Top Albums of 2016

Why *wouldn’t* I swear this was the last Noise Narcs list I’ll ever put together? I did it in 2014. I did it again in 2015. Even Trump’s year can’t stop me from making promises I likely won’t keep. Sad. So welcome to the 3rd annual last Noise Narcs list of all time, and our eighth list of our favorite albums.

Below find a quick run-through of our voter awards, and then our consensus top 20. But as always, if you’re a nerd, you can check out our ranking methodology. And if your nerd handicap comes in a geographic flavor, you can talk shit on each other cities here. Individual voter pages are here, and the entire top to bottom list is here. You could also check out last year’s list or those from 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, or 2009.

Most Influential/Biggest Sheep Award

There’s only one reason to put in all the hard webmonkeying work that it takes to make these lists: choosing the voters and devising the scoring system so the top 10 as closely as possible resembles yours. You don’t do it so that your wife can swoop in with her love for Angel Olsen and Chance and the like and make the list her own. Goddamn it. Your 2016 Tastemaker is Kandace G!

Iconoclast Award

Without a doubt, this voter is the biggest lover of Flo Rida amongst the Noise Narcs family. No Flo Rida on this year’s list, but his was, well, iconoclastic. And when putting a certain Trump supporter as his #1 album, we can’t argue with his bold-faced summary: “I was bad at music this year.” Matt K, everybody!

Most Albums Listened To/Cushiest Desk Job Award

I demand a double recount! For the second time in Noise Narcs’ history, Cydney Alexis joined David Goldfarb by listening to all 59 albums. Both of you should get lives.

Biggest Philly Homer of the Year

Number of Philly albums ranked by all other voters: 0. Number of Philly albums ranked by David Goldfarb: 2. Blame it on the harp.

20Noname: telefone

Total Votes: 2; Highest Ranking: #1
19Parquet Courts: Human Performance

Total Votes: 1; Highest Ranking: #3
18Preoccupations: Preoccupations

Total Votes: 3; Highest Ranking: #8
16Bon Iver: 22, A Million

Total Votes: 3; Highest Ranking: #4
15Mitski: Puberty 2

Total Votes: 4; Highest Ranking: #6
14Margaret Glaspy: Emotions and Math

Total Votes: 2; Highest Ranking: #1
13Leonard Cohen: You Want It Darker

Total Votes: 4; Highest Ranking: #1
12Nicolas Jaar: Sirens

Total Votes: 4; Highest Ranking: #1
11Kaytranada: 0.999

Total Votes: 4; Highest Ranking: #1
10Anderson .Paak: MALIBU

Total Votes: 5; Highest Ranking: #2

Choice comment: I *swear* this album came out in 2015. [ED: It didn’t.]ChiefSteef

09ANOHNI: HOPELESSNESS

Total Votes: 5; Highest Ranking: #1

Choice comment: I don’t have the urge to listen to this album a lot, but when I do, it tugs at my heartstrings.Cydney Alexis

08Beyonce: Lemonade

Total Votes: 6; Highest Ranking: #2

Protest comment from the editor:For Christ’s sake, didn’t anybody listen to “Daddy Lessons”? Treacle! Treacle, I say!

07Angel Olsen: My Woman

Total Votes: 7; Highest Ranking: #5

Choice comment: I know this makes me a bad fan, but why won’t Angel Olsen just make a rock and roll record? [ED: I endorse this comment times a million.]Phil M

06Car Seat Headrest: Teens Of Denial

Total Votes: 5; Highest Ranking: #2

Choice comment: If the rest of the album was as good as “Fill in the Blank,” this would be a top 3 album if not more.David Goldfarb

05Solange: A Seat at the Table

Total Votes: 6; Highest Ranking: #2

Choice comment: A Seat at the Table is bold and political, and it takes chances that a less well-connected artist might not have the clout to risk.Chris T

04Chance the Rapper: Coloring Book

Total Votes: 7; Highest Ranking: #1

Choice comment: Beautifully balances joy and pain. This is what a fully realized gospel rap album sounds like.Cameron LP

03David Bowie: Blackstar

Total Votes: 7; Highest Ranking: #1

Choice comments: Blackstar shouldn’t have been the last, but it is. Nevertheless, it bears the extra scrutiny well, resembling at times the greatness of earlier periods at the same time moving forward.Chris T

02Radiohead: A Moon Shaped Pool

Total Votes: 6; Highest Ranking: #1

Choice comment: Even a fanboy has to consider the possibility that the aging slugger of your youth’s bat speed might be slowing and they might be starting to flail at offspeed stuff … but sometimes you just have to give your heart over to the slugger band of your youth who comes out with an album a few days before you go on paternity leave, whispering to your daughter about how the old slugger has a few tricks left for her to see.David Goldfarb

01A Tribe Called Quest: We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service

Total Votes: 11; Highest Ranking: #1

Choice comments: Few can have expected this to turn out so great, but it is–no nostalgia needed.Chris T

That “We the People” was released election week made it’s direct message even more punchy, but its grinding beat, afro-funk synths, Q-Tip chorus, and furious swan song verse from the late Phife Dawg made it an instant classic for any time.David Goldfarb

A Tribe Called Quest is Maeve’s favorite band.Phil “Fantastic Father” M