AllMusic 2016 Year In Review

Favorite Rock Albums -

 We close out our year-end lists with the best rock albums of 2016, including Dinosaur Jr.'s big, fuzzy new record, David Bowie's swansong, the return of the Monkees, Iggy Pop's Josh Homme-helmed latest, and Radiohead's A Moon Shaped Pool.
Shape Shift with Me

Against Me!

Shape Shift with Me

Shape Shift with Me plays like the lighter, fleeter, hookier cousin to Transgender Dysphoria Blues.

Burn Something Beautiful

Alejandro Escovedo

Burn Something Beautiful

Celebrated Texas singer/songwriter teams up with R.E.M. and Young Fresh Fellows members to cut a strong, adventurous album.

Alice Bag

Alice Bag

Alice Bag

First solo LP from the L.A. punk veteran is a smart, eclectic, and energetic set full of outspoken songs and solid performances.

Hyper Vessels

Audacity

Hyper Vessels

The band's fourth album is rough, fun, and loud power poppy punk co-produced by Ty Segall.

Arms

Bell X1

Arms

The Irish indie rockers' seventh LP sweetens the tone with a focus on grooves, texture, and calm reassurance.

Fever Dream

Ben Watt

Fever Dream

The songwriter investigates the stages, failures, and renewals of love on his third solo outing.

Damaged Good

Bettie Serveert

Damaged Good

The band keep chugging along, releasing yet another album's worth of top-notch indie rock.

Command Your Weather

Big Business

Command Your Weather

The Seattle-based duo may be broadcasting from metal's outer limits, but these post-rock anthems dressed up in stoner metal might are engaging and sonically demanding.

Like an Arrow

Blackberry Smoke

Like an Arrow

Blackberry Smoke deliver another satisfying Southern Rock album.

Patch the Sky

Bob Mould

Patch the Sky

Bob Mould stares into the face of darkness and finds sustenance in his power trio on the galvanizing Patch the Sky.

Up in the Air

Brett Harris

Up in the Air

The power pop guitarist/singer proves himself a worthy heir to the dB's and Big Star.

Blackstar

David Bowie

Blackstar

Bowie continues his 21st century comeback with this restless, explorative collection of jazzy art-pop.

Lighthouse

David Crosby

Lighthouse

The singer/songwriter teams with Snarky Puppy's Michael League to deliver an uncharacteristically loose collection of new songs.

We're All Gonna Die

Dawes

We're All Gonna Die

A literate, lightly experimental fifth album from the Los Angeles outfit finds them pushing their rootsy rock in imaginative directions.

Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not

Dinosaur Jr.

Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not

A vital, oversaturated album that ranks among Dinosaur Jr.'s very best.

ROCKISDEAD

DOROTHY

ROCKISDEAD

Self-styled badass rock & roll revival -- equal parts Sunset Strip Sleaze and Black Keys -- from the L.A.-based quartet.

New View

Eleanor Friedberger

New View

The singer/songwriter delivers more affably rambling riffs on classic rock and folk traditions.

Post Pop Depression

Iggy Pop

Post Pop Depression

The proto-punk icon teams up with Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age for a set of bold, intelligent rock & roll.

Kicked Out of Eden

Javier Escovedo

Kicked Out of Eden

Former Zeros and True Believers guitarist proves rock & roll is alive and snarling on his second solo effort.

2

Mudcrutch

2

On their second album, Mudcrutch tie all the loose ends left hanging from their 2008 album.

Skeleton Tree

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

Skeleton Tree

Largely written and recorded in the wake of the death of the artist's son, this is a powerful work concerning mourning and grief.

Death of a Bachelor

Panic! At the Disco

Death of a Bachelor

Singer Brendon Urie takes the helm on the group's debonair, debauched, and brilliantly executed fifth studio album.

Stranger to Stranger

Paul Simon

Stranger to Stranger

Paul Simon faces mortality and pushes forward into the future on this adventurous album.

A Cure for Loneliness

Peter Wolf

A Cure for Loneliness

On his tenth solo album, the iconic singer and songwriter shows no signs of slowing down or changing his ways.

The Hope Six Demolition Project

PJ Harvey

The Hope Six Demolition Project

Collecting raw dispatches inspired by Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Washington, D.C., the artist's ninth album approaches musical photojournalism.

Alone

Pretenders

Alone

Chrissie Hynde revives the Pretenders name for this soulful, swaggering collaboration with Black Key Dan Auerbach.

Never Enough

Public Access T.V.

Never Enough

The N.Y.C. quartet's full-length debut offers infectious power pop loaded with grit, sass, and swagger.

A Moon Shaped Pool

Radiohead

A Moon Shaped Pool

A silvery, shimmering collection of subtly textured sad songs that somehow feels comforting.

Rocket Science

Rick Springfield

Rocket Science

The actor/musician's 18th album is an energetic set, including songs written with members of Rascal Flatts and the Hold Steady.

Get Gone

Seratones

Get Gone

Shreveport, Louisiana band crossbreeds garage rock and vintage soul and comes up with a dazzling debut album.

57th & 9th

Sting

57th & 9th

For the first time in 13 years, Sting returns to pop and rock.

Night Thoughts

Suede

Night Thoughts

A grand, meditative, and moving record that finds Suede embracing their middle age without losing any sense of their glamorous identity.

I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It

The 1975

I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It

The British band's sophomore album finds them moving in a sophisticated, '80s adult contempo and R&B-influenced direction.

Anyway You Love, We Know How You Feel

The Chris Robinson Brotherhood / Chris Robinson

Anyway You Love, We Know How You Feel

The Chris Robinson Brotherhood expand their horizons by focusing on funk and maintaining a light, hazy touch.

Distance Inbetween

The Coral

Distance Inbetween

After a long break, the band returns with a live-recorded, '70s rock-influenced album that's one of its best.

The Deaner Album

The Dean Ween Group / Dean Ween

The Deaner Album

On his solo debut, Mickey Melchiondo offers up plenty of guitar and a hint of vintage Ween madness.

Blood//Sugar//Secs//Traffic

The Gotobeds

Blood//Sugar//Secs//Traffic

Pittsburgh band's second album is smart, snarky, gritty punk rock that delivers the goods from front to back.

Wild Stab

The I Don't Cares

Wild Stab

A ragged, rocking good time from Paul Westerberg and Juliana Hatfield.

Good Times!

The Monkees

Good Times!

An exceptional reunion album that's a love letter to everything that made the Monkees great.

Who You Selling For

The Pretty Reckless

Who You Selling For

The neo-grunge group grows up and moves into classic rock territory on this fine third album.

Kamikaze

The So So Glos

Kamikaze

Exploding with energetic punk anthems and some new tricks up their sleeves, the Brooklyn quartet matures and thrills on their polished third LP.

Day of the Dead

Various Artists

Day of the Dead

Sprawling, spacy five-and-a-half-hour tribute to the Grateful Dead directed by Aaron and Bryce Dessner of the National.

Schmilco

Wilco

Schmilco

Album number 12 from the indie rock veterans is a mostly acoustic set they describe as "joyously negative."

Forever Sounds

Wussy

Forever Sounds

The stellar Cincinnati band transmits from space on an album full of beautifully bent guitar sounds and ghostly filtered vocals.