Best of 2016: Pitchfork, Billboard, Fact, Blare, Vinyl Factory, Line of Best Fit, Tiny Mix Tapes, Gothamist, Salon, The Atlantic

by VVN Music

Ten new surveys have come out in the last two days bringing the total we've looked at to 44.

What this many surveys point out is how the Grammys (as usual) may have overlooked some of the best albums of the year. This year's nominees are Adele, Beyonce, Justin Bieber, Drake and Sturgill Simpson. As the qualification year runs from October through September, there are albums like Adele's that were recognized on last year's "Best of" lists yet still qualify for the Grammys while others that are on the lists for 2016 like A Tribe Called Quest were released after September 30 so they won't be eligible for Grammy consideration until next year.

Still, when you look at the critics picks as a whole, you realize that albums that are considered some of the best of the year didn't make the Grammys cut. On the veteran side, there is a real case to be made for both David Bowie and Radiohead. For modern artists, albums by Solange, Frank Ocean and Kanye West are near or at the top of almost all lists yet were skipped over for the awards.

The following are the top five for each survey plus all other mentions of veteran artists.

Pitchfork's Top 50 Albums of 2016
  • 01. A Seat at the Table - Solange
  • 02. Blonde - Frank Ocean
  • 03. Lemonade - Beyonce
  • 04. Blackstar - David Bowie
  • 05. The Life of Pablo - Kanye West
  • 07. We Got It From Here...Thank You 4 Your Service - A Tribe Called Quest
  • 10. A Moon Shaped Pool - Radiohead
  • 15. Skeleton Key - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
  • 17. You Want It Darker - Leonard Cohen
  • 32. A Mulher do Fim do Mundo (The Woman at the End of the World) - Elza Soares
  • 33. blackSUMMERS'night - Maxwell
  • 40. A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke - Vijay Iyer / Wadada Leo Smith
  • 01. Lemonade - Beyonce
  • 02. The Life of Pablo - Kanye West
  • 03. Coloring Book - Chance the Rapper
  • 04. Blackstar - David Bowie
  • 05. Blonde - Frank Ocean
  • 06. We Got It From Here...Thank You 4 Your Service - A Tribe Called Quest
  • 12. A Moon Shaped Pool - Radiohead
  • 18. You Want It Darker - Leonard Cohen
  • 25. Stranger to Stranger - Paul Simon
  • 35. Hardwired...To Self Destruct - Metallica
  • 39. American Band - Drive-By Truckers
  • 01. Blood Bitch - Jenny Hval
  • 02. Bird Sound Power - Equiknoxx
  • 03. Atrocity Exhibition - Danny Brown
  • 04. Persona - Lorenzo Senni
  • 05. Puberty 2 - Mitski
  • 08. We Got It From Here...Thank You 4 Your Service - A Tribe Called Quest
  • 09. In Drum Play - Pangaea
  • 21. Skeleton Tree - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
  • 23. Blackstar - David Bowie
  • 41. Sunergy - Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Suzanne Ciani
  • 01. Blonde - Frank Ocean
  • 02. My Woman - Angel Olsen
  • 03. The Life of Pablo - Kanye West
  • 04. Coloring Book - Chance the Rapper
  • 05. Light We Made - Balance and Composure
  • 09. A Moon Shaped Pool - Radiohead
  • 11. We Got It From Here...Thank You 4 Your Service - A Tribe Called Quest
  • 36. Gore - Deftones
  • 01. A Seat at the Table - Solange
  • 02. Skeleton Tree - Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
  • 03. Keira - Susso
  • 04. Oh No - Jessy Lanza
  • 05. $uccessor - Dedekind Cut
  • 06. We Got It From Here...Thank You 4 Your Service - A Tribe Called Quest
  • 17. Blackstar - David Bowie
  • 26. A Moon Shaped Pool - Radiohead
  • 33. Sunergy - Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Suzanne Ciani
  • 48. Transport - Juan Atkins & Moritz Von Oswald Present Borderland
  • 50. You Want It Darker - Leonard Cohen
  • 01. Blood Bitch - Jenny Hval
  • 02. Atrocity Exhibition - Danny Brown
  • 03. Varmints - Anna Meredith
  • 04. Puberty 2 - Mitski
  • 05. 22, A Million - Bon Iver
  • 10. We Got It From Here...Thank You 4 Your Service - A Tribe Called Quest
  • 14. Blackstar - David Bowie
  • 25. A Moon Shaped Pool - Radiohead
  • 32. Skeleton Tree - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
  • 45. You Want It Darker - Leonard Cohen
  • 01. BBF Hosted by DJ Escrow - Babyfather
  • 02. Live in Paris - Lolina
  • 03. The Life of Pablo - Kanye West
  • 04. Entranas - Arca
  • 05. Blonde - Frank Ocean
  • 29. Blackstar - David Bowie
  • 01. The Life of Pablo - Kanye West
  • 02. Blackstar - David Bowie
  • 03. Teens of Denial - Car Seat Headrest
  • 04. Coloring Book - Chance the Rapper
  • 05. Blonde - Frank Ocean
  • 07. A Moon Shaped Pool - Radiohead
  • 08. You Want It Darker - Leonard Cohen
  • 17. Please Be Honest - GBV / Starting Point of the Royal Cyclopean - ESP Ohio / Of Course You Are - Robert Pollard
  • 18. Schmilco - Wilco
  • 01. Coloring Book - Chance the Rapper
  • 02. Lemonade - Beyonce
  • 03. Teens of Denial - Car Seat Headrest
  • 04. Puberty 2 - Mitski
  • 05. My Woman - Angel Olsen
  • 08. We Got It From Here...Thank You 4 Your Service - A Tribe Called Quest
  • 01. Blonde - Frank Ocean
  • 02. Lemonade - Beyonce
  • 03. You Want It Darker - Leonard Cohen
  • 04. Puberty 2 - Mitski
  • 05. We Got It From Here...Thank You 4 Your Service - A Tribe Called Quest
  • 07. FLOTUS - Lambchop
  • 08. Blackstar - David Bowie

VVN Music Top Albums of 2016 by Veteran Artists (After 44 Lists)

VVN Music uses a reverse numbering system on each of the year-end lists to determine the best album by a veteran artist for the year.

To date, we have results from sixteen sources, Rough Trade, Mojo, Uncut, Rolling Stone, NME, Consequences of Sound, Paste, Time, Stereogum, Albumism, American Songwriter, Crack, Digital Trends, Red Bull, NPR, Complex, The Quietus, For the Win, Esquire, Fuse, Vulture, Noisey, Slant, Entertainment Weekly, Faster Louder, A.V. Club, Spin, DigitalSpy, Pop Matters, Cosmopolitan, Dazed, Pretty Much Amazing, Uproxx, Dummy,  Pitchfork, Billboard, Fact, Blare, Vinyl Factory, Line of Best Fit, Tiny Mix Tapes, Gothamist, Salon and The Atlantic.

The top ten with number of year-end lists on which the album appeared:
  1. Blackstar - David Bowie (39)
  2. A Moon Shaped Pool - Radiohead (35)
  3. We Got It From Here...Thank You 4 Your Service - A Tribe Called Quest (32)
  4. You Want It Darker - Leonard Cohen (24)
  5. Skeleton Tree - Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds (21)
  6. American Band - Drive-By Truckers (10)
  7. Stranger to Stranger - Paul Simon (8)
  8. FLOTUS - Lambchop (8)
  9. Post Pop Depression - Iggy Pop (8)
  10. Schmilco - Wilco (7)
  11. The Hope Demolition Project PJ Harvey (6)
  12. case/lang/veirs - Neko Case, k.d. lang, Laura Veirs (5)
  13. Barbara Barbara, We Face a Shining Future - Underworld (7)
  14. Here - Teenage Fanclub (4)
  15. The Ghost of Highway 20 - Lucinda Williams (4)
  16. The Ship - Brian Eno (3)
  17. blackSUMMERS'night - Maxwell (7)
  18. Black America Again - Common (4)
  19. Lodestar - Shirley Collins (2)
  20. Gore - Deftones (4)

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