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Old 11-23-2016, 08:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Anteater's 25 Favorite Albums Of 2016 (plus Honorable Mentions)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! As turkey day (and the ensuing holiday season) approaches, I would first like to say that I hope my absence made your hearts grow fonder. I've been building businesses like crazy this year and thus have been unable to indulge in yacht rock ramblings as I did in previous years. My apologies....but 2017 will be a different story.

To those that might remember me, you can trust me to inform you of exquisite pop, metal, rock, prog, electronic stuff and a myriad of other things that you might have missed the first time around. With twenty-five albums and change, I hope I can bring some cheer as we close out the year.

Bon apetit!

~ Derek


25. Dream The Electric Sleep - Beneath The Dark Wide Sky
24. Mantra Vega - The Illusion's Reckoning
23. Bruno Mars - 24K Magic
22. Monkey House - Left
21. Yung Lean - Warlord
20. Purson - Desire's Magic Theatre
19. Case/Lang/Veirs – Case/Lang/Veirs
18. Inglorious - Inglorious
17. David Bowie - Blackstar
16. Eric Benet - Eric Benet
15. Enigma - The Fall Of A Rebel Angel
14. Incognito - In Search Of Better Days
13. Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
12. Drakkar Nowhere - Drakkar Nowhere
11. Twelve Foot Ninja - Outlier
10. Jacob Collier - In My Room
9. The Dillinger Escape Plan - Dissociation
8. Ed Motta - Perpetual Gateways
7. Dissona - Paleopneumatic
6. C Duncan - The Midnight Sun
5. Frost* - Falling Satellites
4. Sumerlands - Sumerlands
3. Hemina - Venus
2. The Midnight - Endless Summer
1. Ice Choir - Designs In Rhythm
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Top 25 Albums of 2017

Top 25 Albums of 2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by elphenor
Anteater's intelligence and utterly impeccable taste in music knows no bounds. Thanks to him I went from Communist to Libertarian overnight!
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Batlord
What Ozzy was to Black Sabbath, Anteater is to MusicBanter. I am in awe of his majesty.

Last edited by Anteater; 12-25-2016 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 11-23-2016, 08:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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25. Dream The Electric Sleep – Beneath The Dark Wide Sky

Genre: Alternative Rock / Shoegaze / Art Rock
Put On A Playlist With: early Foo Fighters, Jeff Buckley, Queens Of The Stone Age, Cave In

These guys' last album, the self-produced Heretics, was my #1 album of 2014...and for good reason. Whereas that sophomore outing was exceptionally proggy in some key respects, this one is a heavier, hookier listen overall, and an absolutely blistering alt-rock experience.The production from Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Alice In Chains, Rush) brings a seasoned view to the landscape here, creating glorious opportunities for vocalist Matt Page to let his Buckley-esque pipes soar to amazing effect on 'Let The Light Flood In' and 'Headlights'. And in a different time, songs like 'Flight' might have taken a band like Radiohead into even greater commercial success than they already had back in their relative infancy. Riveting stuff!


24. Mantra Vega – The Illusion's Reckoning

Genre: Island Prog Rock
Put On A Playlist With: Fleetwood Mac, Eagles, Porcupine Tree, Pink Floyd, Kate Bush, Sigur Ros

Beautiful little prog-rock project / supergroup consisting of vocalist Heather Findlay (Mostly Autumn) and keyboardist / producer Dave Kerzner (Sound Of Contact) and numerous guest players from big-name modern prog groups. There's a laidback Californian rock vibe coalesced against more traditional prog elements (Mellotron, flute, Floydian guitar solos, etc.) and it makes for a more accessible and (arguably) interesting listening experience for those who normally feel alienated by prog's pretensions. It helps that Heather has the voice of a goddess too!



23. Bruno Mars – 24K Magic

Genre: 80's/early 90's Electrofunk
Put On A Playlist With: Michael Jackson, Zapp, Kool & The Gang

Remember that song 'Treasure' that dominated 2013 radio? As overplayed as that song was, I realized from that point onward that Bruno Mars had the potential to evolve into someone fairly vital in mainstream music, keeping the glorious flame alive for genres and styles of funk/soul/R&B that otherwise remain the stuff of the past for the easily distracted masses. And there always needs to be people who are willing to fight that battle. In Bruno's case here on 24K Magic, he wins more than he loses, especially on blissed out bangers like 'Chunky' and the deliciously cheesy 'Versace On The Floor', where he unleashes the full power of his voice and sells a song that would be undoubtedly lesser in the hands of someone else.


22. Monkey House – Left

Genre: Westcoast Jazz-Pop-Rock
Put On A Playlist With: Steely Dan, Billy Joel, Chicago

Slinky jazz-rock for the modern era with the edge of Steely Dan sans the hipster sarcasm. These songs paint pictures in your mind and tickle the dad-rock itch to a T. Still, I think we can all forgive the sins of dad rock when the arrangements are so tight that you can't help but admire the craft behind it all. A crystalline production job and lots of guitar certainly doesn't hurt either. The crown jewel here is 'It's Already Dark In New York', a somber, shadowy after hours ode to the Big Apple that, in a six minute span, actually eclipses the masters of the genre by the end of its run.


21. Yung Lean – Warlord

Genre: Stoned, oh-so-sad Hip Hoppin' A E S T H E T I C
Put On A Playlist With: VAPORWAVE, Pitbull, Devin The Dude

Second time at bat by the Interwebz favorite Swedish rapper. His slovenly, lulz-ridden delivery crucified upon the canvas of slowed down 80's A-ha samples was not appreciated by Anthony Fantano or the rest of the white guys who fancy themselves SMEs on hip-hop, but I assure you this is the best spoken word experience you will have all year. Just take my word for it and light up.


20. Purson – Desire's Magic Theatre

Genre: Psychedelic Rock, Acid Rock, Occult Rock
Put On A Playlist With: Black Sabbath, Janis Joplin, Donovon, King Crimson

Do you like the proto-metal and early progressive rock like King Crimson? Do you like visceral old school rock with 60's jazz flute, lots of fuzz and plenty of layers to unravel? Well do I have an album for you! I kid you not, Purson are kicking ass and doing it better than pretty much anyone alive right now. They have that perfect balance of old school psychedelic pop sensibility with enough off kilter smarts to speed ahead of bands like Blood Ceremony and their ilk. And this is coming from someone who loves those bands, but I know quality when I hear it. Grab your nearest vampire bat and dig in!
__________________
Top 25 Albums of 2017

Top 25 Albums of 2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by elphenor
Anteater's intelligence and utterly impeccable taste in music knows no bounds. Thanks to him I went from Communist to Libertarian overnight!
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Batlord
What Ozzy was to Black Sabbath, Anteater is to MusicBanter. I am in awe of his majesty.

Last edited by Anteater; 11-23-2016 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 12-01-2016, 01:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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19. Case/Lang/Veirs – Case/Lang/Veirs

Genre: Indie Folk / Baroque Pop
Put On A Playlist With: Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear, k.d. lang (obviously), Joanna Newsom

A supergroup made in heaven. You have k.d. lang, Neko Case, and Laura Veirs, all top tier female singer-songwriters, combining their voices and ideas into a gorgeous, harmony-dappled folk rock opus that sounds like the culmination of every Seattle coffeehouse performance you've never seen and then some. They trade up lead at times and play with different storytelling approaches, but the Lang-led 'Honey And Smoke' is absolutely fantastic in particular....like something out of the vaults of early Roy Orbison with extra nutmeg.


18. Inglorious – Inglorious

Genre: Classic Rock with extra shots
Put On A Playlist With: Deep Purple, Bad Company, Led Zeppelin, Lucifer's Friend, Aerosmith

Almost half a decade back, a Thor-looking choirboy named Nathan James tried out for The Voice and got shafted by a decidedly non-rock/metal oriented audience despite his remarkable vocal talents, a prowess that recalled everyone from Robert Plant to David Coverdale. Fast forward to the present and now he has his own band, the larger than life Inglorious...and boy does this debut kill. Gloriously bluesy and driving with hooks to spare, this album was an early highlight of 2016 and even now I think it could easily be ten places higher on this list. Can't recommend this one enough guys...get it. I mean it!



17. David Bowie – Blackstar

Genre: David Bowie
Put On A Playlist With: David Bowie...maybe Scott Walker too.

This is one of the few albums I've ever heard in my life that actually hurts my soul to listen to. Not because it is bad sounding (as it is beautiful and jazzy and strange in all the right ways) but because like Queen's Innuendo...this awe inspiring material is the sound of someone descending (or perhaps ascending) into the abyss with a plastered, loathsome smile. And the scary thing is that it is the absolute best thing David has recorded since the early 80's without a doubt. Reaching a creative pinnacle this good whilst dying....absolutely mind boggling.


16. Eric Benet – Eric Benet

Genre: Top notch R&B stuff
Put On A Playlist With: Earth, Wind & Fire, Prince, Luther Vandross

Mr. Benet here isn't anything amazing deep by any means, but moreso than even Bruno Mars you have a guy who has been at the vintage R&B game since the mid 90's demonstrating he still has many, many killer jams up his sleeve. This self-titled was supposedly done in tribute to Maurice White of EW&F, and the adoration shows throughout, with Benet shifting between a Maxwellian croon to high-tenored Phillip Bailey chorus with ease. If you loved 24K Magic, you'll love this even more.


15. Enigma – The Fall Of A Rebel Angel

Genre: Ambient / Electronic
Put On A Playlist With: Delerium, Gregorian Chanting, New Age jamz with lots of incense

Germany's favorite electronic producer Michael Cretu returns with his best album since 1994's The Cross Of Changes. I'm sure anyone reading this knows whether they like, hate or are indifferent toward the Enigmatic style of ambient/electronic music, but in an attempt to sell this to you guys I will say that this time around Cretu comes packing with a great concept and some inspired guest vocalists, as the video above demonstrates. Put on those monk smocks and light those candles!


14. Incognito – In Search Of Better Days

Genre: Neo-Soul, Acid Jazz, EDM, Jazz Pop, R&B
Put On A Playlist With: Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, classic D'Angelo, Brand New Heavies, Jamiroquai

The kings of European neo-soul / R&B continue to reign with great benevolence and a knack for deep grooves, thoughtful lyrics and an overall band / vocalist interplay that's tighter than ionic electronegative bonds. These guys are keeping the best parts of the mid 90's R&B sound alive with unmatched vibrancy and power, and that's worth something IMO.
__________________
Top 25 Albums of 2017

Top 25 Albums of 2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by elphenor
Anteater's intelligence and utterly impeccable taste in music knows no bounds. Thanks to him I went from Communist to Libertarian overnight!
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Batlord
What Ozzy was to Black Sabbath, Anteater is to MusicBanter. I am in awe of his majesty.
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Old 12-11-2016, 09:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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13. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

Genre: Alternative Rock, Art Rock, Experimental Rock
Put On A Playlist With: Mansun, Smashing Pumpkins, Portishead

An amazing return to form five years after the arguably uninspired King Of Limbs. Thom's voice is always a key focal point, but Greenwood's gift of soundscaping and arrangement ain't nothing to sneeze at either. The album at times feels like a compilation of every previous phase: the acoustic-oriented early years colliding with the fractured electronic experimentalism of Kid A and the better parts of 'King Of Limbs'. Nothing here quite hits the high points of the group's best material ('There There', 'Paranoid Android', 'Weird Fishes/Arpeggi', etc.), but haunting cuts like 'The Numbers' and the enchanting arpeggios of 'Daydreaming' make this record come alive like a flame in the dark.


12. Drakkar Nowhere – Drakkar Nowhere

Genre: Psychedelia, Indie-rock, Power Pop, Krautrock
Put On A Playlist With: The Zombies, Badfinger, early Yes, Elliott Smith, Can, Brainticket

Found this gem on Bandcamp awhile back, and what a diamond it is! It covers the vast cosmic spectrum of psychedelic power-pop, early Krautrock and progressive rock with interstellar ablomb. This is an album full of care and flourish: from the glorious Jellyfish-esque 'Any Way' to the Hammond-drenched hooks of 'Higher Now' (which features former yacht-rock maestro Ned Doheny), this record was my most listened to in the latter part of summer 2016 and is perfect for those of you missing that era even just a smidge.



11. Twelve Foot Ninja – Outlier

Genre: "Alternative" Metal, Experimental pop-metal
Put On A Playlist With: Faith No More, Dog Fashion Disco, System Of A Down, Deftones

Australia's answer to Mr. Bungle came swinging hard out of the gate this year with sophomore outing 'Outlier', and anyone who loves mid 90's Faith No More or a pimped out, heavier take on Incubus's S.C.I.E.N.C.E. will feel like they had the best snort of musical cocaine ever with these guys. They swing in the best way possible and mix in the usual jazz-funk Calypso madness with their spastic form of heavy metal, but the real fun is on the REAL left turns of stuff like 'Dig For Bones', which features a chiptune breakdown...or if you just want yet another banger to add to your Alternative Metal playlist along with Deftones latest like 'Oxygen'.


10. Jacob Collier – In My Room

Genre: One man progressive-pop-jazz wunderkind
Put On A Playlist With: Stevie Wonder, Prince, David Bowie, the other gods on Musical Mt. Olympus

Biggest surprise of the year: this guy is 22 years old...sings, composes, plays, produces and does pretty much everything one can do. Designs his own instruments and studio setups. And it's all here on this debut album. There are people saying this guy is the next Prince or Stevie Wonder as far as comparable talent goes, the kind of person that comes around maybe once every couple generations. And based on the sheer compositional depth of a lot of where I hear on In My Room...I think I can believe the hype.
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Top 25 Albums of 2017

Top 25 Albums of 2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by elphenor
Anteater's intelligence and utterly impeccable taste in music knows no bounds. Thanks to him I went from Communist to Libertarian overnight!
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Batlord
What Ozzy was to Black Sabbath, Anteater is to MusicBanter. I am in awe of his majesty.

Last edited by Anteater; 12-11-2016 at 09:28 PM.
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Old 12-11-2016, 09:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Wow. That Jacob Collier sounds interesting. I'll be checking out his album tonight.
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Old 12-12-2016, 05:39 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Listened to it. Amazing start....and then he sang "The Flintstones" theme song. Are you fucking kidding me?! ffs
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Old 12-12-2016, 07:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Listened to it. Amazing start....and then he sang "The Flintstones" theme song. Are you fucking kidding me?! ffs
Would you have preferred The Jetsons?
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Old 12-12-2016, 08:12 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The Flinstones cover is clever, but hey you could always go pick this track up from that one Snarky Puppy album last year that he wrote / played with them.

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Top 25 Albums of 2017

Top 25 Albums of 2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by elphenor
Anteater's intelligence and utterly impeccable taste in music knows no bounds. Thanks to him I went from Communist to Libertarian overnight!
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Batlord
What Ozzy was to Black Sabbath, Anteater is to MusicBanter. I am in awe of his majesty.
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Old 12-12-2016, 02:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yes yes yes, he's very talented. And yes, the Flintstones (or anything in that vein) is a poor choice of cover song.
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Old 12-12-2016, 02:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Yes yes yes, he's very talented. And yes, the Flintstones (or anything in that vein) is a poor choice of cover song.
Sounds to me like the guy was just having a little fun. Lighten up, guy. Here, have a Santa hat.
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