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Robin Hilton's Top 10 Albums Of 2016

Wilco's <em>Schmilco </em>was among Robin Hilton's picks for the best albums of 2016.
Courtesy of the artist
Wilco's Schmilco was among Robin Hilton's picks for the best albums of 2016.

A lot of the releases I loved most in 2016 felt like they could only have come out this year. They were inward-looking, personal albums informed by where the artists find themselves at this specific moment in time. Some, like Beyoncé's Lemonade or Solange's A Seat At The Table, were reflective but spoke to bigger discussions and events that emerged and unfolded as the year lurched on. Others, like Radiohead's A Moon Shaped Pool or Wilco's Schmilco, were middle-aged meditations on misspent youth or loss. In short, these were the right albums at the right time for each of these artists.

I had a hard time keeping my list to 10 and should mention some of the ones that could have just as easily appeared on it: Weezer's self-titled white album was one of the year's most infectious pop records and in heavy rotation on my iPod in 2016; Margaret Glaspy and Big Thief put out a couple of the year's best debuts, while LVL UP, Hannah Georgas and bed. were among my favorite discoveries.

You can find a lot more highlights from the past year in NPR Music's Best 50 Albums and Top 100 Songs lists.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit

Robin Hilton is a producer and co-host of the popular NPR Music show All Songs Considered.
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