Ryan Gardner’s Top Albums of 2016

The Best of 2016

2016 was such a great year for music. My output considerably slowed down here due to work and life, but I’m very happy to be a part of Chorus.fm. It’s been incredible to see the transition from AbsolutePunk.net into such a beautifully designed site and community space. I’m truly excited for Jason and everything he will accomplish with this site and feel honored to be on board. As always, these are my favorite albums of the year.

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Review: The 1975 – I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it

The 1975 - I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it

After teasing “June 1st” for months in early 2015, The 1975 began posting cryptic images with text such as, “Pay not attention babe — it’s all pretend. Part of an act!!” and “Be Young and Shut Up.” Following a very brief disappearance from social media – prompting break up rumors – the band promptly returned on the afternoon of June 1st with a new pink album cover and revamped aesthetic. Gone was the expected black-and-white personality we had all welcomed from The 1975, welcomed was a splash of color – pink. Pink photos emerged, a pink album cover that mimicked that of 2013’s self-titled album, and pink attire.

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Review: The 1975 – The 1975

The 1975 - The 1975

I had never seen a band gain such rapid buzz before releasing a debut album like The 1975. Surviving multiple name changes before finally deciding, the band released EP after EP over the course of the past year. Each EP gained them more of a following and more of a following – until recently when they seem to be everywhere. Watching this band grow has been incredibly exciting, because this band defines everything pop music should be.

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Review: Box Car Racer – Box Car Racer

Box Car Racer - Box Car Racer

Box Car Racer was formed in 2002 by Blink-182 members Tom Delonge and Travis Barker along with David Kennedy. This band shows a completely different side of a Blink at this time: a darker, serious side and features songs that Tom felt were not “Blink-friendly.” This change is evident in not only the lyrical content but also the music. 

“I Feel So” begins with a slow piano tune followed by an acoustic guitar. Instantly, it becomes evident that this is a completely different band from Blink. This song is filled with brutal honesty, as Delonge opens the album with: “sometimes, I wish I was brave; I wish I was stronger.” Later, he asks for a new start (“let’s start over”). On “All Systems Go,” Delonge criticizes the government (“the government is lying; the youth, they won’t believe them”) and questions “when will this be over.” 

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