PopMatters Picks:

The Best Music of 2016

By PopMatters Staff

29 November 2016

3 Jan 2017 // 11:50 AM

The 10 Best Dance Songs of 2016

From the '90s-flavored house of London-based Antony & Cleopatra to French electronic duo You Man, here is a collection of songs from DJs, producers, and electronic musicians that continue to push the frontiers of artistic expression.

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30 Dec 2016 // 1:43 PM

The 25 Best New Musical Artists of 2016

The best new artists of 2016 mash up genre dividers and take popular music in new and exciting directions.

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29 Dec 2016 // 3:30 AM

The 15 Best R&B/Soul Albums of 2016

2016 has been a banner year for soul music of all stripes with a number of momentous debuts and returns to form from veterans. All the while, soul music keeps pushing forward.

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28 Dec 2016 // 3:30 AM

The Best Pop Singles of 2016

Celebrating the songs this year that operated within the constraints of "radio music", truly a genre all its own, and produced excellent results.

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21 Dec 2016 // 3:30 AM

The 10 Best Shoegaze and Dream Pop Albums of 2016

Twenty years on, in 2016, shoegaze -- and its demure twin sister, dream pop -- is a continuing presence and influence on guitar music.

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20 Dec 2016 // 3:00 AM

The Best Avant-Garde and Experimental Music of 2016

Today's experimental artists tend to locate reference points in the familiar -- or even hyper-familiar in the case of 2016 masterpieces like the Avalanches' Wildflower or Bon Iver's enigmatic 22, A Million.

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Form Follows Function: ‘The Life of Pablo’ and ‘Blonde’ Challenge the Notion of an Album

Kanye West and Frank Ocean have created imperfect perfect albums which invert our notions of flaws and challenge our perception of the album as an art form.

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19 Dec 2016 // 3:30 AM

The 20 Best Electronic Albums of 2016

Electronic music is one of the broadest-reaching genres by design, and 2016 highlights that as well as any other year on record.

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19 Dec 2016 // 3:00 AM

The 15 Best Americana Albums of 2016

This year's Best of Americana list may place the greatest distance between the genre and country music of any list we've compiled in recent years.

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19 Dec 2016 // 2:45 AM

The Best Hip-Hop of 2016

In a year full of uncertainty and pessimism, the ever-stretching definition of what it means to be “hip-hop” was a welcome reprieve.

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16 Dec 2016 // 3:30 AM

The 12 Best World Music Albums of 2016

There’s no short list that can be truly comprehensive of all the music in a single country, much less a planet, but there are always a few promising places to start.

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13 Dec 2016 // 12:40 PM

The 70 Best Albums of 2016

From genre-busting electronic music to new highs in the ever-evolving hip-hop scene... from soul and Americana to rocking and popping indie... 2016's music scenes bestowed an embarrassment of riches upon us.

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9 Dec 2016 // 3:30 AM

The 25 Best Album Re-Issues of 2016

The music world saw amazing reissues from all over the genre map, spanning rock titans to indie upstarts and soul to folk.

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8 Dec 2016 // 3:00 AM

The Best Indie Pop of 2016

In 2016, indie pop's highlights often went hand-in-hand with a general feeling of fading away, falling apart, saying goodbye.

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7 Dec 2016 // 3:00 AM

The Best Songs of 2016

From electronic to soul... from American to rock... from hip-hop to rockin' and poppin' indie... 2016 was a stellar year in popular music.

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6 Dec 2016 // 3:00 AM

The Best Pop Albums of 2016

In a year when we lost too many music icons (and maybe even our minds in the process), the escapist power of pop music is needed more than ever.

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5 Dec 2016 // 3:30 AM

The Best Jazz of 2016

These are the 20 "best" jazz records of 2016 identified in stylistic diads, ranked loosely from most sublime to merely breathtaking.

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2 Dec 2016 // 3:00 AM

The Best Metal of 2016

Adrien Begrand celebrates the best heavy metal of the year in all of its thrilling diversity.

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The Best Progressive Rock and Metal of 2016

The following ten albums rightly outshine the competition and best represent what made 2016 such a diverse and phenomenal year in progressive music.

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//Mixed media

//Blogs

"No Dollars in Duende": On Making Uncompromising, Spirited Music

// Sound Affects

"On the elusive yet clearly existential sadness that adds layers and textures to music.

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