Following on from yesterday’s article, this is the conclusion to my Disappointing Albums of 2016 list, where I discuss the albums that personally let me down this year. What? You haven’t read Part I yet? What are you doing here? You’ll ruin the surprise!
You can read Part I of my Disappointing Albums of 2016 here
Disclaimer: this is NOT my ‘Worst Albums of 2016’ list
Some of the albums on this list I genuinely like – but not these two, oh no, not these two. As ever, if you disagree, if you’re outraged and want to challenge me to a fist fight or if you want to counter my arguments, feel free to give your thoughts in the comments section below!
2016 – what a year, ey? I’m sure you’re all aware of the *ahem*, yuge events that occurred over the past year, but you’re probably sick to the teeth of the ‘2016 is the worst’ rhetoric by now, so I won’t beat a dead horse.
But, to follow up on Frog’s Top Ew of the Year, I want to talk about what albums I found to be disappointing from 2016. This year has been quite remarkable in terms of the quality of music that has been released, though there have been some artists that failed to meet expectations, sometimes even miserably. The bands in this list are, what I feel to be, those artists. I love what these bands have done previously at some point in their discography, which plays a big factor in building expectations for these albums, but ultimately I’ve felt that their albums from 2016 were a let-down.
Disclaimer: This is NOT my ‘Worst Albums of 2016’ list.
The following five LPs are those that I felt have been personal disappointments, not the downright embodiment of humanity’s collective sin. I won’t be making a ‘Worst Of’ list, either; I don’t go out of my way to listen to objectively terrible music, sometimes we cross paths, but thankfully this year has been somewhat merciful.
These are just my opinions, so if yours are different or you feel like I’m being unfair, tell us in the comments section below! But first things first, here’s the first part of my Disappointing Albums of 2016: Continue reading
In lieu of the sad news of Greg Lake’s passing weeks back, our second Classic Roundabout could only suitably be In the Court of the Crimson King – Greg Lake’s debut album with progressive godfathers King Crimson. Like our previous Classic Roundabout, Yes’ Close to the Edge, this album is one of classic progressive rock’s most iconic records, and is widely regarded as the epitome of the genre. Released on October 10th 1969, it’s argued that In the Court of the Crimson King was the definitive album that first formed the beginnings of progressive rock.
The original line up consisted of vocalist and bassist Greg Lake, drummer Michael Giles, Ian McDonald on woodwinds and keyboards, Peter Sinfield providing backing vocals and, of course, the sole remaining original member, Robert Fripp on guitars. King Crimson’s current incarnation, 47 years later, is miles apart from this, as the band now includes three drummers, Pat Mastelotto, Gavin Harrison and Jeremy Stacey, which makes for interesting live renditions of the band’s classic songs.
As ever, we’d like to remind you that our Roundabouts are a compilation of each Prog Talk admin’s individual views; there is no collusion or collective discussion of these albums between us during the time we write our respective reviews, so any similar comments are completely coincidental. What do you make of In the Court of the Crimson King? Do you agree with our comments? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below, and we hope you enjoy reading our thoughts. So without further ado, let’s talk classic prog:
There are countless websites posting their ‘best-of-the-year’ lists. Much fewer, in comparison, write about the worst releases. And, since I’m apparently now well-known for having a passionate love for the prog – which means I’ll immediately repugnate bands and artists who make poor prog -, I thought this would be quite fitting for me.
Let’s establish some standards, before we begin. First, of course I won’t be discussing the absolute worst releases of the year. That would mean listening to an innumerable number of practically unknown bands and garbage with practically no resource, talent, and inspiration. I’ll be focusing my sights on the progressive rock and metal genres, with a particular attention to the bigger names of the scenes. Why? Because, as renowned artists, they have to live up to higher expectations. Whether this is good or bad will not be discussed, here, but it’s a fact. Failure to do so will summon a strong divide in their fan base: on one side, the fanboys and fangirls of the band, and, on the other side, the reasonable persons. Continue reading
Whilst I don’t believe that we’ve gone into any in-depth discussion on this album, we at Prog Talk feel that Thank You Scientists’ Stranger Heads Prevail deserves a little bit more attention on our part – well, at least the people who are part of this mini-Roundabout. Thank You Scientist are a progressive rock band hailing from New Jersey that flaunt a heavy jazz fusion flair, and have been making waves in the progressive music scene with their sophomore album, Stranger Heads Prevail, released July 29th 2016 through Evil Ink Records, founded by Claudio Sanchez of Coheed and Cambria fame.
But what do we make of Stranger Heads Prevail? What do YOU make of it? Feel free to share your thoughts about the albums or our reviews in the comments section below!
As ever, our Roundabouts are a compilation of each admin’s independent reviews, and collectively, Prog Talk does not have an official, unanimous stance on any album – any circle-jerking or lack thereof is completely incidental. Anyway, without further ado, let’s talk prog:
If Brian Eno drops an album in the woods and nobody’s around to hear it, does it still get a favourable review from Pitchfork?
Back in May 2015, I spoke (rather frankly, in retrospect) of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and his 18-day soundtrack, titled Subterranea, to accompany Stanley Donwood’s art exhibition, ‘The Panic Room’. It was an interesting premise to create a single song of such length, but ultimately I wasn’t impressed.
You can read the full discussion of Subterranea on our Faecbook page here
Brian Eno has announced his latest ambient endeavour, titled Reflection, that’s been coined as “the album that never ends”. Alongside being released as a condensed album at 54 minutes in length on January 1st 2017, Eno is releasing an iOS application that streams his ambient music indefinitely. It’s been described as “an endless and endlessly changing generative app”, being constructed from musical algorithms on the part of Eno and Peter Chilvers. Supposedly, the music adapts to the time of day, with daybreak producing brighter harmonies, and where night-time brings a slowing in tempo, but ultimately it’s “the same river, but (it’s) always changing”.
Unexpect is a band that’s gone longer than most imagine. The Montreal progressive death metal formation started out in 1996, three years before releasing their debut, Utopia. This album sounds like a totally different band, with its melodic death metal and black metal influences. After a few lineup changes, including the apparition of singer Leilindel and bassist Chaoth, the band released _wE, Invaders, an EP that foretells their now-famous avant-garde death metal style.
In a Flesh Aquarium was their breakthrough album, and Unexpect then saw global popularity and were now a widely acclaimed band. Five years later, Fables of the Sleepless Empire came out and would prove to be the band’s final album, after deciding to pull the plug on the project in 2015.
Imagine this: a progressive rock band with 18 previous albums and almost three decades comprising of the same line up, making a politically fuelled album titled F*** Everyone And Run that’s initialized as FEAR. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, doesn’t it? Surprisingly, Marillion avoid a potential blunder, and instead build on their strengths from their previous album, Sounds That Can’t Be Made, and salvage classic prog from the rather embarrassing state of affairs its big names have been in this year. Continue reading