My Favorite 2016 Albums
Earlier in the year I talked a bit about albums and bands that I was listening to at the time. I also bitched about new albums being expensive. Thankfully, since then most of them are available for free streaming so I've gotten at least a few listens in the bank. If I had to cap the list at just ten albums it would be tough, so for anyone claiming no good music has come out recently has their head up their ass. Or we have totally different tastes. Which is of course the same thing!
The overall list is a bit long, but can be viewed in full and is more or less in order of preference. The groupings here are more logical. But it's all subjectively objective if you're into that sort of thing.
Albums Everyone Should Know About
This is the short list of albums from well-known bands. If you like them and didn't know they had a new album, you should be embarrassed.
- Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool – has to be at the top of my list as I've had it on heavy rotation of late.
- Wilco – Schmilco – a nice “classic Wilco” album; more or less abandons the experimental nature of past albums and goes back to their “americana” roots. That's a lot of air quotes, but it was totally worth it.
- A Tribe Called Quest – We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service – Phife is gone, but thankfully he was still a big part of this excellent Tribe album.
Albums From Bands I've Followed for Awhile
This is a long list of albums from bands I've liked for awhile now to varying degrees, but wouldn't be shocked if you had never heard of them (or were hardly aware of their existence).
- Andrew Bird – Are You Serious – For most of the year this album topped the 2016 list for me. I can't recommend it enough.
- Dr. Dog – The Psychedelic Swamp – If you're a fan of theirs, well worth a listen.
- Sean Watkins – What to Fear – The title track is probably my favorite, and fits the state of things.
- Sara Watkins – Young in All the Wrong Ways – A nice change of pace from her, stretching beyond Nickel Creek.
- The Jayhawks – Paging Mr. Proust – Nicely reminiscent of their albums from the 90s.
- Ray LaMontagne – Ouroboros – Not my favorite of his, but not bad.
- Jeff Buckley – You & I – primarily for fanboys. But worth it if you are.
Newish to Me Bands
Basically bands I've gotten into over the past year or so (I think; hard to track things when you mostly listen to streams of their albums).
- Dylan LeBlanc – Cautionary Tale – The title track for me was an instant classic. The rest of the album is good, but needs more listens for me.
- The Lumineers – Cleopatra – Nice solid album
The other albums on the list are there more as reminders to myself to listen to them more. I like the bands in general, but have only listened to the albums once or twice after (finally) getting them on free streams. So it's entirely possible I'll rank them higher in the future.