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Dan's 5 Favorite Albums of 2023 


1. Grace Potter – Mother Road


Grace Potter made the best album of her post-Nocturnals era. In her own unique way, she meshes heartfelt and sometimes racy storytelling into her distinctive blend of Neo-Classic Rock.  As a vocalist, no one is currently better.  The keyboards rip a la 70s Elton and Faces.  Favorite track – the Tarantino score-esque “Lady Vagabond.”


2. The Struts – Pretty Vicious


The Struts have always been one of the best live touring bands to emerge in the last ten years.  They have made great singles, but finally they have made an album that hones their greatness from front to back.  The band knows how to craft a Queen-loving pop hook, but they also fuse in 1980s Stones dance grooves and guitars with a tasteful use of comeback era Aerosmith horn orchestrations.  Favorite track “Do What You Want.”

3. The Hives – The Death of Randy Fitzsimmons 


Sometimes I get frustrated why it takes so long between Hives records, but then the album arrives, and it is perfect, and I forgive them immediately.  The Hives like AC/DC and the Ramones before them stumbled upon a magical recipe early on and delightfully have stuck with it. Favorite track “Countdown to Shutdown” (but they are all delightful).

4. Alex Lahey – The Answer is Always Yes


In terms of indie rock singer-songwriters, Alex Lahey is one of the best out there.  She’s a great lyricist and the guitar production of this record makes it a cathartic and uplifting listen.  Favorite song “You’ll Never Get Your Money Back.”

5. Blink-182 – One More Time . . . 


The reunited classic Blink lineup did not disappoint. It is an album for their fans. They’ve grown up, learned some things, but still appreciate a good dick joke. It’s a satisfying reunion. Favorite song “Fell in Love.”


Dan’s 5 Favorite Films of 2022 

In 2022, I saw 30 movies in theaters.  Of those 30, these are the ones I enjoyed most (not necessarily the ones I think will win the Oscar).  

1. The Lost City 

It won’t win best picture, but this film takes the cake for the most fun and the most likely for me to rewatch.  This action comedy was a throwback to 1990s classics like True Lies.  It was a great escape.


2. The Whale 

This was an emotional one.  The whole cast brought it, but Brendan Fraser was next level.  He deserves the Oscar for his performance. 

3. The Menu 

Of the dark comedy films providing commentary on the lives of the uber rich, I found this one to be the most satisfying. 


4. Bodies Bodies Bodies 

It was a fresh take on the horror and whodunit genres.  It made me laugh at times and kept me guessing.  I won’t spoil it.  

5. The Batman 

This is the best DC movie since Christopher Nolan.  I thought it was a well-told mystery placed in the context of the Batman universe. 

Dan's Top 5 Favorite Albums of 2022 

Hello, after another year of not blogging, I am back with my year-end albums list.  Obviously there are plenty of records I did not get to check out.   Honestly, I have been heavily listening to archival releases of the Grateful Dead and the JGB (I am not sure what happened, but I cannot stop listening).  However, when I came up for air, these were my favorite albums from 2022.  Enjoy!

1. Elvis Costello & the Imposters – The Boy Named If 

This album arrived in early 2022 and has stayed with me ever since.  The songs on this can stand proudly next to anything in E.C.’s celebrated 45 plus year career.  It rocks (“Farewell, OK” and “What If I Can’t Give You Anything But Love?”) and swoons (“Mr. Crescent”).  Give Costello his due.  He is pushing forward and the new stuff is consistently high quality. 

2. The Helicopters – Eyes of Oblivion 

These veteran Swedish rockers delivered a high-energy modern garage classic with their latest release, Eyes of Oblivion. “Reap A Hurricane” was regularly spun on Little Steven’s Underground Garage, but the whole disc is consistent, joyful and gritty! 

3. Mike Campbell & the Dirty Knobs – External Combustion 

Tom Petty’s right hand man keeps the flame burning with this swampy, but beautiful collection.  Campell and Co. bring out some great guests with Margo Price on “State of Mind” and Ian Hunter with “Dirty Job.”  We all miss Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, but this project is a worthwhile consolation prize you should support.  

4. Soraia – Bloom 

Seeing this band live was what first won me over, but songs like “I Seek Fire” and “Hammer and the Anvil” had me counting the days for the full album’s release.  The dirty glam-tastic Bloom did not disappoint.  Enjoy this record’s crunch guitars, delightful drum tones and fantastic vocals.  Pay attention to this band. 

5. Tedeschi Trucks Band – I Am The Moon 

TTB wisely released this quadruple album in four parts throughout 2022.  Often, the boldness of a double album bears the scars of being overblown and heavy with filler.  However, I Am The Moon keeps up the consistency and across all four parts.  Overall it’s an intoxicating blend of blues, rock, soul and jam music.   

Favorite Albums of 2021 

10. Hutch Harris Suck Up All the Oxygen

This album reminded me of how important Hutch and the Thermals are to me. Suck Up All the Oxygen is a concise 10-track 17-minute album packed with snark, sarcasm and fierce punk hooks.  

9. The Dead DaisiesHoly Ground

This is the band's sixth studio album, but the first to feature former-Deep Purple bassist and singer Glenn Hughes.  The record sounds great.  Glenn's voice is age-defyingly amazing.  Be sure to give the songs "Like No Other (Baseline)" and "Chosen and Justified" some proper attention. 

8. Deep Purple – Turning to Crime

Speaking of Deep Purple, the current lineup of Deep Purple made this excellent album this year.  It took a lot for a covers album to make my list.  Deep Purple usually write songs by jamming together, but the pandemic forced them to record remotely away from each other, so a covers album makes sense.  They choose an eclectic batch of songs and put their signature spin each one.  There are plenty of surprises here.  Don't miss the closing mega-medley "Caught in the Act." 

7. The Darkness Motorheart

Not sure who is still paying attention (in the U.S. at least), but the Darkness are the rock gift that keeps on giving.  Lyrically the band are clever, sometimes silly, but always sincere in their passion in making new classic rock.  Justin Hawkins voice is otherworldly, the production and the instrumental performances are stellar.  Plus, the band that was always compared to Queen now actually has the son of Queen's drummer Roger Taylor, Rufus Tiger Taylor, behind their kit.  

6. Ben Kweller Circuit Boredom

Another short album at just over 28 minutes. Ben Kweller had been releasing singles from this album for over a year prior to the record's official release on January 1, 2021.  Ben's brand of crunchy Weezer-meets-Tom Petty power pop is something we need more of these days.  Listen to the whole album.  

5. Cheap TrickIn Another World

At this point, Cheap Trick could simply tour and just play the hits, but they make new albums because they are artists.  They also make GOOD fan-pleasing new records.  Check this one out and don't miss the single "Light Up The Fire."

4. Sleater-KinneyPath of Wellness

This is a "more chill" Sleater-Kinney record, but in a world of uncertainty and chaos, it hit right.  Don't miss the fantastic single "Worry With You."

3. Angels & AirwavesLifeforms

The streaming era relies on releasing singles which is what Tom DeLonge and his band Angels & Airwaves did.  However, I did not appreciate the new music properly until I could experience it as a complete album.  That being said, if you only listen to one song on this album, listen to "Losing My Mind."  It's a banger.  

2. The Pretty RecklessDeath by Rock and Roll

Wait, isn't that Jenny from Gossip Girl? Yes, it is.  I had been sleeping on Taylor Momsen's music and the Pretty Reckless until this year.  She is an amazing singer and Death by Rock and Roll is unquestionably great.  Production-wise, this is one of the best sounding new rock albums out there.  It's also packed with excellent songs such as - "Witches Burn," "25" and "Only Love Can Save Me Now."  

1. The War On Drugs – I Don’t Live Here Anymore

Until this release, I always liked the idea of liking the War On Drugs more than I actually liked them.  Now, I am onboard.  I Don't Live Here Anymore does not have a single bad song.  The lyrics are rich and poetic.  The whole album (like any good album) should be listened to at least three times, because it grows on you.  However, my favorite track from the record is "Wasted" (especially when the bridge kicks in oooh la la!). 


Favorite Albums of 2020 

First off, 2020 is the year I released three records, Mood Music For IntrovertsMore Mood Music and the Cherry Flavored Elevator's Garage Rock Masterpiece Theatre.  Disclaimer - although I am proud of all these works, I automatically disqualify any music I have any part in making.  It would be a little too egocentric and self-serving.  

It was difficult to narrow down my list to just ten records.  I fretted and weighed the albums by my personal taste and enjoyment and what I saw as the artistic merit of the work.  I also have a soft spot for the overlooked and under-rated.  I did not consult the lists of the major musical press outlets.  I hope you find a surprise or two and explore those records.  Albums by the Struts, Green Day, the Beths and the Dirty Knobs all were close contenders, but did not make the final cut.  After much internal debate, my favorite albums of 2020 are:

10. Echosmith – Lonely Generation 

Early in 2020, the Echosmith siblings released a fantastic indie electronic pop album.  It has been seven years since their debut and last full-length album, but they have only gotten better.  “Love You Better,” “Diamonds” and “Shut Up and Kiss Me” are irresistible pop jams.  “Follow You” and “Everyone Cries” are ballads that show a young, but experienced band bringing new levels of emotional depth to its music.  Don’t knock it until you give the record a listen. 

9. Paul McCartney – McCartney III  

Maybe it is too soon for me to judge this album since it arrived with only two weeks left in 2020? Admittedly, I have not had the same amount of time with this record as I have with others on this list.  The McCartney series is now a trilogy.  Each prior volume is important in examining McCartney as an artist and innovator.  The McCartney records are Paul, unquestionably one of the best pop songwriters ever, left alone and chasing the muse.  McCartney I & II were panned upon their initial releases, but over time have grown in appreciation and acclaim. It is important to note the historical global moment that led to the album’s recording.  Paul was left with cancelled gigs and sweet sweet time. Time that he used to hunt down his unfinished ideas and song fragments, turning them into complete and fully realized songs.  While in “rockdown” with McCartney III, Paul builds another special McCartney world filled with folk songs, instrumental experiments and rockers.  The music brings comform with its homespun charm.   

8. Waxahatchee – Saint Cloud 

Waxahatchee’s Saint Cloud is a vibey collection of slow-grooving singer-songwriter jams (“Fire”, “Oxbow”) mixed with Tom Petty-esque Americana songs (just sung by a woman i.e. “Can’t Do Much,” “The Eye”, “Witches”).  The vulnerability of the music is enhanced by stacked harmony vocals.  The songs are tied together by lyrical motifs of “addition and codependence,” but the music skillfully drives on without getting trapped in a rabbit hole of sadness.  All and all, the album is well constructed and can be listened to without skipping a song.  

7. Soccer Mommy – color theory 

Soccer Mommy’s breakthrough album, Clean, made my 2018 favorite album list.  With color theory, singer-songwriter Sophie Allison continues to be every bit as compelling by not repeating herself.  color theory is more mellow, brooding and beautiful.  Although recorded and released before the world shut down, the record is perfect music for a brief existential spiral during a pandemic quarantine.  There are no tracks to skip here, but standout favorites were “circle the drain” and “yellow is the color of her eyes.” 

6. Deep Purple – Whoosh! 

Deep Purple continue to be a gold standard for guitar-driven classic rock excellence.  Working with legendary producer Bob Ezrin (their third album with him in seven years), the band continues to jam on and deliver the goods. The musicianship is always tight and alive.  Ian Gillan may not unleash his howl like he did on Deep Purple In Rock, but at age 75, he is still an excellent singer and engaging lyricist (special shout out to the track “Nothing At All.”)  Every album may be their last, but perhaps knowing that drives the group to avoid ending their 50 plus year legacy on a dud.  If Whoosh! is the last Deep Purple album, then the choice to possibly symbolically rerecord “And the Address,” the instrumental opening track from their debut record, is extra poignant.  Regardless, if you need some new classic rock don’t let this one “whoosh!” (sorry) on by.   

5. Fiona Apple – Fetch The Bolt Cutters 

The press figured out that this record was pretty special from the moment it arrived this spring. The glowing reviews are deserved. Fetch The Bolt Cutters does not sound like anything else.  Yes, it is definitely a singer-songwriter album, but its identity shifts back and forth while somehow feeling unified.  It is at times a vulnerable confession (“I Want You To Love Me”) and other times it hits like a chair over the head (“For Her”). All and all, this collection is packed with gems – “Under The Table,” “Ladies” and “Heavy Balloon” just to name a few. 

4. The Killers – Imploding The Mirage 

Out of nowhere the Killers made their best album in fifteen years.  The stars aligned on Imploding The Mirage as the Killers delivered a stunning batch of songs that once again combined the sonic textures of dancey electronic rock with 1980s Bruce Springsteen storytelling.  This album feels like classic Killers without being a rehash.  Is this beginning of a creative renaissance for the band? Tracks like “My Own Soul’s Warning,” “Dying Breed” and the title track give one hope.   

3. Destroyer – Have We Met 

Destroyer’s Have We Met is another example of a record where the band creates its own musical world.  The album hypnotically flows in a river of synths, beats, quirky lyrics and vocals.  It is both mellow and danceable.  Put this album on, dim the lights and get lost in this record.  Skip no tracks.   

2. Bruce Springsteen – Letter To You 

Reasons that set this album up to be interesting include the following.  Springsteen tracked this album live in the studio with the E Street Band. Bruce was inspired by the realization that he is the only living member of his high school band.  Those “ghosts” are present in the newly written songs (“Ghosts,” “Letter to You” and “Last Man Standing”).  Additionally, Springsteen revisits songs that date back to his first album, but were not included on his debut (“Janey Needs a Shooter,” “If I Was The Priest” and “Song For Orphans”).  The new stuff sits well with the old.  Letter To You is nothing short of a triumph.  Also check out the Letter To You film that is streaming on Apple TV+.    

1. Bob Dylan – Rough and Rowdy Ways 

Rough and Rowdy Ways’ first single “Murder Most Foul” gave the then 78 year old Bob Dylan his first ever #1 on the Billboard rock singles charts. It is funny that this mellow 17 minute epic centered around the JFK assassination was the song that earned him that achievement. Nonetheless, the tune proved that the master songwriter’s legendary lyrical skills were still sharp.  "Murder Most Foul" was followed by the dream-like "I Contain Multitudes" and the bluesy "False Prophet."  These lead singles alone were enough to give listeners hope that another masterpiece was on hand.  When Rough and Rowdy Ways arrived, all was confirmed.  The Nobel Prize winner had completed a spectacular collection that sits proudly next to his acclaimed late career records like Time Out of MindLove & Theft and Modern Times.  The album, although brilliant, is not his most accessible work.  Each track with its rich imagery and storytelling could be its own great American novel.  "Goodbye Jimmy Reed" stomps along like 2020's version of "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35," but there is very little looking back musically.  Dylan is always three moves ahead.  When you view his catalogue, you can see the progression and the sonic connection between his more recent albums.  However that is not his concern, Dylan is pushing forward.  Ultimately in a year of so much turmoil, it was comforting to see a man who has been deservedly recognized as genius for over sixty years, create a new work of genius.  The world is on fire, but Bob Dylan is still Dylan.  Not that he cares, but he did not let us down.  Take comfort in that. 

Favorite Albums of 2019 

It looks like another year has passed where I did not write any individual album reviews.  Sorry about that.  I did listen to a lot of music and I wrote a decent amount of it too.  Often, I am discovering old music that I have not yet heard.  For instance, I listened to a lot of Cheap Trick (going beyond the hits), Whitesnake (because it's an extension of Deep Purple), Lou Reed (some of the deep cut albums) and Peter Frampton (under-rated) and many more.  I also relistened to the entire Bob Dylan official discography and the official bootleg series (and what I had of the unofficial ones).  However, as is the tradition, these are the ten NEW albums that I found myself listening to again and again.  The releases from 2019 that I enjoyed most were:

1. Jenny Lewis – On The Line 

2. Jade Bird – Jade Bird 

3. Grace Potter – Daylight 

4. Duff McKagan – Tenderness  

5. Matt Maeson – Bank on the Funeral  

6. The New Pornographers – In the Morse Code of Break Lights 

7. Sleater-Kinney – The Center Won’t Hold 

8. White Reaper – You Deserve Love 

9. The Cactus Blossom’s – Easy Way 

10. Blink-182 – NINE

Favorite Albums of 2018 

Remember when I used to write album reviews?  Remember when I would write lengthy explanations as to why I chose things for my lists? Me too.  Anyway, I lack the time to do that.  This year is soon to be over.  Before then, here is my list of 2018 records.  These ones were the ones that kept me listening and inspired this past year:  

1. Paul McCartney – Egypt Station 

Paul McCartney is one of the greatest of all time – if not the greatest.  He is 76 years old.  He has nothing left to prove.  Yet, he chooses to give us an incredible new album, Egypt Station.   

Favorite track: “I Don’t Know” 

2. Frank Turner – Be More Kind 

Frank Turner’s Be More Kind is powerful and thoughtful protest record.  It takes on right-wing extremism and delivers a message in a very palatable way.  At the center of this album, is Turner’s incredible songwriting.   

Favorite track: “Make America Great Again” 

3. The Fratellis – In Your Sweet Time 

In 2007 (I think), the Fratellis had a song in an Apple commercial.  Since then, the band’s career has cooled, at least in the US.  This year’s In Your Sweet Time was never going to give us as any radio hits. Regardless, the hooks are there. It’s great power-pop from a forgotten corner of the rock music universe.   

Favorite track: “Sugartown” 

4. Soccer Mommy – Clean  

Soccer Mommy is one of the new artists who I am most excited about this year.  Her debut album Clean blends modern indie singer-songwriter vibes with nineties pop-rock sensibilities.  It’s a record that keeps on giving the more you listen to it.  

Favorite track: “Last Girl” 

5. MXPX – MXPX  

MXPX have largely stayed in the same vein of pop-punk for their career.  Like the Ramones and AC/DC before them, they don’t vary the formula, but some records are inevitably better than others.  This self-titled and crowd-funded collection is one of the band’s best and is their finest output since 2005’s Panic.  There are a lot of annoying pop punk bands out there.  MXPX is not one of them.  MXPX is a manifesto of everything the band is and is a gift to their fans.  It’s great.  

Favorite track: “Let’s Ride” 

6. Brian Fallon – Sleepwalkers 

Springsteen disciple Brian Fallon’s second solo record finds him exploring a more Motown-influenced sound. It hits hard, but also grooves.  Don’t worry; it works! 

Favorite track: “Etta James” 

7. Snail Mail – Lush 

Another new discovery for this year, Snail Mail’s debut album Lush combines elements of Nirvana-esque grunge with reverbed-out post-punk.  The album is both tough and vulnerable for the inner teenager in all of us.   

Favorite track: “Full Control” 

8. Milo Greene – Adult Contemporary  

Milo Greene’s Adult Contemporary is interesting in that it blends elements of folky Americana with eighties Fleetwood Mac and Vagabond Heart era Rod Stewart.  It’s the band’s third album and an all-round great listening experience.  I recommend listening to it when traveling.   

Favorite track: “Young at Heart” 

9. Roger Daltrey – As Long As I Have You  

In 1965, Roger Daltrey was fired from the Who for punching Keith Moon and flushing the band’s drugs down the toilet after the band performed an amphetamine-fueled mess of a concert.  His plan was to start a soul band.  Before those plans were fully realized, he was rehired and the rest is history.  However, on his new solo record, we get to hear Daltrey sing kind of soul music that he dug as a teenager.  Daltrey is primarily and interpreter of other people’s songwriting and such is the case on As Long As I Have You.  Daltrey, having had vocal surgery in recent years, has his voice back.  It’s great to hear him sing with such power.  Plus, Pete Townshend guests on a few songs, adding some extra guitar firepower.   

Favorite track: “How Far” 

10. Ace Frehley – Spaceman 

My judgment is not clouded. This album rocks.  Ace is not going to give Bob Dylan caliber lyrics, but the songs feel good.  They have hooks and Ace’s guitar playing is so so sweet.  It reminds you why and how he inspired an entire generation of guitarists. It also proves he’s still got it. Enough said.   

Favorite track: “Rockin’ With the Boys”

Best Albums of 2017 

1. Roger Waters – Is This The Life We Really Want? 

It has been 25 years since the last proper Roger Waters' solo album. Is This The Life We Really Want? is Waters' greatest work since Pink Floyd’s The Wall. Not only did he conjure up that classic Floyd sound, he made a concept record that starkly and poignantly captures the trauma and hypocrisy of the Trump-era. At age 74, Waters pulls no punches and proves that his artistic flame still brightly burns. 

Essential tracks: “Smell the Roses”, “Déjà Vu”, and “Picture That” 

2. JD McPherson – Undivided Heart & Soul 

With a sound that crosses throwback Eddie Cochran with modern garage rock, JD McPherson delivered a killer record that was both timeless and fresh sounding. Undivided Heart & Soul is loaded with sassy rockers like “Desperate Love,” “Style is a Losing Game” and the title track but also provides beautiful ballads like “Hunting For Sugar.” All in all, the album is 40 minutes of pure rock and roll delight. 

Essential tracks: "Style is a Losing Game", "Under the Spell of City Lights" & "Hunting for Sugar"

3. J. Roddy Walston & the Business – Destroyers of the Soft Life 

J. Roddy and Co. accomplished a tricky thing this past year. With Destroyers of the Soft Life, they expand beyond the Jerry Lee Lewis meets Black Keys and Zeppelin vibes of their first three albums to deliver an album with a more modern commercial shimmer. It’s done so tastefully that it feels like a natural progression as the band eyes a wider audience. Like Nirvana, underneath the music’s gritty rockness are great songs with big pop hooks. Don’t miss out on this band or album. 

4. Foo Fighters – Concrete and Gold 

The Foos decided to mix things up this go round and teamed up pop producer Greg Kurtstin. Concrete and Gold is a heavy record but also very melodic. It is politically aware, but at the same time still fun. Further, it is also one of the band’s most consistent albums. Besides 2011’s Wasting Light, Concrete and Gold is the best Foo Fighters album of the 21st century. Lastly, there are a number of music superstar cameos tastefully sprinkled throughout the music. Go listen and see if you can figure out who and where they are! 

Essential tracks: “La Dee Dah”, “The Sky is a Neighborhood” and “Sunday Rain.” 

5. John Mark McMillan – Mercury & Lightening 

In Mercury & Lightening, John Mark McMillan looks at the modern world and sees all the reasons why he should be jaded. However, throughout the album’s journey, he does not give into despair. He fights back and presents a stellar and uplifting collection of songs. Sonically, the album blends ambient modern-indie pop production with vibes of Born in the USA-era Springsteen. All in all, Mercury and Lightening is thoughtful and compelling and should not be missed. 

Essential tracks: “Mercury & Lightening” and “No Country” 

6. Queens of the Stone Age – Villains 

Villains somehow hits like a modernized quirky punkish dancing lovechild of late 70s Zeppelin and Bowie. The album doesn’t quit and that’s why it’s on this list. 

Essential tracks: “Feet Don’t Fail Me”, “The Way You Used To” & “Head Like a Haunted House” 

7. Dan Auerbach – Waiting on a Song 

Waiting on a Song shows the Black Keys front man embracing a retro Nashville-tinged singer-songwriter sound. This album is fun, accessible and joyful. It goes down smoothly. 

Essential tracks: “Waiting on a Song”, “Shine on Me,” & “Malibu Man” 

8. Death From Above 1979 – Outrage! Is Now 

Loaded with big sludgy rock riffs, you can head bang to this album until your skull flies off. This album is lean and mean. Rock and roll is still alive and well! 

Essential tracks: “Freeze Me”, “Caught Up,” & “Freeze Me” 

9. Deep Purple – Infinite 

Yes, there is a new Deep Purple record. Yes, they have actually been regularly releasing great new music since the last time Ritchie Blackmore quit the band back in 1993. The Bob Ezrin produced Infinite has that Deep Purple signature sound complete with stellar guitar riffs and blazing organ solos. Sure, Ian Gillan’s voice has changed a bit as he has aged, but he still sings with conviction and delivers the goods. 

Essential tracks: “Hip Boots” and “One Night in Vegas” 

10. Blondie – Pollinator 

The cool thing about this album is that it is both new wave and modern. The Blondie sound is something that has always evolved. Like the new Deep Purple album, for most people, this album slipped through the cracks, but Blondie made a record that can stand proudly next to their best work. Tracks like “Doom or Destiny”, “Long Time” and “Gravity” kick ass. And like Ian Gillan, Debbie Harry’s voice has changed a bit with age, she has still got her edge. I hope they don’t retire just yet! 

Essential tracks: “Doom or Destiny,” “Long Time” and “Gravity”

Best Albums of 2016 

1. David Bowie - Blackstar 
Two days before he died, David Bowie left his fans with one doozy of a parting gift.  Blackstar is a masterpiece that shows that even in death this icon was still pushing boundaries and finding ways to surprise, challenge and delight his audience.  From front to back, this album is worth multiple listens. 

2. Green Day – Revolution Radio 

Forever youthful, Green Day made the record we needed in 2016.  It’s an honest portrait of the struggles facing this world and call to action.  They know to make politics catchy, but also can deliver power-pop gems like “Youngblood.”  There is not a dud on this album.  

3. Eleanor Friedberger – New View 

Eleanor Friedberger continues to be one of the most underrated lyricists around.  Her third solo album expands upon the ground of 2013’s Personal Record.  She mixes in more flavors of early 70s Dylan and it works.  “Sweetest Girl” and “Cathy With the Curly Hair” are simply excellent.  

4. Weezer – Weezer (White Album) 

On the band’s tenth album, Weezer capture the joy of awkward young love.  The album’s huge choruses sound both distinctively Weezer and fresh.  Songs like “California Kids,” “Thank God For Girls,” and “King of the World” stand proudly with the band’s best work. 

5. Eric Clapton – I Still Do 

Despite fighting a neurological illness that make playing guitar difficult, Slowhand released a stellar blues-rock jewel of an album.  Read the full RCB review here

6. The Thermals – We Disappear 

The Thermals continue to be one of the most consistent and underrated punk bands around.  The band does not stray from the formula of their earlier albums and that is totally fine.  The Thermals are fierce and so is this record.  Don’t miss out on great songs like “Thinking of You” and “My Heart Went Cold”. 

7. Blink-182 – California 

A Tom DeLonge-less Blink-182 circled the wagons and made a sonic sequel to 2001’s Take Off Your Pants and Jacket.  It’s not the deepest album of the year, but it sure is a lot of fun.  Read the full RCB review here

Yes, I spent three months hearing this material played live over and over while traveling with them on the Tour De Compadres this fall, but this genre-bending album rocks.  It fuses newer pop textures with old school rock, soul and Americana.  The title track and songs like “Great Night,” “Money & Fame” and “Let’s Stay Home Tonight” anchor this album as one of the year’s best.   

9. Brian Fallon – Painkillers 

The Gaslight Anthem frontman’s solo album continues his exploration of neo-Springsteen rock.  Fallon is a great excellent songwriter and lyricist who wears his influences on his sleeve.  Highlights include the title track, “Wonderful Life” and “Mojo Hand.” 

10. Rolling Stones – Blue & Lonesome 

Any new material from the Stones is welcomed.  On Blue & Lonesome, the guys get back to the music that first brought them together.  Take this gift and be grateful.  

The Best Albums of 2015 

1. Sleater-Kinney – No Cities To Love 

For their first album in 10 years, Sleater-Kinney returned with a fierce pop-vengeance.  Every track on this album is killer from the opener “Price Tag” to the closer “Fade.” 
2. Carl Barat & the Jackals – Let It Reign 

Carl Barat had a busy year.  In addition to making an excellent reunion album with Libertines, he also put out Let It Reign.  Although the Libertine’s disc got more press, Let It Reign is the better work.  It blends punkish-Clash-inspired rock with garage-rock self-righteousness.  Check it out and don’t miss “Glory Days” or “March of the Idols.” 
3. Fall Out Boy – American Beauty/American Psycho 

This band continues to evolve from emo heroes to arena rock superstars.  Love them or hate them, they have never made the same album twice.  Read the full RCB review here
4. Florence + the Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful 

On her third album, Florence Welsh gets in touch with her inner Fleetwood Mac and the results are great.  From “Ship to Wreck,” “What Kind of Man,” “Third Eye,” “Mother” . . . this album is packed with great songs and powerhouse vocal performance. 
5. Grace Potter – Midnight 

Her solo debut ruffled some feathers as she explored a more pop-oriented sound and sidestepped from her usual classic-rock roots.  However, haters need to get over it.  Midnight is pretty damn great.  “Your Girl” and “Empty Heart” are knockouts and the outro of “Delirious” shows why Grace Potter is the greatest current voice in rock and roll. 
6. Mike Posner – The Truth 

I try to stick to full-length albums for this list, but Mike Posner’s EP The Truth consisted of four pretty much perfect songs.  The tracks are brash, personal, beautiful and really catchy.  “Not That Simple” is one of the year’s best songs.  
7. New Politics – Vikings 

This album is pure indie-rock fun.  It’s a great album all around, but some standouts are “Everywhere I Go,” “Girl Crush” and “50 Feet Tall.” 

8. Motion City Soundtrack – Panic Stations 

It was looking like MCS peaked back in 2007 with Even If It Kills Me.  2010’s My Dinosaur Life was alright, but 2012’s Go was pretty darn forgettable. Although the bands’ days of greatest commercial success are probably behind them, their core fans should be pleased, because Panic Stations finds the band making its most compelling and rockin’ album in years.  The boys are back!  
9. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Chasing Yesterday 

Everyone’s favorite curmudgeon shows that he’s still got the chops that helped him write some of the biggest songs of the 90s.  Chasing Yesterday blends his Oasis roots with his love of 60s pop.  Check out the whole album, but “You Know We Can’t Go Back” is a track not to be missed.  
10. Chris Stapleton – Traveller 

Chris Stapleton has long been writing hits for some of country music’s biggest stars.  His solo debut beautifully introduces us to the voice behind those songs.  Even if you’re not really into country music, don’t write this guy off – Traveller is awesome. 

The Best Records of 2013 

It's time for the Rolling Clone Blogazine's annual list of the year's best records . . . 

1.) Fall Out Boy – Save Rock And Roll

Fall Out Boy came back in a big way, showing that a few year apart didn't take away from the band's pop boldness or their ability to construct a collection containing 2013's catchiest jams.  This album is killer pop-rock and delightfully over-the-top.  Welcome back boys!  Read the full review here
2.) Tegan & Sara – Heartthrob

Tegan & Sara experimented and expanded their sound by embraced Top 40 dance-pop production, while continuing to write poignant and heartfelt songs.  The results were excellent.  Read the full review here.  
3.) Paul McCartney – NEW

At age 70, Beatle Paul delivers his best album of the new millennium and put his younger competition to shame.  The record perfectly blends classic Paul with modern production.  Read the full review here
4.) Eleanor Friedberger – Personal Record

Eleanor Friedberger successfully combined pop hooks and rich poetic lyrics for a masterpiece of a record.  Read more about it here.  Here's to hoping she does some more extensive touring for this album in 2014!
5.) Jake Bugg – Jake Bugg

With his excellent self-titled debut, Jake Bugg showed that he wasn’t just some teen idol, but one of the best emerging young songwriters around.  Read the full review here.
Honorable Mentions:
6.) Franz Ferdinand – Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action

It has been nearly ten years since Franz Ferdinand released their self-titled debut record.  They are no longer as big in the US as they once were, but that doesn’t mean that they’ve stopped making great records.  Pay attention to this band.  Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions is glorious from start to finish.  
7.) Arctic Monkeys – AM

The Arctic Monkeys took their distinctive brand of British rock and mashed it with Black Sabbath-style riffs and drumming.  It made for a great time and their best record to date.
8.) Houndmouth – From The Hills Below The City

This under-rated band released their debut this year and sounded like an intelligent blend of the Lumineers and the Band.  Read the full review here.
9.) Free Energy – Love Sign

A mixture of 2013 pop-rock mentality mixed with T-Rex crunch and the Cars' good times, Free Energy's Love Sign is delightful from start to finish.  Read the full review here.
10.) Best Coast – Fade Away

It may not be a full-length record, but there was not a bad song in the bunch.  Check out the full review here

The 10 Under-rated Songs of 2013 

​2013 saw the release of plenty of good music.  With so much to explore, some brilliant songs have slipped through the cracks.  The Rolling Clone Blogazine has found ten of those jewels and wants to make sure you don’t miss out!  In no particular order, the Un-rated Songs of 2013 are . . .

(Click each song title and you will be directed to a video link of each track.)
Franz Ferdinand - “Fresh Strawberries”
Franz Ferdinand really brought it with their fabulous new record Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions.  With “Fresh Strawberries”, they skillfully blend one part beautiful retro-AM-sunshine and one part dance rock sass while channeling their inner-Hollies with their infectious chorus harmonies. 
Best Coast - “This Lonely Morning”
In the perfect world, Best Coast would rule Top 40 Radio.  Singer, Bethany Cosentino continues to crank out catchy bullets of pop perfection.  With “This Lonely Morning”, she and guitarist, Bobb Bruno, fuse sixties girl pop with nineties-Green Day grit.  Check out the full review of their EP, Fade Away
Arctic Monkeys – “Arabella”
This year, Black Sabbath released their first new album with Ozzy Osbourne since 1978.  However, the best Black Sabbath song of the year was not written or recorded by Black Sabbath: it was written by the Arctic Monkeys.  Fusing their British indie-rock sensibilities with Sabbath, the Arctic Monkeys have made one killer track that shows this band continuing to blossom. 
Lou Doillon – “Questions And Answers”
Lou Doillon is pretty much unknown in the U.S., but her debut, Places, was released over here this June.  Lou has a great voice and smart image-filled lyrics.  “Questions And Answers” is one of those songs that is both immediately likeable, but continues to get better with each listen.  Check out the full-length review of Places here
Paul McCartney – “Looking At Her”
Tucked at the end of Sir Paul’s brilliant new album, NEW, is this bit of pop wonderment.  It is both Beatley and modern at the same time.  The next time you fall in love, listen to this song.  Check out the full review of McCartney’s NEW here
Fall Out Boy – “Young Volcanoes”
One of the reasons 2013 was great for music was because the members of Fall Out Boy decided to bury the hatchet, hit the road and make a new album, Save Rock And Roll.  Their summery acoustic stomp, “Young Volcanoes”, shows the band continuing to dominate in the “pop hooks” department.  On this track, Pete Wentz proves that his lyrical wit was not numbed by the band’s hiatus: “We’ll show you how to make boys next door out of assholes.”  Read the full review of Save Rock And Roll here
Free Energy – “Hangin’”
In one three minute and thirty-five second track, Free Energy have captured the idealization of summer teenage love and presented listeners with another delightful pop-rock gem.  “I feel so boss, makin’ out with you lipstick gloss . . .” The full review of Free Energy’s 2013 LP, Love Sign, can be read here
Houndmouth – “Ludlow”
Fusing the Americana beauty of the Lumineers with the grit of the Band, Houndmouth have arrived singing songs about love, addiction and hard times.  Their debut, From The Hills Below The City, is one of the year’s best and “Ludlow” is the perfect introduction to why this band has the potential to become huge over the next few years.  Read the full album review here
Eleanor Friedberger – “Stare At The Sun”
It is tough to make songs that are both lyrically rich and catchy, but Eleanor Friedberger makes it look easy.  Check out this single from her fantastic second solo album, Personal Record.  Read the album’s full review here
Iggy & the Stooges – “Beat That Guy” 
When you think of Iggy & the Stooges, you think of wild proto punk and a shirtless Mr. Pop rolling around in glass.  Ballads seem very unusual for this iconic band, but on their 2013 release, Read To Die, they show that they can still maintain their bite at lower volumes.  In a worn 66-year-old baritone, Iggy, with gritty vulnerably, sings about survival and determination to win.  The track comes out of left field, but it’s a stellar song.  Rock on Stooges!  Check out the album’s full review here. (This song is not on Youtube as of this publishing)

The Rolling Clone Blogazine’s Best LPs of 2012 

2012 was filled with great music and without further ado . . .

The Top 5

1.) Foxy Shazam – The Church of Rock and Roll

Foxy Shazam are one of the most exciting up-and-coming bands. In addition to being an incredible live band, their latest album, The Church of Rock and Roll, doesn’t quit. Click here to check out RCB’s full review.
2.) Grace Potter & the Nocturnals – The Lion The Beast The Beat

Grace Potter is one of rock music’s most under-rated vocalists and her band is absolutely fantastic. With The Lion The Beast The Beat, they shine.  The album is an incredibly rich work complete with rockers, ballads and mid-tempo songs. Check it out, it is top-notch!

3.) Jack White – Blunderbuss

In 2012, it was wonderful to see Jack White back in action. With Blunderbuss, he finds his own unique Nashville-influenced sound. This is Jack’s strongest album since the White Stripes' Get Behind Me Satan. He and his band sound great and his lyrics are razor sharp.

4.) Green Day – ¡Uno! ¡Dos! ¡Tre!

Technically these are three albums, but they are all a part of the same grand concept. After two politically pointed rock operas, Green Day are back and ready to have some fun (resuming once Billie Joe is back in action). These songs show them embracing their roots while also proving that they aren’t afraid to try out some new tricks. With ¡Uno! ¡Dos! ¡Tre!, Green Day are incredibly ambitious, but they have backed themselves up by creating three albums packed with great songs.

5.) Bruce Springsteen – Wrecking Ball

Bruce Springsteen has always let his moral compass guide his songwriting. Wrecking Ball is no different; he calls out the Wall Street corruption, while providing anthems for every American. It is an record of blunt honesty, but still has an underlying message of undying hope.  Springsteen has never stopped being relevant and with Wrecking Ball, he proves that he thankfully is not going away anytime soon!

And The Honorable Mentions . . .

6.) Ben Kweller – Go Fly A Kite

In 2012, Ben Kweller gave fans this nugget of power-pop bliss. Read the full review here.

7.) The Lumineers – The Lumineers

2012 was the breakout year for the Lumineers and their folky Americana tunes. Luckily for the music fans, “Hey Ho!” isn’t the Lumineers’ only good song. Their self-title debut has a lot to enjoy.

8.) Van Halen – A Different Kind of Truth

A number of legendary 1970s hard rock bands put out new records this past year (i.e. Aerosmith and KISS), but Van Halen’s was the best. A Different Kind of Truth sounds like a classic Van Halen recorded in modern times. Plus, it was the first time the band has made a full album with David Lee Roth in over twenty-fives years. There were a lot of expectations on this disc and the band delivered.

9.) John Mayer – Born and Raised

Apparently, John Mayer stocked up on Allman Brothers and Neil Young albums while in exile in Montana. The result was this album filled with heartfelt folky goodness! See the review here.

10.) The Hives – Lex Hives

The Hives' albums all kind of sounds the same, but they always have a special charm. Lex Hives is filled with high-energy proto-punk jams that are sure to get your heart racing and your feet dancing. If you want to burn some calories, crank this record and hop on your favorite elliptical machine.

5 Of The Most Under-rated Songs of 2012 

So much great music came out this year, but here are five jewels that might have not been on your radar.  

Free Energy – “Electric Fever”

Free Energy’s sophomore album comes out next month, but earlier this year they revealed this tasty treat. “Electric Fever” is the perfect summer jam, a danceable rock anthem complete with plenty of cowbell. The song just feels good!

Alabama Shakes – “Heavy Chevy”

Unless you bought their debut album, Boys and Girls (see RCB’s review here), on itunes, you probably missed out on this bonus track. It’s a Chuck Berry-tastic bit of rock and roll lightening that is far more electrifying than anything on the rest of the album.

The Rolling Stones – “Doom and Gloom”

Fifty years later, the Rolling Stones still kick serious ass! Check out this joyful nugget. It is one of the two new tracks on their newest compilation Grrr!

Grace Potter & the Nocturnals – “The Lion The Beast The Beat”

“The Lion The Beast The Beat” is the title track and opening track off of Grace Potter’s newest album. It is a mini-epic that hauntingly builds into rock and roll greatness!

Green Day – “Stay The Night”

Green Day put out thirty-seven new songs this year, so it is easy to overlook all the gold they have given us. “Stay The Night” is off of ¡Uno! and it is an exciting power-pop jem that channels, punk, Cheap Trick and the Beatles.

The Rolling Clone Blogazine’s Best LP Releases of 2011 

Here you have it . . .  

1. Foo Fighters – Wasting Light

1.) The reunion of Dave Grohl with Nirvana’s Nevermind producer, Butch Vig plus a guest appearance by Chris Novoselic didn’t hurt this record’s chances. More importantly, this record is made up of great songs from start to finish. Wasting Light is definitely the best album the Foo Fighters have made in the last ten years if not their career.

2. The Kills – Blood Pressures

2.) Check of the RCB review here. Blood Pressures is a great dirty rock n roll record that doesn’t let up.

3. Wild Flag- Wild Flag

3.) Wild Flag’s debut is a fun post-punk meets pop album. Think of Blondie’s Parallel Lines with more girl-power bite!

4. The Black Keys – El Camino

4.) See the full review here. The Black Keys continue to grow and explore new musical avenues without losing track of their identity. This record is solid all the way through and includes the gem “Little Black Submarine” which is probably one of the best songs released this year.

5. Blink-182 – Neighborhoods

5. The first new album from the reunited Blink-182 is in itself a reason for celebration. The fact that this album is also excellent is just icing on the cake. The album picks up where the band left off in 2003, but moves forward with great songs like “Ghost On The Dancefloor” and keeps old fans happy with throwbacks like “After Midnight.”

The 2011 Honorable Mentions:
6. Sleeper Agent – Celebrasion

6.) Sleeper Agent’s debut album is a refreshing breath of fun. The songs are power-pop and each track flows nicely into next without the record getting boring. Trust me, it’s solid. Check out great party jams like “Be My Monster” and “Shuga Cane.”

7. Angels & Airwaves – Love Pt. 2

7.) See my full review here. The second great album from Tom DeLonge this year!

8. Cage The Elephant – Thank You Happy Birthday

8.) The magic wasn’t just in the radio singles like “Shake Me Down” and “Aberdeen”. Cage The Elephant's sophomore album is filled with a lot of 1990’s throwback glory with tracks like “2024” and “It’s Always Something”. 

9. Red Hot Chili Peppers – I’m With You

9.) See the full review here. Despite a shift in personnel, the Red Hot Chili Peppers carry on and gracefully find a new groove with their latest record, I’m With You. They also are going to be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012!

10. The Strokes – Angles

10.) The return of the Strokes! Need I say more . . . Check out “Under Cover of Darkness”, “Machu Picchu”, “Taken For A Fool” and “Life Is Simple In The Moonlight”!

I can't wait to see what 2012 has to offer!