- Redemption's Son
10 friends, 100 albums: Album 10 (My Dad)

This album here is one I'm very familiar with. My father used to have songs from this record in various CD mixes he would create, and therefore exposing me to this kind of adult contemporary/alternative/singer-songwriter music at an early age. Other similar artists I fell in love with were Gavin Degraw and Howie Day to name a few. Though I associate Arthur's music with the artists I just mentioned, this project is significantly darker and religious ... read more

 - The '59 Sound
This record accomplishes something I don't think many records have, and that's blend the styles of Tom Petty and Social Distortion together in a way that feels natural.

The 59 Sound is the sophomore release of New Jersey band The Gaslight Anthem, and right away it divided fans of punk and rock. What do we call this? It's not punk.. but is it? Well I dare to say it's a punk influenced heartland record. It definitely deserves to have both feet in those circles.

The record starts off wonderfully ... read more

 - Accelerate
After a 4 year hiatus, and a load of experimental albums that didn't do too well for fans and critics, REM were really in a bind creatively and needed to put out a good record or it was the end for them. Thankfully, with a reinvigorated energy partly thanks to the troubled politosphere of the mid 00's, Stipe and Co. bounced back from a dry spell and cranked out a fast paced and brief, albeit wonderful little album that is Accelerate.

This album goes back to basics and gives us guitar-driven ... read more

 - Lost Nation Road
Craw once again provides a heaping helping of mathy noise with the aid of one Steve Albini.

Compared to their previous album not much has changed in terms of style or sonics. The band still employs heavy distortion and complex rhythms with frantic and demented vocals. This time around though, the band has taken more care to emphasize a sense of ebb and flow to the structure of the album itself.

Kicking off the album we have Sound of Every Promise. A heavy fucking track that is just balls to ... read more

 - Absolution
Muse's third album is also the first one in what would later become their motif in all of their subsequent albums to follow, where they heavy handedly write about government conspiracies and apocalyptic themes. This record is pretty heavy. In tone and content rather than in it's musical execution (even though there are a handful of awesome rock ragers here).

Opening up with the intro track of purely sounds of boots stomping to a march, we smoothly transition into the apocalyptic ... read more

 - Craw
Craw is a band introduced to me by a close friend. We both enjoy this type of music, so it was with shared excitement that we both acquired Craw's first three albums included in their anthology release.

Noise Rock officianados may hear David Yow from The Jesus Lizard in lead singer Joe McTighe's pained wailing and delirious diatribes. The songs themselves are sonically spacious but also incredibly oppressive at the same time. Opting for a more doomy and sludgy approach compared to most ... read more

 - Home, before and after
Regina's unique vocal delivery and knack for telling interesting stories is on full display on this latest record. While the instrumentation can be a bit overbearing at times, I felt emotionally pulled to and fro with her great vocals and delivery. Especially near the climax of this record on songs like Coin, Spacetime Fairytale and Loveology.
 - White Hot Peach
Oh for shame AOTY.

This record is a perfect blend of melancholic atmosphere, with a diverse sonic palette and plenty of mysterious and spacey feelings. This record is super captivating, and deserves a ton more recognition. I would say it's one of the few albums I've heard that encapsulates the feelings of disassociation perfectly.

 - 18 til I Die
Hoo boy, the only reason I checked this record out was morbid curiosity. I have this weird Kellogg's 90's disc that the song Let's Make a Night to Remember was off of, and that's what led me to this.

I might as well tell you what is good about the record. The clean production and the ballads are all pretty okay. The closing track elicited an "oh that song!" Moment out of me, and the classical guitar playing on top of it was quite nice actually. The aforementioned Let's Make a Night ... read more

 - Sometimes, Forever
Soccer Mommy has always been kind of a sleeper for me, but her new album was a bit of a step in the right direction for my ear drums. Still not completely wowing me, it has it's moments. Shotgun being the big one for me.
 - Not Only... But Also
The 88 make very nice, catchy, and smart pop rock that sticks in their melodies and tasteful arrangements. This album provides this in heaps, and also has a satisfying ebb and flow in the track list. Frontman Keith Slettedahl has a very whispery voice that also animated in it's delivery as well, giving the songs so much personality beyond their catchiness. A very good album for pop rock fans.
Freestyled and recorded in 3 days.. Lupe's newest project is anything but a fiasco.

Corny jokes aside, this album is amazing. It's so smartly written and excellently performed. Lupe's words stick to you on impact and the instrumentals are so cool and jazzy, definitely a solid contender for best hip hop of 2022.

 - 18 Months
If you were an adolescent in the early 10's you probably have heard a Calvin Harris song and probably not even realized it. I always just thought that We Found Love was solely Rihanna song, but nah, our boy Calvin here was behind it.

This album is pretty fire actually, the production is nice and the songs all go hard, there's rarely a dull moment. It's nothing too complex or challenging, but the bright and uplifting electronics and beats go so well together combined with the guest vocals on ... read more

 - 15
Buckcherry. Ugh. The radio play they got with their hit single sorry was enough for me to despise them (more on that later) but after hearing this record I just have to wonder.. why are they even bothering?

To start, we have the song So Far which note for note sounds like Aerosmith's No Surprize. Intentional or not, it does take away from what could be a decent rocker. Next 2 You was an okay tune, but the best song is Out of Line for sure. It reads like a throwback 70's hard rock song, ... read more

 - 14 Shades of Grey
Eh, what is there really to say about Staind? A few generic power ballad hits in the 00's, and there they are sitting amongst the plethora of successful hard rock groups doomed to exist on every pop radio station till the end of time.

This album's crowning achievement being So Far Away which is to say, is definitely the best song on the record. It's an anthemic power ballad that too many drunk 30-somethings have belted out during that one dive-bar's karoake night. I like it purely out of ... read more

 - 14:59
Sugar Ray was a big part of my childhood with their radio singles such as Fly and Someday, thus leading to this album coming across my desk at some point in the past couple years.

Honestly going into it I had no clue what to expect. The album opens up with this thrashy metal cut that's clearly tongue in cheek as McGrath does a corny death growl about being nice to your sister and treating cops with respect. This track is only 40 seconds long and is titled New Direction so clearly meant to be a ... read more

 - 1312 (feat. Parcas)
Pussy Riot and all collaborating artists on this track come together to make one of the most visceral and energetic anti-police tracks of 2020. It's loud and in your face, and has a super smooth transition from outright deep fried nu-metal into an industrial rap verse by Muerejoven to end the song off.

It's rebellious and fun, an awesome song to piss people off with.

This short review was copied and moved over from my account on RYM: ... read more

 - Above
The 90's were a period of youthful unrest and rebellion, being born out of this desire to find oneself and be more than just a cog in the machine was the Grunge movement, springing out of Seattle and surrounding areas at the time. You have your Nirvana's, your Stone Temple Pilot's, your Soundgarden's, but amongst all of these heavy hitting and mega-successful groups you have the troubled souls held within. Those familiar with the 90's and it's music will certainly have no problem remembering ... read more
 - Baby
Holy fuck, this record is insane. Loud, noisy, technically impressive, this Petrol Girls album is a politically charged juggernaut of a record. While I think there are some minor pacing issues, for the most part this record killlllls.
 - To Record Only Water For Ten Days
10 friends 100 albums: album 9 (Jake)

John Frusciante, famed guitarist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and a creative tour-de-force well enough on his own as well. His turbulent past comes to a head on this record, as he has not only mastered his craft here but he has also improved his own life drastically in addition.

John has always been a super creative presence outside of the RHCP band, constantly writing and recording his ideas, and this record is a culmination of some of his demos and ... read more

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AOTY July Playlist