Sunday, December 31, 2017

HHRR's Top 10 Albums of 2017

It must have been a great year for music.

Here at Helping Hands Rock Reviews headquarters, we had a hard time narrowing our annual best album list down to just 10. In fact, we had to go to a fourth tie-breaker to fill the last two slots!

But we did it!  So, without further ado, here are our top 10 albums of 2017!

#10.  Freddie Nelson - Shake The Cage.  With a throwback sound and a captivating voice, this Pittsburgh-bred rocker proved his music was capable of hanging with the industry's heavyweights in 2017.

#9.  Santa Cruz - Bad Blood Rising.  Combining modern, bone-crushing power with hair metal sensibilities, Santa Cruz commanded attention with a killer release.

#8.  Halestorm - Reanimate 3.0.  In what's become a mid-album cycle tradition, Halestorm again surprises and delights with an eclectic and fun collection of cover tunes.

#7.  Falling In Reverse - Coming Home.  As irreverent as ever, Falling In Reverse delivers another screaming record that you want to listen to over and over.

#6.  Biters - The Future Ain't What It Used To Be.  Resurrecting power pop, Biters have put out some of the catchiest music of the year...or perhaps even the decade.

#5.  Fozzy - Judas.  With a title track worth of song-of-the-year accolades, Fozzy - led by wrestling legend, Chris Jericho - reaches new heights.

#4.  Ed Sheeran - Divide.  Regarded as a pop star, the red-haired Brit demonstrated that his appeal could be felt far and wide as he became the undisputed king of the singer/songwriter genre.

#3.  Butch Walker - Over The Holidays and Under The Influence.  It's kind of rare for a Christmas album to make a top 10 list.  But, as usual, Butch Walker succeeds where others fall short by sharing a loose, fun and creative take on holiday classics.

#2.  Art of Dying - Nevermore (Acoustic).  They rock hard and heavy.  But give Art of Dying acoustic guitars and they can craft an emotive performance that broadens their already strong appeal.

#1.  Sleeping With Sirens - Gossip.  Groove-laden pop/rock songs with sugary-sweet hooks is not what you'd expect from a band once associated with the post-hardcore and screamo genres.  But Sleeping With Sirens turned down the guitars and laid down radio-friendly beats on an album that features track after track after track of songs that stick in your brain as if they were coated with thick maple syrup.