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2014 Rock Albums of the Year

2014’s Best Rock Albums

“Rock is dead they say.”  It’s been forty years since Pete Townshend’s poignant words first grabbed the rock ‘n roll spotlight. Since then, there have been constant refrains repeating the age-old perspective, and in the last few years, those chants are getting ominously louder.  I’ve never believed that and I still don’t today. But, I am starting to have serious consternation over the future of the rock album as the key medium for the music.

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These days, it’s just tougher and tougher to have albums funded, and then damn near impossible to have all but a few become profitable; yet at the same time, it’s easier than ever to release a single.  It seems a foregone conclusion that albums will experience at least some decline in use, but as you’ll see in the next few minutes, there are still a slew of fantastic rock releases.

Before you dig in, let me just share that this list is pretty damn schizophrenic. You’ll see alt-rock, indie rock, pop rock and hard rock. In other words, depending on your preferred genre, there will probably be a few that don’t fit your tastes, but trust me, every one of these offerings is excellent in it’s own right. Now, here are the Top 25 rock albums of 2014, according to ME! You can click on the album title to grab your own copy via iTunes.

As a warm-up, see what a few of these artists felt were the year’s top albums here, and feel free to check out our prior year lists.
2013 Albums of the Year  |  2012 Albums of the Year  |  2011 Albums of the Year

25, The Endless River – Pink Floyd – Truthfully, probably not the 25th best album of the year, but it’s another good offering from an incredibly consistent band.  These tracks are primarily Division Bell era instrumentals. Despite the continued absence of Roger Water, the group still puts out pristine headphone worthy rock, which is definitely a dying art.

24. Strange Desire – Bleachers – Jack Antonoff shows what happens when he offers a glimpse inside his brain and throws these evocative thoughts into grandiose John Waters-esque productions.  It’s a fun., optimistic album packed with a handful of intriguing, big tracks that are guaranteed to have you flashing back to the best of the eighties, as well as the best of vintage fun., circa 2013. (Our full review)

23. Be Impressive – The Griswolds – We discovered a tremendous amount of new music from Down Under this year, and the Aussies we listened to had a penchant for bouncy, enjoyable pop rock.  That’s the perfect description of the debut from Griswolds. Their “Beware The Dog” was one of the songs of the year, but this group is far from a one hit wonder.  (Our full review)

22. St. Vincent – St. Vincent – The first time I heard this album, I really wasn’t that enthralled. It was interesting, creative and different, a little classic progressive rock, a bit of jazz and a touch of new age, but I wasn’t sure it was special.  Then, I took it for a subsequent spin or two, and it has really grown on me. Not sure how to classify the genre, but guitarist/vocalist Annie Clark is undeniably special.

21. Redeemer of Souls – Judas Priest – AC/DC’s 2014 release seemed to get all of the attention from classic metal fans, but this album is so much better. Rob Halford still sounds great, the generous guitar solos are crisp and energetic, and the songwriting continues to show growth.  There’s a nice mix of straight ahead rockers and more deftly arranged offerings.

20. High Noon – Arkells – This Ontario quintet has never really exploded in the US, and probably because they don’t have any tracks with huge hit potential, but their albums, like High Noon, are packed with a non-stop supply of nicely arranged music spotlighted with poignant lyrics. There’s not a bad song on the album, and it is oh so easy to listen to.

19. Pure Adulterated Joy – Morning Parade – Fresh on the unexpected heels of being dropped by their label, this UK quintet responds with an optimistic, energetic release, that I feel is their best yet. From my album review: “The result: Pure Adulterated Joy, a damn good album that finds the band veering ever so slightly away from their pop roots and moving deeper into rock ‘n roll.” And, it works well. (Our full review)

18. Choking On Halos – Leanne Kingwell – This paragraph from my review sums the album up perfectly: “Kingwell is an Aussie chanteuse just dripping with potential. Her self-released new album is a breath of fresh air on the music landscape and boasts a handful of songs worthy of significant radio play on an album that offers non-stop diverse creative rock tracks.” If you like catchy pop rock, you need to check this out. (Our full review)

17. Lost in the Dream – The War on Drugs – This one is the antithesis of Choking On Halos. It’s a darker journey through the mind of Adam Granduciel. The music from these talented Philadelphians is captivating and has not suffered at all since the departure of Kurt Vile. The complex arrangements are wonderfully distinctive, and every song is an adventure worth taking.

16. Stuck In a Dream – Bike Thief – At times their music reminds me of two excellent Alt-rock artists in Arcade Fire and The Decemberists; it’s creative, robust rock with a distinctive theatrical flair. For any old-timers reading along, I also felt a Renaissance or very early Genesis kind of vibe as many of the songs are adeptly dotted with precisely placed intricate riffs, runs and accents. Check out my review for more insight. (Our full review)

15. Turn Blue – The Black Keys – I love the Black Keys, but just like the Foo Fighters (who did not make the list), I felt the new release was not at the same level as previous works.  For Patrick Carney and Dan Auerbach, it’s still a strong effort, just not as compelling as their previous albums. I like them as stripped down as possible, but there’s no denying that they’ve created a few fantastic songs on an album that still boasts a fresh, yet classically weathered spin on rock ‘n roll.

14. Isolate and Medicate – Seether – Dirty sludgy rock one track and then mainstream pop rock the next; it’s a nice diverse hard rock album with a handful of great songs. A robust, cohesive offering, with a tremendous amount of rock pouring through the speakers, especially considering the band is but a trio. The album features powerful drums, nice guitar riffs and top notch vocals from Shaun Morgan, while his lyrics are at their introspective best. It’s an active rock album with no weak songs that’s strong from start to finish, and is an absolute blast to listen to loud.

13. World On Fire (feat. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators) – Slash – An hour and 15 minutes of sharp guitar rock is always nice, and when you throw in Myles Kennedy (Alter Bridge) dishing out his pristine vocals, this album is a can’t miss hard rock offering. The 17 songs are diverse, some bluesy, a few acoustic, but all guitar-driven rockers. The backing band, The Conspirators, are sharp throughout and the music passion from the players pours through.

12. Cry Is for the Flies (feat. Shirley Manson & Henry Rollins) – Le Butcherettes – The album features Teri Gender Bender (maybe not her birthname), a Mexican punk rocker with an eclectic approach to rock music. From Broken Birdie’s review, this sums it up perfectly: “It’s not for everyone but it is definitely within reach for most people if you simply have the fortitude to keep listening. A+ and I’m really looking forward to Le Butcherettes cruising through town so that I can catch what I can only imagine is a fantastic live show as well.” (Our full review)

11. Hope – Manchester Orchestra This is a first for me – two albums from the same artist on my annual list, and even more unusual, the same exact song titles. Andy Hull and crew went back to the studio and totally re-imagined the Cope album. These versions are stripped down and generally unrecognizable, and consistently they sound tremendous. It was a brave shot at repositioning the songs, and a few of the new versions are absolutely better than those on Cope. (Our full review)

 

10. The Black Market – Rise Against – Another album that grew on me the more I listened to it. On this, the seventh release from these socially conscious Chicago rockers, we still hear much of the hard-driving sound their fervent fans have come to enjoy, but on this album, they’ve mixed in a few new twists, primarily to a more mainstream sound. Listening to the lyrics, there’s also a more prominent focus on relationships, with fewer songs about social and political issues. (Our full review)

9. Alveron – Wolf Gang – I’ve anxiously waited to hear the follow-on to Suego Faults, the band’s excellent 2011 debut release, and it was worth the wait. Although this offering doesn’t boast the obvious Top 40 hits of its predecessor, the album is packed with soaring rock anthems. Produced by Flood, the arrangements are impeccable, and the band shows obvious maturity. The songs revolve around the challenges of twenty-somethings dealing with relationships and life, and the musical talent on display is impressive throughout. (Our full review)

8. Manhattan – SKATERS – One of the best debut albums I heard this year, the album is packed with snappy rock offerings interestingly arranged around little vignettes of life in the city. Lots of poppy, punk-infused music that’s just catchy as hell. The band shows their flexibility with a broad spectrum of rock sounds, on an album that feels like today’s ode to New York City; it’s not the Strokes, nor The Ramones, but it sure could be the 2014 equivalent from a cultural standpoint.  (Our full review)

7. Brill Bruisers – The New Pornographers – This All-star Vancouver lineup continuously delivers fresh, meaningful rock music, and great albums. Brill Brothers, their first release in four years continues that trend. The title track is a soaring, majestic rocker, and beautifully, there’s nothing else like it on the album. Like the proverbial box of chocolates, you don’t know what to expect from song to song on Brill Bruisers, but somehow all of the diverse offerings mesh together perfectly in the end, and provide a great musical expedition.

6. Cope – Manchester Orchestra – I loved the re-imagined version of this album, Hope, but the original was just a bit better. This one sounds like the Manchester Orchestra that we have grown to love, and boasts a handful of killer tracks. This version of the band is deeper, darker and more powerful, as immediately evidenced by the first track, “Top Notch,” where the drums are bigger, the guitars more forceful and vocals a little grittier than past efforts, and it makes for compelling rock.

5. Stuck – Adelitas Way – A few of my peers will scoff at this rating, but hey, it’s my list, deal with it. The truth is, this is a killer album packed with excellent rock songs. It’s stadium rock, done as well as we’ve heard in years, and it boasts a fresh engaging sound.  There’s not an album I’ve listened to more frequently in 2014;  it’s one of those rare albums that defines a band and jettisons them into the rock ‘n roll stratosphere. It’s Adelitas Way’s equivalent of Metallica’s Master Of Puppets or the Scorpions’ Love At First Bite.  (Our full review)

4. Royal Blood – Royal Blood – Yet another duo serving up powerful rock music. It’s amazing how this UK duo deliver the robust, powerful music that punctuates the album with just a bass and drums. They put forth freight-train powered rock ‘n roll, highlighted by Mike Kerr’s soulful vocals and catchy, intricate bass riffs. But it’s not all balls to the wall rock ‘n roll, as the more tender offerings truly complete the album. It’s one hell of a debut and jolt of energy to the rock music landscape.

3. Calm Down, Everything Is Fine – Mike Mains & The Branches – When I heard the first single, the addictive “Noises,” I was anticipating an album filled with similar pop-punk ditties. What I heard, though, was so much more. The songs are all over the rock music map but consistently fun to listen to, and they come together perfectly to shape a memorable rock ‘n roll journey. Mains puts his immense young talent on display in an album that spotlights a unique and versatile voice and a talented song-writer just dripping with potential. (Our full review)

2. Lazaretto – Jack White – I wasn’t always positive, but I’ve come to realize that Mr. White is a musical genius. He has the reputation of being a bit of a prick, and that may have clouded my views, but his music continues to impress. As we see on Lazaretto, his sound has evolved from the early White Stripe days to what we now hear as a much more, full, complex and elaborate production. The music is better than ever, but it still boasts pure raw rock ‘n roll. It’s hard to pull off, but as we see on this album, it’s magical when everything comes together. Listen to it, and if you’ve listened before, pick it up again, as it gets better with every listen.

1. Transgender Dysphoria Blues – Against Me! – From the moment I first heard this album in January, I knew that we had a special album on our hands. It’s stood up all year, and it’s my clear choice as the album of the year. A funny thing happened on the way to the studio, as frontman Tom Gabel, became Laura Jane Grace and started writing amazingly riveting music.  The album still boasts the rugged guitar rock that has defined the band for the past decade, but the lyrics are more poignant than ever. The key, though, is that the music is urgently passionate.  Every song a story worth telling, and a journey meticulously crafted.  (Our full review)

So, that’s it for 2014. Lots of great stuff from every genre of rock music, and proof that the killer rock album still survives. What did I miss, what did I nail?  I’d love to hear your thoughts either below or on our Facebook page.

“Long live rock, be it dead or alive.”

Rock On!
Cretin

 

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Best Rock Songs of 2012


2012 was blessed with some fantastic rock songs, and it has taken weeks to whittle down the long list of worthy songs to find the 25 best of the year. Not quite sure this is perfect, but damn sure that these are 25 great rock songs.  Check out the list and see if you agree.

At the conclusion of the list, you’ll find a playlist on iTunes that links to all 25.

Enjoy!

25. “It’s Time” – Imagine Dragons: It’s Addictive. It’s always cool when the drummer is lead vocalist. It’s great to hear a viola in a rock tune. It’s good stuff.

24. “Bully” – Shinedown: Love the message in this one, and the song is pretty damn good, too. One of three bands with two songs on this year’s list.

23. “Little Talks” – Of Monsters and Men: It’s Mumford & Sons with a bit more of an edge from the amazingly talented band out of  Iceland.

22. “45” – Gaslight Anthem: Great straight forward rock tune from the Garden State’s newest successor to the Boss. Also love the lyrics and the 45 metaphors.

21. “We Take Care of Our Own” – Bruce Springsteen – Yup. still on top of his game. At times this reminds you of vintage E-Street band, but it also has a nice modern flair, and a big sound.

20. “Oh Love” – Green Day: What’s old is new again. this one brings back nice memories of songs from across the band’s past two decades. Billie Joe sounding great again.

19. “Love Interruption” – Jack White: The sparse arrangement works great. The guitar and Wurlitzer fling you back into the 60’s but the vocals and lyrics are totally 2012.

18. “Ho Hey” – The Lumineers: Amazingly successful debut song from American Indie rockers that’s impossible not to singalong to and as a nice bonus, it features nice mandolin.

17. “Gold On the Ceiling” – Black Keys: Great organs, hand claps and a blast to listen to. Dan Auerbach channels his inner Paul Rodgers. Nice guitar solo, too. They had two songs on last year’s list and two more this year!

16. “Simple Song” – The Shins: Beautiful harmonies, chaotic guitar played off against sweet piano and James Mercer singing fantastically.

15. “Reboot the Mission” – Wallflowers: Jacob Dylan makes a killer comeback – with a ska single! And, joined by Mick Jones of The Clash. Super cool.

14. “Tongue Tied” – Grouplove: Another great song off of 2011’s Never Trust A Happy Song. It’s a blast to listen to with great boy/girl vocals and stellar music.

13. “Hold On” – Alabama Shakes: It’s an instant classic with such a comfortable Southern Rock feel, coupled with Brittany Howard’s soulful vocals that evoke memories of the great Janis Joplin.

12. “Burn It Down” – Linkin Park: The same roaring electro-power rock we’ve come to expect from the lads from Aurora, California – this time with even more memorable hooks.

11. “Breathing Underwater” – Metric: Excellent song in which Emily Haines offers up beautiful vulnerable vocals in a song about a relationship still struggling to survive against the odds. The only band with two in our Top Dozen.

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10. “Default” – Django Django: A cool dance rock track that at different times reminds me of surf rock, classic T-Rex and 80′s new wave. Yeah, it’s a crazy mix, but it’s pretty damn fun.

9. Polarized – Luke Dowler – Great song about a relationship that just isn’t working. The music is excellent, but the lyrics are phenomenal.  So many different scenarios where they are perfectly fitting.  Every time I hear this, I think about our dysfunctional government (both parties) in the nation’s capital.

“He’s left, you’re always right
Polarized, You think he’s weak because he won’t decide
We’re disconnected – we’ve been infected
We’re building up defenses – protecting deadly interests”

8. “Kill Your Heroes” – AWOLNATION – My favorite inspirational lyric all year in a song that is both powerful and addictive. “Never let your fear decide your fate.”

7. “Little Black Submarines” – Black Keys: Really two songs in one love the tender opening, and LOVE the electronic jam on part two – sweet, powerful guitar and drums.

6. “Runaways” – The Killers: They’re back after a four year hiatus, this saga is a Springsteen-esque anthem that is pure old school Killers. Brandon Flowers at his best.

5. “What Makes a Good Man?” – The Heavy: Soulful rock from the Bath, England quartet with screaming guitar that would make Jack White proud.

4. “Youth Without Youth” – Metric: A great driving beat on a song that reminds me a bit of the most rocking Smiths’ tunes. This is a dark one about a young person who has grown up in a troubled environment and raced past their youth.

3. “Danny, Dakota and the Wishing Well” – A Silent Film: It’s a grandiose rocker you’d have expected from The Killers. Love the keyboards, the vocals and the story!

2. Unity – Shinedown – Soaring melodies, Brent Smith’s superb vocals and fantastic guitar in yet another uplifting song from one of the year’s best albums, Amaryllis.

1. “Everybody Talks” – Neon Trees: OK, so, this is a wee bit overplayed – Got it. But it is an absolutely fantastic song. Tyler Glenn’s vocals are mesmerizing, and the guitar and drums are pure old school rock.

Let us know what you thought.  Was your favorite on our list?  Also, we’d love to see what you think about our 2012 Rock Albums of the Year.

Rock On!
Cretin


Top Rock Albums of 2012


As I looked back on the 2012 rock landscape and reviewed the year’s best rock music, I realized that I’ve definitely become more of an Indie Rock fan over the past few years. 2012 brought us lots of great Indie rock, but we also heard some rocking albums in the mainstream.  You may see a few albums here that you’re not familiar with, but I implore you to check them out. You’ll open your ears to some killer new rock, and impress the hell out of your friends. (After each selection, you’ll find a link to check them out on iTunes as well as our recommendations if you just want to grab a few tracks off of each album).

So, here are the Farmer’s Dozens in reverse order. The two dozen best rock albums of the year:

Bonus Selection: Each farmer’s dozen comes with a bonus, so here are two:  Grouplove,  Never Trust a Happy Song and The Black Keys, El Camino.  Both of these albums would be at the top of our 2012 list… if we had not already recognized them in 2011.  Here’s our Top Rock Albums of 2011, to see what else we visionaries were thinking last year.

24. The Lumineers, The Lumineers – Impressive debut album from these “pop-folk” rockers out of Denver. Best tracks: “Hey Ho” and “Stubborn Love.” The Lumineers - The Lumineers

23. Lovedrug, Wild Blood – These Indie rockers out of Ohio are powered by Michael Sheppard’s unique voice and a nice Kickstarter campaign. Best tracks: “Premonition” and “Ladders.” Wild Blood - Lovedrug Read our full review

22. Halestorm, The Strange Case of… Lizzy Hale’s powerful vocals lead the way for these masterful metal rockers. Best tracks: “Love Bites… So Do I” and “I Miss the Misery.” The Strange Case Of... - Halestorm

21. Green River Ordinance, Under Fire – Great rock ‘n roll harmonies from this quintet out of Forth Worth.  They offer up a diverse selection of tunes on another self-funded effort. Best tracks: “Dark Night” and “Lost in the World.” Under Fire - Green River Ordinance Read our full review

20. Mumford and Sons, Babel – A nice follow-up to their hugely successful 2009 release Sigh No More for these barrier-breaking folk rockers.  Best tracks: “I Will Wait” and “The Boxer” (Simon and Garfunkel cover). Babel - Mumford & Sons

19, Dinosaur Jr., I Bet on Sky – The Massachusetts Alt-Rockers continue to put out solid Alt-Rock with their distinctive brand of guitar rock. Every song is good on this one. Best tracks: “Rude” and “Pierce the Morning Rain.” I Bet On Sky - Dinosaur Jr.

18. Luke Dowler, Polarized – Dowler’s music offers raw vocals with an urgent passion, mixed with poignant lyrics about world affairs, relationships and deep personal faith: Good stuff from Big Sky Country. Best tracks: “Polarized” and “Gun.” Polarized - Luke Dowler Read our full review

17. Jack White, Blunderbuss – White breaks away from the shackles and structure of his former band mates in The White Stripes and Raconteurs and it works nicely. Best Tracks: “Love Interruption” and “Trash Tongue Talker.” Blunderbuss - Jack White

16. The Shins, Port of Morrow – Fantastic lyrics, beautiful harmonies and rock and roll that just oozes likability  I just wish these New Mexico natives would put out album more often than every four years. Best tracks: “Simple Song” and “It’s Only Life.” Port of Morrow - The Shins

15. Muse, The 2nd Law – The band, built for stadium rock, took some chances on this, their sixth release. This stuff is nothing like what we’ve heard from them before, but it is intriguing and captivating. Best tracks: “Madness” and “Survival.” The 2nd Law - Muse

14. The Gaslight Anthem, Handwritten – Talented New Jersey rockers who offer up their most polished record to date. Strong heart felt rock and roll with excellent lyrics. Best tracks” “Too Much Blood” and “45.”  Handwritten - The Gaslight Anthem Read our full review

13. The Killers, Battle Born – Brandon Flowers and the band never disappoint.  One of the year’s best produced albums and it shows the band moving in a more mature direction. Best tracks: Runaways” and “Miss Atomic Bomb.” Battle Born - The Killers

12. Neon Trees, Picture Show – Everybody talked about “Everybody Talks,” but this album was much more than one hit.  Tyler Glenn is a future superstar and highlights his broad talent throughout the band’s third album. Best tracks: “I am the DJ” and “Everybody Talks.” Picture Show - Neon Trees

11. Django Django, Django Django – Hip, cool, groovy, rock ‘n roll with an oddly familiar feel considering this is the band’s debut. Mixes the best of the sixties, eighties and modern times. Best tracks: Default” and “WOR.” Django Django - Django Django

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10. Metric, Synthetica – From the opening lines of “Artificial Nocturne,” where Emily Haines offers “I’m just as fucked up as they say,” this album demands your attention.  Some deep introspective tracks disguised as excellent pop rock songs. Best tracks: “Youth Without Youth” and “Breathing Underwater.”

9.  Thousand Foot Krutch, The End is Where We Begin – The songs are positive Christian rock but these guys don’t slam you over the head with their beliefs.  It’s solid, active rock music that any hard rock fan will enjoy. A very diverse selection from a band returning to their Indie roots. Best tracks: “War of Change” and “All I Need to Know.” Read our full review

8. The Wallflowers, Glad All Over – Jacob Dylan continues to evolve as a musician and has never sounded better than he does now.  Excellent music with soulful vocals on a selection of tracks guaranteed to grow on you with each listen. Best tracks: “It’s a Dream” and “Reboot the Mission.”

7. The Drowning Men, All of the Unknown – They’re back with their second full-length album release, their first on Flogging Molly’s Borstal Beats label, which builds on the success of their fantastic debut album Beheading of the Songbird, and shows the talented quintet continuing to grow. These Indie rockers remind me a bit of the layered harmonies of Arcade Fire, with a clear West Coast U.S. bent. Best Tracks: “A Fool’s Campaign” and “Lost in a Lullaby.” Read our full review

6. Green Day, ‘¡Uno!‘ – Billie Joe Armstrong needs to be recognized as the prolific rock songwriter he is.  He and his longtime band mates never fail to put out good music and this is another prime example.  A great fresh punk/pop sound from our favorite So Cal trio. They released three good albums this year, this one was the best of the bunch. Best tracks: “Oh Love” and “Let Yourself Go.”

5. Fun., Some Nights – So much more than “We Are Young.” This masterfully produced album is a great vehicle for the talented vocal stylings of Nate Ruess and is packed with memorable addicting ditties. Jack Antonoff and Andrew Dost round out the trio and lend their voices to create impressive harmonies throughout.  On Some Nights, Fun. has developed a unique sound and carved a nice niche in today’s Alt-Rock landscape. Best tracks: Why Am I the One” and “Carry On.” Read our full review

4. Of Monsters and Men – My Head is an Animal. This talented Icelandic band has taken advantage of the revitalized interest in folksy rock courtesy of Mumford and Sons, but have kicked it up a notch.  Great, fun rock songs with amazing boy/girl vocals and meaningful lyrics; as well as a few tracks that are strictly fantasy adventures like the addictive “From Finner.” Best tracks: “Mountain Sound” and “Little Talks,”

3. River City Extension, Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Your Anger – The second release from this talented octet out of New Jersey is a musical and lyrical journey well worth a listen. It’s a folk rock/Americana album packed with original sounds and with each listen a different track stands out. Joe Michelini, the band’s singer and guitarist is the primary songwriter and he takes us through a varied collection of memories. He offers: “Half of this record is love songs, and the other half is ‘I’m sorry that I fucked up’ songs,” and he writes about both in a compelling way. Best tracks: “Glastonbury” and “Ballad of Oregon.” Read our full review

2. Bruce Springsteen, Wrecking Ball – I had just about written off the sage of the Garden State, but this is one of Springsteen’s best efforts in years.  The music is superb, and the lyrics even better.  It’s a bitter, but honest look at what Corporate Greed and idiot politicians have done to his country, and Springsteen pulls it off by surrounded the words with excellent music At times, he evokes memories of the E Street Band’s greatest anthems, at other times he has us heading down an entirely new path, such as the Celtic rock feel in the fantastic “Death of My Hometown.” Best other tracks: “We Take Care of Our Own” and “Wrecking Ball.”

1. Shinedown, Amaryllis – I loved “Bully” the moment I heard it and was pleasantly surprised to hear the excellent diversity on the rest of the album.  It’s aggressive, powerful, passionate rock that’s impossible to put down.  The Jacksonville based band has only put out four albums in their decade plus together, and each one has gotten just a little bit better.  Rolling Stone hated the album, which in itself is proof that it’s mainstream rock for the masses.  Amaryllis is one of the best hard rock albums in years and it’s packed with great songs.  Best tracks: “Unity” and “I’m Not Alright.”

There you have it – the best rock albums of 2012, according to me.  Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section.

Click here for the Top Rock Songs of the Year

Rock On!
Cretin