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!
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!