Average Rating: 3.34
Rating Variance: 0.66
Objectivity Score: 83% (Well Balanced)
Sort by: Rating | Release Date | Rating Date | Name5.0 classicBirds Of Tokyo UniversesJust like with Karnivool, Ian Kenny masters the mix of his melodic voice with graceful guitar-work. This album perfectly balances transitions between harder and softer rock and it hardly ever has to grow on you like the latter band. With this album, Birds of Tokyo has not only "curb-stomped" the debut LP Day One, but they have created something rock fans simply need to hear in order to fully experience and appreciate the genre. Ian Kenny is one busy and talented mother-fucker to juggle two amazing bands like these. Recommended Songs: Broken Bones, Head In My Hands, White Witch, Armour for Liars, Train WrecksChevelle This Type of Thinking (Could Do Us In)Chevelle Vena SeraConverge Jane DoeDeftones Diamond EyesFair to Midland Arrows and AnchorsIn all likelihood, the most interesting and funnest rock album ever created.Isis PanopticonIsis Wavering RadiantThe kind of album that makes you shiver the first time you hear it...and then you realize you've found something brilliant. It's a shame they cut the cord after this, I would've loved to see what else they had in them. But maybe we should be thanking ISIS for stopping before they became tired and stale? All I know is listening to this is the most bittersweet farewell a listener could ask for. Recommended Songs: Hall of the Dead, Ghost Key, Hand of the Host, 20 Minutes/40 Years (the climax at 5:36 almost brought me to tears - only a couple songs can boast that)Leprous BilateralAlbums like this don't come along very often. I've personally never heard an album where a band tries this many different ideas and executes them so flawlessly. Leprous combine the wacky vocals and theatricality of a band like Queen with a stylish and sometimes aggressive brand of in-your-face progressive rock. There are even metal influences at work here reminiscent of Opeth and sometimes even Meshuggah (listen to the intro of "Forced Entry"). When Solberg hits those high notes on songs like "Forced Entry" and "Mb. Indifferentia" he is a force to be reckoned with. Once you get used to their weirdness, this band shows itself to be one seriously hot contender in the progressive rock scene. Recommended Songs: Forced Entry, Mb. Indifferentia, Waste of Air, Cryptogenic DesiresO'Brother Garden WindowExactly what I look for in a 5. An album that, while it may feel awkward and uncomfortable at first, unravels itself to you over time as you get to know it. There's the punchier numbers like "Lo" and "Sputnik" that grab you right away. Then there's the serene and beautiful ballads like "Easy Talk" and "Bear" that come in at the precise time they should. And finally the long brooding epics like "Poison!" and "Cleanse Me" that take time to truly understand and mesh multiple genres into an absolute beast of a song in a genre that O'Brother can really call their own. Whatever genre it is, O'Brother sit at the top of it, no questions.Porcupine Tree DeadwingSo comforting when a 10 min track to start the album passes by with no hiccups at all and the rest goes down smooth. This is some of the most beautiful music I've ever heard and listeners will probably ever hear. The one thing I enjoy more than anything in an album is variety. Nothing is more boring than hearing a single and finding out the entire album sounds the same. Here you get progressive rock, metal, poppier rock, piano ballads, fucking tons of shit! Well done you tall spiky-ass plant. Recommended Songs: Shallow, Halo, Arriving Somewhere But Not Here, Mellotron Scratch, Open CarRed Innocence and InstinctYanni Live at the AcropolisWho can really describe what kind of music Yanni writes? His sound stretches from brass instruments to strings to guitars. It's a goddamn buffet of music genres in one symphony of carefully picked musicians who are adept in their area of music. This is the best live album I've heard, the mood and atmosphere Yanni creates is unparalleled. He is a master craftsman, especially with the piano, the piano ballads are untouchable. Recommended Songs: The Rain Must Fall, One Man's Dream, Nostalgia (unbelievable song - the piano intro is gut wrenching)4.5 superbABBA ABBA GoldAlexisonfire Watch Out!Alice in Chains Black Gives Way to BlueAnberlin CitiesAnberlin Never Take Friendship PersonalAnberlin VitalChevelle Wonder What's NextChevelle Sci-Fi CrimesChevelle La GargolaClutch Blast TyrantClutch Earth RockerCog The New NormalColdplay Viva la Vida or Death and All His FriendsConverge Axe to FallConverge All We Love We Leave BehindCult of Luna Somewhere Along the HighwayCult of Luna VertikalThis album shouldn't be as special to me as it is. But with Isis gone, and Neurosis delivering a simply "okay" album last year, I guess it's just nice to know someone out of these top tier post-metal bands can still be counted on. I knew this album would take patience (as do most of their albums). So I wasn't surprised to see that one day at work after several listens, I could put this album on and practically every song has that enormous presence and elegant flow I come to expect from Cult of Luna. It's stellar and so very worth the patience. Recommended Songs: I: The Weapon (the clusterfuck song on "Vertikal"), Synchronicity (go listen to this song a few times and tell me if that drumline and rhythm isn't stuck in your head for days after), In Awe Of (best riffs on the album, instant classic)Cyanotic The Medication GenerationDead Letter Circus The Catalyst FireDeftones Around the FurFair to Midland Fables From a Mayfly...Filter The Trouble With AngelsThis is that rare rock album that seems mediocre and formulaic at first but after a few listens it steals your heart. Richard Patrick's voice suits the crunchy guitars perfectly and his scream is surprisingly effective on most tracks. The balance of anger and sincerity is also astounding, you can get a pulse-pounding track like "No Love" but also find yourself singing out loud to the very touching closer "Fades Like a Photograph". It goes to show you that you don't always need 50 different sounds and complicated genres at work, sometimes keeping things simple and doing what you do well is all you need to create a masterpiece. Recommended Songs: The Inevitable Relapse, No Love, No Re-Entry, Down With Me, The Trouble With AngelsFilter Title Of RecordGorillaz Demon DaysIsis OceanicIsis In the Absence of TruthIsis Mosquito ControlKanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted FantasyI don't think a single person who's heard of Kanye West (love him or hate him) can say that his heart wasn't 120% in this album. It's difficult for me to rate rap because the music to me is usually a short-lived fad. Kanye West has made something here that will be held as a benchmark for any future modern rap albums. It brings us back to the time when these artists were still emerging and dishing out those legendary historic albums we still hold in high-esteem. It's a celebration featuring countless artists and music styles here to support Kanye through his transition back into sanity. Recommended Songs: Gorgeous, POWER, So Appalled, Hell Of A LifeKarnivool Sound AwakeKarnivool AsymmetryKendrick Lamar good kid, m.A.A.d cityKoji Kondo The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess OSTLinkin Park Hybrid TheoryLinkin Park MeteoraMeshuggah KolossMetric FantasiesNeurosis Through Silver in BloodObscure Sphinx Void MotherOceansize FramesOceansize Everyone Into PositionOpeth Blackwater ParkP.O.D. SatellitePorcupine Tree Fear of a Blank PlanetRiverside Second Life SyndromeRiverside Shrine Of New Generation SlavesSingle Mothers Wild PartySkyharbor Guiding LightsSwans To Be KindThe Dillinger Escape Plan Option ParalysisThe best DEP has released yet. Even the softer songs are highlights. Any doubts you had about the band are gone. The new drummer is insane, Greg's vocals are as outrageous as ever. In Puciato we trust. Recommended Songs: Farewell, Mona Lisa; Gold Teeth on a Bum; Room Full of Eyes, Parasitic Twins.The Dillinger Escape Plan Ire WorksThe Mire Volume: IIThe Ocean PrecambrianAn album that, if you let it, unfolds itself to you little by little over time. Even the clearly inferior Disc 1 still consistently nails its mission of straighter-forward hardcore punk. But folks, it's the second disc where the band digs deep and unleashes a lethal power nobody thought possible in the realms of post-metal. Every song plays out like a nuclear bomb, quietly ticking away and building to a catastrophic explosion, each in its own unique way. This is what it's all about, the reason I listen to post-metal in the first place motherfuckers, for experiences like this.The Roots undunTwelve Foot Ninja New DawnYanni Keys to ImaginationI felt kind of a disappointment when listening to Yanni's recent albums, after "Live at the Acropolis", he lost a bit of why I think I like him: the passion and feeling his music has and what it does to you. His earlier triumph "Keys to Imagination" is aptly named, it is in itself like a key that opens up your mind and makes you dream. You can picture exactly what Yanni wants you to picture even without words, it's actually amazing. "Looking Glass" forces us to take that scary leap and witness the world in a whole new way with its mystifying and curious sound. "Port of Mystery" reminds you of those painful goodbyes you've had to give people, both sad and hopeful. There are also some songs that are the originals of "Live at the Acropolis", my favorite song "Nostalgia" and his most popular "Santorini". Finally, he leaves you with not a soft reflective piece but a fast paced entry into the beyond in "Forbidden Dreams" that is nothing short of perfect. It compliments his message perfectly: at the albums end, the journey is not over, it's never over. Recommended Songs: The North Shore of Matsushima, Looking Glass, Nostalgia, Forbidden Dreams4.0 excellentAlexisonfire Old Crows / Young CardinalsA welcome new sound for the band that could even be considered a little more fun and rowdy than the music we've previously heard from them. "Young Cardinals" will surely top radio hits for a while, but the CD has other songs that even outweigh that track such as their experimental blues/rock masterpiece "The Northern". And, there's always those tracks like "Midnight Regulations" and "Heading for the Sun" that will satisfy those long-standing Alexisonfire fans. It won't top their sophomore album "Watch Out!" as there are a few songs that are quite mediocre, such as "No Rest", "Accept Crime", and "Emerald Street". However, Dallas Green's voice has been taken up a notch and there is a lot more energy in this newest offering. Recommended Songs: Young Cardinals, The Northern, Midnight Regulations, Heading for the SunAlexisonfire Dog's BloodAlice in Chains DirtAlice in Chains Jar of FliesAmplifier The OctopusAmplifier MystoriaAnberlin New SurrenderAnberlin Dark Is the Way, Light Is a PlaceAnimals As Leaders The Joy of MotionBackstreet Boys The Hits: Chapter OneReally the only BB album you need in your life. A nice, condensed version of everything they did well. Stop being a manly man and get your "90's boy-band craze" on.Banks GoddessBirds Of Tokyo Birds Of TokyoNot reaching the caliber of its predecessor "Universes" but still so catchy and intriguing. There is a lack of hits, but the overall record is easy to run through without wanting to skip any particularly bad songs. Ian Kenny is still outstanding and one of the best vocalists I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. As of now though, I'm definitely waiting more avidly for the next Karnivool album than the next from this band. Recommended Songs: In the Veins of Death Valley, The Gap, Murmurs, Waiting for the WolvesBirds Of Tokyo This FireBotch We Are the RomansBrand New The Devil and God Are Raging Inside MeBrand New DaisyChevelle Point #1Chevelle Hats Off to the BullCrossfade We All BleedCrystal Castles Crystal Castles IIICult Leader Nothing for Us HereCult of Luna SalvationCult of Luna Eternal KingdomDaft Punk Alive 2007Dark Tranquillity FictionDark Tranquillity CharacterDead Letter Circus This Is The WarningDeftones White PonyA very solid Deftones album that is a great listen but a little undeserving of the rating it gets here IMO. Part of what makes a Deftones album so exciting for me is that there are always a few songs that standout from everything else. These songs fuel the album and define it. Here, all the songs are great (with the exception of the snoozefest Pink Maggit) but none ever ascend higher than the others. Where is the "My Own Summer" and "Rocket Skates" here? No where, none of the songs reach that kind of status. Recommended Songs: Back to School (Mini Maggit), Feiticeira, Digital Bath, Rx QueenDJ Shadow Endtroducing.....Dog Fashion Disco Sweet NothingsDragonette Fixin to ThrillElectric Wizard DopethroneElton John Greatest Hits 1970-2002Emery ...In Shallow Seas We SailEminem The Eminem ShowFallujah The Flesh PrevailsFilter The AmalgamutFilter The Sun Comes Out TonightFleet Foxes Helplessness BluesFoo Fighters Wasting LightFirst truly great rock album of 2011. It's been a rough first quarter of the year, but this makes it so much sweeter. I cannot believe there is absolutely no filler here, it's insane. And can you hear just how much Dave Grohl learned from Them Crooked Vultures? Recommended Songs: Bridge Burning, Dear Rosemary, These Days, I Should Have KnownHelioscope NoirHelm (AU) Vol 3… PanthalassaHigh on Fire De Vermis MysteriisIntronaut Habitual LevitationsIntronaut Valley of SmokeIntronaut PrehistoricismsIsis CelestialJanus Nox AerisJolly Forty-six Minutes, Twelve Seconds of MusicJolly The Audio Guide to Happiness (Part 1)Jolly The Audio Guide to Happiness (Part 2)Lady Gaga The Fame MonsterA stellar B-side addition to her successful debut album "The Fame". Although I did not enjoy the debut album as much as most "radio music junkies", with this CD she finally managed to convince me as to why I should consider her "different" from the rest of the mindless, empty one-hit artists I hear on a daily basis. Her music on this CD is complex, compelling, and dare I say, unique??? "Alejandro" proves how effortless it is for her to both enjoy what she is doing and make a beat-heavy, addicting radio hit. At the same time, she demonstrates how she can switch gears and produce a touching and deeper song like "So Happy I Could Die" where she deals with her drug addiction. Simply amazing she managed this. Recommended Songs: Alejandro, Telephone, So Happy I Could DieLana Del Rey ParadiseWell honeybun you outdid yourself on this one. How did you know I liked Pepsi-Cola and cherry pies? I mean gawddamn!Lana Del Rey UltraviolenceLeprous CoalLimp Bizkit Gold CobraLondon Grammar If You WaitLondon Grammar is like if Birds of Tokyo scrapped Ian Kenny as vocalist and added a girl who is a hybrid of Florence Welsh and Lana Del Rey. Honestly, the sound is smooth and delightful but it's really the choruses that make this album. Without those, it would be average at best, but Hannah Reid NAILS 90% of the choruses on this album, somehow keeping each one distinct and fresh along the way. Some songs are literally saved by the choruses alone. Christ, it's too goddamn beautiful for words. Recommended Songs: Hey Now, Sights, Metal & DustLupe Fiasco Food & LiquorMastodon The HunterMastodon LeviathanMegadeth EndgameMiddle Class Rut Pick Up Your HeadMinus the Bear OmniMother Mother O My HeartMudvayne L.D. 50A very solid nu-metal album that's only real flaw is the sheer length of the record. On their own, almost every song is strong. However, when listening in full, my interest fades by track 11-12 due to the fact that the sound is similar in every track and the album becomes basically one 1.2 hr meshed song. It is still excellent and one of the stronger albums of its genre and era. Recommended Songs: Dig, -1, Nothing to Gein, (K)now F(orvever)Neurosis Enemy of the SunNothing More Nothing MoreA bastard child of Emery and Fair to Midland for all those who miss the latter band and the days of high-adrenaline and all-around FUN rock.O'Brother DisillusionOceansize EffloresceOceansize Music for NursesOutKast StankoniaP.O.D. Fundamental Elements of SouthtownP.O.D. Murdered LoveGit in mah iP.O.D. right meooowwwwwwP.O.S. Never BetterQueens of the Stone Age Songs for the DeafQueens of the Stone Age ...Like ClockworkRa From OneRabbit Junk Project NonagonRabbit Junk Pop That Pretty ThirtyRage Against the Machine RenegadesRage Against the Machine The Battle of Los AngelesAhhhhhh, the album that could've been up there with my favorite albums of all time. It's flawless, literally gorgeous music and some of the best stuff RATM has ever written...for the first 75% of the album. The last few songs are depressingly average and a buzzkill. RATM had a slump with "Evil Empire", a very average album living in the shadow of its predecessor. "Battle of Los Angeles" kicks the living shit of that album as well. Recommended Songs: Guerilla Radio, Mic Check, Sleep Now in the Fire, Born as Ghosts, No Shelter (Bonus Song)Rage Against the Machine Rage Against the MachineRed End of SilenceRed Until We Have FacesYou knew it would be difficult to top Innocence & Instinct, but this album somehow stands it's ground. It's a grower. Red has definitely softened up enough to hit radio and generate some new fans, but some moments on here are some of the best of their career. It's just a mature and tight album from a band that knows it's strengths. I honestly got what I wanted, which was another song from them I can play 50+ times without tiring of it (in the form of "The Outside" - such an epic intro). They have to learn to end on a strong note though...none of this 5-minute long piano soft bullshit anymore. They finish every album like this, do something nuts for once geez! Recommended Songs: Feed the Machine, Buried Beneath, The Outside, Best is Yet to Come.Riverside Out of MyselfRun the Jewels Run the Jewels 2Russian Circles EmprosRussian Circles MemorialSam Roberts Band We Were Born In A FlameSam Roberts Band Chemical CityThis time around, Sam Roberts starts the album off again with a bang, but it becomes much more mellow than his debut LP. The good thing is that he makes his softer songs felt a bit more and they end up being stronger than the softer songs on "We Were Born...". It's a quiet album, but very rewarding once it clicks. Still don't understand why his music is so catchy. Recommended Songs: Bridge to Nowhere, With A Bullet, The Bootleg Saint.Sam Roberts Band Lo-FantasySilversun Pickups SwoonSilversun Pickups Neck of the WoodsSkillet ComatoseSkyharbor Blinding White Noise: Illusion & ChaosSleigh Bells TreatsThis band came out of absolutely thin air. They had apparently wowed crowds when they played at the CMJ Music Marathon in 2009, and the debut album was therefore not far behind. They have a truly new sound, a noisy dance-pop tone that resembles cheer leading music with (my goodness!) heavy guitars in the background. The results astonished me from the moment I heard the single "Tell em", weird but amazingly catchy and upbeat. It's fun music, while at times risque. But like all better bands, they are willing to experiment and produced a soft song called "Rill Rill" which pays off so well that it has easily topped my list of best summer songs EVER. I haven't had time to prepare or react to how fast this band has entered my music library. At first I thought the noisiness was a bit much, but the more you listen the more it tones down and you really see how ground-breaking this band is. Recommended Songs: Tell em, Run the Heart, Rill Rill, TreatsSwans The SeerThe Dead Weather Sea of CowardsThe Dead Weather HorehoundThe Dillinger Escape Plan Miss MachineThe Dillinger Escape Plan Under the Running BoardThe Dillinger Escape Plan One of Us Is the KillerThe National AlligatorThe Ocean PelagialThe Ocean AeolianThem Crooked Vultures Them Crooked VulturesThere are just so many different songs to enjoy in this album made by a super team of music artists including the singers from both Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age. Them Crooked Vulture's sound is addicting, it sounds crisp and new while at the same time celebrating that old classic rock sound. The songs are cheeky and quirky with unexpected turns and twists in rhythm and riffs. There are also many highlights in the album, particularly the first 1.5 minutes of "Elephants" where the band breaks down into one of the most enjoyable lead-ins to a song I've ever heard. Each song is unique and the songs don't ever really blend much, so you truly see how flexible the band can be. A solid debut album. Recommended Songs: No One Loves Me & Neither Do I, Elephants, Reptiles, Caligulove, GunmanThird Eye Blind Third Eye BlindThousand Foot Krutch Welcome to the MasqueradeThousand Foot Krutch PhenomenonPretty awkward on the first listen, but TFK's sound and cocky pump-up lyrics eventually sneak inside your head. The problem is at some points Trevor McNevan sounds likes he's impersonating a British person and failing miserably. But the music is meant to blow your ears by how wild it is, and it's a great time, finished off by one of their catchiest choruses to date (Break the Silence). Recommended Songs: Step to Me; Faith, Love, and Happiness; New Design; Break the SilenceTrophy Scars Holy VacantsTwelve Foot Ninja Silent MachineWu-Tang Clan Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)3.5 great10 Years Feeding the WolvesAlexisonfire CrisisAlice in Chains Alice in ChainsAlice in Chains The Devil Put Dinosaurs HereAlter Bridge BlackbirdAmia Venera Landscape The Long ProcessionAmplifier AmplifierAnathema Weather SystemsAnberlin Blueprints For the Black MarketAnberlin LowbornAnd So I Watch You From Afar All Hail Bright FuturesAnd So I Watch You From Afar GangsAnimals As Leaders Animals As LeadersAugust Burns Red Rescue and RestoreB.o.B The Adventures Of Bobby RayBaroness Blue RecordBaroness Yellow and GreenBeastie Boys Hot Sauce Committee Part TwoBehemoth The SatanistBig Boi Sir Lucious Left FootBirds Of Tokyo March FiresBorn of Osiris The DiscoveryBotch An Anthology of Dead EndsBreaking Benjamin PhobiaBroken Bells After The DiscoBullet for My Valentine FeverBurial KindredCloudkicker The DiscoveryClutch Robot Hive/ExodusCoalesce OXCold Year Of The SpiderColdplay Mylo XylotoColdplay X & YColdplay Ghost StoriesConverge You Fail MeConverge/Dropdead SplitCrosses EPCrystal Castles Crystal Castles IICyanotic Worst Case Scenario Vol. 1Daft Punk Random Access MemoriesDan Black ((Un))Death From Above 1979 The Physical WorldDefeater Lost GroundDeftones DeftonesDeftones Saturday Night WristDeftones Koi No YokanDrake Take CareDream Theater Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a MemoryEarl Sweatshirt DorisEminem The Marshall Mathers LP 2Feist/Mastodon FeistodonFoals Holy FireFoo Fighters Greatest HitsGaza No Absolutes in Human SufferingGodflesh A World Lit Only by FireGorillaz Plastic BeachHelms Alee Sleepwalking SailorsHetfield and Hetfield Tidal Wave DreamsHurt Volume OneIncubus S.C.I.E.N.C.E.Janus Red Right ReturnJay-Z The Blueprint 3Jay-Z and Kanye West Watch the ThroneJustin Timberlake FutureSex/LoveSoundsKanye West GraduationKanye West Late RegistrationKanye West The College DropoutKarnivool ThemataKendrick Lamar Section.80KiD CuDi Man On The Moon: The End Of DayKiD CuDi Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. RagerKiller Be Killed Killer Be KilledLacuna Coil Dark AdrenalineThis album is like a random hookup, fun in the moment but you feel like shit afterwards for listening to it. This band knows how to write a good hook though, I just wish the Dave Grohl look-alike would stop singing. Recommended Songs: Trip the Darkness, Against You, End of TimeLeprous Tall Poppy SyndromeLinkin Park A Thousand SunsIt's a grower. To enjoy something like this you really have to forgive Linkin Park for completely breaking off what was once their signature sound. You have to open your mind to what they are now, and electronica band. Is that bad? I expect most of you to think so. Sputnik has weird sets of double-standards. Some bands are allowed to change (Brand New, Radiohead), some aren't and Linkin Park happens to fall in that group. It's too bad, the band sounds the most mature they've ever sounded here. Will you like it all? No, there are some craptastic songs (ex. The Messenger), but our tastes change over time, why shouldn't the band be allowed to change too? It's not as bad as you're hearing, this site simply shelters people. Recommended Songs: Blackout, Robot Boy, Waiting for the EndLinkin Park Living ThingsNow that the fanboy jitters and adrenaline rush have settled, I can try and sit back and seriously look at this new LP album from an unbiased perspective.
...I'll take it, it's not perfect, but I'll fucking gladly take this energetic bit of fun that brightened my year up a bit from the depressing shit I usually listen to. "Burn It Down" is arguably the catchiest thing they've made in ages...fuck yo couch all of you!Linkin Park The Hunting PartyLupe Fiasco The CoolMachine Head Unto the LocustMastodon Crack the SkyeMastodon Once More 'Round the SunMegadeth Rust in PeaceIn all honesty, some of the tracks are delicious. They have some of the most amazing never-ending guitar riffs I've ever heard. But too many times on this CD, Mustaine's voice kills everything for me. He puts on accents some times (Take No Prisoners) that just drive me nuts. It's all very hit-or-miss, but when Megadeth churns out a good song, it is nothing short of classic. Recommended Songs: Holy Wars...The Punishment Due, Hangar 18, Lucretia.Megadeth Peace Sells... but Who's Buying?Metric SyntheticaMisery Signals ControllerMother Mother EurekaMouth of the Architect DawningMudvayne MudvayneMuse AbsolutionNeurosis The Eye of Every StormNeurosis Times of GraceNeurosis Honor Found in DecayNirvana NevermindNorma Jean WrongdoersO'Brother The Death of DayOceansize Self Preserved While The Bodies Float UpOne Day As A Lion One Day As A LionOneRepublic NativeOpeth DamnationP.O.D. TestifyPeriphery PeripheryPorcupine Tree Stupid DreamPorcupine Tree In AbsentiaPorcupine Tree The IncidentProtest the Hero ScurrilousQueens of the Stone Age Rated RRa Critical MassRedlight King Something For The PainRihanna Good Girl Gone BadRise Against Appeal to ReasonA more mainstream album from the band that has always produced the same level of music in all the years they've been together. I have the same goddamn opinion of this as I do with everything they make: solid, a good listen, but just not good enough to cross that line into epic. Recommended Songs: Long Forgotten Sons, Re-Education (Through Labor), Kotov Syndrome, The Strength to Go OnRise Against The Sufferer and the WitnessRiverside Rapid Eye MovementRun the Jewels Run the JewelsRush Clockwork AngelsSam Roberts Band ColliderSaosin SaosinShad TSOLSingle Mothers Negative QualitiesSingle Mothers Single MothersSkillet CollideSoilwork The Living InfiniteSoundgarden BadmotorfingerSt. Vincent St. VincentSteven Wilson InsurgentesSteven Wilson's songwriting has always been stellar, and it's nice to see his solo work follows suit. Many of the songs here are actually beautifully sung and written. He has a knack for pacing his songs perfectly. But, here he falls victim to the same issues his recent work with Porcupine Tree had. The last three songs sound stale and boring, and his longer songs here struggle a bit too, just like The Incident did in spots. As side projects go though (often experimental and hit-or-miss), "Insurgentes" is a wonderful listen and it'll be interesting to see what he comes out with next. Recommended Songs: Harmony Korine, Veneno Para Las Hadas, Only ChildSteven Wilson The Raven That Refused to SingStrata Strata Presents The End Of The WorldSufjan Stevens The Age of AdzSwans Soundtracks for the BlindI have put myself through this album non-stop for three weeks. I listened to it at work, while I studied, even before I went to bed. It's intriguing, daring, and terrifying. But I can't possibly give it more than this rating. This double album strives to literally do everything. Unfortunately, such an eclectic mix of genres and ideas more often than not crumbles under its own weight. For every gem like "Helpless Child", there is a song like "I Was A Prisoner In Your Skull" or "Empathy" that goes literally no where over the course of its entirety. For every terrifying experience like "Her Mouth Is Filled With Honey", there is a pointless filler track like "Fan's Lament" that makes you wonder why the song exists. And then, there are songs so good they almost standout TOO much. "The Sound" could stand alongside some of the greatest musical achievements in history, it's that good. It's so good, I get impatient while listening to the first disc of the album because all I want is to just cut the crap and get to hear "The Sound" again. Soundtracks For The Blind is quite the musical achievement and Swans should be commended for what they've done here, but the harsh reality is that THIS style was not perfected until the group reformed in the late 2000's. Their later stuff makes this look like an unfinished idea and unrefined.Swarms Old Raves EndTesseracT Altered StateTesseracT OneThe Almost Monster, MonsterThe Black Keys El CaminoThe Butterfly Effect ImagoThe Devil Wears Prada ZombieThe Dillinger Escape Plan Irony Is a Dead SceneThe Fray Reason EPThis EP started out like it could be what I was waiting for my whole life. Unfortunately, after "Without Reason" it simply becomes mediocre. Definitely check it out if "How to Save a Life" grabbed your attention, you may find this even better. Recommended Songs: Together, Some Trust, Without ReasonThe Gathering DisclosureThe Mars Volta NoctourniquetThe Mire Volume: IThe Mire Glass CathedralsThe Ocean FluxionThe Roots How I Got OverThe Safety Fire Grind The OceanThe Shins Port of MorrowThe White Stripes ElephantThrice Major/MinorTool LateralusTyler the Creator WolfVESSL GoddessWe Came As Romans To Plant a SeedWeezer Everything Will Be Alright in the EndWolves Like Us Late LoveYeah Yeah Yeahs It's Blitz!Probably the best album they've released to date (that includes EPs). However, this band has yet to release an album I can listen to without wanting to skip over tracks here and there. Some songs are just not worth being shown the light of day (ex. Skeletons, Dragon Queen). Recommended Songs: Heads Will Roll, Soft Shock, Shame and Fortune3.0 goodAdele 21Against Me! Transgender Dysphoria BluesAnciients Heart Of OakArcade Fire The SuburbsBackstreet Boys Backstreet BoysBackstreet Boys MillenniumBrand New Your Favorite WeaponBroken Bells Broken BellsChevelle Any Last WordsCloudkicker Little HistoriesCog Just Visiting - Part 2Cog Just Visiting - Part 1"Moo" is my fucking jam. Best song name in history, fuckin Moo!Coldplay A Rush of Blood to the HeadConverge Petitioning the Empty SkyThis gets a 3 simply because "The Saddest Day' is without a doubt one of the best songs in Converge's discography. As has been mentioned in other soundoffs, the other songs on here come off as mere leftovers compared to the opener. They mostly just sound unpolished and some a bit immature, something the band thankfully fixes in later records.Converge When Forever Comes CrashingCrystal Castles Crystal CastlesDamascus When Last We MetDead Letter Circus Dead Letter CircusDeadmau5 While(1<2)Devon Tracy Dream ChaseDinosaur Bones My DividerDrake Thank Me LaterOh Drake, how I wanted to hate this album on the basis of how much I dislike you and your cockiness. You would've loved to see my reaction when I started having some songs from here stuck in my head. I still wouldn't consider this a great album, but some songs on here (really just tracks 4-7) are just really good songs. Sneaky bastard. Recommended Songs: Over, Find Your Love, Show Me A Good Time, Up All NightDrake Nothing Was the SameA bit of a step down from Take Care. There are some strong songs here, but his sophomore release somehow felt tighter with very few chinks in its armor despite having 18 songs. Nothing Was The Same will keep Drake relevant, but doesn't offer much to prove to us that there's a whole lot left in him. I love the Toronto shout-outs though, I'm from there! Recommended Songs: Started From The Bottom, From Time, Hold On We're Going Home, Pound Cake.dredg Catch Without Armsdredg El CieloAn alright album with a few sparks of genius here and there. Gavin Hayes' voice is remarkably soothing. As a full album though, it contains a few chinks in its armor. It also reeks of pretentiousness, this band clearly thinks very highly of themselves (little 1-2 minute "Brushstrokes" all over the place...get over yourselves). It is very over-hyped in my opinion, but still worth a look. Recommended Songs: Same Ol' Road, Sanzen, Sorry But It's Over, Of The Room.Electric Wizard Time to DieEminem RecoveryEminem The Marshall Mathers LPEvanescence EvanescenceFever Ray Fever RayFleet Foxes Fleet FoxesFrank Ocean Channel OrangeFuneral for a Friend Welcome Home ArmageddonGorillaz GorillazGreen Day American IdiotHieroglyphics Full CircleHurt The CruxHurt Vol. IIIntronaut VoidIntronaut NullIsis SGNL>05Jack White BlunderbussJay-Z The Black AlbumJustin Timberlake The 20/20 ExperienceKanye West YeezusKaty Perry Teenage DreamLady Gaga ArtpopLana Del Rey Born to DieLinkin Park Minutes to MidnightLupe Fiasco LasersMaroon 5 It Won't Be Soon Before LongMeshuggah obZenMetric Old World Underground, Where Are You NowMiddle Class Rut No Name No ColorMinus the Bear Infinity OverheadMuse Black Holes and RevelationsOFWGKTA The OF Tape Vol. 2oOoOO oOoOOP.O.D. When Angels and Serpents DancePelican The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon...Phoenix Wolfgang Amadeus PhoenixQueens of the Stone Age Era VulgarisQueens of the Stone Age Lullabies to ParalyzeRa DualityRed Release the Panic: RecalibratedReflection Eternal Revolutions Per MinuteIf only the whole album was as strong as tracks 3-7. Kweli is epic in each of those songs.Rise Against EndgameRishloo EidolonRishloo FeathergunRiverside Anno Domini High DefinitionSaosin Translating the NameShad When This Is OverShad is definitely a threatening force in the modern rap scene. It's even more awesome that he's Canadian. Honestly, he starts out this album with some of the freshest and most easy-listening hip-hop I've heard in a while, but it trails out at the end and becomes a little too dull. "I Get Down" is bright and cheery and shows how confident Shad is. "I'll Never Understand" is on the opposite spectrum, one of the saddest songs I've ever sat through and so powerful. Recommended Songs: I Get Down, Out of Love, I'll Never UnderstandSilversun Pickups CarnavasWhen I first heard this CD, I had only heard "Lazy Eye" like most current fans. I remember getting extremely excited after the first half of the album, thinking I had just hit a goldmine and new top favorite band. "Melatonin" and "Checkered Floor" outdo each of the four singles as the best and most surprising songs on the album. Even the singles though, specifically "Little Lover's So Polite" and "Future Foe Scenarios" are also very strong tracks. But after the latter song/single, the album simply had a sudden heart attack and died in my arms, or so it felt. "Waste It On" stopped the pace completely, and save for maybe "Lazy Eye", the second half of the album contained not a shred of memorable music. I usually like album closers, but "Common Reactor" (a 6 minute track) goes on for far too long, and that's only 5/6 minutes, the last minute is spent listening to a strange annoying sound that I think sounds like an actual industrial reactor you'd see in a factory or something. Their sound is definitely unique and new, but they couldn't hold it long enough to secure my attention. Recommended Songs: Melatonin, Checkered Floor, Future Foe ScenariosSilversun Pickups SeasickSt. Vincent Strange MercyState Faults Head in the CloudsSteven Wilson Grace for DrowningThe Dillinger Escape Plan Calculating InfinityThis is a rating I wish wasn't what it is. I get why the album is so highly praised. Really, they are the pioneers. But compared to the newer albums, this album didn't have highlights. How can I appreciate the music when it doesn't give me a reason to return to it? It all sounds like one 40 minute mess. Some good parts, but nothing standout.The Raconteurs Broken Boy SoldiersThe Roots PhrenologyThe Roots ...And Then You Shoot Your CousinThe Shizit The ShizitThousand Foot Krutch The Art of BreakingThousand Foot Krutch The End Is Where We BeginThursday Common ExistenceTool 10,000 DaysTool AenimaTrapt TraptTyler the Creator GoblinWeezer WeezerYeah Yeah Yeahs MosquitoYellowcard Ocean Avenue2.5 average12 Stones Potter's FieldAmplifier The Astronaut Dismantles HALAmplifier InsiderAnathema We're Here Because We're HereAnathema Distant SatellitesAnimal Collective Merriweather Post PavilionArcade Fire FuneralArctic Monkeys AMBackstreet Boys Black & BlueBattles Gloss DropBlakroc BlakrocBlink-182 Blink-182Bloc Party Silent AlarmBrand New Deja EntenduCage The Elephant Cage the ElephantCage The Elephant Thank You Happy BirthdayAnother average effort by an overwhelmingly average mainstream band. This time though, that mainstream catchiness has had a heart attack and died, and now we are left with some decent filler tracks, but that "filler feel" nonetheless. They have also become that annoyingly happy hippy indie trash that drives me nuts with a little punk rock sound. The strong tracks end up being the ones that kick the album off, with "Always Something" being a very surprising angry tone that works eerily well for the band and "Aberdeen" being a very fun and fuzzy song. Recommended Songs: Always Something (they should sound more like this, I hope that becomes their sound for the future), Aberdeen, Right Before My EyesCirca Survive Blue Sky NoiseApparently Circa Survive, even in 2010, thinks that blending all their songs in an album from start to finish is still considered unique. It's to the point where they start the inter-song blending with 30 seconds left in some of the tracks, so we end up sitting there twiddling our thumbs while the band shows off a skill that's not even impressive (WE KNOW IT'S SYNTHESIZED). After "Strange Terrain" starts the album off both loudly and cleanly, the CD plays out much like Brand New's album "Deja Entendu", very mediocre, tolerable songs with maybe one or two tracks that blow you away. But there's a sacrifice, you need to stay long enough to hear it. This gem takes the form of "Frozen Creek" right in the middle which is such a soft and beautiful song that I'm surprised Anthony Green's helium-filled voice didn't blot it out. The band simply tests out various sounds and beats heard in the background in order to differentiate themselves from the typical rock scene, and it's good alt. rock, just not something you're going to remember in the long run, and the CD shows this as it dwindles down to nothing in "Dyed in the Wool", a laughable, generic album closer. Recommended Songs: Strange Terrain, Imaginary Enemy, Frozen CreekCirca Survive Violent WavesSongs 1-3: "Holy shit, this is gold, keep it up! AOTY baby!". Songs 4-11: "Zzzzzzz...oh wut the album's done? Cool...". Typical. Goddammit Circa, here's someone who wants so badly to enjoy your music and you let them down every time with this inconsistency.City and Colour Little HellConverge No HeroesCyanotic MedPack Vol. 1David Guetta One LoveDeftones AdrenalineEminem Relapse: RefillFilter Short BusFoals Total Life ForeverFoo Fighters Sonic HighwaysGenghis Tron Dead Mountain MouthGreeley Estates The Death of Greeley EstatesGuns N' Roses Chinese DemocracyHoodie Allen All AmericanImagine Dragons Night VisionsIncubus Make YourselfIsis The Red SeaGod that woman's voice is annoying as hell. Holy shit, shut the fuck up!Isis SawbladeJack White LazarettoJay-Z Magna Carta... Holy GrailJimmy Eat World Bleed AmericanK'naan TroubadourKarnivool PersonaKaty Perry PrismLady Gaga The FameUnfortunately, like most major pop releases, Lady Gaga may be fantastic for those first few listens, but this CD is, in the end, utterly forgettable. The slightly higher than than average mark is more due to the above average success she had on music charts and sales, because she undeniably topped 2009 sales and even had my ear for a good month before I came to this sad realization.Little Dragon Little DragonMegadeth Th1rt3enMeshuggah IMetric Live It OutMinus the Bear Planet of IceMudvayne Lost and FoundOur Last Night Age Of IgnorancePalms PalmsPanda Bear TomboyPeriphery Periphery II: This Time It's PersonalRabbit Junk This Life Is Where You Get FuckedRage Against the Machine Evil EmpireRedlight King Irons in the FireRussian Circles GenevaSam Roberts Band Love at the End of the WorldSam Roberts needs to learn that when you intend to have 12+ tracks on an album, you need to ensure listener's attention is kept the whole way through. "We Were Born..." did that, "Chemical City" was short and sweet, yet here he trudges along with a few bursts of speed scattered throughout, but trails off near the end. I also want to see him progress more for the next album, he is becoming stale and predictable even though his music maintains its gracefulness and hooks. Recommended Tracks: Love at the End of the World, Lions of the Kalahari, Sundance (one of his strongest to date).Sleigh Bells Reign of TerrorThere is something underwhelming about this album. At some point, I noticed that Sleigh Bells was using that same rapid thrashy drum injection in over 50% of the songs. Yes, it's a nice progression from their earlier subtle percussions, but it shouldn't reach the point of overkill. Reign of Terror succeeded by not being a re-hash of Treats. It did NOT succeed in leaving anywhere near as much of an impression as the 2010 effort. That felt fresh and alive. Here, only a few songs manage to do that, and the last 5 songs pass by like they're invisible. I miss the in-your-face Sleigh Bells I guess. If this album becomes popular, it will be nothing more than a short-lived fad and everyone will forget about Sleigh Bells for 2012. Recommended Songs: Crush, Comeback KidSystem of a Down System of a DownThe Black Keys BrothersThe Knux EraserThe Lonely Island Turtleneck and ChainHonestly it has some hilarious songs, but for the most part it's pretty bland compared to "Incredibad". The second Shy Ronnie is just crap, even with Rihanna looking as fine as she does. On the other hand, "Threw It on the Ground" is funnier than anything we heard before, Andy Samberg nails that song. Recommended Songs: Motherlover, Threw it on the Ground, Great DayThe Safety Fire Mouth Of SwordsTwelve Foot Ninja Smoke BombTyler the Creator BastardUsher Raymond v. RaymondUsher VersusWe Came As Romans Understanding What We've Grown to BeWe Came As Romans Tracing Back RootsYeah Yeah Yeahs Show Your Bones2.0 poorBastille Bad BloodBirds Of Tokyo Day OneBirds of Tokyo have definitely improved from this mediocre crap. There are some great songs here, but you can definitely tell the band is in the experimenting stage. What drove me crazy was how annoying Ian Kenny gets when he repeats the same lines 10 times over like in "Violet" or "Get Out", just sounds effortless. The follow-up album a year later makes this album look almost disgraceful and negligible. Recommended Songs: Black Sheets, Minor War.Bon Iver Bon Iver, Bon IverBroken Bells Meyrin FieldsClosure in Moscow First TempleCog Sharing SpaceQuite possibly one of the most disappointing albums I've ever listened to. It's not the worst album ever, but to follow up 2005's gorgeous Aussie rock anthem "The New Normal" with this is really depressing. Where is the energy, the blast of riffs that sound like fog horns signaling shit's about to go down? They even gave us mediocre proggier songs which seemed to be their strength from before and what I was expecting they would lean towards. I can't think of a standout song that will make want to listen to it again, but I also can't think of one I despised. Even the song "Silence is Violence" with it's corny repetitive chorus somehow feels less corny alongside song other songs here that attack governments in some weird attempt at revolution. Before they made their repetitive choruses and harmonies the hooks of the songs, literally begging you to sing a long. Here there's none of that. Iunno, will try it in the future again but I've given it enough tries to sink in already.Coheed and Cambria Year of the Black RainbowDeftones CoversDiddy Last Train to ParisDragonette BodypartsDrake So Far GoneEminem RelapseEminem EncoreFair to Midland The Carbon Copy Silver LiningGOOD Music Cruel SummerKarmin HelloKaty Perry One of the BoysLacuna Coil Broken Crown HaloMaroon 5 OverexposedMaroon 5 VMumford and Sons Sigh No MoreMuse The ResistanceNickelback Here and NowOpeth HeritagePeriphery IcarusPeriphery ClearPillar Where Do We Go from HereRed Release the PanicRihanna LoudRise Against The Black MarketSaosin In Search Of Solid GroundSilversun Pickups PikulSlipknot .5: The Gray ChapterSoundgarden SuperunknownThe Almost Southern WeatherThe Fray Scars and StoriesThe Strokes Room on FireThursday No DevolucionTokyo Police Club ChampI'll agree that Dave Monks is talented, but this little punk has maybe the most annoying voice to ever hit the radio stream. Attached to that is the fact that Tokyo Police Club has literally nothing new to offer listeners. They have too many influences going on at once and no set identity. On top of this, their music can be best described as a mentally challenged person trying to sing those annoyingly beachy and groovy tunes that indie fans seem to get wet over. They're catchy at some parts of this CD, but nothing would bring me back to them. I like almost all genres of music and am open to anything but this is painful.1.5 very poorBullet for My Valentine Temper TemperDesign the Skyline Nevaehdredg Chuckles & Mr. SqueezyGorillaz The FallWhile this mixtape was a welcome Christmas surprise, what could possibly be expected in terms of quality when these songs were supposedly made on the side in between concerts on an Ipad? While it could be argued that "The Fall" is the Gorillaz's most consistent album, it's definitely not going to win any awards for lasting appeal. The album is very mediocre and comes off as a bit of a downer compared to the groovy tunes we fans are used to. Not to mention they recycle beats like crazy (a part of "Hillbilly Man" sounding ridiculously similar to their previous single "Doncamatic"). I will always compare anything these guys do to "Demon Days" because I miss the days when they made both innovative AND catchy songs.Justin Bieber BelieveKanye West 808s and HeartbreakKarnivool KarnivoolAhhhh heellllppp pleeeeassseee it's agony!!! *plays Simple Boy* "I'm highhhhhhh above the world, why should I feel pain, or feel alooonnneeeee...." whew all better : )Lady Gaga Born This WayI'm really disappointed that Lady GaGa dropped a bit of the risque, and just plain raw, personality she had in order to inspire the cult of "monster" followers she has. I was looking forward to this but by the 4th single it was clear this was destined to be the most mediocre and dull big release this year. It's too bad, she had me intrigued after "Fame Monster" but here she presents you with a lengthy 1.2 hours of material with maybe 3 good songs of 17 along the way. Here's the deal though; one is a single (Judas) so it's expected that it's good, one is technically a bonus track (Black Jesus) not on the actual album, and one had to grow on me first (Electric Chapel). Yup...fail.Nickelback Dark HorseRihanna Talk That TalkRihanna: "What's that? All the young ppl are listening to techno and house music? Oh...and the producers want me to put some of that in my music too? Whatever gets me popular with the night owls I guess..." Yeah, I can't get behind this, Loud at least had some innovative and catchy tunes (S&M, Only Girl), but here the only thing I actually got excited about was this tiny little snippet called "Birthday Cake" that finished after one minute as if to say "Oooohhh you were enjoying that? My baaaadddd". You're a joke Rihanna.Rihanna UnapologeticSleigh Bells Bitter RivalsThis band has inexplicably forgotten how to make a good song. I can't even find one song on here that sticks out. They need to cool their jets and take their time on the next album, because this was one colossal waste of everyone's time.The Black Eyed Peas The BeginningThousand Foot Krutch Oxygen: InhaleThousand Foot Krutch has been teetering on the edge between decent melodic hard rock and face-smacking awkward nu-metal for years. However, up until now they had somehow managed to elude the inevitable collapse that happens to bands like that by having each album deliver at least a few gems and a tolerable level of consistency. Oxygen:Inhale is the first time I can tell you that TFK has fallen off the wrong side of the wall and is lost in a place that only they understand. Let's hope Oxygen:Exhale redeems them.1.0 awfulBruno Mars Doo-Wops & HooligansIt always looks sketchy when anyone gives an album a 1. What could be so bad to warrant this? A year and a half ago, I would've told you I had high hopes for Bruno Mars after hearing him in B.o.B.'s big hit "Nothin' on You". I would've been excited to hear he had his own album coming soon. After listening to him go 0/4 for singles, I still gave this shit a chance. Wow, just wow. This album is what's wrong with music today, he could not have released a more annoyingly sappy album, not many people could.Kesha AnimalEvery time I hear this slutty girl sing, I feel like punching a hole in the closest wall. I realize she's trying to make her mark with a unique (I use that word lightly) style of singing, but does anybody actually understand what she does? Sometimes she raps, sometimes she yells, and sometimes there's music in the background but I'm pretty sure all she's doing is talking not singing. She portrays a raw, tough California girl, thinking she's going to attract the male music fan population, but all she does is turn us all off with her annoyingly effortless and cocky lyrics. "Stephen", "Tik Tok" and "Dinosaur" could each top a list for worst songs of 2010. She also appears in 3OH!3's newest single and makes an already terrible song noteworthy of shittiness. Everything this woman touches turns to shit! No recommended songs from this one people. If you want to hear her in a slightly tolerable song, see "Chain Reaction" which isn't even on her main CD, why it isn't is beyond me.Lou Reed and Metallica LuluThe Black Eyed Peas The E.N.D. (The Energy Never Dies)Painful, repetitive, lazy music is all that this CD emits with all its songs (15 tracks). It's lengthy (1 hr.) and at no point in the album are you rewarded for the time you've put into listening to it. The only songs you may be able to take for the entire play time are the exact same songs you've already heard 40+ times on the radio. That's what singles are for this band, their only worthy tracks on the album. The rest is meaningless party music and beats. The biggest surprise of the year is that "Imma Be", also my pick for WORST song of the year, became another single of theirs. Recommended Songs: Welcome to the E.N.D./Boom Boom Pow, I Gotta Feeling, Party All the Time SONGS ENCOURAGED TO SKIP: Imma Be, Electric CityTrain California 37
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