Best Albums of 2016

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

As I reflect on all the “Best of 2016” lists for the year in music, we should all remember that “Best of” is really in the ears of the listener. If something sells great but is panned by critics, does that make it better or worse than something that doesn’t sell but gets rave reviews?  In the end, we can all make our own decisions about what was best.

In that vein, here are a few of my favorites from 2016 (in no particular order). And by favorites, I mean the albums that came out this year that I listened to more than just a handful of times because they spoke to me.

Kendrick LamarUntitled Unmastered

K.Dot performs “Untitled 3” live on The Colbert Report


A Tribe Called QuestWe Got It From Here… Thank you 4 your service

“We The People…” performed live on SNL

Bon Iver22, A Million

Live in Brooklyn

Watch the full concert at

David BowieBlackstar

Watch this incredible video for “Lazarus”

Donny McCaslin Quartet, who collaborated with Bowie on Blackstar, will perform at Purdue April 6.

Donny McCaslin Quartet

RadioheadA Moon Shaped Pool

Video for “Daydreaming”

Sturgill SimpsonA Sailor’s Guide To Earth

Check out this incredible cover of Nirvana’s “In Bloom” from the album.


Check out this cool Red Bull Music Academy behind the scenes of the album’s recording sessions.

Childish GambinoAwaken, My Love

“Redbone” live on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon:

Run The JewelsRTJ3

“Legend Has It” right here.  No doubt that Killer Mike and El-P are at the top of their game.

Chance The RapperColoring Book

“No Problem” with Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz live on Ellen:

VulfpeckThe Beautiful Game

For baseball fans everywhere, here’s “1 for 1, DiMaggio.”


One of the dopest NPR Music Tiny Desk Concerts ever:

Listen to good music and be good to each other in 2017, people.

Mike Armintrout, SCC advisor



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