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Favourite albums / releases of 2023


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It's end-of-year-lists time! Starting with this one. What are your favourite releases this year? 

For me: 

10. Rumahoy - Not Looking For Love
Okay, so it;s a single. But I want to include this for being absolutely hilarious, insanely catchy and because the world needs more pirate metal mixed with disco/dance music. Extra shoutout to Alestorm's Christopher Bowes for his outfit in the video. 


9. Metallica - 72 Seasons
I didn't really like Hardwired because of the lyrics that were sometimes a bit cringy, but this was a pleasent surprise for me! Probably my favorite Metallica album in quite a long time, putting together some of the best elements of their recent albums without the parts of them I didn't like. Very nice listen! 


8. Bob Dylan - Shadow Kingdom
It's not the most creative move, to re-record the songs from your early days. But this is a rare exception. I love the warm arrangements from Bob's 90's and 00's work and this merges them with his early stripped down but brilliantly written folk songs. I didn't expect much, but this is just such a nice listen from front to back. 


7. Bob Dylan - Fragments (The Bootleg Series Vol. 17, Time Out of Mind Sessions 1996-1997)
I was determined to hate this album. I have every installment of the Bootleg Series albums, but this was the first to contain... a remaster as disc 1. So I decided not to buy it. But then I listened to it and His Bobness once again won me over. The sound is spectacular, the bonus material (what the series is essentially known for) amazing. Damnit Bob. 


6. Foo Fighters - But Here We Are
I was actually never that much of a Foo Fighters fan. They were always decent to me, but never great. But this album, in the wake of Taylor's tragic death, caught me like no other. Great energy, love the murky sound and it's all as real as they come. Great work. 


5. Bombino - Sahel 
I've been a fan of Bombino for years now. A master guitarist from Niger (in the Sahel region, south of the Sahara) that sings in his native Tuareg language and managed to fuse together western and African guitar styles with great African rhythms into what I consider some of the best guitar music made today. This album, his fifth, is no exception. It has more acoustic work than his precious ones, but the music is as hypnotic as ever. 


4. DeWolff - Love, Death & In Between
This dutch psychadelic bluesrock jam band has existed since 2007. And while they were always decent, this is their first album to truly hit me. It's a bigger more soulful sound than what they've shown before and the centerpiece of the album, Rosita, is just absolutely fantastic. 


3. The Teskey Brothers - The Winding Way
When you hear them on the radio, you see a black man with some considerable life experience doing this beautiful soul and blues sound. But amazingly, it's some young guys from Australia. This is their third album and once again they knocked it out of the park. Beautiful, soulful, warm and a little more mature than their previous albums. If songs like This Will Be Our Year don't make you feel this, nothing will. 


2. Tommy Stinson's Cowboys In The Campfire - Wronger
I've always been a Tommy fan, and this album is another example why. Catchy as hell, getting better every listen, serious stuff done with a grin. Here We Go Again, the opening tune, sets the tone right away and it's just so damn good. 


1. Rolling Stones - Hackney Diamonds
How could this not be #1? This album is way, WAY more than you could still realistically expect from a group of 80 year old guys. For me personally their best since 1978's Some Girls and that says something. This album has so many throwbacks to work throughout their career. Absolutely love it. Sweet Sounds Of Heaven is the highlight here. A song you could only dream the Stones still had in them, but you never realistically dared to hope for it. 


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10- Ghost - Phantomine EP

I wasn't very impressed by this release, but I really enjoyed Phantom of the Opera and Jesus He Knows Me. Marked the beginning of the year for me. 



9- Stoned Jesus - Father Light

Stoned Jesus always brings some heavy hitters, but this one is extra special due to the darkness of the lyrical themes, being that Stoned Jesus are an Ucranian band that felt the cruelty and harshness of the Russian invasion. I highly recommend this to people that haven't listened to Stoned Jesus yet. Perhaps their best since Seven Thunders Roar.



8- Queens of the Stone Age - In Times New Roman

It was great to see QOTSA get back into shape after the dud that was Villains. Solid album, with some great tracks and excellent production. I love how this album sounds.



7- Lord Mountain - The Oath

Loved their debut EP, in 2016, which made 1st place in my list that year. While The Oath isn't as impressive as that, it still has some amazing tracks from a band that I think is just too good for this world.



6- Gorillaz - Cracker Island

While it isn't as strong as Gorillaz' 2020 effort, Song Machine, I really enjoyed Cracker Island. Silent Running is plain perfect, New Gold is a really fun team up with Tame Impala, and the other tracks are pretty good too.



5- King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - The Silver Cord

Hear me out: Get the extended edition and just let it play throughout your day while you work. It's so atmospherical, so good to listen to.



4- Metallica - 72 Seasons

Really like this one when it came out, but it kinda grew old pretty quick. Some great standouts like the title strack, Inamorata, Too Far Gone and Room of Mirrors, and some lameass filler in it, too. Still, solid album. 



3- Graveyard - 6

Graveyard is such a cool band, specially in the studio. This is a very, very solid album. I highly recommend it. Standouts: Breathe In Breathe Out, Sad Song, No Way Out, Twice.



2- The Rolling Stones - Hackney Diamonds

Great album, also really good to listen to while you work. Some great moments like Depending On You, Live By The Sword and Whole Wide World. And man - Sweet Sound of Heaven is just beautiful.



1- King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - PetroDragonic Apocalypse; or, Dawn of Eternal Night: An Annihilation of Planet Earth and the Beginning of Merciless Damnation 

Album of the year for me. Amazing thrashy and technical heavy metal that resembles the style of Infest The Rats' Nest, which I consider to be one of their best albums. This might be even better. A genius album, nothing more to say. Love it. If you're a fan of thrash metal, heavy metal, prog metal, etc... Listen to this. You will not regret it. Amazing.



Extra -  Top 5 Singles: 

  1. Beatles - Then And Now
  2. Judas Priest - Panic Attack
  3. Linkin Park - Lost
  4. Guns N’ Roses - Perhaps
  5. Monolord - It’s All The Same
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Favourites, in no specific order:

Ayron Jones - Chronicles Of The Kid
The Struts - Pretty Vicious
Maneskin - Rush (Are U Coming?)
Foxy Shazam - Dark Blue Night
Dirty Honey - Can't Find The Breaks
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats - What If I (EP)

Honourable mentions:

Explosions In The Sky - End
Rolling Stones - Hackney Diamonds
Metallica - 72 Seasons


GNR - Monsters (technically I guess this doesn't count yet, but it's great so I'm listing it)
VOLA - Paper Wolf
Stop Light Observations - Let Me Go
Nxworries - Daydreaming
Mac Saturn - Mint Julep

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