2016: The Year in Review

When the history books are written, music will probably not be the first thing anyone remembers about 2016. Nevertheless, the music was excellent—memorable and meaningful enough to grant us aesthetic reprieve from a world tilting more toward chaos.

In the music we loved, we found unrestrained glee, soul-stirring explorations of love, reminders to stick close to our friends, awed encounters with death, slinky erotic chronicles, muted longings for people and places far from us. There were crowd pleasers, club-shaking bangers, best American boys and girls, too many text threads to keep track of, fancy cars that looked like you-know-whats, and at least one full-throated repudiation of the president-elect. There was a lot to love.

Here’s what we’ll remember about music in 2016.

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”219735″ title=”The 50 Best Albums of 2016″ index=”” image_id=”219738″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”219741″ title=”The 101 Best Songs of 2016″ index=”” image_id=”219742″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”219762″ title=”Beyoncé, Blood Orange, Mitski, and More: Navigating Protest Music in 2016 and Beyond” index=”” image_id=”219764″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”219758″ title=”Chance the Rapper’s Ascendent “Ultralight Beam” Verse Transcended the Year’s Darkness” index=”” image_id=”219760″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”220067″ title=”2016: The Year R&B Returned to the Eye of Quiet Storm” index=”” image_id=”220068″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”220071″ title=”Lil Yachty, 21 Savage, Lil Uzi Vert: In 2016, the Kids Took Over Rap” index=”” image_id=”220075″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”220622″ title=”In 2016, Emo Entered Another Green World” index=”” image_id=”220623″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”220620″ title=”Latinx Musicians and Their American Identity in 2016″ index=”” image_id=”220621″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”220858″ title=”Hearing the Holy Ghost in 2016″ index=”” image_id=”220860″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”221729″ title=”How Hitmaking Producer Frank Dukes Is Reinventing the Pop Music Machine” index=”” image_id=”221730″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”221731″ title=”Marshmello Is EDM's Masked Hero” index=”” image_id=”221732″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”221733″ title=”2016 Was a Great Year to Stop Worrying and Embrace the Grateful Dead” index=”” image_id=”221734″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”221151″ title=”On <i>Mozart in the Jungle</i>, <i>The Man in the High Castle</i>, and the Twilight of Television's Golden Age” index=”” image_id=”221152″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”221149″ title=”How Big Screen Sci-Fi and Horror Captured 2016's Political Paranoia” index=”” image_id=”221150″]

[featuredStoryItemBlock tile_id=”221367″ title=”Here Are the Worst Songs We Heard in 2016″ index=”” image_id=”221368″]

IMPACT

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