The A.V. Club’s 20 best albums of 2016

There’s no easy way to summarize the year in music given how much of it took us by surprise. High-profile albums would be announced with little warning, arriving on streaming services in a flash, and dominate the cultural conversation until the next one came along. Similarly, some of the most innovative names in music…

The best music of 2016: The ballots

Given that so many people contribute to our yearly best-of lists, it’s hard to get a glance at an individual’s favorites. But hey, that’s what ballots are for! After giving our top albums of 2016 a glance, dig into the individual lists our writers submitted. It includes their top 10 lists, honorable mentions, and…

The best music of 2016 so far: The A.V. Club’s catch-up guide

2016 has been a big year for music, with the likes of Beyoncé, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Radiohead, Chance The Rapper, and Drake all releasing records that vary from pretty good to really, really great. Then there’s the emerging talents that have turned in career-defining works and earned high marks, like Blood…

Bob Dylan, meet Ariana Grande: Here’s what’s coming to record stores in May

Every Friday, dozens of new records are released into the wild. Some make big splashes, and others sink almost immediately. For most music consumers, it’s almost too much information, and save for those precious few who spend their hours glued to reviews sites and release calendars, it’s hard to know what’s coming out

Cloudy with a chance of Drake: Here’s what’s coming to record stores in April

Every Friday, dozens of new records are released into the wild. Some make big splashes, and others sink almost immediately. For most music consumers, it’s almost too much information, and save for those precious few who spend their hours glued to reviews sites and release calendars, it’s hard to know what’s coming out

“Sunshine on the waste land”: 20 songs about nuclear annihilation

The disturbing use of atomic power to end World War II had folks in the following decades pretty shaken up, leading to the “duck and cover” bomb-shelter era of the 1950s and beyond. Ira and Charlie Louvin—an Alabama gospel duo that helped popularize “close harmony” vocals—captured that feeling on their 1962 album

How do you sleep?: 23 highly specific rock and roll diss tracks

After 1992’s Slanted And Enchanted, critics started writing about Pavement as the voice of the slacker generation, and on the 1994 followup Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, frontman Steven Malkmus seemed to take that tag seriously. Alongside “state of alt-rock” addresses like “Cut Your Hair” and “Fillmore Jive,” Malkmus…

What will you miss about CDs?

Compact discs aren’t going to disappear overnight. They still make up a large portion of sales for music labels, and are the dominant format for music in a physical medium. But it’s also undeniable that digital music—along with more and more fans of physical formats turning to vinyl—ensures that the little plastic…

From Loretta Lynn to Iggy Pop: Here’s what’s coming to record stores this March

Every Friday, dozens of new records are released into the wild. Some make big splashes, and others sink almost immediately. For most music consumers, it’s almost too much information, and save for those precious few who spend their hours glued to reviews sites and release calendars, it’s hard to know what’s coming out…

“Omar(s) comin’!”: 18 hyper-masculine gun-toting gay guys

Gay characters haven’t had a visibility problem in pop culture in years. But when it comes to minority representation, quality is more important than quantity, and there was a time when most gay male characters were portrayed as stereotypically effeminate nellies. If they weren’t obsessively coordinating weddings,…

What’s your favorite song of 2015?

Welcome back to AVQ&A, where we throw out a question for discussion among the staff and readers. Consider this a prompt to compare notes on your interface with pop culture, to reveal your embarrassing tastes and experiences, and to ponder how our diverse lives all led us to convene here together. Got a question you’d

Best music of 2015: The ballots

Our list of the 15 best albums of 2015 wasn’t just a one-man decision. It’s a committee call. Each regular music writer and A.V. Club staff member gets a chance to list their top 10 records, with their No. 1 record getting 10 points, their No. 2 getting nine, and so on. From there, we do a little math, and the list is…

The 15 best albums of 2015

It might sound cliché at this point, but in 2015, the music industry bounced back. Maybe not all the way back to its mid-’90s peaks of excess, but relatively speaking in today’s terms. Taylor Swift made buckets of money touring her 1989 record, Adele broke long-held sales records with 25, and everyone with a radio and…

Bond reborn: 17 suggestions for how to really reboot 007

Spectre, the latest installment in the never-ending James Bond series, opens this Friday—and if cryptic and hostile interviews are to be believed, fourth time could be the final time that Daniel Craig slips into the black tux. The star’s potential departure from the franchise has led to a lot of speculation about who…

Does No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom still matter?

Welcome to the Music Roundtable, a blatant rip-off of TV Club’s TV Roundtable feature. Here, music writers and fans discuss recent reissues, hot new releases, or just records we like. For this installment, we’re talking about No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom, which celebrated its 20th anniversary earlier this month.