It's not like 1996 was a thin year for music...because there are some epic albums, but in hindsight it feels more like a setting of the stage than an epic year.
1. Recovering the Satellites, Counting Crows
2. Being There, Wilco
3. Bringing Down the Horse, The Wallflowers
4. Yourself and Someone Like You, Matchbox 20 (if you don't trust me, give it a listen)
5. Fashion Nugget, Cake
Honorable Mentions: Crash, Dave Matthews Band; Tidal, Fiona Apple; Faithless Street, Whiskeytown; Odelay, Beck