TC’s top 40 albums of 2016

Life gets in the way more often than it used to, so for my 14th consecutive year of reviewing my favorite music, I’m introducing a new format that eschews my usual rambling tangents for a concise overview that lets the year’s music speak for itself. Take a trip back to 2016 with this curated, eclectic playlist.

While 2016 was a difficult year for our world at large, it delivered an impressive slate of new music that kept us going. In recent years, artists like Adele, Lights, Tegan and Sara, and Jack White have claimed #1 on my year-end music reviews, and now it’s time again to share my personal highlights from the past year. You might discover something that missed your radar the first time around.

Below, you’ll find my list of the year’s most memorable tracks sorted by release date, followed by my top 40 albums. Tap or click on any track or album to listen to it on Apple Music and read their editors’ synopsis. Let’s get to it!

Hot tracks


Kiiara
“Gold”


Selena Gomez
“Hands To Myself”


Jess Kent
“Get Down”


Twenty One Pilots
“Stressed Out”


G-Eazy f/ Bebe Rexha
“Me, Myself & I”


Danny L Harle
“Broken Flowers”


Wet
“You’re The Best”


Melanie Martinez
“Pity Party”


Hilary Duff
“Little Lies”


Flume f/ Kai
“Never Be Like You”


The Chainsmokers f/ Rozes
“Roses”


Icona Pop
“Someone Who Can Dance”


Taylor Swift
“New Romantics”


Meghan Trainor
“No”


The Strumbellas
“Spirits”


Iggy Azalea
“Team”


Bibi Bourelly
“Sally”


Aubrie Sellers
“Sit Here And Cry”


Birdy
“Keeping Your Head Up”


The Chainsmokers f/ Daya
“Don’t Let Me Down”


r00ms
“Bittersweet Company”


Miike Snow
“Genghis Khan”


Koi Child
“Touch ‘Em”


Zedd f/ Kesha
“True Colors”


M83 f/ Mai Lan
“Go!”


Jorja Smith
“Blue Lights”


Mike Posner f/ Seeb
“I Took A Pill In Ibiza”


Ruth B
“Lost Boy”


Peter Bjorn & John
“Dominos”



“Final Song”


Krewella
“Broken Record”


K.Flay
“FML”


Jessy Lanza
“Oh No”


TIFFANY
“I Just Wanna Dance”


Allie X
“Too Much To Dream”


Brand New
“I Am A Nightmare”


Dragonette
“Lonely Heart”


Beck
“Wow”


F.O.O.L.
“Showdown”


Red Hot Chili Peppers
“Dark Necessities”


The Interrupters
“She Got Arrested”


Lowell
“High Enough”


Olsson f/ Mapei
“Hold On”


The Avalanches
“Subways”


Mabel
“Thinking Of You”


Demi Lovato
“Body Say”


Maty Noyes
“In My Mind”


Kacy Hill
“Lion”


Júníus Meyvant
“Beat Silent Need”


Catfish and the Bottlemen
“Soundcheck”


Kitten
“Steal The Night”


Dua Lipa
“Hotter Than Hell”


Rozes
“Hangin’ On”


Phoebe Ryan f/ Kid Ink
“Dollar Bill”


The Julie Ruin
“Hit Reset”


Angel Olsen
“Shut Up Kiss Me”


Trentemøller
“River In Me”


Cassius f/ Cat Power and Mike D
“Action”


Tinashe
“Superlove”


Justice
“Safe And Sound”


ZHU
“Palm Of My Hand”


Felix Jaehn f/ Alma
“Bonfire”


Prophets Of Rage
“Prophets Of Rage”


Emma Louise
“Illuminate”


Jagwar Ma
“O B 1”


Quiero Club
“Teorías”


Miranda Lambert
“Vice”


White Sea
“Yesterday”


Netsky f/ Macklemore
“Rio”


LOLO
“The Devil’s Gone To Dinner”


Skylar Grey
“Off Road”


Hollyn
“Love With Your Life”


LILI N
“Paper Heart”


INGLSH
“Russian Roulette”


Major Lazer f/ Justin Bieber and
“Cold Water”


Batwings Catwings
“Totally Outrageous”


Paige Monroe
“New York”


KAYE
“Uuu”


Ofelia K
“Killing Me”


The Naked And Famous
“Higher”


Skott
“Porcelain”


Chvrches f/ Hayley Williams
“Bury It”


Olivia Holt
“Phoenix”


Speedy Ortiz
“Death Note”


The Band Perry
“Comeback Kid”


XYLØ
“Fool’s Paradise”


Field Mouse
“Half-Life”


The Struts
“Put Your Hands Up”


K?d f/ RKCB
“Discover”


Prinze George
“Freeze”


Grimes
“Medieval Warfare”


Borgeous f/ BRKLYN and Lenachka
“Miracle”


Jay Ricae
“Hype Up”


Regina Spektor
“Bleeding Heart”


Saint Motel
“Move”


Miya Folick
“Pet Body”


Anna Of The North
“Us”


Symon
“Say”


Diana Gordon
“Woman”


Galantis
“No Money”


Bipolar Sunshine f/ Gryffin
“Whole Heart”


K.Flay
“Blood In The Cut”


Zara Larsson
“Lush Life”


Dua Lipa
“Blow Your Mind (Mwah)”


Klingande f/ M-22
“Somewhere New”


Bishop Briggs
“River”


Lauren Aquilina
“Wicked Game”


Shaed
“Name On It”


The Regrettes
“Hey Now”


Sleigh Bells
“I Can Only Stare”


M.I.A.
“Go Off”


Frenship f/ Emily Warren
“Capsize”


Alexandra Savior
“M.T.M.E.”


Green Day
“Revolution Radio”


Dream Theater f/ Lzzy Hale
“Our New World”


Vérité
“Somebody Else”


Leikeli47
“Money”


The Weeknd f/ Daft Punk
“Starboy”


Fletcher
“War Paint”


Rudie Edwards
“I’m Not Her”


Hey Violet
“Guys My Age”


Sara Jackson-Holman
“Run”


Reva DeVito
“The Move”


Solange f/ Sampha
“Don’t Touch My Hair”


Kimbra
“Sweet Relief”


Eden XO
“El Barrio”


The Rolling Stones
“Hate To See You Go”


Luna Aura
“Stronger”


Kate Voegele
“Free & Wild”


G.R.L.
“Kiss Myself”


Katy Rose
“Didn’t We”


Letters To Cleo
“Can’t Say”


Frankie
“Blink”


Zara Larsson
“Ain’t My Fault”


Bruno Mars
“24K Magic”


Hailee Steinfeld f/ Grey and Zedd
“Starving”


XYLØ
“Gossip”


Lost Kings f/ Emily Warren
“Phone Down”


Sabrina Carpenter
“Run And Hide”


Miynt
“Cool”


Rae Sremmurd
“Black Beatles”


Bishop Briggs
“Wild Horses”


DIANA
“Moment Of Silence”


Møme f/ Merryn Jeann
“Why Is It”


Krewella
“Team”


Alessia Cara
“Scars To Your Beautiful”


Felix Snow f/ Icona Pop
“Windows”


K.I.D.
“Errors”

Top 40 albums

40
Ladyhawke
Wild Things

39
White Lung
Paradise

38
Banks & Steelz
Anything But Words

37
Tkay Maidza
Tkay

36
Ingrid Michaelson
It Doesn’t Have To Make Sense

35
Warpaint
Heads Up

34
Jem
Beachwood Canyon

33
Grace
FMA

32
Radiohead
A Moon Shaped Pool

31
Lights
Midnight Machines

30
Chance The Rapper
Coloring Book

29
Goldroom
West Of The West

28
Adia Victoria
Beyond The Bloodhounds

27
Camp Cope
Camp Cope

26
Daya
Sit Still, Look Pretty

25
Kero Kero Bonito
Bonito Generation

24
Joseph
I’m Alone, No You’re Not

23
Dagny
Ultraviolet

22
Hayley Kiyoko
Citrine

21
QUIÑ
Galactica

20
Aurora
All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend

19
Margaret Glaspy
Emotions And Math

18
Sia
This Is Acting

17
Kristin Kontrol
X-Communicate

16
Hinds
Leave Me Alone

15
Niki & The Dove
Everybody’s Heart Is Broken Now

14
Petite Meller
Lil Empire

13
Ariana Grande
Dangerous Woman

12
Beyoncé
Lemonade

11
Fifth Harmony
7/27

10
JoJo
Mad Love

9
AlunaGeorge
I Remember

8
Chairlift
Moth

7
A Tribe Called Quest
We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service

6
Tegan and Sara
Love You To Death

5
Lady Gaga
Joanne

4
David Bowie
Blackstar

3
Shura
Nothing’s Real

2
Phantogram
Three

1
Banks
The Altar

Summary

In a year as ominous as 2016, my top albums fit the bill: Banks and Phantogram both released great albums this past year that are chilling, haunting, dark, and contemplative. While the year brought plenty of top-quality lighter fare as well, I found it was the deeply emotional, poignant, and powerful music that managed to resonate and stay with me the most during these turbulent times.

To hear more about why I chose some of the tracks and albums you saw here, listen to this year’s episode of TC & RED: LIVE. I hope you enjoy these selections as much as I did. Thanks for checking out my top 40 albums of 2016!

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