Favorite Albums of 2016


2015, the year I discovered I still liked bubblegum (Carly Rae), could find hooks in ambiance (Four-Tet), was happy to be a tourist (Banda de los Muertos) and had a campfire or two left in me (Yo La Tengo).

Head to the VOICE to see the titles that earned my Pazz & Jop votes.

Below are all the discs that steadily swirled around the Top 10, trying to jump on board. It changes all the time, right?

Learned a few things, too:

  • Patterson Hood swears better than most dudes.
  • Soft is strong.
  • Superstars are people, too.
  • Drones can be pop.
  • Berne + Byram were meant for each other.
  • Courtney Barnett is an expert communicator.
  • You need more than a stocked shelf of well-worn genre moves to be “epic.”

Here are the P&J 2015 winners

Here are 25 faves:

Waxahatchee  – Ivy Tripp  (Merge)

Grimes – Art Angels  (Interscope)

Four Tet – Morning / Evening (Text)

Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly  (Interscope)

Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit  (Mom+Pop)

Carly Rae Jepsen – E-MO-TION  (Interscope)

Drake – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late   (Cash Money)

Tim Berne / Steve Byram – Spare  (Screwgun)

Colleen – Captain of None  (Thirsty Ear)

Banda de los Muertos   (Barbes)

Bomba Estéreo – Amanecer   (Sony)

Floating Points – Elaenia  (Luaka Bop)

Miguel – Wildheart  (RCA)

Yo La Tengo – Stuff Like That There  (Matador)

Vince Staples – Summertime ’06   (Def Jam)

Drive-By Truckers – It’s Great To Be Alive!  (ATO)

Laurie Anderson – Heart of a Dog  (Nonesuch)

Speedy Ortiz – Foil Dear  (Carpark)

Robert Earl Keene – Happy Prisoner: The Bluegrass Sessions   (DualTone)

Rae Sremmurd – Sremmlife  (RCA)

Mini-Mekons & Robbie Fulks – Jura  (Bloodshot)

Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts – Manhattan  (Rough Trade)

Beach House – Depression Cherry   (Sub Pop)

Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Style (Matador)

Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color  (ATO)


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