Tag Archives: Rival Sons

Album Reviews: The Music of 2023

It is that time once again, when I gather together the music that I have liked over the past year, and give a brief explanation of why I like it.

This year feels like a good year, and that is because most of the albums I’ve included feel like they may just stick around longer than the time it took to get to know them well enough to talk about them. Other of my year-end lists do include entries that never made much impact beyond the listening and inclusion; as much as I thought I liked them at the time, they ultimately made no lasting impression, which is not what I hope for. This year, either the albums are better, or I have made more of an effort to exclude the ones that might be short-lived. Or both. Still, there are a handful at the bottom end of this year’s list that are unlikely to be long-term players, but that do have some good songs, so hopefully I will continue to sample them. 

There are fourteen albums here that represent a relatively narrow set of genres compared to other years. There is a fair amount of prog, or at least a fair amount of music from bands with a proggy reputation, which might be a bit of a surprise if you know me. I do not consider myself a fan of modern prog and do not seek it out, mostly because I find the vast majority of it tedious and entirely predictable. However, there are a handful of bands who fall under that (admittedly rather broad) umbrella who can manage to sound fresh, so I can’t write the genre off completely. A few of them released pretty good albums this year. There is some industrial/industrial-related, some post-rock, and straight-up rock. No metal or post-metal this year, and no oddball genres. 

In terms of the ranking… I’ve put numbers on them but except for the three or four at the bottom, those numbers don’t mean very much. It’s crowded at the top. There are some clear distinctions among some albums, but there are also places where making a choice is largely arbitrary. 

Let’s go.

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The Music of 2023, July Update

July Update

It’s a few months and releases later from the March overview, so let’s see what is going on and how the new stuff stacks up. I’ll also take a look at some upcoming albums. You can see what I reviewed earlier in the year, here.

Continue reading The Music of 2023, July Update

The Albums of 2014: Nos. 10 to 6

So here we are, the albums that made the cut for the year…

Number 10

Sounds Like the End of the World:   Stages of Delusion

Sounds Like the End of the World is a 5-piece instrumental post-rock outfit, recently formed, from Gdansk, Poland. I had never heard of them, until one of them (or maybe their manager, I forget) popped up in my Facebook chat with a link. So I checked them out and pretty much liked what I heard.

They tend to play at the more sedate end of post-rock, and that tends not to be my favourite part of the genre, but they can turn on the heavy when they want to, enriching the guitar/bass/drum sound with keyboards which adds an nice textural element to their sound. However, after a while it does begin to all sound similar, and I find that my attraction to the music depends on my mood. Sometimes it does not work, and sometimes it does. For that reason the album was in and out of the Top 10 like a yoyo, until I finally decided that it really is more satisfying to listen to than the other contender for the spot. And I certainly enjoy it more than most of the stuff I have heard this year.


Continue reading The Albums of 2014: Nos. 10 to 6