that list, will also check out the Shabaka Hitchings album looks interesting
  • edited December 2016
    I have the Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith. It's nice but I liked Sunergy more.
    Oh, I also have the Sarathy Korwar.
  • Five too on that list, more to check out.
  • Bandcamp has started a top 100 albums countdown. Very different list.
    Lots of obscure and intriguing things.
  • One exciting thing I learned from that list is that the southern blues label Music Maker is on Bandcamp! Our guy @Bad Thoughts knows about them, I recall. Here is Bandcamp album #61:

    This one is an old favorite of mine:

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