Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Absolute Powerpop Top 100 Albums of 2016, #1-50.

As those who follow me on Twitter may have noticed, I agonized over picking a clear-cut #1 for the year, since the top 5 (heck, the top 10) were pretty much interchangeable for me. Rather than cop out and go with an unnumbered top five like I did several years back, I decided to honor the band I put at #1 for their lengthy career of quality music, not just quality power pop. It may not have been their greatest career album, but it was excellent and worthy of the top spot even though I can't say I liked it any more than some of the others I had ranked highly. Anyway, here's the top half of the list:

1. The Posies-Solid States
2. Ryan Allen & His Extra Arms-Basement Punk
3. Cheap Star-Songs for the Farrelly Brothers
4. Bryan Estepa-Every Little Thing
5. Seth Swirsky-Circles & Squares
6. Ken Sharp-New Mourning
7. Nick Piunti-Trust Your Instincts
8. John Macom-Unforeseen Circumstances
9. The Legal Matters-Conrad
10. Timothy Nelson-Words Like Young
11. Whitney-Light Upon the Lake
12. Tuns-S/T
13. Propeller-Fall Off the World
14. Sadler Vaden-S/T
15. Look Park-S/T
16. The Foreign Films-Record Collector
17. Erik Voeks-So The Wind Won't Blow it All Away
18. King Mixer-Hang On
19. Greg Pope-Guiding Star
20. Goodo-Better Than Millions
21. Hurry-Guided Meditation
22. Scott Warren-Good Love
23. Michael Carpenter & The Cuban Heels-Ain't Nothing Left to Say
24. Wesley Fuller-Melvista
25. Cupid's Carnival-Everything is Love
26. The Nines-Alejandro's Visions
27. Cotton Mather-Death of the Cool
28. Joey Sykes-Classic New Rock
29. Brett Harris-Up in the Air
30. The 88-Close to You
31. Carey Ott-Nocona
32. Kevin Devine-Instigator
33. Latvian Radio-Until Tomorrow Gets in the Way
34. Mark Crozer & The Rels-Sunny Side Down
35. Andy Bopp-Blisters & Thorns
36. Nada Surf-You Know Who You Are
37. Title Tracks-Long Dream
38. Dropkick-Balance the Light
39. Joe Giddings-Better from Here
40. Justin Levinson-Yes Man
41. Arvidson & Butterflies-S/T
42. The Well Wishers-Comes and Goes
43. Denny Smith-An Overnight Low
44. Michael Roberts-Suspended in This Space
45. The Person & The People-Dark & Low
46. Mark Crozer-Broken Bones
47. Swedish Polarbears-The Great Northern
48. Fallon Cush-Bee in Your Bonnet
49. Stay-The Mean Solar Times
50. Bob Evans-Car Boot Sale


Dirk Yerrington said...

So you stated that you didn’t want to cop out and go with an unnumbered top five; okay great. Then you go and say this about ‘Solid States’: “I can't say I liked it any more than some of the others I had ranked highly”. Huh? You can’t have it both ways- either you have an unnumbered top five (or ten) or you don’t. Saying you chose The Posies over the other nine records based on their body of work, and not the merits of their excellent record, is a cop out. I wholeheartedly agree with your choice for the top spot but by exposing your methodology, you diminish what it means to be #1.

Steve said...

I'll let you in on a list-making secret: all ranked lists are largely arbitrary. Especially year-end lists where it comes to weighing something you might have not listened to/watched/read for 9-10 months vs something that came out late in the year.

Each year I go through the albums I've listened to, cull them to 100, and then put them in groups of 1-25, 26-50, 51-75, and 76-100, and then rank them within each group to get a final list order. Is there a real difference between #27 and #31? Or #77 and #83? Not particularly. And in some years that can apply to the very top of the list as well.

As for the top five/ten, you have it backwards: my explanation was not meant to diminish the Posies at #1 but rather to honor the other high-ranking albums that might just have been #1 themselves had I written this on a different day or had one of them come out a different time of the year than another did.

Bryan Estepa said...


Pretty blown away to have made your list. The company I'm in is quite spectacular so I feel extra chuffed.

Happy new year mate!


Mario said...

Actually "Melvista" by Wesley Fuller, ranked #24 in the albums, is an EP ;-)