It struck me this year that my music listening habits have really changed over time. I’m still not interested in streaming services, because although I understand that they give access to broad swaths of music, I still prefer to own and not rent. And I’ve gradually moved away from buying CDs (although I still buy some) to downloads. I rarely listen to albums all the way through anymore, something which I had done regularly since high school. Back when I was commuting, I had my stuffed iPod Classic set on random, and listened on both legs of the trip to and from the office, but now, the iPod is mostly used to distract me from how much I don’t enjoy going to the gym. The other thing, interesting to me, at least, is that when I worked for other people, I pretty much always had music playing in my office, usually WFUV. Now, even though I work for myself, I don’t often feel the need to play music while I sit at my desk.
Meanwhile, despite the fact that I write about music here, there and elsewhere, I find that increasingly I’ve never heard of most of the albums that make year-end “best ofs.” I’m at the point in my life that what is popular doesn’t interest me, what interests me isn’t popular, and there is just too much music, and too little time (and money), for me to search out every great album. I’m not happy about that, because I know that it limits my exposure to good music, but it is reality.
Which is why this article is titled “My Favorite Music of 2016” and not the “Best Music of 2016.” It is a list of what I liked, based on what I have heard, and frankly it gnaws at me a bit that I know that there is a ton of great stuff out there that I’ve completely missed. So, here we go: