(So far, our LISTMANIA series has mostly been devoted to year-end lists from other sites and print zines, but today we begin rolling out our own lists. As has become customary, we start with the first of six year-end lists that Andy Synn is preparing. Every day next week we’ll post his remaining five — along with other staff and guest lists.)
Somehow another year seems to have passed by, which means it’s almost time for my annual, week-long round-up of the year’s best and brightest (and most disappointing) releases.
For those of you unaware of how this whole thing works, I split my assessment of the year into three categories initially:
The “Great” albums, the ones which I honestly consider the true cream of this year’s crop, regardless of fame, fortune, or style.
The “Good” albums, which vary between solid (but not necessarily stunning) morsels of metallic goodness and those which (arguably) come within a hair’s breadth of greatness.
And the “Disappointing” albums of the year, the albums which, while not necessarily bad, I feel don’t live up to the standards which the band(s) have set for themselves, or which their listeners have come to expect.
Then, finally, I put together my two Top Ten lists. The “Critical Top Ten”, where I try to be as objective as possible in selecting ten of the year’s finest albums to serve as a representative sample of the best which 2016 has to offer, and my “Personal Top Ten”, which are simply the ten albums which have tickled my fancy the most over the past twelve months.
But first, how about we have a little round-up of some of the best EPs of the year? Continue reading »