Albums to watch

Poll Of Polls 2016.Blackstar

The ultimate, definitive Best Albums Of 2016

The last batch of votes are in so we can now proclaim the AnyDecentMusic definitive summary of the Best Albums Of 2016 lists.

We've compiled the rankings from all those magazines, newspapers and websites among our sources which publish their albums of the year. The end result is a comprehensive reflection of the critical favourites of the year. It's the ultimate, definitive "Best of the Best Albums of 2016" chart.

So here's the rundown of the top 50 albums of the year as seen by music reviewers in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand.

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  1. 1876 David Bowie Blackstar
  2. 1506 Beyonce Lemonade
  3. 1448 Radiohead A Moon Shaped Pool
  4. 1402 Frank Ocean Blonde
  5. 1165 Solange Seat At The Table
  6. 1117 Angel Olsen My Woman
  7. 1076 Bon Iver 22, A Million
  8. 1071 Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds Skeleton Tree
  9. 1058 Anohni Hopelessness
  10. 951 Kanye West The Life Of Pablo

  11. 899 A Tribe Called Quest We Got It From Here...
  12. 877 Chance The Rapper Coloring Book
  13. 858 Danny Brown Atrocity Exhibition
  14. 823 Leonard Cohen You Want It Darker
  15. 721 Mitski Puberty 2
  16. 703 Car Seat Headrest Teens of Denial
  17. 626 Jenny Hval Blood Bitch
  18. 620 Blood Orange Freetown Sound
  19. 558 Anderson .Paak Malibu
  20. 488 Skepta Konnichiwa

  21. 467 Rihanna ANTI
  22. 459 The 1975 I Like It When You Sleep...
  23. 430 Kaytranada 99.9%
  24. 426 Kendrick Lamar untitled unmastered
  25. 426 The Avalanches Wildflower
  26. 375 Christine and the Queens Chaleur Humaine
  27. 373 Parquet Courts Human Performance
  28. 359 Savages Adore Life
  29. 346 Whitney Light Upon The Lake
  30. 345 Margo Price Midwest Farmer's Daughter

  31. 339 Sturgill Simpson A Sailor's Guid
  32. 320 Michael Kiwanuka Love & Hate
  33. 306 James Blake The Colour in Anything
  34. 297 Iggy Pop Post Pop Depression
  35. 293 Drive-By Truckers American Band
  36. 275 Anna Meredith Varmints
  37. 253 Young Thug Jeffery
  38. 248 PJ Harvey The Hope Six Demolition Project
  39. 223 Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam I Had A Dream...
  40. 221 Pinegrove Cardina

  41. 214 Kate Tempest Let Them Eat Chaos
  42. 198 Lambchop FLOTUS
  43. 194 Nicolas Jaar Sirens
  44. 189 King We Are King
  45. 187 Jessy Lanza Oh No
  46. 182 Preoccupations Preoccupations
  47. 181 Paul Simon Stranger to Stranger
  48. 174 Glass Animals How to Be a Human Being
  49. 171 case/lang/veirs case/lang/veirs
  50. 163 Let's Eat Grandma I, Gemini

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Last year, our all time highest rated album ended up top of the ADM Poll of Polls. Surprise! It's unlikely another release will ever beat the 9.3 rating Kendrick Lamar received for To Pimp A Butterfly, so our sources awarded it with the title of Best Album of 2015.

Even though you'd be forgiven for feeling like David Bowie's award this year was a similar foregone conclusion, you'd also be wrong. Don't worry about being wrong though, we just said we'd forgive you.

Bowie's convincing victory in the end of year Best Ofs is without doubt an impressive achievement. Firstly, Blackstar was released all the way back in January. The 8th to be exact. That's ages ago. And if you think the album is getting special treatment from the end of year decision makers because of Bowie's untimely death, remember: it was 2016. This isn't even the only time that happened.

Since we began collating this award, only twice has an album released in the first quarter gone on to be considered the Best Of the year by our sources. That was 2009 and 2011. Can anyone guess what albums that wou-actually, let's not get carried away. Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion and PJ Harvey's Let England Shake were both considered the Best Album Of The Year despite their early-year release. And now Bowie too. Recency bias be damned.

The rest of the Top 10 also makes interesting reading. Beyonce and Solange show that Knowles really is power by taking two spots in the top 5, while Nick Cave languishes in 8th despite an ADM average rating of 8.9. Radiohead also managed to buck a trend to become the only band in a Top 10 dominated by solo artists.

Taking a step back, it was not a great year for newcomers. Anohni's Hopelessness in 9th place is technically a debut for the artist under a new moniker, and Kaytranada's 99.9% is technically his first studio release after a number of mix-tapes; it'd be unfair to classify either of those artists as a newcomer. You have to look as deep as Christine and the Queens in 27th to find a "proper new" artist.

So what does this mean? Well, a quick glance at the top shows that this was the year for well-established artists taking stock and putting out thoughtful, detailed and soulful albums. And critics being more than happy to reward such musings at the end of the year. No matter when the album was released.

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SEE 2009 RESULTS HERE

SEE 2010 RESULTS HERE

SEE 2011 RESULTS HERE

SEE 2012 RESULTS HERE

SEE 2013 RESULTS HERE

SEE 2014 RESULTS HERE

SEE 2015 RESULTS HERE

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SOURCES: American Songwriter, AV Club, All Music, Beardfood, Clash (40-21), Consequence Of Sound, Crack, The Digital Fix, Digital Spy, Drowned In Sound, Earbuddy, Exclaim, Faster Louder, GigSoup, God Is In The TV, The Guardian, The Independent, The Irish Times, The Line Of Best Fit, Mojo, The Observer, Q, The Quietus, NME, Loud & Quiet, musicOMH, No Ripcord, NOW, Paste, Pitchfork, Pop Matters, Pretty Much Amazing, Resident Advisor, Rolling Stone, The Skinny, Slant, Spin, Tiny Mixed Tapes, Uncut, The 405.
(50pts are awarded to the album named No.1, 49pts to the No.2 and so on. If any of our sources don't post a numerical list then all available points are shared equally)

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