As you might have noticed, 2016 was not the brightest year for the human race. So here’s to the musicians who made albums worth celebrating – so many great ones, there was no way to slice it down to a mere top 10. These were my 20 favorites, from all over the map: soul catharsis, rock & roll kicks, hip-hop exorcism, cheap pop thrills. Some came from new voices, others from old favorites, and a few from legendary hearts saying good night. But these were the albums that lifted me up, dug me out, spun me right round and sang me back home.