Albums of the Year: 2016

There’s been a lot of new music in 2016 (there tends to be each year ya big dummy) but as usual with it being the end of the year I now have to partake in the seemingly pointless task of deciding what I liked best. Out of the things I liked best.

Normally with these kinds of lists you get your big Top 10s or Top 20s, but let’s be serious no one really pays attention till the Top 3 anyway. Just like in the olympics only bronze, silver and gold matter. So I’m going to cut the waffle and tell you my 3 favourite albums released in 2016!

Bronze Medal: Blink 182 – California

California was Blink 182’s first album since splitting with Tom Delonge and getting Matt Skiba, of Alkaline Trio fame, on board instead. The result is very much a Blink 182 meets Alkaline trio vibe, as you’d expect. Personally as a fan of both bands, it worked really well and rejuvenated Blink perfectly.

California comes with all the classic Blink 182 tropes. The album sounds fantastic and is mixed brilliantly. The songs are often silly or lighthearted. Travis Barker goes crazy on his kit, sometimes to the benefit of the songs sometimes to the detriment. Yes, it was an attempt to recapture the times of old, but it also doesn’t feel that cheap and awkward.

I really liked this album and have had it on constant rotation in my car since I bought it. What I’m really looking forward to is Blinks 8th album and second with Skiba. Once everything has settled down and the pressure isn’t on so much the band can relax and really do what they want again. I would highly expect the next record to blow California out of the water.

Silver Medal: Twin Atlantic – GLA

Twin Atlantic have been one of my favourite bands in recent years. Their last two albums were both top-notch without a doubt. For GLA, although it took a slightly different direction it is as well.

Upon first listen to the whole album I’ll admit to still being unsure of what to think but after a few more listens I started to really enjoy the record. GLA is an up tempo, fun and often very catchy album. The new sound is kept throughout, which really holds it all together. If I had to pick a favourite song from the album it probably would be No Sleep, but a close runner-up would be Whispers. Which is a song that reminds me so much of Biffy Clyro, it’s simply awesome. You Are The Devil is another highlight too.

Gold Medal: Biffy Clyro – Ellipsis

For me, Biffy Clyro have always been one of those bands that if you hear them on the radio or a friend puts them on in the background I’m happy to listen to. I like them, they’re a talented trio and have some good, catchy songs. I’ve never really gone out of my way to listen to them though, despite owning three of their albums prior to Ellipsis. When Howl was getting a lot of radio time, I got hooked on it and decided to try the rest of the record. I bought it and haven’t looked back since.

Ellipsis sounds amazing, the clarity in all the instruments is sensational. You can hear everything and yet in blends into each other perfectly as well. The album is also packed full of great songs. The best thing about them is they’re all different too. Biffy switch genres, styles and tempos and never miss a beat. It’s awesome to listen too. I like so many of the songs that it’s actually hard to pick out my favourite or favourites. Obviously Howl is great. The first single Wolves of Winter is brilliant too. Friends and Enemies is also fantastic, but if push came to shove I’d say Rearrange would have to be my personal favourite.

Back in January the band discussed the upcoming album with NME, they called it the “best record we’ve made”. They might not be wrong, I love it. If you pick up one album from this year, make sure it’s this one.

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