Our Top Five Albums Of The Year (Joe's Pick)
1) Justin Bieber - Purpose
Yeah, I know. A few months ago, I'd have been disgusted with myself at even the thought of that name outside of a "Top 5 Musical Car Crashes" list, but having shaken the teeny pop sound of his previous album, Bieber has actually managed to pen an absolute masterpiece of modern Pop/R&B music. From the flat out Dance=Pop catchiness of Sorry, to the Ed Sheeran penned anti-love song Love Yourself, to the smooth R&B of We Are featuring rapper Nas, Justin Bieber has destroyed all preconceptions anyone could possibly have about his music whatsoever, and fair play to him for it.
2) Lamb Of God - VII: Sturm und Drang
Back in the middle of the year, I predicted that this album would absolutely smash it, but what Blythe and co actually delivered exceeded all expectations I had for this album. Solid, wall to wall Groove-Metal noise, backed up by some of their most powerful, emotional vocal performances to date, in any other year, this album would be an obvious choice for the top spot. The icing on the cake is the atmospheric, crushing Embers, featuring none other than Chino Moreno, one of my favourite vocalists in modern metal.
3) State Champs - Around The World And Back
It's no secret that I absolutely love pop punk, and Around The World And Back is one of the
best modern examples of a very much alive and kicking genre. Blending the anthemic melodies of bands like New Found Glory and Yellowcard, with the hardcore tinged bite of modern Pop Punk like Neck Deep and Knuckle Puck, State Champs have churned out an album that I can see myself coming back to for years to come.
4) The Weeknd - Beauty Behind The Madness
Having missed out on my mid-year list, mainly due to me refusing the listen to any artist who thinks it's a good idea to totally miss a letter out of the correct spelling of his name, continually hearing the Canadian artist's singles on the radio, and finding out that they're actually really good finally forced me into giving his new album a listen. Much like Justin Bieber's latest effort, Beauty Behind The Madness packs in an eclectic mix of hip hop, pop and R&B to make for an extremely interesting listen. Highlights include The Hills featuring self proclaimed rap god Eminem, and the very clearly Michael Jackson inspired In The Night.
5) Periphery - Juggernaught: Alpha/Omega
Having topped my list half way through the year, it probably says a lot about the quality of music released this year that one of my favourite modern metal bands have been pushed down in my estimations so much in the space of just 6 months. But that's taking nothing away from the quality of this album itself, the two part album is still an experience I regularly sit through and enjoy in it's entirety, and I still stick by my statement that Spencer Sotello is the most incredible clean vocalist in metal today.