Manatea
Mike K.
Contributor

Reviews 53
Soundoffs 2
Album Ratings 120
Objectivity 74%

Last Active 01-04-23 3:24 pm
Joined 07-02-22

Review Comments 1,857

 Lists
02.21.24 Road trip recs12.04.23 The Manatea Awards 2023
11.15.23 Rec me the albums I’m missing for a y10.22.23 (Mana)tea time - Still slaps?
07.23.23 The Great Sputnik Summer Roast-VOTING S07.02.23 One year sputversary/Sputnik appreciati
05.16.23 (Mana)tea time - things I can’t get05.04.23 (Mana)tea time - gym recs/manatea says
04.14.23 (mana)tea time - sputnik zodiac 04.08.23 (Mana)tea time - Unnecessary Expenses
04.05.23 Happy Passover Sputnik!03.20.23 (Mana)tea time - small joys
03.11.23 (Mana)tea time - Pet Peeves12.18.22 🕎 Happy Hanukkah Sputnik!
11.27.22 My best of 2022

The Manatea Awards 2023

This is the Manatea Awards. This is my take on a concept/categories that I thought were even remotely original only to discover I’m way late on this and all good ideas have been thought of before me. That being said, I’m still doing my year end list in this fashion and might even have a couple of surprises!
1Venomous Concept
The Good Ship Lollipop


WORST OF THE YEAR (RUNNER UP)

This album had pretty much no redeeming quality at all whatsoever and was somehow still not worse than the next one.
2Attack Attack!
Dark Waves


WORST OF THE YEAR

This EP was so bad I wrote a review that doesn’t even really qualify as a review. You should just read that for my thoughts on this.
3Closure in Moscow
Soft Hell


DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE YEAR (RUNNER UP)

Before everybody has a nuclear meltdown, this album was NOT bad. It WAS a disappointment for me. When you've waited nearly ten years for an album to release only for it to be good at best(?) it's kind of, you know, disappointing. It's not like there was a ton of hype connected to this album that was unwarranted, it's just that I had my own internal expectation of what to expect and Soft Hell definitely did not meet that expectation by a long shot. Shit on me all you want this is my list idc.
4Pierce the Veil
The Jaws of Life


DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE YEAR

I have a confession: Right up until the very end, I tried to like this album. I kept waiting for the moment where it would suddenly click and I would magically understand it all and enjoy it, but that moment never came. Instead, it felt like an awkward reunion with an old friend where the years apart have irrevocably changed the relationship, and where you know that after it’s over you probably won’t be meeting again. Maybe their next one will be different (provided I’m still alive when it releases), but for now I’m moving on.
5Burner
It All Returns To Nothing


DEBUT OF THE YEAR (RUNNER UP)

I honestly picked this album because I couldn't think of another debut that was worth its salt that didn't nab another category. This was a very solid slice of sput-nu-black-core that I listened to quite a few times and while this is the first entry that automatically disqualifies me for any sort of staff writer application, it was still a good album.
6Endless, Nameless
Living Without


DEBUT OF THE YEAR

This album left an impression on me that has stuck through the whole year. Aside from the fact that it was my favorite review to write for the year, it was a mostly brilliant, sometimes sloppy, wholly heartfelt clash of musical styles that perfectly encapsulated the highs and lows we go through and life and love. I'm looking forward to their future work.
7Fall Out Boy
So Much (For) Stardust


COMEBACK OF THE YEAR (RUNNER UP)

Up until April, If you had told me I would not only listen to a Fall Out Boy album in 2023, but also like it, I would have laughed at you. I guess the joke’s on me though, because this album was actually awesome. It always seems too good to be true when an album is advertised as “going back to the band’s roots” or something like that, but Fall Out Boy actually delivered and released a record that almost made me forget about all of the disappointments in more recent years. Kudos to Stump and co., I’m happy they’re back.
8Avenged Sevenfold
Life Is But a Dream...


COMEBACK OF THE YEAR

Avenged Sevenfold in 2023? This album had no business being as good as it was. The singles that were released made it seem like it was going to be a hodgepodge of horrible ideas and M. Shadows’ signature cringe-worthy croon. Fast forward to release only for me to discover that the singles sucked because they were out of context and the album as a whole was actually great. Was it the best of the year? Not exactly, Was it a shockingly good comeback from a bunch of dudes I had totally dismissed as has-beens trying to relive their glory days? Yes.
9blink-182
One More Time


PLEASANT SURPRISE OF THE YEAR (RUNNER UP)

I have never been much of a Blink-182 fan (I know, I know, that is nigh heretical as someone who was hitting their teenage years in the early/mid-2000s), but the reunion between this trio was infectious, catchy, and plain fun. I could feel the band enjoying themselves playing music together and being in each others' company, and that was enough for me to plop this album on this list.
10Foo Fighters
But Here We Are


PLEASANT SURPRISE OF THE YEAR

It’s a well-known fact that Dave Grohl cannot write an album, but does singles really well. That being said, this album is the band’s best (and most cohesive or whole) work since Wasting Light. Grohl paying his respects to the late Taylor Hawkins by tracking and playing the drums on this record is incredibly solid and sometimes breathtaking. The branching into new ideas and territory was also a very welcome addition. I liked this album way more than I thought I would, so it was my pleasant surprise of the year.
11Sleep Token
Take Me Back to Eden


CONTROVERSY OF THE YEAR

Okay so I didn’t really like this album, but I’m pretty sure it was the single most reviewed album on Sputnik for the year 2023 (seven reviews holy shit). Did I entirely understand the hype? No. Did I hate it as much as Johnny did? Not really. Does their whole schtick make them unbelievably unappealing? Yes. Seriously though, this album was probably THE most polarizing album of the entire year and the discussion concerning it has been completely hilarious to watch.
12Cattle Decapitation
Terrasite


NEW TERRITORY OF THE YEAR (RUNNER UP)

So… I had never listened to a Cattle Decap album prior to this one. I know this isn’t really pure grind anymore but it led me into a deep dive of the band that I actually loved. Also this was like, you know, a really great album.
13Lankum
False Lankum


NEW TERRITORY OF THE YEAR

I’m not really a folk guy. I can appreciate it but it’s not entirely my thing. That being said, False Lankum’s depth and beauty grabbed me from the first minute and didn’t let go until like a week later. This album is incredibly special and while I didn’t give it my top honors, it is one of two albums on this list that came close to my AOTY.
14Jeromes Dream
The Gray In Between


SCRAMZZZZ OF THE YEAR (TIE)

I wasn’t expecting to like this album as much as I did. I loved it. I had thought this kind of music had died long ago but Jerome’s Dream proved that it was very much alive and well to me, and this album is still on my rotation.
15Dreamwell
In My Saddest Dreams, I Am Beside You


I actually couldn’t decide which album I liked better between Dreamwell and Jerome’s Dream so they are the only tie on my list.
16Johnny Booth
Moments Elsewhere


FACEMELTER OF THE YEAR (RUNNER UP)

Yeah I know, I know. I’m sooooooooooooo cliché for putting a nu-sput-metalcore album as one of my top albums of the year, and again, I could never, ever apply for a staff position because doing something like that is wrong and uncultured. I don’t fucking care. This album impressed the living daylights out of me and still does. That being said, I have not been able to keep it up where I wanted to because of this next one…
17Chepang
Swatta


FACEMELTER OF THE YEAR

Uhhh yeah. This album tore my face off before painfully stitching it back on, only to then blowtorch my face off again. What a killer album. I don’t have much else to say other than that.
18Olivia Rodrigo
Guts


GUILTY PLEASURE OF THE YEAR (RUNNER UP)

So I’m not going to lie, I’m kind of obsessed with Olivia Rodrigo. GUTS was such a fun album that it was hard not to pick it for one of the best releases of the year. Personally I enjoyed it even more than her debut, and that’s saying a lot. My hat is off to you Ms. Rodrigo, I know you won’t read my little blurb about your album, but I really loved it.
19Yeule
softscars


GUILTY PLEASURE OF THE YEAR

I know I named my pop category as my “guilty pleasure” but this album (and the one before it, really) weren’t actually guilty—only pleasure. Yeule is truly a gifted artist who gracefully elevates their form of art/synth/strangepop into the stratosphere. This album was such a blast to listen to and I’m a dedicated follower. Blame Johnny.
20 Ed Sheeran
-


FUNNIEST REVIEW OF THE YEAR

This review is solid gold. It should be read again. Please give YoYo (a fellow drummer) a round of applause for keeping joke reviews alive.
21TEETH (CAN)
A Biblical Worship Of Violence


EP OF THE YEAR

This fifteen-minute EP bangs. I’ve been spinning it almost repeatedly since it released and it is one of the best metalcore releases of the year if not one of the best releases of the year period. You could use one of many platitudes to describe it but the fact of the matter is A Biblical Worship of Violence was nearly perfect and deserves its spot as EP of the year.
22Lankum
False Lankum


ALBUM OF THE YEAR (RUNNER UP)

See above for my thoughts on False Lankum. This album is the only one that came close.
23Hail the Sun
Divine Inner Tension


ALBUM OF THE YEAR

There’s a pattern I go through with Hail the Sun. I wear the shit out of their latest release, grow disinterested and say that their next release won’t be as good as their last one. Then some singles drop and I avoid them like the plague because it “all sounds the same.” Then an album drops and somehow, Hail the Sun make me fall in love with them all over again. I know it’s really shallow of me to name this “swancore” album (can we PLEASE stop using that term?) as my AOTY but it is just that good. Elitism and sputnik street cred be damned, this record was my favorite collection of songs released in 2023. (Okay now you can all make jokes that the real controversy of the year is picking this over Lankum.)
Show/Add Comments (27)

STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2023 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy