What 2016 Sounded Like NPR Music editor and reviewer Stephen Thompson reflects on the year through the lens of music and shares the songs that impressed him most.
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What 2016 Sounded Like

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What 2016 Sounded Like

What 2016 Sounded Like

What 2016 Sounded Like

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Mitski's song "Your Best American Girl" is one of Stephen Thompson's favorites of 2016. Ebru Yildiz/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Ebru Yildiz/Courtesy of the artist

Mitski's song "Your Best American Girl" is one of Stephen Thompson's favorites of 2016.

Ebru Yildiz/Courtesy of the artist

This year was a difficult one in the music world, with so the death of so many iconic artists — Prince, David Bowie and Leonard Cohen were some of the biggest stars we lost. But 2016 also marked a year of some interesting musical experiments, as well as some albums from artists we haven't heard from in a while.

NPR's Michel Martin sat down with NPR Music editor and reviewer Stephen Thompson to talk about what really impressed him in 2016. Hear their full conversation at the audio link; listen to some of Stephen's favorite songs from the year below.

What 2016 Sounded Like

Cover for Puberty 2

Mitski, 'Puberty 2'

  • Song: Your Best American Girl
YouTube

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Song
Puberty 2
Album
Puberty 2
Artist
Mitski
Label
Dead Oceans
Released
2016

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Cover for 22, A Million

Bon Iver, '22, A Million'

  • Song: 8 (circle)
YouTube

Buy Featured Music

Song
22, A Million
Album
22, A Million
Artist
Bon Iver
Label
Jagjaguwar

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

Cover for Blackstar

David Bowie, 'Blackstar'

  • Song: Lazarus
YouTube

Buy Featured Music

Song
Blackstar
Album
Blackstar
Artist
David Bowie
Label
Sony Music
Released
2016

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

Cover for Lemonade

Beyoncé, 'Lemonade"

  • Song: Freedom

Lemonade is available from iTunes.