2016 might have been a horrible year in the eyes of many (and in some aspects, correctly so), however the year was pretty great in terms of music. From performances like Kendrick Lamar at the Grammy’s to Beyonce at the Super Bowl and her Lemonade special… to album releases, there were a ton of great moments.

Here are my favorite albums from 2016. I couldn’t reduce the list to a smaller number, so I broke the larger list down by genre to help you find something you might have missed over the course of the year. (In no particular order.)

RB/Soul
1. Anderson Paak — Malibu
2. Solange — A Seat at the Table
3. Rihanna — Anti
4. NxWorries — Yes Lawd!
5. Frank Ocean — Blonde
6. Blood Orange — Freetown Sound

Hip-Hop/Rap
1. Run the Jewels — RTJ3
2. Schoolboy Q — Blankface
3. A Tribe Called Quest — We got it from here
4. Common — Black America Again
5. Danny Brown — Atrocity Exhibition
6. Chance the Rapper — Coloring Book
7. DJ Khaled — Major Key
8. J Cole — 4 Your Eyes Only
9. Kendrick Lamar — Untitled Unmastered

Rock/Indie/Alternative
1. Bon Iver — 22, a Million
2. D.D Dumbo — Utopia Defeated
3. Daughter — Not to Disappear
4. Frightened Rabbit — Portrait of a Panic Attack
5. Warpaint — Heads Up
6. Radiohead — A moon shaped pool
7. CHVRCHES — Every Open Eye
8. Bob Mould — Patch the Sky
9. Descendents — Hypercaffium Spazzinate
10. World Be Free — the Anti-Circle
11. Hamilton Leithauser Rostam — I Had a Dream That You Were Mine
12. Car Seat Headrest — Teens of Denial
13. White Lung — Paradise

In addition to the list, I’ve been adding songs to my Best Of 2016 playlist. Feel free to subscribe, if you are an Apple Music user.

So, what did I miss? Share your favorite albums from 2016! I love new music.

At the end of each year I take some time to figure out what I want to do more of in the coming year. I call this my Love List.

Why a Love List? As I wrote back in 2011:

The list is fluid and will change as my life changes. I’m not going to judge myself if some of these don’t get completed. I am going to put this list somewhere so I see it every day and spend at least part of my day moving one or more of these forward. And then at the end of 2012 I will do a retrospective to see how far I’ve come on these items.

So it’s basically a more positive, fluid take on resolutions. For example, here is the 2016 version.

I did a poor job tracking my 2016 list in any detail, but in summary:

  • Family: I had a great year with my wife and kids. We traveled to Disney (with many adventures along the way), went camping in Rhode Island, and much more. It was a very positive year — probably one of our best.
  • Exercise and Health: I did run two 5k races and did an OK amount of training for those, so I’d consider my health goal met.
  • Programming/Eko Wave was a fail. I wasn’t able to keep momentum for an extended period of time. It’s been hard to even get started in the last couple months of 2016, with both of my parents spending time in the hospital on top of regular family/work busyness.
  • Writing: Write more? Nope. Was less of a priority than programming, so got even less done.
  • Photography: I did take a ton of photos and made a photo book, calendar, and got a couple larger prints made for our house. Definitely a sucess.
  • Random: I did read more than previous years. I read a few actual books for once, in addition to many comics/graphic novels. I also made progress on my guitar, using Apple’s Music Memos to track and work on my ideas. (It’s a great app, if you are interested in making music.) I didn’t get around to meditation much at all, however.

So, with that said… 2017. What’s on my list so far:

  • Family: family will always be my top priority.
  • 3,000,000+ steps (average more than 8,220 per day.) I am going to accomplish this through more regular exercise, as well as training to run in five 5k races. My first race last year was a serious effort, but completing the second one (with a ton of improvement) got me hooked.
  • Launch in Q1 2017 Relic Scout . With marketing and promotion effort for remainder of year.
  • More reflection and gratitude. I am going to accomplish this through writing more on this blog, keeping a log of daily gratitude, journal more in Day One, and make quarterly photo books.

I am going to try to keep it simple this year, while using activities I’ve used as Love List items in the past (writing/photography/etc.) to help support bigger picture goals.

As always, I intend to post updates and progress here… stay tuned.

Happy New Year to all.

Even though the fear is real, it’s not an excuse. When we speak with respect and offer dignity and empathy, we’re describing our future. ‘Politically correct’ is a cheap way of dismissing maturity, confidence and kindness. Calling angry words a joke, or a momentary slip can’t hide them. – Seth Godin

So true.