Usually, “honorable mentions” is synonymous with “runners up”. However, my list of 2016 honorable mentions is a list of notable albums that didn’t make my top 150, whether due to them being EPs, compilations, re-releases, or somehow tied to existing albums, or (for two of them) not being great albums but still being noteworthy or important. They will all have explanations as to why they’re on this list and they are in no particular order.
David Bowie – Blackstar: When David Bowie released what would turn out to be his final non-posthumous album, I listened to it and was not impressed. The loss of David Bowie was a huge hit to a lot of people, but he will live on forever in his music, and this was his last album.
Hanni el-Khatib – Savage Times 1-5: A series of 5 short EPs from Black Keys wannabe Hanni el-Khatib. You may know his cover of a song made popular by Sinatra, You Rascal You, from a car commercial where you said “oh, I didn’t know the Black Keys covered Sinatra”
Carly Rae Jepsen – E*MO*TION Side B: Despite the fact that this kickass collection of music could have been a standalone album (a short one, but still), it was release as a b-side collection for 2015′s E*MO*TION, and therefore, not eligible for a 2016 AOTY list.
Soundgarden – Badmotorfinger (Re-release): Soundgarden is GREAT and Badmotorfinger is maybe less well known but they re-released it this year, so maybe check it out if you didn’t know it.
Temple of the Dog – Temple of the Dog (Re-release): Temple of the dog is so cool. Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder and a bunch of other grunge icons got together to make an album in memory of another grunge innovator. In 2016, they re-released the album and toured for the first time ever.
My Chemical Romance – Welcome to the Black Parade (MCRX): Welcome to the Black Parade was a huge album that I still listen to regularly. When MCR teased this re-release, they ignited a furor on the internet. No reunion, though, but a re-release of Black Parade with a bunch of extra tracks.
Ninja Sex Party – Under the Covers: Danny Sexbang (aka Leigh Daniel Avidan) has a beautiful voice, which might not always be the focus of NSP’s usual comedy tracks. On this cover album, however, Danny’s voice is showcased to beautiful effect. It’s a cover album, though, so not eligible for AOTY list status.
Beyonce – Lemonade: Oh no sue me. Look. Lemonade was a very important album, with an excellent message. However, it wasn’t very good, musically. The last time Beyonce surprise released a digital visual album it was the self-titled, which was bloody revolutionary and so good and so varied and really showcased her abilities. Lemonade didn’t do that. But it was important and empowering and therefore, noteworthy.
The Lonely Island – Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping: The new Lonely Island album is also the soundtrack to their movie, so it’s not eligible for my AOTY list but it’s quite good, as expected.