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 Albums

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

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

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

Austin Town Hall: Top 50 Albums of 2016

01 January 2017

Austin Town Hall: Top 50 Albums of 2016

[see also 2018, 2017, 2012, 2011]

  1. Hamilton Leithauser + RostamI Had A Dream That You Were Mine
  2. Nap EyesThought Rock Fish Scale
  3. Angel OlsenMy Woman
  4. OmniDeluxe
  5. The Radio Dept.Running out of Love
  6. The CoathangersNosebleed Weekend
  7. DOGBRETHSecond Home
  8. OperatorsBlue Wave
  9. Real NumbersWordless Wonder
  10. Frankie CosmosNext Thing
  11. Chook RaceAround the House
  12. RadioheadA Moon Shaped Pool
  13. The GotobedsBlood // Sugar // Secs // Traffic
  14. Holy EsqueAt Hope’s Ravine
  15. Lost AnimalYou Yang
  16. The Goon SaxUp to Anything
  17. Teenage FanclubHere
  18. Kaitlyn Aurelia SmithEARS
  19. John K. SamsonWinter Wheat
  20. Terry MaltsLost at the Party
  21. FloristThe Birds Outside Sang
  22. TychoEpoch
  23. AblebodyAdult Contemporaries
  24. Nada SurfYou Know Who You Are
  25. Adult BooksRunning from the Blows
  26. Wild NothingLife of Pause
  27. ConnectionsMidnight Run
  28. Cass McCombsMangy Love
  29. Black MarbleIt’s Immaterial
  30. Fruit BatsAbsolute Loser
  31. QuiltPlaza
  32. Chris CohenAs If Apart
  33. AT / ALLSun Dog
  34. EZTVHigh in Place
  35. Tim PresleyThe Wink
  36. Useless EatersRelaxing Death
  37. Pete AstorSpilt Milk
  38. Happy DivingElectric Soul Unity
  39. I Have A TribeBeneath a Yellow Moon
  40. Cool GhoulsAnimal Races
  41. Holy BalmActivity
  42. Big Wave RidersEndless Summer
  43. Still ParadeConcrete Vision
  44. FlowersEverybody’s Dying to Meet You
  45. Steve Adamyk BandGraceland
  46. So CowLisa Marie Airplane Tour
  47. King CreosoteAstronaut Meets Appleman
  48. Bubblegum LemonadeThe Great Leap Backward
  49. Carter TantonJettison the Valley
  50. Bent ShapesWolves of Want

Uproxx: 20 Best Albums of 2016

31 December 2016

Uproxx: 20 Best Albums of 2016

[see also 2019, 2018, 2017, 2010s]

  1. Frank OceanBlond
  2. MitskiPuberty 2
  3. Bon Iver22, A Million
  4. SolangeA Seat at the Table
  5. Car Seat HeadrestTeens of Denial
  6. A Tribe Called QuestWe Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service
  7. BeyoncéLemonade
  8. Childish GambinoAwaken, My Love!
  9. Weyes BloodFront Row Seat to Earth
  10. Kanye WestThe Life of Pablo
  11. David BowieBlackstar
  12. RihannaAnti
  13. Anderson .PaakMalibu
  14. Maren MorrisHero
  15. RadioheadA Moon Shaped Pool
  16. PUPThe Dream Is Over
  17. Sturgill SimpsonA Sailor’s Guide to Earth
  18. Nick Cave & the Bad SeedsSkeleton Tree
  19. KAYTRANADA99.9%
  20. The HotelierGoodness

Drowned in Sound: 16 Favourite Albums of 2016

30 December 2016

Drowned in Sound: 16 Favourite Albums of 2016

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

  1. David BowieBlackstar
  2. Nick Cave & the Bad SeedsSkeleton Tree
  3. The 1975I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It
  4. ANOHNIHopelessness
  5. Amber ArcadesFading Lines
  6. PreoccupationsPreoccupations
  7. Angel OlsenMy Woman
  8. Frank OceanBlond
  9. RadioheadA Moon Shaped Pool
  10. SuedeNight Thoughts
  11. Jenny HvalBlood Bitch
  12. BeyoncéLemonade
  13. School Of Seven BellsSVIIB
  14. Kate TempestLet Them Eat Chaos
  15. Danny BrownAtrocity Exhibition
  16. MarthaBlisters In the Pit of My Heart

Magnet: Top 25 Albums of 2016

27 December 2016

Magnet Magazine: Top 25 Albums of 2016

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

  1. Lucy DacusNo Burden
  2. David BowieBlackstar
  3. case/lang/veirscase/lang/veirs
  4. William TylerModern Country
  5. GoatRequiem
  6. Nick Cave & the Bad SeedsSkeleton Tree
  7. Car Seat HeadrestTeens of Denial
  8. Lucinda WilliamsThe Ghosts of Highway 20
  9. Beach SlangA Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings
  10. Dinosaur Jr.Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not
  11. Drive-By TruckersAmerican Band
  12. MitskiPuberty 2
  13. Cass McCombsMangy Love
  14. RadioheadA Moon Shaped Pool
  15. Angel OlsenMy Woman
  16. The AvalanchesWildflower
  17. Bon Iver22, A Million
  18. Parquet CourtsHuman Performance
  19. Hamilton Leithauser + RostamI Had A Dream That You Were Mine
  20. Bob MouldPatch the Sky
  21. WilcoSchmilco
  22. Nada SurfYou Know Who You Are
  23. Bird of YouthGet Off
  24. ANOHNIHopelessness
  25. Flock of DimesIf You See Me, Say Yes

Pigeons & Planes: 50 Best Albums of 2016

25 December 2016

Pigeons & Planes: 50 Best Albums of 2016

[see also 2017, 2015]

  1. Frank OceanBlond
  2. Anderson .PaakMalibu
  3. SolangeA Seat at the Table
  4. Chance The RapperColoring Book
  5. NonameTelefone
  6. Kanye WestThe Life of Pablo
  7. BeyoncéLemonade
  8. Young ThugSlime Season 3
  9. A Tribe Called QuestWe Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service
  10. Travis ScottBirds in the Trap Sing McKnight
  11. The WeekndStarboy
  12. KAYTRANADA99.9%
  13. 21 Savage & Metro BoominSavage Mode
  14. RihannaAnti
  15. Schoolboy QBlank Face LP
  16. Bon Iver22, A Million
  17. Danny BrownAtrocity Exhibition
  18. HindsLeave Me Alone
  19. NxWorriesYes Lawd!
  20. Blood OrangeFreetown Sound
  21. D.R.A.M.Big Baby D.R.A.M.
  22. RadioheadA Moon Shaped Pool
  23. Kendrick LamarUntitled Unmastered
  24. Lil YachtyLil Boat
  25. Isaiah RashadThe Sun’s Tirade
  26. James BlakeThe Colour in Anything
  27. Jazz CartierHotel Paranoia
  28. GiggsLandlord
  29. ShuraNothing’s Real
  30. A.CHALWelcome to GAZI
  31. YGStill Brazy
  32. Angel OlsenMy Woman
  33. Denzel CurryImperial
  34. SkeptaKonnichiwa
  35. KamaiyahA Good Night in the Ghetto
  36. David BowieBlackstar
  37. Little SimzStillness in Wonderland
  38. 6LACKFREE 6LACK
  39. Kevin AbstractAmerican Boyfriend: A Suburban Love Story
  40. Allan KingdomNorthern Lights
  41. TrapoShade Trees
  42. KembaNegus
  43. Childish GambinoAwaken, My Love!
  44. SabaBucket List Project
  45. Topaz JonesArcade
  46. Kid CudiPassion, Pain & Demon Slayin’
  47. Kweku CollinsNat Love
  48. Francis and the LightsFarewell, Starlite!
  49. Cousin StizzMonda
  50. Post MaloneStoney

Sasha Frere-Jones: 100 Favorite Albums of 2016

23 December 2016

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.

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

NME: 50 Best Albums of 2016

22 December 2016

NME: 50 Best Albums of 2016

[see also 2018, 2017, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2011, 2010s]

  1. The 1975I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It
  2. Kanye WestThe Life of Pablo
  3. Christine and the QueensChaleur Humaine
  4. SkeptaKonnichiwa
  5. KAYTRANADA99.9%
  6. David BowieBlackstar
  7. DIIVIs the Is Are
  8. Iggy PopPost Pop Depression
  9. Chance The RapperColoring Book
  10. Frank OceanBlond
  11. BeyoncéLemonade
  12. Sunflower BeanHuman Ceremony
  13. Angel OlsenMy Woman
  14. Jamie TTrick
  15. KanoMade in the Manor
  16. Danny BrownAtrocity Exhibition
  17. DrakeViews
  18. Tegan and SaraLove You to Death
  19. White LungParadise
  20. Lady GagaJoanne
  21. Anderson .PaakMalibu
  22. RadioheadA Moon Shaped Pool
  23. Michael KiwanukaLove & Hate
  24. Nick Cave & the Bad SeedsSkeleton Tree
  25. BlossomsBlossoms
  26. Biffy ClyroEllipsis
  27. GiggsLandlord
  28. GoatRequiem
  29. Kate TempestLet Them Eat Chaos
  30. NAOFor All We Know
  31. BastilleWild World
  32. Kings of LeonWALLS
  33. Margo PriceMidwest Farmer’s Daughter
  34. Let’s Eat GrandmaI, Gemini
  35. Glass AnimalsHow to Be a Human Being
  36. Swet Shop BoysCashmere
  37. Soft HairSoft Hair
  38. SlavesTake Control
  39. Green DayRevolution Radio
  40. RihannaAnti
  41. SolangeA Seat at the Table
  42. WhitneyLight Upon the Lake
  43. ANOHNIHopelessness
  44. The Lemon TwigsDo Hollywood
  45. Car Seat HeadrestTeens of Denial
  46. SavagesAdore Life
  47. Wild BeastsBoy King
  48. Show Me the BodyBody War
  49. Public Access T.V.Never Enough
  50. Bon Iver22, A Million