Pitchfork's 20 Best Rock Albums of 2016

Pitchfork's 20 Best Rock Albums of 2016

Original Source

Angel Olsen - My Woman

Angel Olsen - My Woman
September 2, 2016
Indie Rock
Critic Score
86
30 reviews
User Score
82
496 reviews

My Woman walks a tightrope of love to figure out what it is—how to find it, how to allow it in, how to feel it, how to fight for it, how to let it go—by a person who does not lose herself in the process.

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Bon Iver - 22, A Million

Bon Iver - 22, A Million
September 30, 2016
Art Pop
Critic Score
88
33 reviews
User Score
81
676 reviews
Bon Iver’s first album in five years takes an unexpected turn toward the strange and experimental. But behind the arranged glitches and processed voices are deeply felt songs about uncertainty.
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Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Denial

Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Denial
May 20, 2016
Indie Rock
Critic Score
82
20 reviews
User Score
82
460 reviews

Teens of Style was already great, but Teens of Denial is such a leap forward that it still manages to surprise.

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Cass McCombs - Mangy Love

Cass McCombs - Mangy Love
August 26, 2016
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
77
18 reviews
User Score
77
79 reviews

On his eighth album, the singer-songwriter connects his gentle, acerbic soul to his most politically charged, well-stated, and funniest songs.

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David Bowie - Blackstar

David Bowie - Blackstar
January 8, 2016
Art Rock
Critic Score
85
33 reviews
User Score
85
867 reviews
He’s making the most of his latest reawakening, adding to the myth while the myth is his to hold.
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G.L.O.S.S. - Trans Day of Revenge

G.L.O.S.S. - Trans Day of Revenge
June 13, 2016
Hardcore Punk
Critic Score
83
2 reviews
User Score
78
36 reviews

Trans Day of Revenge takes the anger and confusion one feels in the depths of the margins, and translates them, literalizes them, from a burning abstraction into something almost tangible.

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Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam - I Had A Dream That You Were Mine

Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam - I Had A Dream That You Were Mine
September 23, 2016
Indie Rock
Critic Score
80
19 reviews
User Score
78
119 reviews
It’s rare for collaborative albums between known entities to feel like equal reflections of both parties, but RostHam find a middle-ground in mutual longing for the past.
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Kevin Morby - Singing Saw

Kevin Morby - Singing Saw
April 15, 2016
Folk Rock
Critic Score
82
17 reviews
User Score
78
211 reviews

Singing Saw is his strongest album because it shows a process of refinement, and because Morby’s songwriting has become less referential and more grounded. The basic ingredients haven’t changed, but Morby is figuring out how to retain and amplify his strongest points—his weary and wise voice, his understanding of how the musical pieces fit together—and leave everything else behind.

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Leonard Cohen - You Want It Darker

Leonard Cohen - You Want It Darker
October 21, 2016
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
87
19 reviews
User Score
82
220 reviews

Leonard Cohen's 14th studio album feels like a pristine, piously crafted last testament, the informed conclusion of a lifetime of inquiry.

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Mitski - Puberty 2

Mitski - Puberty 2
June 17, 2016
Indie Rock
Critic Score
86
24 reviews
User Score
80
402 reviews
On her fourth album, Mitski makes a resounding personal statement and stakes out her territory as one of the most compelling voices in the sphere of indie rock.
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Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Skeleton Tree

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Skeleton Tree
September 9, 2016
Art Rock
Critic Score
90
27 reviews
User Score
84
451 reviews
This is a record that exists in the headspace and guts of someone who’s endured an unspeakable, inconsolable trauma.
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Parquet Courts - Human Performance

Parquet Courts - Human Performance
April 8, 2016
Indie Rock
Critic Score
82
27 reviews
User Score
77
326 reviews

You'd be hard pressed to find a contemporary rock band honoring the classic Rough Trade legacy as well as Parquet Courts, in both sound and spirit, while doing something audacious and new.

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Pinegrove - Cardinal

Pinegrove - Cardinal
February 12, 2016
Indie Rock
Critic Score
80
7 reviews
User Score
76
197 reviews

Cardinal feels like one big determined push outward, an album-length fight against solipsism without losing your sense of self in the process.

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Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool

Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
May 8, 2016
Art Rock
Critic Score
87
34 reviews
User Score
86
1003 reviews

It’s a sound that Radiohead has spent the last decade honing, but the payoff here is deeper and more gratifying than it has been in a while. The added dimension comes from Yorke, who pumps fresh oxygen into these songs, many of which have existed in sketch-like forms for years.

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Savages - Adore Life

Savages - Adore Life
January 22, 2016
Post-Punk
Critic Score
79
33 reviews
User Score
74
313 reviews

In many ways, Adore Life feels more alive than Silence Yourself—in part because it feels more human, in part because it's telling you to be as loud as possible.

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Sheer Mag - III

Sheer Mag - III
March 3, 2016
Garage Rock
Critic Score
80
5 reviews
User Score
77
41 reviews

It upholds the band's gold standard as they continue to refine their formula: kick drums like rifle shots, earworm guitar riffs played with electric glee, no-frills solos no less punk rock for their existence.

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The Hotelier - Goodness

The Hotelier - Goodness
May 27, 2016
Emo
Critic Score
83
10 reviews
User Score
76
178 reviews

For as riotous as it can sound, Goodness is remarkably precise in how it plays with dynamics and layers.

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Weyes Blood - Front Row Seat to Earth

Weyes Blood - Front Row Seat to Earth
October 21, 2016
Psychedelic Folk
Critic Score
82
9 reviews
User Score
79
129 reviews

She commits more fully to the world she’s building here, though 2014’s sprawling rock rumination The Innocents is not without its highlights.

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White Lung - Paradise

White Lung - Paradise
May 6, 2016
Noise Rock
Critic Score
77
20 reviews
User Score
75
159 reviews

On Paradise, Barber-Way steps outside of her own body and the assaults it sustains, and creates a searing portrait of what it can look like to love without fear, even when that love doesn't resemble the fantasy we've been sold.

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Whitney - Light Upon The Lake

Whitney - Light Upon The Lake
June 3, 2016
Indie Rock
Critic Score
80
17 reviews
User Score
79
296 reviews
Whitney might not reinvent anything, but they sound perfect right now, and it’s hard to argue with being in the right place at the right time.
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Original Source: http://pitchfork.com/features/lists-and-guides/9989-the-20-best-rock-albums-of-2016/

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Check out our 2016 Year End Summary.