Annual Review 2017: Jonas!

Annual Review 2017 Jonas

The year of the big new discoveries was not the last twelve months. Although in the first quarter a handful of debuts from a few found in the previous years music treasures appeared, really new, exciting bands did not want to emerge from nowhere – at least in my music cosmos. For this, several exciting, more experienced bands and artists released this year follow-up works, which often managed to outdo their predecessors by far.

In addition to praiseworthy works, I want to but now for a few disappointments of the music year 2017 received. Unfortunately, some bands were unable to match their strong debuts, which is why Royal Blood, for example, completely missed the top-10. “How Did We Get So Dark?” Has not gone bad, the magic and the “wow effect” of the debut have unfortunately been lost anyway. Also attracted masculine “All Against All” lost mainly on a musical level in irrelevance. Likewise, Brand New Frontman Jesse Lacey proved to be a perfect grip on the toilet at the end of the year – several women accused the 39-year-olds of having taken nude photos of them in the early 2000s and masturbating in front of them, even though they were still underage are. Although “Science Fiction” would have been a high contender for the album of the year, the fifth Brand New album is completely out of the picture for me. But now to the positive moments and works of the year!

10. Lorde – Melodrama

Lorde_Melodrama A pop album that is so sprinkled with honesty and directness and forms a conceptual oeuvre in itself? The very young New Zealander Lorde creates with “Melodrama” a similar work and is quite successful. Gloomy electronic sounds meet pop-appeal and the unique voice of the 21-year-old, whose content deals with emerging problems in the early twenties. In front of its predecessor, “Melodrama” is clearly ahead of the pack because of its uniformity. Pop can also be artful!

A review of the album can be found here.

9. Portugal. The Man – Woodstock

Portugal. The Man - Woodstock

“Woodstock” is probably the most populous album ever made by the Alaskan band, which is known for stealing releases every year, but this time left a relatively long time, 4 years Has. The result of this process, in which a lot of chips have probably fallen, is more coded than the previous albums, with “Feel It Still” overheating, which is being played up and down by radio stations all over the world and also accommodating otherwise clever indie pops. Songs that deal with our society and world. This is entertaining, damn danceable and just fun. If a band deserves such success, then the sextet from the north of the American continent. In their live shows, however, one may then continue to show how clearly his handmade music differs from the rest of the pop-standard porridge – here everything is realized live.

A review of the album can be found here

eighth Ahzumjot – Air & Love

Ahzumjot - Air And Love

The third and final part of the 16QT series of the election Berliner Ahzumjot represents the most aesthetic and in itself Ahzumjot produces all his own beats himself, offers his tapes for free download on the net and presents mainly spherical music, which he raps about with little help from Autotune. In addition to top-class feature guests, such as Casper and Chima Ede, the rapper shines above all through his ingenious melody sensibility. Ahzumjot simply creates an absolutely coherent overall picture.

7. Sorority Noise – You’re Not As As ___ As You Think

What do you do when some of your best friends kill themselves? Of course, write an album about it and pour all your grief into musical form. The songs on Cameron Boucher’s third album deal with the favorite Emo theme of depression, especially those tragic losses that the singer has had to face in recent years. “You’re Not Ace As ___ As You Think” makes you cry, takes your breath away, makes you feel understood. Hach, Emo can be so beautiful!

A review of the album can be found here.

6. Van Holzen – Anomaly

Van Holzen - Anomaly

Striking, straight guitar riffs from Germany? A few years ago that would have been unthinkable, and above all, terrain where UK bands such as Biffy Clyro or Arcane Roots. Van Holzen are inspired by these bands and transpose their style into German without appearing as a loose copy. This works amazingly well. Their debut album “Anomaly” is much more varied than the first self-titled EP, which makes the band temporarily forget their strengths. But in the context of the album this is hardly noticeable – also thanks to Philipp Koch’s strong production. For the young age of the band members in any case a considerable piece of art.

A review of the album can be found here.

5. Leonid – Leonid

Leonid - Leonid

Poor-fitting pants, weird dance moves – sometimes it seems like Leonids from the early indie scene of the 2000s sprung. The fact that the band has not really existed for a long time, that singer Jacob Amr sang until recently in the crossover political band Trouble Orchestra, you do not notice the quintet at all. Her self-titled debut reveals exactly where the group wants to go and is a self-confident statement that does not shrink from pop and does not seem like a debut at all. No wonder that Leonids are promoted very strongly, especially by Spotify. If the band succeeds in continuing this consistent songwriting on a line in the follow-up work, the five guys from Kiel (and Hamburg) will soon be among the big names in the indie.

A review of the album can be found here

fourth Picture Book – Magic Life

Picture Book - Magic Life

Who meets the zeitgeist with such unerring accuracy as this year’s picture book from Austria with their fourth album “Magic Life “did, who has earned a place in the top 5 absolutely. The band around Bird of Paradise and singer Maurice Ernst prancing light-footed between stress, consumption, party and ecstasy in the almost 40 minutes that the album lasts, renouncing almost entirely on hits and opens up partly sketchy seeming synth monsters. Only the humid “bungalow” turns out to be a huge radio cracker. Next to Lorde is the second proof that (indie) pop can also be artistic and quite socio-critical and serious.

A review of the album can be found here.

3. Fjørt – Couleur

FJØRT - Couleur

They wanted a slice of the sound in the studio, the Van Holzen in the spring with Philipp Koch on their debut had sliced, it said in our interview with the Aachen post-hardcore band to their third album “Couleur”. That’s why they grabbed Koch, wrote some rifflastigere songs and otherwise simply applied the simple Fjørt formula. You often take cryptic, but direct lyrics, a lot of emotion in the voice writers of the two copywriters, a sound between
aggression and beautiful soundscapes and a matching artwork. “Couleur” is the third work in a row that is hard to beat in terms of quality in the hardcore sector and was on several leaderboards at the end of this year. Especially with regard to the release density, which has meanwhile become almost standard with the band, this high level seems almost impossible. At Fjørt, however, it all seems completely natural and human. This is just as nice as this record.

A review of the album can be found here.

2. Arcane Roots – Melancholia Hymns

Arcane Roots - Melancholia Hymns

Arcane Roots Frontman Andrew Groves discovered analog modular synthesizers several years ago. He transfers this love to the second album of his band, mixes the often mixed with math bonds alternative rock with a good dose of electronica and often deposited even a beautiful, in the background running piano track. Above all the sound aesthetics is in the foreground here. In addition to this, the artwork in particular forms a unified overall concept with the music, which is often driven by low-noise contrasts and often opens up large soundscapes. The listener gets to feel every second of work that the trio has put into this project with their small team. This is not only nice for the band, but also for the fans, whose patience has been tormented for several years. But this wait was absolutely worth it.

A review of the album can be found here.

1. Casper – Lang Lebe Death

Casper - Lang Live the Death

“Long Live the Death” by Casper is the complete counterpart to his predecessor “Hinterland “, Which was so riddled with hits, in the sound picture rather shallower sounds arose and the Extertaler catapulted into the largest arenas. For his already fourth album, Casper gave very few selected interviews, spiked the work himself with many grim, partly banging industrial beats and presented itself in his texts socially critical than ever. Instead of continuing on the road to success, the rapper takes a step back, moves away from the mainstream and simply postpones the release by a year because he was not yet satisfied with the final product. Even the gloomy opener starts with Blixa cash from the Einstürzende Neubauten, Dagobert and Sizarr three feature guests on, which could not be more different. Casper brings together what does not really fit together and surrounds the listener with a combination of rap, rock, electronica and metal. Not only is this often uncomfortable, it also reflects the uncertain times in which we live. “Lang Lebe Der Tod” is probably the second masterpiece by Casper after “XOXO” and will ensure that the 35-year-old will not soon be forgotten.

A review of the album can be found here

Also recommended:

Power Club – No Night For no one: After the controversial preliminary single, the hope for a good successor to “In Black” actually seemed lost. Kraftklub are developing a bit in the direction of the newer doctors and sound as versatile as never before. This works on album length yet! Review here.

Queens Of The Stone Age – Villains: More complicated and less hit-heavy than its predecessor, musically on the edge of genius. Review here.

The World Is A Beautiful Place & I’m No Longer Afraid To Die – Always Foreign: An emo album that is musically well arranged and deals above all with (American) society. Review here.

Hot Cold – Live: Captures the trio’s live energy perfectly. Review here.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – Modern Ruin: Mr. Carter is not angry anymore. But he now writes good rock songs. OK. Review here.

Beatsteaks – Yours: The Berliners unite all their styles on an album that has an absolute (intentional) mixtape character. Review here.

Pulled Apart By Horses – The Haze: The band from Leeds has cut off a slice of the sound of their early works for their fourth album and blended it with the stoner rock of their third album. This works amazingly well. Review here.

Jamie Lenman – Devolver: Just a great rock album. Review here.

The rights to the album covers are owned by Ahzumjot, Universal Music, Warner Music, Big Scary Monsters, Leonid, Grand Hotel Van Cleef, Easy Life Records and Sony Music Entertainment Germany.

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