2021 was not quite as strange as 2020 as things started to get back to normal. I got out to see a couple concerts and back to digging in the record stores and even went in to the office a few times. Covid pushed back a lot of albums in 2020 and they finally came out in 2021. Some were worth the wait and well, some weren’t. But there were some great releases and I am sure I missed a number of great albums and if you look around the web, there will be tons of Top Album lists you can get a pretty good idea of what you should check out in case you missed any of these.
This year I am doing things a little different. I am only doing one list post, but that list will be centered around my Favorite Rock Albums of the year. At the end I’ll give you my Top 5 Non-Rock Albums of the year as I didn’t listen to a ton of new releases this year as I was focused so much on my Kiss, Judas Priest, Queen and now Cheap Trick & Aerosmith Series. That took a lot of time.
Also note, these are MY FAVORITES!! These are not the most popular or trendy albums. You won’t find the cool trendy bands, because they are usually here today gone tomorrow. These are the albums that I connected with during the year and I kept coming back to again and again. And without further adieu, here are the Top Rock Albums of 2020:
THE TOP ROCK ALBUMS OF 2021:
#10 – Eclipse – ‘Wired’:
Eclipse is a melodic rock / glam rock /hard rock band out of Sweden and let me tell you Sweden knows how to pump out these bands. I think there are more rock bands in Sweden then there are people. It is just a guess. The two original guys, Erik Martensson and Magnus Henriksson. are back with their 9th album and they keep delivering. Erik’s vocals are killer and Magnus can lay down some riffs. The three opening tracks, “Roses On Your Grave”, “Dying Breed” and “Saturday Night (Hallelujah)” just suck you in and you know you are in good hands and just along for the ride at this point. Continue reading “The Top Albums of 2021”→
Happy Friday! We’ve made it through another week and not a moment too soon. I am ready for this weekend. Thankfully, we also have a ton of new releases to listen to this week (like most weeks lately. There are only a couple I really want to hear and I have marked those in Blue. There are others I’m curious about, but we will see if I have the time. Check out all the releases and let me know what you want to hear this week and let me know what album releases I may have missed. Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.
Anderson East – Maybe We Never Die – (Low Country Sound / Elektra): Anderson’s last album, ‘Encore’, was exceptional. I am hoping for more of the same. If you like country mixed with soul, R&B and Americana, then this will be right up your alley. Can’t wait to give it a spin.
Switchfoot – Interrobang – (Fantasy Records / Concord): Switchfoot is always labeled as a Christian act, but they are so much more. They are alternative, a little post-grunge and power pop and I like it all. I am also a big fan of Jon Foreman’s vocals. I will be seeing them in concert in a couple months as they open for Needtobreathe so this will be a good show.
It is time for the Top 20 Songs of 2018. My previous post, if you missed it, was the Top 20 Rock Songs of 2018. Go check it out by clicking on the link. These 20 songs are all genres other than rock. Some were popular and chart toppers and others were not. They are my favorites, that touched me in some way so don’t expect any indie bands or anything trendy. If you want that go to one of the cool sites out there, this ain’t it.
#20 – “Space Cowboy” – Kacey Musgrave off the album ‘Golden Hour’: I am not huge into today’s country music, but Kacey is different. She is doing things her way, pushing boundaries and sounds. I love her voice and her songs are always interesting and worth diving into lyrically. This one is no different. It is more pop than country, but still good.
#19 – “Say Hello” – Rhett Walker Band off the ‘Rhett Walker Band E.P.’: Rhett’s a Christian rock band and this song comes off with the power of Church Revival and gets you up out of you chair, hands in the air and give it your all. If you want to get moving, this will do it.
The year is almost over so it is time to look back at what was awesome in music during the year. I have already looked back at the Top Rock Albums of 2018 (click to read). This list will cover all other genres that I listened to over the year including Pop, Country, Christian and whatever other genre you want classify these albums. Rock is my favorite genre and that is why it gets it’s own list, but that doesn’t take away from any of these choices as I think they are great on their own.
Note: These albums were my favorites and not necessarily the most played on the radio (which I hate the radio) or even the biggest sellers. There aren’t the trendy indie bands on everyone else’s top albums list. These are just what I came across during the year and connected with me in some way. So, we might as well get started…
The #1 Album of 2018
Matt Nathanson – Sings His Sad Heart: Man, what can I say about this guy. He is my favorite singer/songwriter out their right now and has been for sometime. Within just a couple listens to this album I felt like I knew all the words and I was singing right along like I had grown up with these songs. And how do you know an album is great, you keep singing it when you aren’t even listening to it. Yes, I was and I am still singing. The songs “Mine”, “Way Way Back”, “Used To Be” “Long Distant Runner” and “Best Drugs” are some of my favorites but there is not a bad song. Perfect!!
Anderson East’s ‘Encore’ is the follow-up to his label debut album ‘Delilah’. With ‘Encore’, Anderson is finding himself and bringing us such a powerful vocal performance. His voice was so soulful with that grittiness and emotion that it reminded me of Joe Cocker. For that reason alone, I really dug this album.
He had some help with this album with songs written by Chris Stapleton (“King for a Day”) and Ed Sheeran (“All On My Mind”) both personal favorites. He also reworked songs by Ted Hawkins (“Sorry Your Sick”) and Willie Nelson (“Somebody Pick Up My Pieces”).
One of my favorites from the album is the upbeat song “Girlfriend” which feels like he is in church testifying his love to the congregation using horns and synthesizer (organ sounds) to give it that churchy feel.