I feel like I was asleep for 15 minutes and now it’s about to be 2017. Luckily, since I woke up I’ve been able to listen to some music – man there were some damn good releases this year! In case you also managed to sleep through most of this crazy year, let me fill you in on the top ten albums released in 2016, according to yours truly!
Top 10 Albums of 2016:
10) Comb The Desert – Humannoyed
Why? First off, they’re an NJ local band (represent). Secondly, this album packs a punch from end to end. The vocals are stunning, and when you combine that with intricate guitar riffs, rhythm changes, and impactful lyrics, you’ve got an album that is beautiful, bone chilling, and interesting every second of the way.
Track to listen to: Humannoyed
Click here to listen
9) Bastille – Wild World
Why? Bastille has proven themselves over the past few years, but this album is a game-changer. Their sound has changed a bit over time and Wild World is a great example of how the band is progressing into a gritty alternative rock band.
Track to listen to: Send Them Off!
8) Local Natives – Sunlit Youth
Why? Local Natives is one of the most underrated bands of 2016. There, I said it. Sunlit Youth is a stirring and emotional album that is a step above ambient, but still softer than rock.
Track to listen to: Fountains Of Youth
7) The Skulx – Self-Titled
Why? This album is a damn good time from end to end. The Skulx definitely have their signature sound down, but they have managed to make an album where not a single song is predictable. If I could compare them to another band, I would, but I can’t. So do yourself a favor and listen to this album yourself!
Track to listen to: Suckin’ On Stars
6) Vanna – All Hell
Why? Because I love them, that’s why. Vanna made us wait quite a while for this album, but man was it worth the wait. All Hell is a beautiful and moving album where poetic lyrics and clean vocals really shine out.
Track to listen to: Flower
5) Kaleo – A/B
Why? A/B is a gritty and brave example of good boot-stomping rock music. This album falls right in that sweet spot between 90’s grunge and 2000’s top alternative, making it interesting but yet totally approachable.
Track to listen to: No Good
4) Dorothy – rockisdead
Why? Two words: Chick Rock. This female-fronted rock band put out an album this year and man is it a banger. Turn this one up loud – you’re going to want to hear lead singer Dorothy Martin loud and clear. This album is on the list because of a super tight west-coast rock n’ roll sound, but the icing on top is Martin’s insanely good voice belting out every last lyric.
Track to listen to: Raise Hell
3) The Struts – Everybody Wants
Why? If Freddy Mercury and David Bowie had a baby, it would be this album. In my opinion, this is a pop album with a few rock moments peppered throughout. Don’t let that scare you away though! Bubblegum pop song “The Ol’ Switcheroo” is a brilliantly happy-go-lucky song about swapping girlfriends with one another. Everybody Wants is just fun, plain and simple.
Track to listen to: Kiss This
2) Panic! At The Disco – Death of A Bachelor
Why? Brendan Urie is like a fine wine, and listening to Death of A Bachelor is like drinking a large glass of expensive cabernet on a leather couch in a dark bar. This album exudes a smoky 1950’s sex appeal without losing sight of what Panic! has always been. This is a very mature and adult album from this band and should not be missed. Even though the sound is a bit of a departure from the days of people who didn’t know how to close the goddamn door, diehard Panic! fans should definitely give it a try.
Track to listen to: Death of A Bachelor
And finally (drum roll please)…
1) letlive. – If I’m The Devil…
Why? This album is stunning – plain and simple. It is definitely a little different for this band with softer, cleaner vocals, but every single song packs that signature letlive. punch. Even once you get past the haunting guitar riffs and vocals, you’ll be left with lyrics that will literally take your breath away. I am not joking. If I’m The Devil is beautiful, raw, and the true epitome of punk rock. Listen to this album, and then listen again (and again). letlive. fans old and new will not be disappointed.
Track to listen to: Good Mourning, America
Wishing you and yours a very happy and healthy New Year full of amazing music.