End Of The Year Top 5: Top 5 Albums
2019 was not a huge year as far as new music for me. I spent most of it listening to older records and artists (which will be in the next list). But anyways, here are my top five favorite albums of 2019! What were your favorites of 2019?
#5: The Teal Album - Weezer
This album was a total surprise, while Rivers and the gang did treat us to another album in 2019, the teal album is one is getting my top 5. The Teal Albums was one of my first reviews I made in February after the album dropped. This album was surprisingly dropped with no promotion prior to the album. Riding off the previous success of their Toto cover of Africa, the album features no original songs, all covers ranging from Toto to Michael Jackson to Black Sabbath to ELO and several others. After spending almost a year with this album, it still holds up to their past albums. While listening to the entire album at this point does not hold up, there are still several standout tracks which are great covers. The standout tracks to this album include: Africa, Everybody Wants To Rule The World, Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These), Take On Me, Happy Together, and No Scrubs. (8.5/10)
#4: The Awakening - Infinity
Coming in at number four, The Awakening is the second album by the local Philadelphia metal band Infinity. I had actually reviewed their first album The Beginning of The End back in March of 2019. This album has been a staple of my listening of 2019, a great break from all the progressive metal and 80s alternative music. While their first album was a great beginning, this album is easily one hundred times better in every aspect, (this is not supposed to be a diss at their first album, but rather stuff I really liked about this one). First off, the production on this album is night and day, the Infinity boys really stepped it up on the production of this album, by making it sound really in your face and everything sounding much better on the production side. The third song on the album Calling My Name, is the first song on the album featuring background screaming as well as background singing in the chorus. Another huge improvement is the variation on the songs, the last half of this album sounds like a huge departure for the band with tracks like Terminal, and sections of Lost featuring a slower and more melodic side of the band, creating more soundscapes rather than huge fast-paced thrashy songs (which this album also definitely delivers on). This entire album is a great batch of songs from Infinity and is best to be listened to in full. Favorite songs on the album: Set Me Free, Awakening, Calling My Name, Terminal, Lost, and Slide. (9/10)
#3: Wired For Madness - Jordan Ruddess
Coming in at number three, Wired For Madness, is the fifteenth solo album by the American Keyboardist Jordan Ruddess. He is known for his work in the Liquid Tension Experiment, and the progressive metal band Dream Theater (more on that later).
#2: Distance Over Time - Dream Theater
Coming in at number two, Distance Over Time, is the fourteenth studio album by American progressive metal band Dream Theater.
#1: Cotillions - William Patrick Corgan
Coming in at number one, Cotillions is the third studio album by solo artist William Patrick Corgan, mostly known as the lead singer of The Smashing Pumpkins. This solo acoustic record is my favorite record of 2019 for several reasons. First reason being that it features a much different side of rockstar guitar soloing genius that is Billy Corgan. This entire album features either acoustic guitar and/or piano, a very different approach to Billy Corgan's more electric guitar work which he is known for. According to Corgan himself, he had written the entire thing while on a road-trip through middle America rediscovering that part of life. Which is depicted in a free documentary available on Youtube. This entire album to me sounds like a soundtrack of a drive through small-town America. Not just based on the lyrical themes of this album, but also the sound, the production, the album sounds very small and personal. There is really no bad song on this album, and is best when listened in full. 9.5/10
New Single! - Winter-Wonder OUT NOW!!
My brand new single: Winter-Wonder is out now on Bandcamp and Soundcloud!! This is a piano-based piece I wrote after seeing the first snowfall of the season up at my college. It is based around a melody I had written a few years ago. Listen to a higher quality version on Soundcloud! Click the buttons below to listen!!
Cameron E. Narimanian