19 December 2016

The official Top 40 albums for ATTIWLTMOWOS as voted by you!!!!

The votes are in, they have been counted and we can confirm that no Russians, Americans or Trumps have tampered with it!  Thank you for all your votes, we have received more this year than ever before and it has been closer than ever for the votes as well!  I would like to thank everyone who shared the poll as well, it was much appreciated and you are all legends!  However; it is now time to announce the albums which made the Top 20 40 albums, the ones which people have considered to be the cream of the crop.  Before I reveal the list, I must say that I am impressed with the diversity of the voting - the top album has changed a couple of times and it has been fun to watch as well.  Each album will have the end paragraph of each review, but the reviews are on the blog if you wish to read more about the record.  So, without much further ado, let us see who has made the list:

40 - The Divine Comedy - Foreverland

Can we just knight this man already? He has done a lot for music and I think on this album, we can see a showcase of a mature and (if possible) more dashing and debonair version of The Divine Comedy than we have seen in the last few albums.  It has love at the core of the album, with some historical figures added for good measure and a superb set of numbers that will make any Divine Comedy fan rejoice for their return.  There are a few numbers which do not really make the grade, but this is next to the high standards that the man has set over the years with his own back catalogue of gems.  It is an album that knows its own audience, it does not go mad and have guitar solos or Zappa jazz-signatures (although I would pay good money for that to happen) and Neil Hannon continues to deliver his own brand of pop with wit, charm, grace and with the voice that would tempt angels and demons to join him in a choir; once more he has won and 'Foreverland' is definitely an album I would recommend to anyone who has even the slightest interest in The Divine Comedy.  Well played sir, well played. - Review by Eddie Carter

39 - Volbeat- Seal The Deal & Let's Boogie

I like this album, but it is not without flaws if we are honest.  Volbeat operate in a very specific set of rules and they sometime can constrain the band and they rarely venture out of their own parameters in the same way that AC/DC, Airbourne and The Answer pretty music keep on releasing the same album.  This is not saying that they do not do their job well, I think this is a great album for what it is; however, it does mean that a thirteen-track album feels a lot longer than it really ought to be and that is without the additional bonus tracks that they have added to other versions of this album.  But it is still a great record that will make their fans very happy, but maybe it could have been a spectacular one with a little trimming. - Review by Eddie Carter

38 - Brujeria - Pocho Aztlan

I enjoyed this album immensely. It's not going to be for everyone’s taste but if you like Death Metal then you can't go wrong with this. Perfect to keep the cold winter nights away, one listen to this and you too can improve your Spanish in no time at all. Or sound like a character from a Robert Rodriguez movie, whichever comes first. It's also better than Brujerizimo too... - Review by Chris Jermyn

I have been looking forward to this album for so long, but I have not had all the time I wanted to absorb everything about it.  It is one of those albums which will come together in my mind in a few years’ time as it changes in my mind every time I listen to it.  It is a brave and courage record, it is a record that demand attention and I will be looking into for a long time to come. - Review by Eddie Carter
36 - The Dowling Poole - One Hyde Park

One Hyde Park is a fantastic album, both Jon and Willie are fine songwriters, Willie in particular has long been one of my favourite lyricists. There's not one bad song to be found, though I would say the first half is superior to the second. My only real complaint is with the cover and the band logo. If I saw that with no prior knowledge of the band, I'd think it was gonna sound like Linkin Park or something. After the simple but effective cover of their last album, Bleak Strategies it's a bit of a disappointment. As I say though, a small niggle. - Review by Luke Dunmore

35 - Katatonia - The Fall of Hearts

This is the bands tenth album and a welcome addition to their discography, there's no filler, each track is excellent and has its place. Yes, it's another step further away from their original sound but it's always been a natural progression for Katatonia rather than a forced one, their song writing goes from strength and The Fall Of Hearts may have been four years in the making but it was well worth waiting for. - Review by Luke Dunmore

34 - Marillion - F.E.A.R.

This album is all I could have hoped for from Marillion, quite possibly my Prog Rock album of 2016.  The story telling, the music, the packaging, everything about it is top notch.  From beginning to near the end, this album is such a beautiful record, but to be picky, I do think that 'Tomorrow's New Country' sound have just been added to the end of 'The New Kings' and not as a separate song; but that is a minor point to be honest.  I came into this album just hoping for a decent record, I have found one of the best Progressive Rock albums of many years; well played Marillion, well played! - Review by Eddie Carter

33 - Eric Clapton - I Still Do

A mix of covers and new tracks, the album has a folksy vibe to it and a gentleness, as if saying that "Yeah, still here, still playing, but none of that loud-fangled stuff, thank you very much". I would say this is more of an album for purists, cementing the direction he has been taking for the last several years. Not that I can fault the guy for that, and even an average Clapton album is, for me, an event. That is not to say this is an average album. Production and performance are top-notch and even if you're not an old-school blues fan, I dare you not to find something you'll like here. - Review by Andrew Oyston

They may no longer be Whatever but it's great to have Nick and Stidi back together again and also that they've returned with such a strong album, particularly the last four tracks. Apart from a few minor quibbles there's not much to fault here and certainly no filler tracks. From what I hear they're no slouches live either so it'll be worth keeping eye out for them if they come your way (presumably just in the UK). - Review by Luke Dunmore

This album is an album that does two things for Dinosaur Jr. - firstly, it keeps them relevant to new comers and it will also keep the hardcore fan base extremely happy.  It has everything you want from the band, plus some classics in waiting on the album that will become staples of the Dinosaur Jr. set for years to come.  The second thing it accomplishes is that it does not fuck with the legacy of the band, it is a worthwhile addition to that back catalogue and in years to come I have a feeling that it will actually be one of the highest rated album from Messrs Mascis, Barlow and Murph.  The performance is spot on and it works very well, to nit-pick I would say the track ordering could have been tweaked a little, but that is just looking for problems.  It is a great album, one that keeps on giving with each listen - what a great album. - Review by Eddie Carter

And there we go, the best Megadeth album since ‘Countdown To Extinction’. Mind, that's not really saying much as - as already established - their output since that album has been quite varied in quality to say the least. This is by far a more cohesive effort and the contributions of the new members have been solid. Here is hoping they remain together for a long time in order to make more great music. The only downside I could find is that there were some aspects that were very familiar and seemed like they'd been rehashed in order to install a sense of security into long-time fans, if you will. This was also a criticism I also levelled at the latest Star Wars movie. Lyrically, the album won't be to everyone's cup of tea as there is a slight whiff of "Fox News" about some of the lines but to once again hear the kind of riffs that Megadeth used to specialise in back in alongside the Mustaine sneer once more has been great. Keep it up. - Review by Chris Jermyn

If it ain't broke, why try to fix it?  That is what I love about some bands and crave other bands to change, because in the right circumstance a band finds their style and that is where they perform at their best.  You would not want a band like AC/DC to suddenly release a Bowie-esque fashion, pop morphing record, you would not want Nick Cave to release an album of Norwegian Death Metal growls and you would not want Face To Face to release anything than a good, honest punk rock album that is full of energy, passion and has a bucket load of tunes to make you bounce around like a jumping bean.  I have used the words solid, honest, dependable and fast paced a lot here, that is because that is what this album is all about, it is nothing more than a good and honest punk album.  Whilst it is not one that is reinventing the wheel, it is also one that is not trying to be anything other than your favourite punk record of the year.  Whilst it might not be my album of the year, it is definitely amongst the best punk releases of 2016. - Review by Eddie Carter

I do not think that this was an intentional goodbye, but it is an album by a man who knew that his time on this earth was running low.  Much like 'American IV: The Man Comes Around' by Johnny Cash, you are hearing a man give a performance that is spellbinding, captivating and beautiful.  The production by Adam Cohen is subtle and respectful, but without sounding safe or too respectful. The music is just a backdrop for that wonderful voice and those tales of love and loss.  From all of us at ATTIWLTMOWOS - rest well Mr Cohen, the world is darker without you around. - Review by Eddie Carter

I must own this album, it is a brilliant record from the stunning image on the cover to the music that does not stay still for a moment; I find this album to be one of the best records to come from over the waves in 2016.  Combining Rock, Metal, R&B, Pop, Funk, Alternative and his royal badass, this album has everything going for it and it is a worth album for the end of the year.  I would recommend you all get a copy as soon as possible, you will not regret it as it is one of the best albums of the latter half of 2016. - Review by Eddie Carter

26 - Boy Jumps Ship - Wake Up

I like this record a lot, it has character and for a debut album, it is a really good effort of small town stories, hopes and dreams.  If I had to nit-pick, I would say it could have been a couple of tracks shorter, maybe making it a little puncher and to the point; but I would be looking for excuses to dislike it to be honest.  Much like wecamefromwolves and the latest album by Face To Face review, this album is a good punk album that does not aim to reinventing the wheel.  But it does show promise and a talent which the band are just starting to tap; whilst they have had all the time in the world to write their first album, the next one will be the one to watch and I look forward to it & I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for some new punk in 2016. - Review by Eddie Carter

25 - Opeth - Sorceress

This is the twelfth studio album by Opeth and one that I was keen to review as I have had a soft spot for this band for quite a while now. And let me tell you, I was not disappointed. Overall, I really enjoyed the album, and it's a very simple matter of giving it a 9, even with the dodgy "The Wilde Flowers". As you already know, the best of an admittedly good album is The Seventh Sojourn. - Review by Andrew Oyston 

24 - Gojira - Magma

Yes, it is a strange album and it is one that has been in flux in my mind since I first put it on.  Musically the band have made subtle changes to their sound and it works, I cannot say that I do not like this album or I would not recommend it to someone else; but here is the rub about it as well - I am still not 100% sure how much I like it and if it is just good or brilliant.  Ever since I first put it on, it has been going from - that is alright - to - oh my deity, I love this - and even - why am I bothering - on a few occasions when I thought about handing it to one of the other writers.  It might be that I identify with this album a little bit too much for my own comfort in places, it might be that the millstone of being compared to some legendary albums is making it hard to get a firm idea about the record.  Any way I look at it, it is a grower that I will probably be able to mark in about eighteen months’ time - for now, you will have to listen to it to make your own mind up about it.  - Review by Eddie Carter (Just for the record, it has settled and I think it is a brilliant album)

I love this album, I really love the noise that comes out of the speakers and the growth since their last record.  It is focused, hard hitting and something which you can truly lose yourself in for an hour and not care if it repeats for another hour after that.  It is a rare beast that takes a band into a totally different place and it is a wonderful step for the band.  Apart from one song which does not quite reach the level of the rest of the album, it is a very strong contender for my drone record of the year.  I do think if these guys ever played a show with Waheela, it would be the best drone/improvised show ever.  Do yourself a favour, go to the Sweet Sound Records Bandcamp and purchase it now! - Review by Eddie Carter

Thee Oh Sees have created one of the best Garage Rock albums of 2016 and it could be one of the best albums of this year.  It is one that does not hide behind any fashions, any false statements and it sounds like it would have been a blast to be around the band as they were recording this.  With two instrumentals, maybe one song I was not too into and a variety of styles, it keeps your attention and it gets better with further performances.  A dark horse for album of the year?  Maybe, but it has a lot of competition; however, it will be in the conversation for one of the best albums of 2016 and that is nothing to be ashamed about. - Review by Eddie Carter

Well, you cannot accuse Sweet Sounds Records of focusing on one genre of music!  The diversity on offer here is heart-warming (and a little bonkers in places) as it has given these artists a platform to be heard by people all over the world (myself, I am based in a place called Rosehill, just outside of Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East of England - a long way from where most of these bands currently create their noise).  It is also important to note that even if I did not get the music of some of these acts, it does not mean that their songs were not good (or even great songs); there will be someone out there who reads this, downloads the sampler and thinks I am talking shite about one of their favourite songs on here.  Please hit the link at the bottom and give the label a little something (if possible), underground acts need all the exposure they can get and this is a great set of bands. - Review by Eddie Carter

I like it when a band can make a record that makes me change my attitude and eat my words, Jimmy Eat World have done that with this record.  I will admit that it is top heavy with slower number and they would be an argument for a bit of energy to be added to the album, but also I see a craftsmanship to the music that is not always visible from a lot of bands that can be considered their peers.  It has a few too many slower number on this album that I would have gone for, but it is also one of those albums that has some real surprises for me. - Review by Eddie Carter

Discharge are not a band whose songs are going to be left-field with many intricate layers and complex melodies and complex time changers. You're going to get some straight-up fucking hardcore punk that sounds like the apocalypse. As mentioned, the way punk SHOULD be played, none of this day-glo b******. The production worked out well after all, totally suiting the band's style. Despite there being the awesome D-Beat sound, it appears that a slightly metallic sound has entered the mix too, so that's also good. I cannot think of a bad thing to say about this album, other than it's very limited in variety but that's no surprise given the blueprint it follows. It might not be for everyone but anyone who likes their punk short, fast, to the point and actually having something to say would like it. - Review by Chris Jermyn

The production of Adore Life is really good. It's very bass heavy but also crystal clear and each band member is perfectly audible. The production obviously benefits bassist Ayse Hassan who shines on every track. I've just read Chris's review of their debut and he says the same which I was pleased about. - Review by Luke Dunmore

As always, Lord Devy is an artist who will always cause a stir at ATTIWLTMOWOS towers, he is a man who has one of the best voices in rock and can also sometimes be a little self-destructive.  On 'Transcendence' he is at his progressive best, crafting some of his best material and that is no understatement as his recent output has been of such a high quality.  This is an album that reminds me of his 'Terra' era music. - Review by Eddie Carter

Another album I have not had nearly enough time to fully explorer, but the brief time I have had with it has made me appreciate this band and that they are more than their hit single.  This is an amazing rap album, full of massive mic drop moments and it is one that I will have to come back to for a full review, top quality release. - Review by Eddie Carter

What we have here is either a confession of real life events, a dramatization of a supposed scenario that people have thought might have happened or just a great work of fiction that will have people guessing what has really happened to Mr & Mrs Carter (not me or my lady Helen obviously).  To have it launch with that HBO special, the imagery and the surprise release of the album as well, it has gotten people talking about the Beyoncé brand once more and given her further exposure that will help this record sell; indeed, in the UK this album reached number 1 upon the week when Prince passed away – if that does not tell you about the selling power of this lady, nothing will.  As a musical experience by itself, the songs in the middle start to lag a little for my tastes and it does go on for one song too many for me.  However, that opening four songs is one of the best introductions to an album that I have heard in a long time, the anger and passion on show are fantastic and you would not want to be on the wrong side of that argument.  I think this is the first consistent album I have heard from Beyoncé and whilst it might not always work for me, it does have more moments on one record that justify the hype than her other albums for my tastes – whoever this Becky turns out to be, she (or he, it might be Beck (warning, this last piece might contain sarcasm, for a brighter tomorrow)) need to go into hiding. - Review by Eddie Carter

Now that is a great album, from beginning to end and I have not been so impressed by Anthrax since my beloved ‘Sound of White Noise’, there is a fire and belief behind this record that I have not heard for such a long time. The riffs, the sound, the fact Belladonna seems to be at ease with himself now, everything about this album just seems class to me and I am so happy with the results.  For me this is an album that needed a high score; for the others on the team, not so much; but one thing we did all agree on, it is a good Anthrax album and for me personally it is now one of my favourite Anthrax albums! - Review by Eddie Carter

It's cute, it’s funny, its sweet singing and harsh screaming and mad growling. Its heavy head banging, goose bumps inducing drama. Dance dubstep is used fantastically - it's layered and integrated and energising. It's enjoyable it makes me smile to hear it. 😊 Give it a listen - you'll not regret it. - Review by Helen Carter

If that is their way of leaving us, then they have gone out on such a high level.  There is so little on here which is not perfectly placed, even ‘Nothing to Forget’ is worth a listen (whilst still being the poorest track on offer here).  Is it their best moment?  No, I still rate ‘Miss Machine’ over ‘Dissociation’ and that is not a bad thing.  They have not tried to make an album that sounds like anything they have done before; they have tried to make an album that brings things to a close and it is still forward facing and aggressive as hell.  I will miss this band, they were always different from beginning to end – the Kings are dead, long live the Kings. - Review by Eddie Carter

First Ditch Effort is about NOFX's millionth album but they still show no signs of wear. I think they've yet to release anything to match White Trash..., Punk In Drublic or Heavy Petting Zoo but since that Mid-Nineties period they've also never really released an album that's been less then very good. And while First Ditch Effort does have a couple of filler tracks it's nonetheless a very good album. - Review by Eddie Carter

I really like this album, there is not a single song I have not enjoyed or would not return to either.  It is full of reflections and hope, dreams of the future, memories of the past and the sense that there is still plenty left in the tank for this band.  Is it as good as their back catalogue?  Yes, I think it is equal to many of their albums and will work its way into the hearts of every fan of the band and there is no hidden if’s or but’s to this statement.   - Review by Eddie Carter

As a document of the live show, this album for me has completed its task admirably as it has made me interested in what a gig from The Chewers would be about; I would still want to see them for the dancing teeth, now the music adds to the intriguing as well.  The sound is aggressive in a way that you do not really see too often these days and that endears the band to me a lot more, they are not one of those acts where you are going to put them on in the background to relax and unwind for the day – they are challenging and to think any otherwise is ridiculous.  You do not go for this sort of music to be hip and it is so far off the beaten path that it would be unwise to bring it back to the alleged right route, it is fine where it is and will continue to make messed up noises for a long time to come.  The album is a great live recording that works for me a lot more than the studio album, if you are looking for your new abstract rock heroes – here they are now. - Review by Eddie Carter

How do you mark this?  For a man who uses symbolism and word play so much, this is an album that you can read so much into and we may never know how much was written before the sad passing of Arthur Cave, but the album will forever be associated with that sad event.  The confident swagger of previous albums has been replaced on this one with the sound of grief and a certain level of restraint on the vocals, which is reflected in the minimal music that accompanies the words.  This is a man performing with everything on show, it is there in the words, the performance and the delicate vocals that will break your heart.  It does not matter when this was recorded, who the stories might have originally been about or when the songs were originally conceived - this is an album created dolore.  He is not known for keeping things hidden, but this is an eye opening album that only certain people will understand and once you understand, you do not have to share why because others will know.  I do not see this as a grand declaration of pain and loss, just a man trying to process what has happened in the only way he knows possible.  To sum up, heart breaking and beautiful, I have changed our marking system for this one out of respect for the subject matter. - Review by Eddie Carter

Ok, I will get the bad stuff out of the way first - enough of the dick and fart jokes, it is old hat and the band can be so much more if they let this go.  I am not saying you cannot be light hearted in places on a Blink-182 album, in fact that is something that should be mandatory on one of their records.  But sometimes it is like the TV show Jackass, sometimes the joke goes too far.  Next is the law of diminishing returns, a curse for all Pop Punk albums and this one is no different.  Some of these songs just do not have longevity and it shows under repeat listens to the point where you could condense the song into a solid eight to nine song which are top quality and the rest are dispensable.  Ok, now the good stuff - this is the best Blink-182 album I have heard, seriously when the band get it right, it is so good that it makes you forget (albeit very briefly) the knob jokes (sadly not for long).  The addition of Matt Skiba is very good and you can hear his influence on the album, also it is good that he does not try to be Tom DeLonge part II.  That would have been horrible to hear, but they stay away from that one thankfully.   You also don't miss Tom DeLonge during the album and this can only be seen as a good thing, to be honest it is as if he was not here at all and that is a strong position for the band to build from.  - Review by Eddie Carter

This is as good an album as I could have hope for and much more, it is a distorted piece of art that levels the reverb ringing in your ears for long after it has finished.  The band sound as if the fire is just starting to grow and the confidence, noise and attitude on this release is absolutely fantastic.  It has been far too long since an alternative release sounded like the distortion peddle was being used correctly and it is about time a record sounded as if it was barking orders at the audience.  From beginning to end, this is just as good as anything else I have heard this year, I have purchased a digital copy and soon I will be purchasing a physical one as well – it is that damn good.  If you want your music to bite you, glance back with a fierce burning in the eye and walk away without so much as a bye or leave - this is the album for you, as the title says, it is gold! - Review by Eddie Carter

Well, there you have it, the latest album by Deftones. And I feel we have another winner. The songs are awesome and the production really suits them. The only thing I can find wrong with it is that the title track is a bit too much for this album and sounds out of place as well and there was a feeling that this was going to be a front-loaded album but luckily that wasn't the case. So whilst it's not as good as the awesome predecessor, it's a damn sight better than a lot of other things out there. It's not a party album (unless that party is tramadol and codeine - or so I have heard as I'd never do such things), but more of a relaxing, reflecting album, I guess. Either way, it's really good. - Review by Chris Jermyn

I have listened to a lot of albums recently when the artists in questions have gone for the shorter song.  Sometimes it has worked such as with Dot Dash, sometimes less so as with Eve Maret; I can safely say that the Descendents have got it spot on, they have been doing it for so long that they have distilled the formula and made it their own.  It is not something that is going to change the world in the way that a political statement, but it could change someone’s outlook on the world and make them see things in a new light.  It is a fun album, there is some hints of midlife kicking in and the reflective nature hints at events outside the band taking their toll on the band in one way; but they have made it into a positive, they have turned it into a killer album and in life, sometimes that is all you can ask for! - Review by Eddie Carter

This is the best Metallica album in twenty-five years. Now whilst it may be tempting to say "that's not hard", bear in mind that both Load and Reload would have made a good album if the good tracks off both were combined onto one disc and the filler was discarded. St Anger had a shit production and was also the sound of a band in a bad place - and not all of it was channelled into good songs as there was definitely some stinkers on that album. Death Magnetic was a step in the right direction, a direction that was fully realised on this album. So despite the crap that the band has endured over the last twenty years or so - some of it justified - they can still write some decent tunes. The only drawbacks to this album are that some of the songs are about two minutes too long, and there is an ever-so-slight dip in quality on disc 2. But other than that, excellent. - Review by Chris Jermyn

This album is much better than I was expecting, after "Burn the Witch" I was a little sceptical about the album and how it would possibly turn out.  It is a sparse record, the absence of the electronica sound and (for the most part) the electric guitars is very refreshing to these ears.  It will be viewed as a break up record, but some of these songs pre-date the recent private events that have effected some of the band members.  You can sense that this album is destined to be a companion for people on those long, dark nights to help people reach the dawn with some sanity still attached.  So, is it the be all & end all that other reviews have claimed it to be?  No, it is not even close to that - but that is what happens when a band like Radiohead release an album, the world reviews the band and not the music and whilst it is good, it is not amazing.  So why is it getting an 8 out of ten?  Just because it is not the best record ever, it does not mean that I dislike of hate the album.  I like 'A Moon Shaped Pool' a lot as it shows a different side to the band; but I see it for what it is, not for what will make people like my blog.  It is a very good album that I recommend people hearing, just go into it with your eyes open and leave your preconceptions at the door.  Also, bring some tissues; it may make you cry with a joint sense of sorrow and loss. - Review by Eddie Carter

01 - David Bowie - Blackstar

Wow, just wow.  That is one of the best albums that David Bowie has released ever, not just recently or for the last few decades – ever.   It is one of those moments where everything else is blown out of the water and you know that you are hearing something special.  It is a jazz heavy album from a rock star who we all thought was grown old gracefully, well he has just stuck two fingers up at that idea and released a glorious piece of art and we are only eight days into the new year.  I would question the fact that two of the songs are re-recordings, I could question his desire to name drop Kendrick Lamar, I could question the partial star symbols – none of that means anything as this album blows all those thoughts out of the water.  It may not have a "Strangers When We Meet" or a "Queen Bitch", but it has a collective spirit which is so rare in music these days (sadly).  If ‘The Next Day’ was the rock star facing his mortality, this is the artist fighting on; I have to say that even with the year in single digits, I would not be surprised if this is my album of 2016. - Review by Eddie Carter

So they you have it - for better or for worse you guys have spoken and as always, you have made it clear what you think.  Thanks for reading this round up, for voting, for looking at the blog (even if it is this once), it means the world to us.  Until next year and from the whole team at ATTIWLTMOWOS, have a great time till the New Year and may favour be on your side.


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