My Top 10 Albums of 2016

Best albums of 2016

2016 has proven to be a year to forget in respect to my reviews. The amount of albums I accepted and committed to reviewing completely overwhelmed me to the point of practically hiding myself and only coming out every once in a while. This includes writing reviews for the other two great sites that I love writing for. I’ve accepted considerably less albums to review this year and really just stuck with reviewing what I wanted to review, and for all of those emails that I never responded to and to the one or two reviews that I never wrote, I sincerely apologize and I hope that 2017 will bring me back to my old self.

That being said, 2016 was perhaps the best year in a long time for new albums, and as I so love to do every year, I want to talk about my top ten album picks of 2016. There are surely a lot of great independent albums that I passed up that could deserve mentions, and even a major release or two that could have stood a chance. For instance, had I listened to Kaleo‘s A/B in full I’m sure it would probably be on this list, considering how great everything I’ve heard from it is, but I haven’t heard the full album and thus can’t really assess it. But here are the ten picks that I know are great.

And please check out my past top 10 lists here.

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Green Day “Revolution Radio”

Green Day Revolution Radio Album Review

Looking back, I may have gone too easy on Green Day‘s trio of albums released in 2012 when I reviewed them. But hey, that was in the first few months of me having a blog so I hadn’t found my comfort in objectiveness quite yet. Really what happened was Green Day got a little too comfortable and loose and did something that many people just didn’t get. But unlike 21st Century Breakdown before it, this time Green Day didn’t get much support. I think this grounded the band, particularly Billie Joe Armstrong, and the band subsequently took a four year break from recording. Their return to the record shelves was a few weeks ago with the release of Revolution Radio. Did the band make the most of their break?

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Free From Gravity “Saints & Sinners”

Free From Gravity Saints & Sinners Album Review

“Kick assed chilled out rock” is a quote that Free From Gravity has in their Facebook page to help describe their sound. I’m glad it’s there, I would have otherwise had trouble trying to analyze the sound on their new EP Saints & Sinners without simply calling it a rock EP. I still don’t think the UK band should limit themselves to just that description though.

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Billy Talent “Afraid of Heights”

Billy Talent Afraid of Heights Album Review

Like any good band that wants any sort of longevity, Billy Talent have long since evolved from the post-hardcore punk band they were at the beginning of their recording careers. If you look at the four albums that are currently out today, you can hear a steady progression that further separates the Billy Talent of 2016 from the Billy Talent of 2003. Such progression only continues on their soon-to-be-released fifth album Afraid of Heights.

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Blink-182 “California”

Blink-182 California Review

It’s about time I write about the new Blink-182 album California. I’ve been so caught up in everything that this is the earliest chance I have to write this. This not only being the first new album by the famed pop punk band in close to five years but also the first album without guitarist/vocalist Tom DeLonge, it’s been quite the anticipated release, met with different responses from all sorts of critics. Thankfully for the band, most of the criticism has been positive, but with some mixed in negativity.

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The Defiants “The Defiants”

Danger Danger came a little late in the hair metal game. By the time their self titled debut came out in 1989, Guns N’ Roses had already changed the way hard rock music was to be played. Then of course not long after that came grunge. Hardly a time for bands like them of Trixter to come in to a dying market. How Firehouse managed to survive three albums in can only be credited to luck and good publicity. Anyway, the shame of the matter is that Danger Danger‘s debut album, while not really consisting of stuff that could change the face of music, does have a selection of some of the finest pop metal songs I can think of. You may be wondering why I’m bringing any of these bands up right at the beginning of a review for an album by none of these artists. The reason would be because The Defiants, who recently released their own self titled debut, are made up of three members who still do or have played for Danger Danger.

 

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My Top Albums of 2015

2014 was no 2013 in respect to the albums that were released. I don’t know if there are many other years that had as many amazing albums released as 2013 did. 2015 showed a bit more promise, leaving me a little more excited about writing this post about my favourite albums of 2015. Like last year and the year before I’ll be talking a bit about each album and posting a song to accompany the album, for those who have never listened to each respective album. This year sees an increase in bands which were given to me for review who I had never previously heard of. Almost half of the list as well as some honourable mentions have that in common, which makes this year’s Top 10 different from last year and completely different from the year before that. Continue reading