Top 50 Albums, Favorite Albums from 2016

Top 50 Albums.jpeg

A couple of weeks ago, I threw together a chart of my top 50 albums. For the most part, they’re in no particular order aside from being lumped together as “Top 4,” “Second-tier classics,” and “Other favorites.” I admittedly had some difficulty compiling this list; the more I dug through my iTunes and Spotify libraries, the more I became aware of the fact that my taste has changed — and will continue to change — over time.

A couple of months ago, I would have included several other albums on this list: Sufjan Stevens’ Illinois and Carrie & Lowell were favorites for a while, as were Tame Impalla’s InnerSpeaker and Lonerism, the latter of which by and large defined my music taste not too long ago. Of course, the other side of the coin is that this chart contains a handful of records that I’ve listened to only recently, ones that I wouldn’t have known about a few months back.

While there are many recent finds on this chart, there are plenty of others which have stuck with me for years. Gorillaz’s Demon Days was among the first CDs I ever owned, the first transcribed solo I learned to play was off of Dexter Gordon’s Go!, and A Charlie Brown Christmas remains the unofficial soundtrack for the holidays back home.

This chart is far from being definitive, and even farther from being timeless: more so, it is a visualization of my music taste as of November 28th, 2016. No more, no less.

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For the past few weeks, I have been compiling a list of my favorite albums of 2016. I had an even harder time with this list solely because the majority of the music I listened to this year wasn’t released in 2016. Other obstacles stood in my way too. Costanza’s Costanza and The Jerk Store no longer exist on the internet; the artist’s Bandcamp, Soundcloud, YouTube, and Twitter are now just a collection of broken links. I was also going to include one of Paul Hare’s releases from this year, but he too deleted his Bandcamp and Soundcloud without warning.

Here’s the list in its most complete form:

Jan Jelinek & Masayoshi Fujita – Schaum

Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool 

Paul Hares & plan’a – center of the earth

Costanza – Costanza, The Jerk Store

David Bowie – Blackstar

G A M E S H A R K ™ – SHARK 3

+you / xccg – buranko

A Tribe Called Quest – We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service

I hope that 2017 brings lots of great music in the form of new releases, old favorites, and hidden gems from years past.

Happy New Year!