Year-End Lists

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

2016

Pazz & Jop: Top 100 Albums of 2016

25 January 2017

Pazz & Jop: Top 100 Albums of 2016 (an annual poll of critics, published by The Village Voice)

[see also 2018, 2017, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011]

  1. David BowieBlackstar
  2. BeyoncéLemonade
  3. A Tribe Called QuestWe Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service
  4. Chance The RapperColoring Book
  5. SolangeA Seat at the Table
  6. Frank OceanBlond
  7. RadioheadA Moon Shaped Pool
  8. Leonard CohenYou Want It Darker
  9. Car Seat HeadrestTeens of Denial
  10. Kanye WestThe Life of Pablo
  11. Anderson .PaakMalibu
  12. Angel OlsenMy Woman
  13. RihannaAnti
  14. Nick Cave & the Bad SeedsSkeleton Tree
  15. MitskiPuberty 2
  16. Sturgill SimpsonA Sailor’s Guide to Earth
  17. Drive-By TruckersAmerican Band
  18. Bon Iver22, A Million
  19. Blood OrangeFreetown Sound
  20. Danny BrownAtrocity Exhibition
  21. The 1975I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It
  22. ANOHNIHopelessness
  23. Miranda LambertThe Weight of These Wings
  24. Kendrick LamarUntitled Unmastered
  25. Philip JeckCardinal
  26. Margo PriceMidwest Farmer’s Daughter
  27. Iggy PopPost Pop Depression
  28. Maren MorrisHero
  29. KAYTRANADA99.9%
  30. The Rolling StonesBlue & Lonesome
  31. Parquet CourtsHuman Performance
  32. SavagesAdore Life
  33. Brandy ClarkBig Day in a Small Town
  34. The HotelierGoodness
  35. NonameTelefone
  36. Esperanza SpaldingEmily’s D+Evolution
  37. WhitneyLight Upon the Lake
  38. Childish GambinoAwaken, My Love!
  39. KINGWe Are King
  40. Jenny HvalBlood Bitch
  41. Robbie FulksUpland Stories
  42. Kevin GatesIslah
  43. YGStill Brazy
  44. Paul SimonStranger to Stranger
  45. PJ HarveyThe Hope Six Demolition Project
  46. Schoolboy QBlank Face LP
  47. 75 Dollar BillWood / Metal / Plastic / Pattern / Rhythm / Rock
  48. Michael KiwanukaLove & Hate
  49. Jamila WoodsHEAVN
  50. LambchopFLOTUS
  51. The MonkeesGood Times!
  52. MaxwellblackSUMMERS’night
  53. The AvalanchesWildflower
  54. Young ThugJeffery
  55. Nicolas JaarSirens
  56. Heron OblivionHeron Oblivion
  57. Kaitlyn Aurelia SmithEARS
  58. De La Souland the Anonymous Nobody…
  59. FloorplanParadise
  60. Jeff RosenstockWORRY.
  61. KaHonor Killed the Samurai
  62. Lori McKennaThe Bird & the Rifle
  63. Hiss Golden MessengerHeart Like a Levee
  64. Cymbals Eat GuitarsPretty Years
  65. Horse LordsInterventions
  66. Hamilton Leithauser + RostamI Had A Dream That You Were Mine
  67. NxWorriesYes Lawd!
  68. Japanese BreakfastPsychopomp
  69. Steve GunnEyes on the Lines
  70. Lucinda WilliamsThe Ghosts of Highway 20
  71. Kevin MorbySinging Saw
  72. Lydia LovelessReal
  73. William TylerModern Country
  74. PUPThe Dream Is Over
  75. Xenia RubinosBlack Terry Cat
  76. Dawn RichardRedemption
  77. case/lang/veirscase/lang/veirs
  78. Jeff ParkerThe New Breed
  79. Conor OberstRuminations
  80. Aesop RockThe Impossible Kid
  81. WilcoSchmilco
  82. Bob MouldPatch the Sky
  83. Charles BradleyChanges
  84. MarthaBlisters In the Pit of My Heart
  85. William BellThis Is Where I Live
  86. Mary Halvorson OctetAway with You
  87. Tim HeckerLove Streams
  88. Autechreelseq 1-5
  89. Dinosaur Jr.Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not
  90. Huerco SFor Those of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have)
  91. Vijay Iyer & Ishmael Wadada Leo SmithA Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke
  92. ChairliftMoth
  93. KamaiyahA Good Night in the Ghetto
  94. A Tribe Called RedWe Are the Halluci Nation
  95. Lady GagaJoanne
  96. Elza SoaresA Mulher do Fim do Mundo
  97. James BlakeThe Colour in Anything
  98. CobaltSlow Forever
  99. Cass McCombsMangy Love
  100. MetallicaHardwired… to Self-Destruct

Chicago Review of Books: 12 Best Poetry Books of 2016

21 January 2017

Chicago Review of Books: 12 Best Poetry Books of 2016

[see also 2018, 2017]

San Francisco Chronicle: 100 Recommended Books of 2016

19 January 2017

The San Francisco Chronicle: 100 Recommended Books of 2016

[see also 100 Recommended Books of 2018, Top 10 Books of 2018, Top 10 Books of 2016, Top 10 Books of 2015]

Jordan Cronk: 30 Favorite Albums of 2016

19 January 2017

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

[see also 2018, 2017]

  1. The HotelierGoodness
  2. David BowieBlackstar
  3. Jenny HvalBlood Bitch
  4. ANOHNIHopelessness
  5. RadioheadA Moon Shaped Pool
  6. Angel OlsenMy Woman
  7. Camp CopeCamp Cope
  8. Elysia CramptonElysia Crampton Presents: Demon City
  9. PinegroveCardinal
  10. Nick Cave & the Bad SeedsSkeleton Tree
  11. Cass McCombsMangy Love
  12. Kaitlyn Aurelia SmithEARS
  13. Leonard CohenYou Want It Darker
  14. Nicolas JaarSirens
  15. Huerco SFor Those of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have)
  16. Dedekind Cut$uccessor (Ded004)
  17. Roy MontgomeryR M H Q: Headquarters
  18. Tim HeckerLove Streams
  19. MitskiPuberty 2
  20. The RangePotential
  21. Julianna BarwickWill
  22. The AvalanchesWildflower
  23. Elza SoaresA Mulher do Fim do Mundo
  24. American FootballAmerican Football (LP2)
  25. AnenonPetrol
  26. Horse LordsInterventions
  27. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Suzanne CianiFRKWYS Vol. 13: Sunergy
  28. Ian William CraigCentres
  29. ArcaEntrañas
  30. Yves TumorSerpent Music

Peter Labuza: 15 Favorite Films of 2016

18 January 2017

Peter Labuza: 15 Favorite Films of 2016 (as posted to Letterboxd and discussed on The Cinephiliacs)

[see also 2017]

  1. CamerapersonKirsten Johnson
  2. O.J.: Made in AmericaEzra Edelman
  3. Toni ErdmannMaren Ade
  4. Mountains May DepartJia Zhang-ke
  5. CreepyKiyoshi Kurosawa
  6. Kill Zone 2Soi Cheang
  7. Love & FriendshipWhit Stillman
  8. Sixty SixLewis Klahr
  9. Certain WomenKelly Reichardt
  10. AlliedRobert Zemeckis
  11. SullyClint Eastwood
  12. Hell or High WaterDavid Mackenzie
  13. Sunset SongTerence Davies
  14. 20th Century WomenMike Mills
  15. On FootballSergio Oksman

Keith Uhlich: 15 Favorite Films of 2016

18 January 2017

Keith Uhlich: 15 Favorite Films of 2016 (as published at his site and discussed on The Cinephiliacs)

[see also 2018, 2017, 2012, 2011]

  1. Justin Timberlake + the Tennessee KidsJonathan Demme
  2. A Quiet PassionTerence Davies
  3. Knight of CupsTerrence Malick
  4. The Neon DemonNicolas Winding Refn
  5. The Lost City of ZJames Gray
  6. Ten Mornings, Ten Evenings and One HorizonTomonari Nishikawa
  7. The Girlfriend Experience
  8. The BFGSteven Spielberg
  9. SilenceMartin Scorsese
  10. 31Rob Zombie
  11. MoonlightBarry Jenkins
  12. Certain WomenKelly Reichardt
  13. Things to ComeMia Hansen-Løve
  14. NocturamaBertrand Bonello
  15. The X-Files: Episode “Babylon”Chris Carter

Tiny Mix Tapes: 51 Favorite Music Releases of 2016

16 January 2017

Tiny Mix Tapes: 51 Favorite Music Releases of 2016

[see also 2018, 2017, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011]

  1. Babyfather“BBF” Hosted By DJ Escrow
  2. LolinaLive In Paris
  3. Kanye WestThe Life of Pablo
  4. ArcaEntrañas
  5. Frank OceanBlond
  6. Frank OceanEndless
  7. Jenny HvalBlood Bitch
  8. James FerraroHuman Story 3
  9. Charli XCXVroom Vroom
  10. Danny BrownAtrocity Exhibition
  11. Elysia CramptonDissolution of The Sovereign: A Time Slide Into The Future (Or: A Non-Abled Offender’s Exercise in Jurisprudence)
  12. Yves TumorSerpent Music
  13. Lil YachtyLil Boat
  14. Young ThugJeffery
  15. RihannaAnti
  16. Jessy LanzaOh No
  17. FoodmanEz Minzoku
  18. Dedekind Cut$uccessor
  19. Kero Kero BonitoBonito Generation
  20. Elysia CramptonElysia Crampton Presents: Demon City
  21. JeremihLate Nights: The Album
  22. Princess Nokia1992
  23. DJWWWWArigato
  24. SolangeA Seat at the Table
  25. serpentwithfeetblisters
  26. Puce MaryThe Spiral
  27. NonameTelefone
  28. Tim HeckerLove Streams
  29. Macula DogWhy Do You Look Like Your Dog?
  30. David BowieBlackstar
  31. CryingBeyond the Fleeting Gales
  32. Andy StottToo Many Voices
  33. BeyoncéLemonade
  34. Autechreelseq 1-5
  35. death’s dynamic shroudClassroom Sexxtape
  36. The CaretakerEverywhere at the End of Time
  37. FutureEvol
  38. The Savage Young TaterbugShadow of Marlboro Man
  39. YTAMOMi Wo
  40. Julianna BarwickWill
  41. KleinONLY
  42. ANOHNIHopelessness
  43. DJ Coquelin & MC CloarecJE M’EN TAPE
  44. MitskiPuberty 2
  45. Huerco SFor Those of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have)
  46. Oren AmbarchiHubris
  47. Angel OlsenMy Woman
  48. Amnesia ScannerAS
  49. KaHonor Killed the Samurai
  50. Sean McCannMusic for Public Ensemble
  51. N-ProlentaA Love Story 4 @Deezius, Neo, Chuk, E, Milkleaves, Angel, Isis, + Every1else…. And Most of All My Damn Self

San Francisco Chronicle: Top 10 Books of 2016

13 January 2017

The San Francisco Chronicle: Top 10 Books of 2016

[see also 100 Recommended Books of 2018, Top 10 Books of 2018, 100 Recommended Books of 2016, Top 10 Books of 2015]

E. Ce Miller: 12 Best Poetry Collections of 2016

12 January 2017

E. Ce Miller: 12 Best Poetry Collections of 2016, as published by Bustle

[see also 2018, 2017]

Nictate: Top 11 Films of 2016

12 January 2017

Nictate: Top 11 Films of 2016, as posted to Letterboxd

[see also 2019, 2018, 2017, 2015]

  1. CamerapersonKirsten Johnson
  2. The LobsterYorgos Lanthimos
  3. Certain WomenKelly Reichardt
  4. Things to ComeMia Hansen-Løve
  5. Knight of CupsTerrence Malick
  6. A Bigger SplashLuca Guadagnino
  7. MoonlightBarry Jenkins
  8. Café SocietyWoody Allen
  9. Manchester by the SeaKenneth Lonergan
  10. The HandmaidenPark Chan-wook
  11. EllePaul Verhoeven