Welcome to the first Purchases post of 2021. After the crapload of items in December, I am so not going to be able to top that right out of the gate. This time, the focus is more on the CDs as I finally got back out to Manifest Discs which has a great used CD selection. I was able to get out by myself and take my time going through the racks. They have a deal where if you buy 2 you get 1 for a $1, so of course, I have to buy way more than 2. I ended up buying 11 and it worked out to <$5 per disc when it was all said and done.
The first batch is a band that doesn’t have much on vinyl as they are from the early 2000’s up to a few years ago so it is easier to go the CD route than the vinyl. That band is Lifehouse. I picked up 6 CDs. Now, I used to have all these before, but due to dumping the collection stupidly about 7-8 years ago, I didn’t have them anymore. Now I am going back and getting my favorite stuff again. Only need 1 more Lifehouse album.
The next couple of CDs are for a band, I never thought I’d like, but man, I really do. It is a rap rock band called Hollywood Undead. I picked up two CDs…again the vinyl is a mish-mash of do they or don’t they, but they do have CDs. These are their first two studio albums. I still have 6 more to go.
2020 was probably the strangest year yet. With the Covid virus running rampant, many new releases were either postponed until late in the year or we never saw the release at all. There were a flurry of albums at the beginning of the year, then basically nothing for a few months until we got to the Fall and now there are too many to get through. 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 list will be my favorite “Rock” albums of the year. All other types of music will be for another post tomorrow. I am going to leave this one to my favorite genre. It is a broad genre, but these are the albums that I consider to be ROCK!!
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:
#10 – Storm Force – Age of Fear:
Thanks to some fellow bloggers in the name of LeBrain and SuperDekes, I was introduced to this Canadian band that unapologetically brought us a classic 80’s rock album full of songs that rocked you out and songs that were actually relevant to the events going on in the world which is amazing considering this song came out prior to the Covid shutdowns. I believe these guys can see the future and with music like this, I can see their future being very bright. You need to hear the songs “Breathe”, “Because of You” and “Dirty Vegas because once you do, you will be caught in the Storm!!
Welcome to December, the final month of this miserable 2020. Ok, that is the pessimist in me, but the optimist has enjoyed working from home and being with my family more. I’ve also enjoyed a lot of music and today there is A LOT!! We have over 20 albums for you to check out. I have a few I will listen to and those are highlighted in Blue. I think we have only 2 more Friday New Releases and then it will be quiet for about 3 weeks or more before new releases start picking back up. So, with that in mind, grab as much as you can. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend.
Hollywood Undead – New Empire, Vol. 2 – (BMG): Volume 1 came out earlier this year and these guys killed it yet again. I really dig their sound which if you don’t know is a metalcore sound that mixes hip hop and heavy metal. I am usually not a huge fan of that genre, but I like these guys and I haven’t missed a beat with them. Looking forward to this one.
Shawn Mendes – Wonder – (Island Records): Okay, I will admit, I’m not completely over the moon for this one but my girls like this kid and I have to admit also that some of it isn’t half bad for radio pop music. My daughter says for her 16th birthday she wants to meet him so Shawn, you have 3 years to get the restraining order.
Hollywood Undead brings us their sixth studio release with “New Empire Vol. 1” In what is supposed to be a change in direction and new sound that is fresh while still being Hollywood Undead, it is all of that and none of it. The music is still a mixture of nu metal and rap which is what they have always done.
However, this album though takes it further with being a little heavier at times and way more melodic at other times full of melodies and hooks that make these songs instantly memorable and you find yourself singing them even when the album is done.
But the biggest difference is the lyrics. There is still the aggression you have always seen, but they seem to be a little more uplifting especially on songs like “Heart of Champion” and “Second Chances” which features Benji Madden from Good Charlotte.
And that heaviness I mentioned, check out the singles “Time Bomb”and “Already Dead” as they come at you full throttle and leave you exhausted and wanting more. “Already Dead” is already one of my favorite songs of the year so far. And that isn’t all, you get “Enemy” slamming at you and if you want a full on melodic gem than listen to “Upside Down” with special guest Kellin Quinn from the band Sleeping with Sirens as he brings a great vocal to the song and takes it a direction that the band wouldn’t normally go.
“Empire” is a little less heavy and a little EDM thrown in backdropping the rap by J Dog and Johnny 3 Tears. What is cool with them is at times all members get to sing or rap which gives the band a broader range and able to do almost anything they want. Lots of variety.
If you are looking for straight up rap then “Killin’ It” is what you want as it is full of cockiness, swagger and with the EDM effects delivers a solid track that makes you feel you can take on the world. You also want to hear “Nightmare” which is so dramatic and powerful. A beast of a song to end the album on. Then “Enemy” explodes and the drums come slamming against your head bringing the metal back to the sound.
The change for the band wasn’t as dramatic as I expected, but it was better than I expected. I’m really drawn to the melodic sound on most of the choruses. The hooks have grabbed hold of me. I’m not a rap guy personally, but what these guys deliver is something that holds my attention and mixes well with the heaviness of the music enough to make this rock guy to sit up and pay attention.
This year has been really slow for music and this is the first album that I have gravitated towards and I have a feeling it will stick with me for some time to come. The production of the album is slick and the mix is top notch as everything sounds nearly perfect. I give it a 4.75 out 5.0 Stars only because at 9 songs and only 33 minutes, it is too short!! Bright side, I can play it over and over and not take up too much time.
Welcome to Friday and guess what it is Valentine’s Day!! The worst holiday ever invented. It puts undo pressure on everyone. The trick is show the one you love how much they mean to you every day of the year and then this day doesn’t mean shit!! It is just another. So blame Hallmark and all the chocolate companies and the florist companies and the restaurants for forcing this upon us. Wow, I went off on a tangent there. It is Friday, so that means new music. Not a whole lot here for me, but hopefully there is enough that you find something for you or the one you love. My listens are in Blue. Let me know what you want to hear and what I might have missed from the list because believe it or not…it happens all the time. Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!!
Hollywood Undead – New Empire, Vol 1 – (BMG Rights): I am excited for their new album which is now their 6th studio release. I really enjoy their rap-rock / nu-metal sound and I love the angst as well. It is usually great to blast driving down the road…so here is warning to you Charlotte Drivers that I might be a little reckless today with this cranked up.
Huey Lewis & the News – Weather – (New Hulex LLC / BMG Rights): I am really anxious and sad to hear this one. It could quite possibly be Huey’s last record and he is even unable to perform anymore. If you haven’t heard, Huey was diagnosed with a disorder of the inner ear called Meniere’s disease. It brings hearing loss, vertigo, ringing in the ear and a feeling of fullness. My thoughts and prayers are with him and selfishly I always would like new music from him.
2020 is upon us and it is always fun anticipating what new albums are and will come out in the year. There are quite a few we already know about, but some haven’t been officially announced or even a date set yet. From what I have gathered around the internet, here are the bands that should have new albums out in 2020, but no dates announced yet. The ones I would give a try (and my kids) will be highlighted in Blue. The ones with Dates Announced are at the bottom of this post. The list is building up nicely!!
2017 has been a fabulous year in music, but mostly for all the Anniversary Editions of some of my favorite albums from Def Leppard, Whitesnake and Stone Temple Pilots. However, there were some stellar Rock albums this year as well.
This list will be my favorite “Rock” albums of the year. All other types of music will be for a later post. I am going to leave this one to my favorite genre. It is a broad genre, but these are the albums that I consider to be ROCK!!
Also note, these are MY FAVORITES!! These are not the most popular or trendy albums. These are the albums that I connected with during the year and kept coming back to again and again. And without further adieu, here are the Top Rock Albums of 2017:
My #1 Album of the Year:
Jonny Lang – ‘Signs’: This album is straight-up Blues Rock and was one of two albums I can’t stop listening to this year. With songs like “Make It Move” and “Wisdom” how could I vote for any other album as #1. If that isn’t enough, Jonny’s guitar playing is sensational and his vocals are filled with so much emotion you are attached to these songs. Here is what I said in my review…He has brought a rawness back to his music that brings a more authentic blues sound and brings a lot of emotion. There is no reason you should skip out on listening to this album. (Click at the top to see the review).
Hollywood Undead brings us their fifth album simply titled Five or V. The band is a fantastic mix of Hip Hop and Metal. They don’t limit themselves to either genre as the album also mixes in some nice Pop and R&B sounds to bring a wide variety of styles and sounds in what might be there most infectious album.
The band members go by the monikers of Danny, Charlie Scene, J-Dog, Johnny 3 Tears and Funny Man. They wear masks and the music is usually filled with anger and angst that is sure to draw you into a crazy, fun-filled ride. This album does just that, but also is a departure from their previous efforts.
Welcome to the last Friday of October and the last set of new releases for the month. Halloween is coming up in a few days and maybe there is something on here that will be a treat for you…or maybe you buy it, it sucks and then it is a trick…either way I hope there is something for you. The ones I am interested in are highlight in Blue.
Stereophonics – Scream Above the Sounds – (Stereophonics / Parlophone): These Welsh boys are back with another new album. After 20 years together, they haven’t missed a beat. They are on a steady diet of one new album every two years and without fail, he were are with their latest. If you don’t know them, check them out and see why they are top of my list this week.
Red – Gone – (Provident Label Group): This Christian metal band is straying from their Christian roots with this album and delivering a mainstream rock record. They even do a Sia cover on the album. This could be interesting. I will definitely cue this one up as well,
2013 was an interesting year for me with the music that came out. Either I listened to an album over and over or it just didn’t get listened to but a couple times and I was done. This list are the albums that I just couldn’t get enough of during the year. Based on my picks this year, I would say Rock had a great year!! Here we go:
Scott Stapp – “Proof of Life” – This was my album of the Year for 2013. Yes, the man from Creed delivered an album that was both very personal and very relatable. I enjoyed this album immensely and have just devoured it since the day it came out. I can’t say enough positive things about this album. It had great flow from beginning to end and every song moved me in some way. He was not afraid to talk about Jesus and his faith in this album and I applaud him for it. It was the album I never knew he was capable of delivering. My favorite songs were “Only One”, “Jesus is a Rockstar”, “Slow Suicide”, “New Day Coming” and “What Would Love Do”…honestly they are all awesome. I hope he gets his act together and releases more music. Give this one a listen!!!