AOTY 2020
Rolling Stone's 50 Best Albums of 2016

Rolling Stone's 50 Best Albums of 2016

Original Source →

50.

May 6, 2016
Critic Score
80
12 reviews

For all the different genres it consumes and spits back, it sounds like no other band on earth.

49.

September 16, 2016
Critic Score
70
5 reviews

They've slicked up their Seventies ideal, with a big FM-radio sound built on string sections, processed vocals, glockenspiels and vintage synths.

48.

March 4, 2016
Critic Score
81
11 reviews

Emily's D+Evolution is a far more ambitious and thornier affair. The lyrics, flowing in disjunctive clusters, are about deleted narratives, glass ceilings and dreams deferred – ultimately a complex, funky prog-rock concept opera about love and identity.

46.

October 7, 2016
Critic Score
75
10 reviews

45.

March 18, 2016
Critic Score
75
34 reviews

On his awesomely gnarled 17th solo album, he plays the low-rent elder statesman, a spectacularly scuzzball Leonard Cohen still snarling, still hoping to get his rocks off.

44.

June 10, 2016
Critic Score
78
10 reviews

The Monkees' first album in nearly 20 years is also their best since the Sixties – to be precise, since the Head soundtrack in 1968.

43.

February 6, 2016
Critic Score
70
18 reviews

42.

April 29, 2016
Critic Score
67
34 reviews
Drake has tilled this soil on several albums, with little new insight or complexity unearthed here; the result is an occasionally excellent LP that feels, naggingly, like a missed opportunity.

41.

September 9, 2016
Critic Score
74
27 reviews

Along with its return to bedrock sounds, the album seems especially shaped by the Midwestern-ness that's always defined the Chicago-based crew.

40.

July 1, 2016
Critic Score
81
14 reviews
Think of Maxwell as R&B's Thom Yorke – a cosmic love man riding open-ended grooves that shift from inner exploration to booty motivation in the blink of an eye.

39.

Elton John - Wonderful Crazy Night
February 5, 2016
Critic Score
64
15 reviews
There is a matured pacing and weight to the music and John's vocal performances that make this record one of his finest in its own right.

38.

October 28, 2016
Critic Score
72
15 reviews

Whether she's high as fuck ("Influence") or stranded on the dance floor ("WTF Love Is"), she thrives on the power of losing yourself in sounds you can dominate and emotions you'll never contain.

37.

February 26, 2016
Critic Score
78
11 reviews

Raitt is as bold and sharp on Dig In Deep, made with her longtime road band.

36.

November 18, 2016
Critic Score
69
29 reviews

The mostly epic-length tracks – almost entirely written by drummer Lars Ulrich and singer-guitarist James Hetfield – are melodically assured furies of serial riffing and tempo shocks.

35.

May 6, 2016
Critic Score
81
34 reviews

What can at times sound facile in its un-coded repugnance deepens, on repeated listens, into both sophisticated political statement and haunting music.

34.

September 2, 2016
Critic Score
86
37 reviews

33.

Sting - 57th & 9th
November 11, 2016
Critic Score
65
9 reviews

32.

November 4, 2016
Critic Score
74
17 reviews

She roughs up the piano she once played prettily, endows her vocal exertions with more church than ever, and leans into a solid old-school hip-hop backbone fortified in large part by her husband Swizz Beatz.

31.

May 6, 2016
Critic Score
75
26 reviews

30.

November 11, 2016
Critic Score
87
30 reviews

One of the most timeless rap groups ever has returned with a record that doesn't sound like 1996, but doesn't sound like 2016 either. It's imbued with the same feeling of "Push It Along" that they've had from the beginning. 

29.

May 20, 2016
Critic Score
77
8 reviews
Now, with a second album, Mudcrutch feel like a steady moonlighting gig. This record is more of a band effort than the decades-delayed debut – all of the members get writing credits, and all get a shot at a lead vocal.

28.

June 27, 2016
Critic Score
79
33 reviews

Freetown Sound is one deep avant-pop mixtape, a masterpiece of composition, curation and choreography addressing present-day black art and experience while refusing limits at every turn.

27.

June 10, 2016
Critic Score
82
6 reviews
Its sequel, and proper major label debut, ups the ante: It's music tooled alternately for stadiums and songwriting circles, commercial and public radio, line-dance bars and coffee shops.

26.

April 15, 2016
Critic Score
84
22 reviews

Sailor's Guide is classic album length – nine songs, 39 minutes – and best heard in one sitting; this is Nashville craft less as pop science than as expansive headphone storytelling.

25.

January 27, 2016
Critic Score
71
34 reviews
After more than a decade as a superstar of the singles chart, Rihanna has become an album artist.

24.

September 30, 2016
Critic Score
85
15 reviews
It's political rock that never confuses passionate commitment with smug certainty, asking more questions than it answers on a hero's journey into our darkest national impulses, and maybe in some small way, beyond them.

23.

June 17, 2016
Critic Score
85
30 reviews

As bawdy and unpredictable as anyone is in their first puberty, Puberty 2 shows Miyawaki indulging her whims with a devil-may-care attitude – the result is an incendiary self-portrait.

22.

September 30, 2016
Critic Score
87
42 reviews

With his long-awaited third album, Vernon completely breaks from his guitar-hugging persona, leaving it in the woods like a Coen brothers corpse as he flexes a mastery of processed vocals, samples, loops, beats, synths and noise, along with more familiar trappings.

21.

March 25, 2016
Critic Score
83
12 reviews

Midwest Farmer's Daughter is the first full-on country release on Third Man, the Nashville based label run by suspect carpetbagger Jack White, and dude was smart to wait ‘til he had an act this undeniable.

20.

September 9, 2016
Critic Score
90
35 reviews

Although Cave still writes safely from the perspective of characters on Skeleton Tree's eight songs, the grief on each track is undeniably and uniquely his own.

19.

September 27, 2016
Critic Score
84
34 reviews

While Atrocity Exhibition is stuffed like a piñata with colorful addictions ... its also teeming with the isolation, paranoia and regrets you could expect from a rap album named after a Joy Division song. 

18.

February 26, 2016
Critic Score
69
31 reviews

The album's rambling, vaguely emo title is a giveaway: Despite opening big, bright and airtight, I Like It When You Sleep ... gets boring-melty during dream-gaze reveries like "Please Be Naked" and "Lostmyhead."

17.

April 8, 2016
Critic Score
82
33 reviews

Human Performance is the first album you could describe as your typical Parquet Courts record – it gathers their best tricks in one place, along with new ones you wouldn't see coming.

16.

November 18, 2016
Critic Score
83
11 reviews

The Nashville star's most ambitious LP, a range-y two-disc set ditching country's mainstream playbook for the sort of Great Album rock acts used to spit out regularly back in the day.

15.

September 23, 2016
Critic Score
75
10 reviews

14.

October 7, 2016
Critic Score
66
32 reviews

Revolution Radio isn't just hot nostalgia. It reflects decades of accrued emotional and musical wisdom.

13.

June 3, 2016
Critic Score
80
3 reviews

12.

June 3, 2016
Critic Score
81
22 reviews
It's as inviting, immaculately produced, jokey and unsettled a record as any he has ever made.

11.

September 30, 2016
Critic Score
88
29 reviews
In a volatile world increasingly defined by the brash and the crude, Solange's packaging of brutal honesty in tender, harmony-rich murmurs is both beautiful and radical.

10.

August 26, 2016
Critic Score
77
11 reviews

As usual it's Thug's own sound that predominates: the heroic howls, rasps, mumbles and wheezes of a man who is as captivating a vocalist as any in pop.

9.

October 21, 2016
Critic Score
88
29 reviews

Following a string of records that have each felt like a swan song, You Want It Darker may be Cohen's most haunting LP.

8.

February 14, 2016
Critic Score
77
35 reviews

It's a labored-over opus that wishes it were a mixtape, trying hard to curate the vibe of a sprawling mess, and that's because it's made by an artist who feels like a mess and doesn't care to hide it.

6.

May 8, 2016
Critic Score
87
46 reviews

If Radiohead have made the dehumanizing effects of technology their great theme, A Moon Shaped Pool is the first record in which, musically, they kick their way out of the machine, or at least make their cyborg soul more vestigial.

5.

August 20, 2016
Critic Score
86
40 reviews
The album is by turns oblique, smolderingly direct, forlorn, funny, dissonant and gorgeous: a vertiginous marvel of digital-age psychedelic pop.

4.

May 20, 2016
Critic Score
82
28 reviews
Like Courtney Barnett, he comes off as a rock-loving child of alt-rock's skepticism working backwards towards something to believe in.

3.

May 13, 2016
Critic Score
86
26 reviews

Reaching back to the very beginning of black music in America, Chance recontextualizes one of the most enduring African-American art forms for 2016's most urgent one.

2.

January 8, 2016
Critic Score
86
41 reviews

This album represents Bowie's most fulfilling spin away from glam-legend pop charm since 1977's Low. Blackstar is that strange, and that good.

1.

April 23, 2016
Critic Score
90
37 reviews

Lemonade is an entire album of emotional discord and marital meltdown, from the world's most famous celebrity; it's also a major personal statement from the most respected and creative artist in the pop game.

Original Source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/50-best-albums-of-2016-w451265
Comments
Sign in to comment
No one has said anything yet.
Connect with AOTY
Like Us
Follow Us

Best Songs of 2020 Playlist
Forums