Every year about this time, I make my lists of the best of the best for the year. I used to make just one list for all music but that left so much great music off. I then started making a couple of lists. This year, I have FOUR lists.
There’s lists for Hard Rock/Metal, Country/Americana/Folk/Southern Rock, Hip Hop, and a new one for Pop. I tried to be as extensive as possible with these lists. In the end though, these are the CD’s that have stayed in my Winamp almost all year. Most of them have been in my phone playlist for as long as they’ve been released. These are ALL amazing slabs of music.
So, without further ado, I give you The Top 10’s (and a couple of honorable mentions)
(* = honorable mention)
1) Kreator – Phantom Antichrist: Hands down the meanest, most vicious metal album of the year. This is one raging, unrelenting slab of hate. This is the CD that has NOT left my music player all year.
2) The Night Flight Orchestra – Internal Affairs: This CD was a total surprise. This is classic in every sense of the word. From Bjorn’s vocals down to the music, there is no weakness here.
3) Van Halen – A Different Kind Of Truth: Would would have thought these guys still had it in them. Definitely among the best they’ve done.
4) S.U.N. – Something Unto Nothing: From the amazing vocals of Sass Jordan to the drumming of Tommy Stewart added to the buzzing guitars of Brian Tichy, this is one beast of an album.
5) Testament – Dark Roots Of Earth: Only SLIGHTLY less vicious sounding than Kreator but with not quite the flair. This is one mean CD.
6) Eclipse – Bleed & Scream: This is a home run all the way through. This band just keeps getting better and better.
7) Poets Of The Fall – Temple of Thought: Can these guys even write a bad song? There’s really no one that does it quite like them.
8) The Killbilly 5’ers – Welcome To Town Now Get The Hell Out: I’ve only had this CD for a couple of weeks but it quickly became one of my favorites. Imagine if ZZ Top and Pantera had a love child.
9) Stone Machine – American Honey: A rowdy, stomping CD full of a mix of songs that bring back the good ole days of Bad Company, Foreigner, Free, and Montrose.
10) Great White – Elation: A lot of people have disagreed with me on this pick. IMHO, the band has never sounded better. This is a CD full of classic tunes that satisfy in every way.
* Blessed By A Broken Heart – Feel The Power
* Adrenaline Mob – Omerta
* Leah – Of Earth & Angels
1) Moccasin Creek – Born Ready: One of the funnest CD’s I have from this or any other year. Fearlessly melding together fiery guitar riffs, fat beats, and the Redneck Motto of “Drink, Fuck, Fight” in a style that just begs to be played LOUD!
2) Honey King – S/T: I met these guys through ReverbNation and we’ve become great friends. One of the most complete CD’s of any that I’ve heard this year. Melody, emotion, style, and flawless instrumentation. As good or better than ANYTHING that’s currently on your FM dial.
3) The Cadillac Black – S/T: Fun, Fun, Fun. This is Southern music at it’s very best.
4) Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson – Wreck & Ruin: This CD showcases not only the amazing voice of Kasey but the brilliant songwriting of Shane. Together, they form one bad duo!
5) Drew Nelson – Tilt-a-Whirl: Another CD that’s I’ve only had a short while yet jumped quickly into my top list. This CD personifies everything that is great about Americana music.
6) Colt Ford – Declaration of Independence: In the same vein as Moccasin Creek but with many big names guesting on here. This is guaranteed to get any backyard party rockin’!
7) Jerry Douglas – Traveler: Another complete winner from the Master. Greats songs all the way through.
8) Greg Holden – I Don’t Believe You: I was introduced to Greg’s music through Sons of Anarchy. I immediately searched him out and found a treasure. First class singer and songwriter.
9) Cody Canada & The Departed – Adventus: One of the best all around musicians going today. Add in Seth James and company and you have an unstoppable train of music.
10) Shovels & Rope – O’ Be Joyful: I came across this group on Noisetrade and quickly became a huge fan. Awesome harmonies and killer music to go with it. This is what the White Stripes WISH they could be.
* Gangstagrass – Rappalachia
* Bob Wayne – Till The Wheels Fall Off
* Aaron Watson – Real Good Time
* Wade Bowen – The Given
1) Krazy Drayz – Showtime: This CD came out of nowhere. Former member of Das EFX. This CD is everything that a classic CD should be. This is just Stupid Good. Everything about this CD just screams PARTY!
2) Vinnie Paz – God Of The Serengeti: Boxcutta Vinnie is back and as lethal as ever. Sick rhymes, lethal beats, and knowledge beyond his years. This is Brain Music.
3) The Coup – Sorry To Bother You: Like the Krazy Drayz CD, this is everything that a Hip Hop album should be. Relentless, classic, and chocked full of brilliant lyricism.
4) Madchild – Dope Sick: Madchild is back and as sick as ever. This CD is insane in every way. This is meant to be played LOUD!
5) Brother Ali – Mourning In America and Dreaming In Color: More Brain music. One of the best rhymers in the game today. This guy can stand with anyone.
6) LeCrae – Gravity: Crae is more than just a rapper, Crae is a revolution. This guy is doing it in a way that few others are.
7) Jellyroll – The Big Sal Story: There’s no other rapper like Jelly. This is Southern Hip Hop at it’s best.
8) Chino XL – Ricanstruction: Chino is back and still dropping fire!
9) Lupe Fiasco – Food and Liquor II The Great American Rap Story: Part two of this incredible CD. Lupe has an uncanny knack for mixing killer hooks, solid style, and out of this world lyrics. This is no exception to that.
10) Saigon – The Greatest Story Never Told 2 Bread and Circuses: Saigon picks up where Lupe leaves off. If these 2 ever got together and formed a group, they’d be an ungodly force of nature.
* Styles Of Beyond – Reseda Beach
* Twiztid – Abominationz
* Sole – A Ruthless Criticism of Everything Existing
* KRS-One – The BDP Album
* La Coka Nostra – Masters Of The Dark Arts
1) Adam Lambert – Trespassing: WOW! What a killer CD. This made me a believer. Know let’s see if he can continue from here.
2) Pitbull – Global Warming: This is PARTY music personified. If this doesn’t get you moving, nothing will.
3) Daddy Yankee – Prestige: Reggae-ton at it’s very best.
4) Pink – The Truth About Love: What more can you say about Pink? Super voice and excellent production.
5) Uncle Kracker – Midnight Special: This is a fun CD. This is good for driving around.
5) Uwe Banton – Mental War: German Reggae with great lyrics and lots of feeling.
6) Bob Sinclair – Disco Crash: More party music done very well. Huge beats and great mixes.
7) Casey Abrams – S/T: I didn’t care for Casey much on American Idol but he really kills it here. A great set of tunes delivered in a classic style.
8) Manafest – Fighter: Not really pop music but not really rock either. Great messages inside songs that get ya moving.
9) Tenacious D – Rise Of The Fenix: Another awesome CD from the Greatest rock band on Earth. Jack and Kyle lay it down here!
10) Chris deBurgh – Home: Chris is at his absolute best here. Very few people in modern music can construct, produce, and perform a tune the way he can. The man is a master of the highest degree.
* Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – The Heist