Tracklisted: Top 100 Songs of 2016

News / Special Features / December 21, 2016

The Lineup:
12/21: Top 100 Songs/Top 10 Staff Lists
12/22: Top 15 Albums
12/22: 2017 Predictions/Most Anticipated/Biggest Disappointment/Top Reissues
12/23: Label of the Year/End of year podcast

I’m holding onto the belief that 2016 was the best year yet for music in the 2000s. And I think our list backs up that claim. Not only did we have the perfect storm of long-awaited/surprise releases in Frank Ocean, Kanye West and Beyonce; we had a great year of hip-hop and rap with Chance The Rapper, Anderson .Paak, Rihanna, Childish Gambino and Blood Orange; we had a plethora of unique and needed voices like Mitski, Angel Olsen, Anohni and Japanese Breakfast; we had a strong year in the rock(ish) genre with Pup, Jeff Rosenstock, and in a different world, Bon Iver and Radiohead; and lastly, we had another strong year in movie music, with highlights being Mica Levi’s Jackie and Nicholas Britell’s Moonlight.

How to combine all these standout moments into one, cohesive, 6-hour list? That proved to be much more difficult than actually finding 100 worthy songs. I ended up going in a pretty traditional route. Here’s the breakdown and your list.

  • First 5 tracks are all from female singer-songwriters. I felt it important to lead off with these talents, as they really did define much of my year. It’s not that I was surprised by this development, it’s that I was happy I didn’t seem to be alone in this sentiment.
  • I used “Facebook Story,” “Car,” “Tears,” “Interlude” and “Chiron’s Theme” for transitions, all worthy tracks on their own. I figured listeners would need a breath when going from Childish Gambino to Joyce Manor.
  • First section is your rap, hip-hop, R&B; second is your punk, pop-punk and related genres; third is your country and folk music; fourth is what I’ll call “Prestige Rock,” with artists like Bon Iver, Field Music, Bowie, David Bazan and the like; fifth (the last 3 tracks) are some more score/soundtrack standout moments.



Christopher Lantinen
Chris Lantinen is the owner and editor-in-chief of Modern Vinyl. Along with his modest collection of sad sounding records, he collects his share of soundtracks and previously adored indie up-and-comers. Chris is currently a professor of journalism and public relations at Edinboro University in the Erie, Pennsylvania area.

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