My Favorite Albums of 2016

by Matthew Thompson

Music is a big part of my life whether it is helping me get through the work day, fueling my gym sessions or even playing in the background as I write. But I don’t really break it down like I do some of my other hobbies. I guess it is just about whether I like the sound and how it makes me feel when I listen to it. That doesn’t mean I can’t pick some favorite albums from 2016. Here they are!

Favorite Album: Phantogram – Three


I have always enjoyed Phantogram, but I guess not to the extent that I keep up with every new track they release. So when Three dropped, it was a mostly new experience for me and I just could not stop listening to it. The whole album is a great listen, but the first five tracks in particular are pretty much a perfect stretch to me.

Highlights (Click for Youtube Links!): “Same Old Blues” | “Barking Dog”

Runner-up: Tegan and Sara – Love You To Death


My taste in music has changed over the years. In high school, I preferred punk music. Then I moved to more of an indie rock style in college. And now I prefer more of an electropop sound. By some stroke of luck, Tegan and Sara’s music has evolved in a way where I continued to like all their music along the way. If Love You to Death was released a decade ago, I’m not sure I’d enjoy it as much. But now, I totally dug it. It isn’t my favorite of theirs by any means, but it is fun listen.

Highlights: “That Girl” | “BWU”

Best New Discovery: Made in Heights – Without My Enemy What Would I Do


In truth, the best album I listened to for the first time in 2016 wasn’t a new release. It was this Made in Heights’ release from last year. Spotify has this great feature where each week they make a playlist of music they think you would like based on your previous listening habits. Most weeks I don’t get through it all, but I’m thankful I caught the track they threw in from this album because they have become one of my favorite bands. I love both Made in Heights albums, but I’d give Without My Enemy What Would I Do the nod as my favorite.

Highlights: “Foregiveness”“Ghosts”“Death”

These were far from the only albums and songs I enjoyed in 2016, so I have created a playlist on Spotify with some of my favorites and have posted a link to it below in case anyone else here uses the service and wants to check it out. It is mostly music from this year, but I did include a a couple older tracks that felt like a part of my year for one reason or another (like seeing the band live or being featured prominently in a show I watched). I hope to be back with another post about my favorite concerts I attended in 2016 complete with pictures I took, so look out for that among my normal assortment of year-end TV and gaming posts over the course of the next month. Feel free to let me know your favorite albums from 2016 in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

My 2016 Spotify Mix


4 comments on “My Favorite Albums of 2016

  1. Fire from the Gods – Narrative is definitely my favorite album released this year. It’s an emotionally brutal metal album with deep vocals rooted in hip hop, but not in the bad 90s/2000s rap-metal sense.

    Zao’s new album just released 2 weeks ago and it’s pretty amazing as well. Also really enjoyed the new Korn.

  2. Nice! I liked Phantogram in college but it’s been a few years since I listened, I’m glad I could be reminded of them here! This is one of those years where I didn’t discover a lot of new music or keep up with new releases from favorite bands, for some reason. I at least made it to a few concerts though!

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