We revisit our top 50 favorite albums of 2016.Read More
2016 is off to an extremely strong start. Here’s just a list of all of the new albums I’ve listened to from January to March and links to reviews, if applicable.
Doing it a bit different this time, doing it by rating, from greatest to worst. Alphabetical just seemed trivial.
5-Star Albums (8.5 - 10)
- AURORA - All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend: 10
- Panic! At The Disco - Death Of A Bachelor: 9.5
- Deftones - Gore: 9.5
- Dream Theater - The Astonishing: 9
- Foxes - All I Need: 9
- Daughter - Not To Disappear: 9
- Lacey Sturm - Life Screams: 8.5
- HÆLOS - Full Circle: 8.5
- Weezer - Weezer (White Album): 8.5
- LIGHTS - Midnight Machines: 8.5
- The Last Shadow Puppets - Everything You've Come To Expect: 8.5
4-Star Albums (6.5 - 8)
- David Bowie - ★: 8
- BANNERS - BANNERS: 8
- Savages - Adore Life: 8
- Kanye West - The Life Of Pablo: 8
- Jack Garratt - Phase: 8
- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - This Unruly Mess I've Made: 8
- Sia - This Is Acting: 7.5
- Grizfolk - Waking Up The Giants: 7.5
- The Drones - Feelin Kinda Free: 7.5
- Yeasayer - Amen & Goodbye: 7.5
- Kendrick Lamar - untitled unmastered.: 7.5
- Textures - Phenotype: 7.5
- Rihanna - ANTI: 7
- Megadeth - Dystopia: 7
- Hands Like Houses - Dissonants: 7
- Miike Snow - iii: 7
- BABYMETAL - Metal Resistance: 7
- The Jezabels - Synthia: 7
- Amy Lee - Recover, Vol. 1: 7
- Steven Wilson - 4 ½: 6.5
- Chairlift - Moth: 6.5
- Porches - Pool: 6.5
- Polyphia - Renaissance: 6.5
3-Star Albums (4.5 - 6)
- ZAYN - Mind Of Mine: 6
- Mogwai - Atomic: 6
- Låpsley - Long Way Home: 6
- Baauer - Aa: 5.5
- Asking Alexandria - The Black: 5.5
- The 1975 - I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It: 5
- Explosions In The Sky - The Wilderness: 5
- School Of Seven Bells - SVIIB: 5
- Krallice - Hyperion: 4.5
- Future - EVOL: 4.5
- Anderson .Paak - Malibu: 4.5
- Wiz Khalifa - Khalifa: 4.5
2-Star Albums (2.5 - 4)
- Killswitch Engage - Incarnate: 4
- Cozz - Nothin Personal: 3.5
1-Star Albums (0 - 2)
- None! :D
Top Albums Of 2016 (so far)
- AURORA - All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend
- Panic! At The Disco - Death Of A Bachelor
- Deftones - Gore
- Dream Theater - The Astonishing
- Foxes - All I Need
- Daughter - Not To Disappear
- Lacey Sturm - Life Screams
- HÆLOS - Full Circle
- Weezer - Weezer (White Album)
- LIGHTS - Midnight Machines
Top Songs Of 2016 (so far)
- AURORA - 'Murder Song (5, 4, 3, 2, 1) (Acoustic)'
- Panic! At The Disco - 'Emperor's New Clothes'
- Deftones - 'Hearts/Wires'
- Foxes - 'Better Love'
- Lacey Sturm - 'Rot'
- AURORA - 'Through The Eyes Of A Child'
- Deftones - 'Phantom Bride'
- Dream Theater - 'Moment Of Betrayal'
- Daughter - 'New Ways'
- Jack Garratt - 'My House Is Your Home'
Combine the indie twang of X Ambassadors with the huge, arena filling sound of Imagine Dragons, and sprinkle some Coldplay in there, and you have the new BANNERS EP. Chocked full of feel good anthems and a few slower ballads, this EP will be blasting in everyone’s car stereo soon enough.
Every song on this EP has massive pop appeal. Every song has massive playability and huge live potential. You can just imagine every song, with their grandiose sound, getting crowds jumping and the lights going crazy. The Imagine Dragons influence is evident throughout most of the album, especially in “Shine A Light” and “Gold Dust”. “Shine A Light” could be dropped into Dragons’ Night Visions and there’d be little confusion. The syncopated beat accompanying the acoustic guitar and the reverberated guitar gives it that huge feeling, and the massive chorus will get you bobbing your head to it. “Gold Dust” does much the same, though this song features a giant bridge that reprises into one final quiet chorus that explodes into one riot of a conclusion. The last two tracks on the album, “Ghosts” and “Back When We Had Nothing” end the album on a somber note. The first of the two is the quietest track on the album, featuring primarily piano and Mike Nelson’s vocals, evolving into a piano ballad backed by a drum beat and a sweet string section. “Back When We Had Nothing” concludes the album on a happier note, reminiscing over a relationship, starting quietly but building up into a synth rock banger.
BANNERS’ debut EP is a huge one, featuring giant tracks with massive presence and Nelson’s stellar songwriting abilities. Bursting into the new year full of energy, this album will be on many listeners’ playlists for months to come. It’s the perfect collection of songs to get up and dance to, or take a drive with. The appeal of Imagine Dragons and Coldplay with his own folk twang builds into a familiar but lovable sound that will resonate with anyone. While it does, at times, feel too heavily influenced (to the point where songs could fit on another artist’s album and be indistinguishable), it still holds together on its own and stands as a bright step into the future for BANNERS.