Deepak’s Top Albums of 2016

2016 was a shit show, and that’s a fact. It was redeemed, however, by its output of quality music. Here’s a list of 25 of my favorite albums we were #blessed with this year.


Sremmlife 2

Rae Sremmurd

See me bumping this at your girl’s pregame getting hype and poppin bottles while showing off my best mannequin impression. This album is the internet, but only the good parts. Favorite Song:  Start a Party




You’ll Pay For This

Bear Hands

This album has some of the catchiest tracks of 2016. Great stuff for impressing that edgy chick you matched with on Tinder. Favorite Song: Winner’s Circle





Jeff Rosenstock

In the past, Jeff Rosenstock has been known to whine (musically, of course) more about his own life than about the tribulations of society. However, on this album, he blends the two concepts beautifully and ties the struggles of others (personal and societal) to himself, all in the vehicle of a catchy, energetic album. Favorite Song: Staring out the Window at Your Old Apartment


The Beautiful Game


Vulfpeck flies under the radar in some circles but they’re truly nothing to sneeze at. Music nerds will rave about their technical prowess and true mastery of style but lets be honest. This is music to groove to.You listen to this with your friends. You imbibe some spirits at the party, jack the aux cable, and you put on Dean Town. The girl you like notices your fantastic music taste. You guys chat about favorite sushi joints. You have a beautiful marriage with four brilliant children. You show your kids this band as soon as they grow ears and they learn to be just as cool as you. Cool music, Cool people. Vulf. Forever. Favorite Song: Dean Town


Nonagon Infinity

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

You know that level in Super Mario Bros 64 where you are going up the stairs to Bowsers Castle and the music arpeggiates upwards but the stairs never end? This album is kind of like that. Its a 200 mph joyride through the depths of hell that is quite literally, infinite. Once you think you’re at the end, the last track transitions right back into the first. Super cool concept executed quite well. Favorite Song: Wait, this album has separate tracks???



Denzel Curry

Is it just me, or was there just a spike in popularity for shitty rappers this year? I’m not going to name names, but the majority of the 2016 XXL Freshman class is garbage. Denzel, however, is not. The Florida rapper finds a way to bring the heat to every track on this project lyrically and emotionally. We’re all a little awky, thats the truth, which makes his abrasive humility that much more relatable. Denzel is doing something fuh-resh and I really dig it. Can’t wait to see what he has in store down the road. Favorite Song: Knotty Head (Really wish that beat at the end was its own song)



Young Thug

Young Thug may get brushed off by your friends as some trash trap rapper, but they probably haven’t had a chance to give him a real listen. He is one of the more energizing rappers in the game right now with his creative vocal inflections and off base personality. Though I feel like he is peaking with this album, I really hope to see more work of this caliber from him.  Favorite Song: Kanye West (ft. Quavo)


Do What Thou Wilt


I think it was Top Dawg who said “Only Sign Geniuses”. This TDE 2016 capstone is evidence of this. Every TDE artist except Sza dropped a FIRE album this year. This was just the grand finale. I am honestly so impressed with this label I cant even joke about it. Favorite Song:  Dont Ruin Us God Said (D.R.U.G.S)





Badbadnotgood is making Jazz cool again. This breakout album put them on the map for good. If you have a chance to see them live, take it.  Favorite Song: Time Moves Slowly (ft. Sam Herring)





If you can listen to this album without dancing, just hit that red “X” at the top of your screen. You don’t deserve music. Favorite Song: Got It Good




Blank Face LP

Schoolboy Q

When I listened to this album after it dropped on a Friday morning, I was literally getting turnt as I was getting ready for work. Jumping around the crib while brushing my teeth. Its lit.   Favorite Song: John Muir




Teens of Denial

Car Seat Headrest

Will Toledo endured a few road bumps along the way of trying to get this album released, but the final product still exceeded expectations. Toledo’s songwriting approach generally results in super long, intensely composed ballads with punchy one liners and fun details. When this album came out, I was still new to his music, but was instantly captivated and had to go listen to all of his old projects (there’s a lot which is impressive for his age). I recommend you do the same. Favorite Song: (Joe Gets Kicked Out Of School For Doing) Drugs with Friends (But Says this isn’t a problem)


We Got it From Here…Thank You For Your Service

A Tribe Called Quest

RIP PHIFE. This album truly exceeded expectations. And for that, I am thankful. Thank you 4 existing, Tribe. We all love you, and that’s a fact. Favorite Song: Conrad Tokyo


Holy Ghost

Modern Baseball

The story leading up to this album involved some demon slayin by Brendan Lukens, one of the band’s frontmen. The final result is some sweet suburban blues (shoutout Fantano) that may require some patience from the listener. Emo sometimes gets flak for being whiney or underdeveloped, but if you let this album take you on its journey, you will truly experience what it is meant to accomplish. And it may be tough, but it is their best work yet. In my humble opinion, its some of the most genuine work to come out of this genre, with some catchy songwriting to boot. Favorite Song: Apple Cider, I Don’t Mind




I would put this album of the top of my “most underrated of 2016” list if I had one. These guys came back from a 16 year hiatus and put something out that’s as textured, interesting and catchy as their breakout debut. Avalanches do a great job of merging hip hop and plunderphonics, and this project is no exception. Whether its Danny Brown, Biz Markie, Toro Y Moi, or just themselves on the track, each one is a little more fun than the next. PS – definitely my favorite release from this year to listen to on vinyl.  This album does a great job of merging the hip hop world with some great electronic flavors, which makes for a stellar vinyl playthrough.  Favorite Song: Wozard of Iz


The Sun’s Tirade

Isaiah Rashad

Many critics dismissed this album, but in my opinion it is his best work yet. I don’t know what they were expecting from him. I think they need to just cruise around, sparky spark, throw this on and try again. It does everything it should, and more. Cheers to Isaiah, cheers to TDE, another mantlepiece to add to their beast of a 2016. Favorite Song: Tity and Dolla


A Seat at the Table


TRIGGER WARNING: Solange is cooler and more talented than her sister. There, I said it. Favorite Song: Junie



Yes Lawd!


You aint live long enough, to have a cut this fine. Now if you don’t mind. If I call you a bitch, its cuz you haven’t listened to this album. And as long as you bump it in the whip tonight, we wont have no prob-uh-lums Favorite Song: What More Can I Say



Atrocity Exhibition

Danny Brown

So many artists over the course of their career start weird and then normalize to appeal to a wider fanbase. Not DB. He stays weird and gets weirder. In the best possible way, too. This album was so enjoyable to me from start to finish mostly because it stayed so true. DB isn’t doing it for anyone but himself. Put some respek on that.  Favorite Song: Rolling Stone




Frank Ocean

I don’t really think there’s anything that needs to be said about this one. If you haven’t heard it, please do yourself a favor and give it a listen. Favorite Song: Self Control




Awaken, My Love!

Childish Gambino

Never been a Gambino (rapper) fan, but in discussing this project, his previous albums are pretty irrelevant. He is doing something entirely different here (which goes without saying) and manages to excel in doing so. Favorite Song: Redbone






Anderson has been on quite the tear this year. I was a huge fan of his previous project, “Venice,” but for some reason, it didn’t really get noticed as much as I’d expect. 2016, however, has been quite the breakout year for him. He released 2 albums, performed at almost every meaningful summer festival, went on tour, and was totally recognized for the fusion and flavor he brings to the table. Being a drummer myself, I was kind of jealous when I saw what he was doing with his live performances. His job is a pipe dream of mine, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the way his career is progressing. Cheers, Anderson. Favorite Song: The Bird


Untitled. Unmastered.

Kendrick Lamar

Kendricks B sides are better than yo A sides. Get Rekt. This guy is the best rapper who has ever lived, past or present. Tell me its too early to say that, I dare you. Favorite Song: Untitled 06





The Dream Is Over


Made me laugh, made me cry, had me headbangin, had me swayin slow. The energy on this album is unparalleled. Saw them live in Chicago this summer and I was only smitten further. These guys are genuine. These guys are talented. These guys rock. I couldn’t recommend this album, or this band enough. 9.5/10 Favorite Song: Sleep in the Heat





This album is a hot cup of cocoa by the fireplace. However, its just as tragic as it is smooth and delightful. Equal parts nostalgia and sadness. So like a hot cup of cocoa by the fireplace, but you have cancer. And then you have Noname’s voice and delivery tying it all together with a pretty bow. Closed eyes peaceful smile emoji is all I have to say about this one. I don’t think there is another soul in the world who could make an album that even comes close to the quality, originality and pure poetry of this project. I truly enjoyed this album more than any other that I heard this year, and for that reason, it occupies my number one spot. Favorite Song: Casket Pretty

Honorable Mentions

Whitney – Light Upon The Lake

Lance Skiiwalker – Introverted Intuition

Conor Oberst – Ruminations

Joey Purp – iiiDrops

Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool


Thanks for reading! Leave your comments below, or on Facebook. What are your favorite albums from this year?