2016: Pete's Top Ten

by Pete Crigler

This year has been a different one for this writer, with multiple hospitalizations and numerous other things going on, but he has kept the music steady by his side the entire time. Overall, it was a less than stellar year for music, but there was still plenty to keep people interested. Behold! The top 10 for the year.


10. blink-182 – California

A true comeback album in every sense of the word; this was a lot better than Neighborhoods and new guitarist Matt Skiba adds so much excitement to the proceedings. Producer Feldmann had to drag himself all over the record, which kept it from being higher on this list, but it is still a damn fine collection of tracks.

Highlights: “Cynical,” “Bored To Death,” “She’s Out Of Her Mind”


9. Mark Roebuck – The World And All Within

Now, I’ve been partial to this guy for awhile because of his previous band The Deal and because he’s a Virginia music icon, but this new record was really, really good. He’s always been a great songwriter and this record just confirms it all over again. One of the best independent records of the year.

Highlights: “After Day After,” “Holden”


8. Iggy Pop – Post Pop Depression

On his finest solo record in quite some time, recorded with members of Queens Of The Stone Age and others, Iggy came up with some of his best songs in a helluva while. Punchy and taking no shit, it’s a bit of the Iggy that we all grew up loving. He has stated this might be his last go ‘round; if it is, then we can be satisfied that he’s gone out with a bang.

Highlights: “Paraguay,” “Chocolate Drops”


7. Red Hot Chili Peppers – The Getaway

A long five years after the last record, they finally came back with something decent. If you take the horrible “Go Robot” off the disc, it would be much higher, but every Peppers disc has a fair shake of filler. The record veers stylistically from the past due to the influence of new producer Danger Mouse. It’s pretty good and it proved that the band could still hold their own amongst all the newbies out there.

Highlights: “The Getaway,” “Dark Necessities,” “Goodbye Angels”


6. Descendents – Hypercaffium Spazzinate

Almost fifteen years after their last disc, the band came back with one of their best records since the ‘80s. Loud, quick, fast, it’s everything a punk rocker wants in new music. Glad to see these guys back after so long with a collection of songs that wind up on infinite repeat all through the year.

Highlights: “We Got Defeat,” “Shameless Halo,” “Limiter”


5. Face To Face – Protection

Another lifer punk band returns with their best record since the ‘90s. They went back to their classic style and the songwriting came alive again and we got a real good slap to the face. Just a really nice throwback to ‘90s-era punk that I grew up with.

Highlights: “Bent But Not Broken,” “Fourteen Fifty-Nine,” “See If I Care”


4. The Rave-Ups – Town And Country [Deluxe Edition]

Long out of print on CD, this definitive ‘80s release of alt-country rock was long overdue. Highlighting a great band with amazing musicians and even better songwriting, this deluxe package is stuffed with bonus tracks, great liner notes, and remastered sound that really brought everything together. If these guys hadn’t gotten such a short stick, they could be up there with Uncle Tupelo, Whiskeytown and others in the line of great alt-country bands.

Highlights: “Positively Lost Me,” “Remember [Newman’s Lovesong],” “You Ain’t Going Nowhere”


3. Green Day – Revolution Radio

Now this is the record that should’ve followed up American Idiot. It’s without a doubt their most straightforward record in over a decade, full of great songs and an energy that was sorely lacking in rock radio. Great to see these guys continually doing what they’ve done their entire career without taking into consideration airplay and what the tweens think.

Highlights: “Bang Bang,” “Forever Now,” “Still Breathing,” “Ordinary World”


2. David Bowie – Blackstar

Not only was this his last full record, but it also ended up being one of the best pieces of work he’s released in quite some time. So moody, elegant, and jazzy all at once, it’s just awe-inspiring all the way ‘round. I’m not sure if he realized this would be his last effort, but he put 100% of his spirit, energy, and power into it and left us with an amazing record.

Highlights: “Blackstar,” “I Can’t Give Everything Away,” “Sue”


1. Mother Love Bone – As It Is On Earth: The Complete Works

The complete box set of the great band that was the precursor to Pearl Jam. Three discs, plus a DVD? Jesus! This features so much great stuff, much of it unreleased and really great. One of the best box sets to be released since the ‘90s, it was well worth the wait and the ticket price!

Highlights: “Hold Your Head Up,” “Elijah,” “Chloe Dancer/Crown Of Thorns”

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