Best Music of 2016

Dec 14, 2016

NPR music critic Bob Boilen says 2016 was a year of surprises—good and bad. It started in January with the unexpected release of a new David Bowie album. Two days later, Bowie was dead. That loss, and many others, was bookended by a terrific new record by Leonard Cohen, who then also passed away. Both are in Boilen’s list of the top 10 albums of 2016, which includes debutants, hidden gems, and another elder statesman. Boilen joins us Wednesday to talk about his picks for the best music of the year.

Bob Boilen is the creator and host of NPR's All Songs Considered and Tiny Desk Concerts. His book Your Song Changed My Life [Amazon|Independent booksellers] was released earlier this year. For a full list of his best albums of the year, visit NPR.org.

Bob's favorite songs of the year

Car Seat Headrest – “Vincent” from the album ‘Teens of Denial’

David Bowie – “Blackstar” from the album ‘Blackstar’

Angelica Garcia – “Orange Flower” from the album ‘Medicine for Birds’

Adam Torres – “Juniper Arms” from the album ‘Pearls to Swine’

Car Seat Headrest – “The Ballad of the Costa Concordia” from the album ‘Teens Of Denial’

Big Thief—“Masterpiece” from the album ‘Masterpiece’

Lucy Dacus—“I Don't Wanna Be Funny Anymore” from the album ‘No Burden’

Mitski—“Your Best American Girl” from the album ‘Puberty 2’

Conor Oberst—“Tachycardia” from the album ‘Ruminations’

Kevin Morby—“Singing Saw” from the album ‘Singing Saw’

Bombino—“Timtar (Memories)” from the album ‘Azel’

Charles Bradley—“Changes” from the album ‘Changes’

Aurora—“Conqueror” from the album ‘All My Demons Greeting Me As a Friend’

Radiohead—“Burn The Witch” from the album ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’

Iggy Pop—“Gardenia (album version)” from the album ‘Gardenia’

Frank Ocean—“Be Yourself” from the album ‘Blonde’

River Whyless—“Baby Brother” from the album ‘We All The Light’

The Wild Reeds—“Everything Looks Better (In Hindsight)”

Beneath Fields—“Heron Oblivion” from the album ‘Heron Oblivion’

Jaye Bartell—“Tuesdays” from the album ‘Light Enough’