The Best Albums Of 2016: CPR’s OpenAir Staff Picks

· Dec. 5, 2016, 7:15 am
Photo: 2016 OpenAir Staff Picks collage(Photos: courtesy of the artists)
(Clockwise from top left): Albums from Leonard Cohen, Angel Olsen, Car Seat Headrest, Mitski, The Lumineers and Chance The Rapper were among the CPR's OpenAir staff favorites this year.

While we're still collecting votes for our 2016 Listener Poll for the best albums of 2016, the CPR's OpenAir hosts have selected their favorite albums of the year.

Selections include records from David Bowie and Leonard Cohen, both of whom passed away shortly after they released their albums. There's plenty of rock, hip-hop, electronica, soul, folk and Colorado music here, and you can listen to songs from these albums with the Spotify playlist below.

See the individual lists and watch videos from the top picks, some of which were filmed in our CPR Performance Studio.

Mike Flanagan

  1. David Bowie: "Blackstar"
  2. Radiohead: "A Moon Shaped Pool"
  3. The Avalanches: "Wildflower"
  4. Anderson .Paak: "Malibu"
  5. Adia Victoria: "Beyond The Bloodhounds"
  6. Leonard Cohen: "You Want It Darker"
  7. Let's Eat Grandma: "I, Gemini"
  8. Car Seat Headrest: "Teens Of Denial"
  9. Seratones: "Get Gone"
  10. The Lumineers: "Cleopatra"

Jessi Whitten

  1. ​Mitski: "Puberty 2"
  2. Beyonce: "Lemonade"
  3. Car Seat Headrest: "Teens Of Denial"  
  4. Leonard Cohen: "You Want It Darker"
  5. Angel Olsen: "My Woman"
  6. Anderson .Paak: "Malibu"
  7. De La Soul: "And The Anonymous Nobody"
  8. The Avalanches: "Wildflower"
  9. Big Thief: "Masterpiece"
  10. Lucy Dacus: "No Burden"

​Jeremy Petersen

  • The Avalanches: "Wildflower"
  • Blood Orange: "Freetown Sound"
  • David Bowie: "Blackstar"
  • Radiohead: "A Moon Shaped Pool"
  • Hiss Golden Messenger: "Heart Like A Levee"
  • Jim James: "Eternally Even"
  • The Radio Dept.: "Running Out Of Love"
  • Flock Of Dimes: "If You See Me, Say Yes"
  • Fruit Bats: "Absolute Loser"
  • Leonard Cohen: "You Want It Darker"

Alisha Sweeney

  1. Margaret Glaspy: "Emotions And Math"
  2. David Bowie: "Blackstar"
  3. The Avalanches: "Wildflower"
  4. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: "Skeleton Tree"
  5. Leonard Cohen: "You Want It Darker"
  6. A Tribe Called Quest: "We Got It From Here...Thank You 4 Your Service"
  7. Savages: "Adore Life"
  8. N.A.F.: "N.A.F."
  9. Anderson .Paak: "Malibu"
  10. Car Seat Headrest: "Teens Of Denial"  

Local Releases

  1. Eros & The Eschaton: "Weight Of Matter"
  2. Wheelchair Sports Camp: "No Big Deal"
  3. SHEL: "Just Crazy Enough"
  4. Dressy Bessy: "Kingsized"
  5. YAWL: "A Pile To Keep, A Pile To Burn"
  6. Slim Cessna's Auto Club: "The Commandments According To SCAC"
  7. Lisa Prank: "Adult Teen"
  8. Mesita: "With Love, From Laniakea"
  9. Chimney Choir: "(dream)"
  10. Colfax Speed Queen: "Talk To Your Doctor"

Scott Carney

  1. A Giant Dog: "Pile"
  2. A Tribe Called Quest: "We Got It From Here...Thank You 4 Your Service"
  3. Angel Olsen: "My Woman"
  4. The Avalanches: "Wildflower"
  5. Car Seat Headrest: "Teens of Denial"
  6. Leonard Cohen: "You Want It Darker"
  7. Preoccupations: "Preoccupations"
  8. Radiohead: "A Moon Shaped Pool"
  9. Weyes Blood: "Front Row Seat to Earth"
  10. Whitney: "Light Upon the Lake"

Alicia 'Bruce' Mitchell

  1. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: "Nonagon Infinity"
  2. Julie Ruin: "Hit Reset"
  3. Tacocat: "Lost Time"
  4. Fea: "Fea"
  5. Charles Bradley: "Changes"
  6. of Montreal: "Innocence Reaches"
  7. David Bowie: "Blackstar"
  8. Anderson .Paak: "Malibu"
  9. De La Soul: "And The Anonymous Nobody"
  10. Solange: "A Seat At The Table"

Brandee Castle

  1. De La Soul: "And The Anonymous Nobody"
  2. A Tribe Called Quest: "We Got It From Here...Thank You 4 Your Service"
  3. Kendrick Lamar: "Untitled Unmastered"
  4. Chance The Rapper: "Coloring Book"
  5. Anderson .Paak: "Malibu"
  6. Lake Street Dive: "Side Pony"
  7. Margaret Glaspy: "Emotions And Math"
  8. Fantastic Negrito: "The Last Days Of Oakland"
  9. Kyle Craft: "Dolls Of Highland"
  10. Miike Snow: "iii"

Daniel Mescher

  1. ​Blood Orange: "Freetown Sound"
  2. Chance The Rapper: "Coloring Book"
  3. White Lung: "Paradise"
  4. Japanese Breakfast: "Psychopomp"
  5. Chairlift: "Moth"
  6. Parquet Courts: "Human Performance"
  7. Tegan And Sara: "Love You To Death"
  8. PJ Harvey: "The Hope 6 Demolition Project"
  9. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: "Skeleton Tree"
  10. Adia Victoria: "Beyond The Bloodhounds"​

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