2016: an overview in 25 releases

We lost far too many musicians in 2016.

But 2016 is also to be remembered for some great albums. We present 25 of them in the categories melodic hard rock, AOR, classic rock, hard rock, blues rock, southern rock.

Melodic Hard Rock

Vega Who We Are CD Album Review

British Vega released their fourth CD in 2016, Who We Are. It’s probably the best melodic hard rock album of the year. Almost perfect in every respect (review). Melodicrock.nl rating: 94/100.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor palace 2016 "master of the universe"

Palace‘s debut Master Of The Universe offers excellent melodic rock with a lot of keyboards. A band to keep an eye on in the years to come (short review). Melodicrock.nl rating: 91/100. read more

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West Coast, some recent albums

West Coast has been described as well-crafted, soft-focused music mainly made and played in California. Or: California soft rock with some jazz elements thrown in. Also labeled as Yacht Rock, it’s relaxing and perfectly for a lazy sunday morning. Because most of it doesn’t qualify as melodic rock we cover it only marginally on this website.

West Coast was especially popular from the mid 1970s to the mid 1980s. You can find out more about relevant artists and albums in this detailed Encyclopedia of West Coast Music. Or listening to this top 100 songs. read more

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Pomp Rock, a sub genre overview

Oxford Dictionaries defines Pomp Rock as: “A genre of rock music, especially prevalent in the late 1970s and early 1980s, typically characterized by prominent keyboards and drums and heavy use of guitar effects, often regarded as bombastic or grandiose in its delivery.” Earliest use is attributed to British weekly pop/rock music newspaper Melody Maker in the 1970s.

The term was used mainly by the British music press to identify Symphonic/Progressive Rock played by American bands. In the US these bands usually were labeled as AOR. read more

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Adult Oriented Rock (AOR), a brief genre overview

Adult oriented rock (AOR) is a music genre that is characterized by a rich, layered sound, slick production and a heavy reliance on pop/rock hooks (rateyourmusic.com). This genre had its heyday in the early 1980s, but luckily it never really left since.

The genre most defining bands are Journey, Foreigner, Toto and Survivor.

Journey‘s 7th studio album Escape (1981) is essential.

Foreigner‘s 4th one, fittingly called 4, that came out in the same year as Journey‘s Escape is another essential AOR album, as is its successor Agent Provocator. read more

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