Top 50 Albums of 2016

2016 was a terrible year in many regards, but in one small way, 2016 was a year to remember fondly. That’s because this was one of the best years for new music in recent memory. Artists ranging from David Bowie to Beyoncé, Radiohead to Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar to Frank Ocean all released new albums this year, as did pop heavyweights Ariana Grande, Britney Spears, the Weeknd, Lady Gaga and Bruno Mars. So no, 2016 was not a good year. But, as is so often the case, we can turn to the year’s music for some semblance of comfort. These are the 50 best albums of the 2016.

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50. Preoccupations, Preoccupations JAGJAGUWAR 16 September 2016 ALTERNATIVE

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49. The Range, Potential DOMINO 25 March 2016 ELECTRONIC

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48. The Weeknd, Starboy REPUBLIC 25 November 2016 POP/R&B

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47. Tegan and Sara, Love You to Death WARNER BROS. 3 June 2016 POP

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46. The Avalanches, Wildflower XL/EMI/ASTRALWERKS/MODULAR 1 July 2016 ELECTRONIC

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45. M83, Junk MUTE 8 April 2016 ELECTRONIC/ROCK

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44. Kevin Morby, Singing Saw DEAD OCEANS 15 April 2016 ROCK

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43. NxWorries, Yes Lawd! STONES THROW 21 October 2016 POP/R&B

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42. Shura, Nothing’s Real POLYDOR 8 July 2016 POP/R&B

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41. Bruno Mars, 24K Magic ATLANTIC 18 November 2016 POP/R&B

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40. The Hotelier, Goodness TINY ENGINES 27 May 2016 ROCK

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39. Noname, Telefone SELF-RELEASED 31 July 2016 RAP

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38. Kevin Gates, Islah ATLANTIC/BREAD WINNERS' ASSOCIATION 29 January 2016 RAP

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37. Miranda Lambert, The Weight of These Wings RCA NASHVILLE 18 November 2016 COUNTRY

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36. Maxwell, blackSUMMERS’night COLUMBIA 1 July 2016 POP/R&B

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35. Jenny Hval, Blood Bitch SACRED BONES 30 September 2016 EXPERIMENTAL

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34. YG, Still Brazy DEF JAM 17 June 2016 RAP

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33. dvsn, Sept. 5th WARNER BROS./OVO SOUND 27 March 2016 POP/R&B

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32. ScHoolboy Q, Blank Face LP TOP DAWG/INTERSCOPE 8 July 2016 RAP

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31. Mitski, Puberty 2 DEAD OCEANS 17 June 2016 ROCK

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30. D.R.A.M., Big Baby D.R.A.M. EMPIRE/ATLANTIC/W.A.V.E. RECORDINGS 21 October 2016 RAP

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29. Tove Lo, Lady Wood ISLAND 28 October 2016 POP/R&B

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28. Jamila Woods, Heavn CLOSED SESSIONS 11 July 2016 POP/R&B

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27. The 1975, I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it INTERSCOPE/DIRTY HIT 26 February 2016 ROCK

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26. Kaytranada, 99.9% XL 6 May 2016 ELECTRONIC

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25. Cymbals Eat Guitars, Pretty Years SINDERLYN 16 September 2016 ROCK

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24. Kanye West, The Life of Pablo DEF JAM/G.O.O.D. MUSIC 14 February 2016 RAP

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23. Young Thug, Jeffery ATLANTIC/300 ENTERTAINMENT 26 August 2016 RAP

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22. Kendrick Lamar, untitled unmastered. TOP DAWG 4 March 2016 RAP

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21. A Tribe Called Quest, We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service EPIC 11 November 2016 RAP

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20. James Blake, The Colour in Anything UNIVERSAL 6 May 2016 ELECTRONIC/POP/R&B

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19. Sturgill Simpson, A Sailor’s Guide to Earth ATLANTIC 15 April 2016 COUNTRY/FOLK

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18. Rihanna, Anti ROC NATION/WESTBURY ROAD 28 January 2016 POP/R&B

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17. Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam, I Had a Dream That You Were Mine GLASSNOTE 23 September 2016 POP/R&B/ROCK

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16. Kamaiyah, A Good Night in the Ghetto SELF-RELEASED 23 March 2016 RAP

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15. Car Seat Headrest, Teens of Denial MATADOR 20 May 2016 ROCK

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14. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Skeleton Tree BAD SEED LTD. 9 September 2016 ROCK

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13. David Bowie, Blackstar COLUMBIA/RCA/ISO 8 January 2016 ROCK

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12. Danny Brown, Atrocity Exhibition WARP 27 September 2016 RAP

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11. Nicolas Jaar, Sirens OTHER PEOPLE 30 September 2016 ELECTRONIC

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10. Bon Iver, 22, A Million JAGJAGUWAR 30 September 2016 ELECTRONIC/POP/R&B/ROCK

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9. Anderson .Paak, Malibu EMPIRE/OBE/STEEL WOOL/ART CLUB 15 January 2016 POP/R&B

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8. Blood Orange, Freetown Sound DOMINO 28 June 2016 POP/R&B

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7. Frank Ocean, Blonde SELF-RELEASED 20 August 2016 POP/R&B

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6. King, We Are King KING CREATIVE 5 February 2016 POP/R&B

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5. Solange, A Seat at the Table SAINT/COLUMBIA 30 September 2016 POP/R&B

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4. Radiohead, A Moon Shaped Pool XL 8 May 2016 ROCK

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3. Chance The Rapper, Coloring Book SELF-RELEASED 13 May 2016 RAP

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2. Angel Olsen, My Woman JAGJAGUWAR 2 September 2016 COUNTRY/FOLK/ROCK

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1. Beyoncé, Lemonade COLUMBIA/PARKWOOD 23 April 2016 POP/R&B
  1. Beyoncé | Lemonade
  2. Angel Olsen | My Woman
  3. Chance The Rapper | Coloring Book
  4. Radiohead | A Moon Shaped Pool
  5. Solange | A Seat at the Table
  6. King | We are KING
  7. Frank Ocean | Blonde
  8. Blood Orange | Freetown Sound
  9. Anderson .Paak | Malibu
  10. Bon Iver | 22, A Million
  11. Nicolas Jaar | Sirens
  12. Danny Brown | Atrocity Exhibition
  13. David Bowie | Blackstar
  14. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds | Skeleton Tree
  15. Car Seat Headrest | Teens of Denial
  16. Kamaiyah | A Good Night in the Ghetto
  17. Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam | I Had a Dream That You Were Mine
  18. Rihanna | Anti
  19. Sturgill Simpson | A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
  20. James Blake | The Colour in Anything
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