Best of 2016: Top 10 Albums of 2016

December 19, 2016

There is no science to this. There is no data to sort through. These are the albums that we on The End team loved in 2016 and think rose above the rest by the end of the year. From Bowie to Glass Animals and A Tribe Called Quest, this list has something for everyone. 

Here are our favorite records from this insane, tumultuous, great, terrible year:

Best Music From Seattle in 2016 | 2016 Full Playlist | Best Restaurants in 2016 

Teens of Denial
Car Seat Headrest

It's a bit surprising that Teens of Denial was the near-unanimous choice among The End team as the best album we heard in 2016 given the stiff competition. It isn't often you go up against Bowie and walk away the victor, but the Seattle-based Will Toledo and his band couldn't be stopped with their Matador Records release.

How To Be A Human Being
Glass Animals

Glass Animals released Zaba and everyone was like, "Oh crap, this is good, what else can these guys do?" Then How To Be A Human Being came out and the world exploded. OK, maybe that's not entirely true, but the album is one of my personal favorites from the year and the band reached a whole new level in their production with the new album. None of the tracks have reached "Gooey" levels yet (69 million streams on Spotify) but it's only a matter of time before the entire world hears about "Season 2 Episode 3."

We Got It From Here, Thank You For Your Service
A Tribe Called Quest

A group considered a pioneer in hip hop lost one of its founding members when Phife Dawg passed away from complications with diabetes in March. We Got It From Here, Thank You For Your Service, the band's sixth album, wasn't finished at the time of Phife's death, but the band soldiered on to finish and release the album to the world in November. Not only is the new record incredibly meaningful, it is Tribe firing on all cylinders as only a hip-hop group of their caliber can. 


Kaleo released their two singles from the album in 2015, but A/B catapulted the band into a new realm in 2016. They completed a full tour of the U.S. and "Way Down We Go" climbed to the top of the Alternative charts at one point. 2017 will be a telling year for the Icelandic outfit to see if they can build on the base they built this year.


The third (go figure) album from Phantogram dropped this year and it was a doozie with a little something for everyone. They had their belters that slap you in the face along with some more laid-back tunes that have a hint of going a bit more mainstream. All around, Three felt like a complete addition to the band's growing discography.

A Moon Shaped Pool

The new album from Radiohead left arrived and didn't dissapoint even the biggest fans of Radiohead. The band hasn't missed a step with its new release as the music has taken on a slight evolution in every new record since 1985, a tough feat considering A Moon Shaped Pool is the 9th album from the group.

David Bowie

Blackstar was released January 8, preceding David Bowie's death by just two days. The album stands alone as another critically acclaimed release from the legend, but the fact the album is considered by Bowie himself as his "parting gift" gives the album a deeper, emotional meaning to many of his fans, as well as the greater musical landscape.

Bishop Briggs
Bishop Briggs

While Bishop Briggs didn't release an album in 2016 (unless you count her self-titled Record Store Day exclusive), she released enough songs to have at least an EP. The collection of music has our lady Bishop vying for our breakout artist of year. We are anxiously awaiting her first LP.

Everything You've Come to Expect
The Last Shadow Puppets

Alex Turner released another new album with his non-Arctic Monkeys band The Last Shadow Puppets, their second. Again, new music from Turner in a non-Arctic Monkeys vehicle while the band is on hiatus doesn't mean the death of the band. In fact, get ready to hear new Arctic Monkeys in 2017 to follow up their last release AM. 2017 could be big.

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