!!! - THR!!!ER - These guys keep putting out solid music. This album is a little more funky than some of their past albums, but the signature dance beats are still there.
Black Sabbath - 13 - I did not expect this album to be very good. More times than not reunion albums are terrible. Bands tend to get back together to make a buck and don’t create a quality product. Black Sabbath did not follow this trend. Tony Iommi shows why he is the master of riffs. The lyrics are a little cheesy, but it is death/doom metal so it’s somewhat fitting.
Daft Punk - Random Access Memories - The spacemen are back! These guys were pioneers in electronic music and they continue to write groundbreaking music. One of the highlight tracks is tribute Giorgio by Moroder.
El-P/Killer Mike - Run The Jewels - I have always been a fan of El-P, but I wasn’t a fan of Killer Mike’s solo work. This album seems to be El-P leading the way with his production and beats, but with Killer Mike adding his vocal talents.
Kylesa - Ultraviolet - I have really been into sludge metal as of lately. Mastodon is at the top of the game, but there are some other respectable artists out there. Kylesa is one of them.
Midlake - Antiphon - I was a little leery when bandleader, Tim Smith, left the band. I’m not going to say he was holding back the band, but I could tell he did most of the songwriting. Now the band seems to have their own sound instead of sounding like a Neil Young spinoff. This album is psychedelic and more of a group effort.
Neko Case - The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You - I’ve always said her voice is like honey. This album shows that her supporting band is solid too. She also seems a little angry on this album. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard anyone say the word “fuck” better than her. This album seems to encapsulate past albums.
Pelican - Forever Becoming - It’s kind of strange how the post-rock scene originated in Chicago, and it appears like post-metal is at the forefront in Chicago now. Pelican and Russian Circles released great albums this year. I would love to see both of them in concert together.
Queens of the Stone Age - ...Like Clockwork - It’s no surprise that this album is on my list. Josh Homme is a rock god. Everything he’s involved in is golden. If I can’t think of something to listen to, QOTSA is a solid failsafe. I’ve said it before, but the rock industry needs QOTSA and their swaggering style.
Steven Wilson - The Raven That Refused To Sing and Other Stories - He’s the leader in prog rock. I hope that if he continues doing solo work that each album will be as good as this one.