Greetings again. This was a great year for music, but aren’t they all? Since I’ve starting doing this, and keeping track of what I listen to, there just hasn’t been a bad year. If anything, it just gets harder to choose. I’ll have a separate blog just for pop music later.
Best Album: “Rewind, Replay, Rebound” by Volbeat
Volbeat took this prize a few years ago with “Seal the Deal and Let’s Boogie”, and Rewind is even better than that. This time, they’re leaning further into their eclectic influences. Usually, when a hard-rock/metal band adopts a lighter sound it’s bad news, but for Volbeat it’s a strength. They can channel blues and old-timey rock and roll. They can do heavy-metal Elvis and crush it. Hell, I’m not sure what exactly they can’t do at a high level. They’re just thoroughly excellent.
Second Best Album: “Romantic Reruns” by Yeasayer
Romantic Reruns is a weird-but-compelling pop-rock album with catchy hooks, unpredictable sounds, and some political commentary. It’s a solid album that consistently sounds great. When I judge an album, consistency and album cohesiveness are a priority, and this has got them. You can just put this on and cruise through it, having a quirky good time.
“The Great War” (History Edition) by Sabaton
Every year, something shows up as a sterling example of power metal for me. This year, Sabaton had a solid record about the first world war that included my favorite song of the year: Seven Pillars of Wisdom. I strongly recommend getting the “History Edition”, which has little narrated intros for each song. It really enhanced the experience for me.
“Burning Sermons” by Liv Sin
Do you like devil-music? How about some compelling classic-style metal? Well Liv Sin’s album this year got heavy rotation in my car in 2019, for being a consistently good time. The songs are dark, but they almost all feel like a swinging party.