The Best Power Pop Albums of 2016

This was a good year for music, a tough year to sort out – I have definitely heard a generation gap with artists this year. So much so I came up with two lists, the first was power pop specific (with the usual retro-influences)…

Top 25 Power Pop Albums of 2016

  1. The Legal Matters “Conrad”
  2. David Brookings and The Average Lookings
  3. Radio Days “Back In The Day”
  4. Ken Sharp “New Mourning”
  5. Nick Piunti “Trust Your Instincts”
  6. The March Divide “Saturdays”
  7. TUNS “TUNS”
  8. Somerdale “Shake It Maggie”
  9. Seth Swirsky “Circles and Squares”
  10. Teenage Fanclub “Here”
  11. Ryan Allen “Basement Punk”
  12. The Explorers Club “Together”
  13. The Posies “Solid States”
  14. The Nines “Alejandro’s Visions”
  15. Eytan Mirsky “Funny Money”
  16. The Monkees “Good Times”
  17. Greg Pope “Guiding Star”
  18. The Well Wishers “Comes and Goes”
  19. Emitt Rhodes “Rainbow Ends”
  20. Trolley “Caught In the Darkness”
  21. The Weeklings “Studio 2”
  22. Adam Levy “Naubinway”
  23. The Twilight Hours “Black Beauty”
  24. Watts “Black Heart of Rock and Roll”
  25. Starling Electric “Electric Company”

Note: honorable mentions to all the others I’ve reviewed this year. If I rated you a “7” or higher – you rocked, and I wish you continued musical success in 2017.

Best artist compilation (single album) released in 2016

  1. The Anderson Council “Assorted Colours”
  2. S.L.D. (Sounds Like Digging) “Indigo Grey”
  3. Andy Reed “Introduction To Andy Reed”

Best Box Set of 2016

  1. NRBQ “High Noon”
  2. International Pop Overthrow Vol. 19
  3. Big Star “Complete Third”

Best 10 EPs of 2016

  1. Cliff Hillis “Make Love Not War”
  2. The Top Boost “Turn Around”
  3. Donny Brown “Donny Brown” (* note: technically released late in 2015, reviewed in Jan.)
  4. Cartoon Spirits “Crustacean”
  5. The Above “There Is A Reason”
  6. Son of Skooshny “Confection”
  7. Colorworks “Dream of Mangos”
  8. The Kickstand Band “Summer Dream”
  9. Hemmingbirds “Half A Second”
  10. Animal Daydream “Citrus

One cannot live by indie power pop alone, and the alternative/indie rock genre has seen its audience changing.  I hear the base elements of power pop in these bands (melody, hooks, guitars) so you could’ve thrown many of these into my main list (although I only reviewed Joyce Manor, The Lemon TwigsMrs. Magician and Weezer.) But I kept them separate this year, if you are looking for more of a “melodic rock” sound. In fact, many music critics consider this mainstream “power pop.”

Top 20 alternative/indie rock albums of 2016

  1. CRX – “New Skin”
  2. Nada Surf “You Know Who You Are”
  3. Green Day “Revolution Radio”
  4. Joyce Manor “Cody”
  5. Spirit Club “Slouch”
  6. Public Access TV “Never Enough”
  7. Crying “Beyond the Fleeting Gales”
  8. Plates of Cake “Becoming Double”
  9. Mrs. Magician “Bermuda”
  10. Palace Winter “Waiting For The World To Turn”
  11. The Lemon Twigs “Do Hollywood”
  12. Weezer “White Album”
  13. Bob Mould “Patch The Sky”
  14. Whitney “Light Upon The Lake”
  15. Elephant Stone “Ship of Fools”
  16. The Pack A.D. “Positive Thinking”
  17. Car Seat Headrest “Teens Of Denial”
  18. Pavo Pavo “Young Narrator in The Breakers”
  19. Cheap Trick “Bang Zoom Crazy… Hello”
  20. Dodgy “What Are We Fighting For”