The Top 10 Top 50 Albums Of 2016
With the end of 2016 rapidly approaching, music aficionados are releasing their “Best of” lists. The vitriol a list post often engenders amuses me. Arguing over a list item’s inclusion or omission or it’s ranking is pointless. It’s someone’s opinion, not empirical fact. Why get upset? Anyway, there is a general consensus regarding ten or twelve albums from David Bowie, Beyonce, Chance the Rapper, Solange, Bon Iver, and more. After that, it’s an interesting crap shoot. Since there’s such variance, it seemed natural to create my own twist on the lists. Hence, The Top 10 Top 50 Albums Of 2016.
My list simply ranks each Top 50 list by how many albums I’ve heard from their list (e.g. 9/50 is 9 of 50 in case it isn’t obvious). I guess you could argue that the albums I’ve listened to proves how valid I find their list. That’s not really the intent here. Ready? Here we go…
10. Complex 9/50 – The fact that I’ve only heard 9 of these albums surprises me. Reviewing their list I see there is a lot of Top 40, rap, hip-hop, and R&B. Those are certainly not my go-to genres. I’m not saying that’s bad. It shows me avenues of discovery.
9. Faster Louder 13/50 – A little less hip-hop and rap on this list and a little more indie.
8. NPR 13/50 – Given that NPR’s AOTY is a reliable resource for my Music Monday posts, this list really surprises me. It has a little more country, jazz, and orchestral artists than the other lists. This one probably has the widest variety of all the Top 50 lists.
7. USA Today 16/50 – The number one on this list may surprise you.
6. Stereogum 18/50 – I don’t understand how M83 made their list. I don’t believe Junk made it onto anyone else’s list. Are they ahead of the curve or way off base?
5. NME 19/50 – Upon first look, their ranking system is confusing. They have a 1 of 50 style with up and down arrows that seem like they’re giving the reader the chance to move the albums up and down to create their own ranking system. Pretty imaginative I thought. Turns out that’s not really the case. They also number the albums like 50. Bon Iver and the arrows are merely there for navigation.
4. Entertainment Weekly 20/50 – Like Stereogum, there are some artists on their list that no one else has. At least I liked these sneaky picks.
3. Paste 21/50 – SPOILER ALERT! They picked Bowie’s Blackstar as number one. I might be biased towards this list.
2. Consequence of Sound 22/50 – I’ve heard 60% of their top ten. It would’ve been higher if not for some artists’ lame decision of Apple Music exclusivity. Screw that.
1. Rolling Stone 26/50 – Only one list has over 50% of what I’ve listened to so far this year. Including newly released albums, however, makes me question their criteria. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Sting’s 57th & 9th (not so much the Rolling Stones’ Blue & Lonesome), but what does that say? Were these albums really deemed that spectacular and other albums that much crap? Is there some sort of other arrangement happening?
I may scour these lists again to curate my own Top 50 selections, but that will have to wait for another time. I’m curious how the rest of you fare with these lists. Share if you care.