As music goes, this was a pretty good year. After all, any year that has a Pearl Jam album in it is right up there with the best of them. I should warn you that I am a piss poor music reviewer, so prepare for lots of "I liked it, but not as much as the last one" something like 15 times. As with the games and the movies, I'm limiting this list to music that came out this year.
Super 400 - Live 05
Super 400 is a tremendously talented power trio from my home town of Albany, NY. They bring the rock in copious amounts and their love of Led Zeppelin is palpable. Plus, they have one of the hottest women in rock on bass, the lovely Ms. Lori Friday. Check them out at Super400.com.
My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade
One of the best albums this year. An amazing mix of Green Day punk, Queen bombast and dark, death emo imagery. Plus, it's got a cameo by Liza Minelli which fits the album to a "t". The opening 5 songs are genius and if you can listen to "Dead" and not rock the fuck out, something is totally wrong with you. My daughter loves it and she's only 2. She's off to a great start.
Angels and Airwaves - We Don't Need To Whisper
Yes the lyrics can be a little too uplifting, but this band has some serious talent and the hooks are undeniable. Great music to play Uno on the 360 by too.
Snow Patrol - Eyes Open
Good hooks, plenty of emo angst. A fun little record. I give it an 8.
Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
Sometimes the lyrics can be a little too strange, but the beats kick ass, and if you like songs about fucking dead people, this is the album for you
Matisyahu - Youth
I'm not a fan of reggae, so I'm not sure how reggaeish this album actually is, but this dude has a great flow and his songs always pick me up.
Queensryche - Operation Mindcrime: II
A complete and total fucking waste of money. Not only is this a shitty record, but it manages to taint the original in the process which is a shame. Ronnie James Dio sings like ass too. They should have never recorded this piece of shit.
Sarah Harmer - I'm A Mountain
Not a bad album, but I like her earlier stuff a lot better. At the same time, if you like bluegrass, you may get a kick out of this one.
Bruce Springsteen - We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions
The most fun album I've heard in quite some time. The level of talent on this album is amazing and all of the songs are kid friendly, perfect for getting your rock on while you make dinner. "Erie Canal" is a work of genius.
Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam
Hands down, the best album of the year. Now, I'll agree that I'm biased towards The Jam, but objectively speaking, this album kicks ass. Filled with amazing melodies, blistering rock riffs and their usual penchant for stellar lyrics, this is not only one of Pearl Jam's best albums, but one of the best rock albums to come out in some time. Plus, it brought Pearl Jam back in the spotlight where they so rightfully deserve to be. The kids of today need rock. They need Pearl Jam.
Angie Aparo - El Primero Del Tres
A fun EP from one of the best independent musicians out there. Translated literally, it means "The First of Three". I look forward to the next two. If you get a chance to see him live, do so. "Stairway to Freebird" is well worth the price of admission.
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium
Usually, I'm of the opinion that a double album should be cut of the filler and made into a stellar single album, but two discs of the Chili Peppers is always better than one. Maybe there's half a disc of filler, but that's OK with me, because the rest is kick ass funk rock.
Guster - Ganging Up On the Sun
These guys get more and more talented with every record. A great band to see in concert too, should you get a chance.
Keane - Under the Iron Sea
Some good songs, some OK songs. In totality, it's nothing you'll keep coming back to, but when you do, you won't have wasted your time. It's reviews like this that explain why I don't work for Rolling Stone.
Butch Walker and the Let's Go Out Tonights - The Rise and Fall of...
Butch Walker makes the most fun records in rock today. This one is his best yet. If you can score a copy of Live at Budokan on DVD, do so, if only for the acoustic performance.
Tom Petty - Highway Companion
Tom Petty makes amazing records. This is a Tom Petty record. Ergo, this is an amazing record. Seriously, why aren't you out buying this now?
Outkast - Idlewild
The first time I listened to this album, I was like "There are some good songs in here." The second time I couldn't bring myself to listen through the shit to find them. Oh well.
Pete Yorn - Nightcrawler
An uneven effort. Pick up "Live in New Jersey" instead if you're down for some Yorn-age.
Citizen Cope - Every Waking Moment
A good follow up to his last effort. It improves with every listen too, which is always a good thing. "Brother Lee" is spectacular. He puts on a good show too.
Barenaked Ladies - Barenaked Ladies Are Me
Should have been titled "Barenaked Ladies Are Boring". Not sure where the fun band of "Stunt" and "Maroon" went, but hopefully they'll come back soon.
John Mayer - Continuum
This dude has talent. Plus, he's willing to do skits with Dave Chappelle which puts him at the top of my list of rock-pop guitarists.
The Killers - Sam's Town
Brandon Flowers seems like a bit of a dick, and sullies my good name in the process. This is a fun record, but nothing that will go down in the history of rock. I did find it interesting that prior to the release, everyone was all like "The Killers! The Killers! They're trying to sound like Springsteen circa Born to Run!", but once the album came out, people knocked them for trying to sound like Born to Run and failing. Well, duh. No one can sound like Bruce did on that album, not even Bruce any more, and certainly not a band that spent its first album trying to revive the 80's.
Lindsey Buckingham - Under the Skin
Pop's most underrated guitarist. This album has some songs that are a little hard to get into, but all of them are technically impressive and most of them have some damn good hooks. This dude is a genius.
Incubus - Light Grenades
A nice way to end the year, with a kick ass rock record from one of my favorite bands. If you have any Xmas money left over, this would be a good thing to spend it on.