• Album Reviews,  Blog

    My Favorite Albums of 2023

    Happy New Year everyone!!

    As I type this on January 1 of 2024, I’m thinking back on the great albums that were released in 2023 and I enjoyed and will continue to.

    I still have not heard every album released in 2023 that I want to, but I can definitely say I have heard enough to compile a list of my favorite 2023 albums.

    So here they are:

    1. Dirty Honey Can’t Find The Brakes-Definitely my album of the year.  It was tough because a few others I will list were number 1, but this one really blew me away.  Dirty Honey are a newer rock band, with one EP and now two full length albums.  I sadly missed them in concert in 2023 (Maybe this year I will see them?!), but judging by the clips I have seen, they are amazing live too.  Their latest album, Can’t Find The Brakes, is just perfect, from top to bottom.  Great rocking songs and some great mellower tunes also.  Check this band out.
    2. The Rolling Stones Hackney Diamonds-This was my number 1 album for a little while, and even though it’s number 2, it’s phenomenal.  “The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World” are still putting out great albums and doing great concerts.  These guys are in their 80s and 70s  and are still better than most could possibly imagine to be.  This album is amazing.  I want to see these guys still rocking when they’re 100 years old.  I think they can do it.
    3. L.A. Guns Black Diamonds-This album was my number 1 for most of the year.  It’s sooooooo great.  L.A. Guns have been putting out stellar albums since singer Phil Lewis and guitarist Tracii Guns reunited in 2017.  This is their 4th album since their reunion (The band never truly broke up, but these two guys had not worked together in many years.).  What can I say?  These guys are on a roll and I have read they have another album coming out this  year.  So I can’t wait for that.  And if you get a chance to see them, please do.  I will be seeing them again this year so that will be exciting too.  Keep on rocking guys!!
    4. Angel Once Upon A Time-One of my favorite bands of the 70s reunited a few years ago (singer Frank Dimino and guitarist Punky Meadows are the sole original members now, although classic bassist Felix Robinson is playing a couple of shows with them this year) and have been playing a lot of shows and have released two albums since reuniting.  This album I think definitely has the most variety of different songs on it, but yet, still sounds like Angel, which is great.  I know they worked hard on this album and they should be proud of it and all their other albums.  Sadly, this band never got the attention and success it deserves, but I am glad they are still around and doing what they do best.  I was lucky enough to see them twice in 2023 and meet them, and I can say they are great people too.  Thank you guys for everything.
    5. Metallica 72 Seasons-I have been a Metallica fan for 25 years, and I have loved almost every album they have made (I do not hate any of them.).  This album they initially premiered one night only in limited theaters around the country.  I was able to attend one of these listening parties and it was a great experience.  I have heard that some people feel this album is a grower.  I loved it immediately and I still do.  They are one of the biggest bands in the world and I feel they still are putting out awesome music and I think they can go as along as The Rolling Stones have.  Rock on guys!!
    6. Winger Seven-Winger got slagged so much by Beavis and Butt-Head (and Metallica for that matter in one of their videos), but to me, they are just a phenomenal band.  Singer/songwriter/bassist/keyboardist/leader Kip Winger is just a musical genius, as far as I am concerned.  His voice has always been great and he and guitarist Reb Beach (one of my favorite guitar players) continue to write great rocking, catchy songs.  And all the band are just great musicians.  Please check out Winger.  Their albums are great and they are still playing great concerts too.
    7. Jethro Tull Rokflote-Singer/songwriter/flutist/leader Ian Anderson is still going strong.  Many are not wild about his voice anymore (He talk sings more these days so I understand people’s frustrations) but it does not bother me.  I still think he’s great and I really like this album.  And I saw them live last year and had fun.  I know my Jethro Tull concert review got a lot of attention, and I understand if people do not want to see the band anymore, but I still think the band is great and Ian is still writing great songs.  I am not apologizing for liking it.
    8. Greta Van Fleet Starcatcher-Greta Van Fleet is the biggest newer rock band in the world.  They have the big rock show.  Their albums seem to actually sell.  They have a rabid fan base (especially females).  They still get compared a lot to Led Zeppelin, and I understand that, but to me, they just sound like a 70s rock band, period.  And that is not a bad thing.  They are phenomenal.  I have seen them live and trust me, they really are huge.  They have worked hard for it and I am glad to see a younger rock band make it!!!!  As a rock fan, I want to see more bands like Greta Van Fleet make it.  Dirty Honey I hope are on their way.  The Struts are doing well but could be even bigger.  There is a newer band called Lost Hearts that I have high hopes for.  Greta Van Fleet has proven that it still is possible to be a rock band and make it in the music industry.  Keep on rocking guys.
    9. Dokken Heaven Comes Down-Singer Don Dokken is still Rokken!!  This is the band’s first album since 2012.  If you are a Dokken fan, you should like this.  It’s great.
    10. Uriah Heep Chaos & Colour-This band has been around since the 60s and is still putting out great albums.  This is their 25th studio album.  I hope I will get to see them this year (they are announcing a U.S. Tour with Saxon January 8th.  Fingers crossed!!).
    11. Lynch Mob Babylon-Former Dokken Guitarist George Lynch has released what I think is maybe his best album he has ever made outside of Dokken.  His current lineup of Lynch Mob is maybe his best band since he was in Dokken.  This album is phenomenal.  Please seek it out!!
    12. Mike Tramp Songs of White Lion-White Lion singer Mike Tramp released an album of re-recordings of White Lion songs in 2023.  The arrangements are a little different, but still sound like White Lion and I really like them.  I was lucky enough to see and meet Mike last year.  Such a great and talented guy.  Keep on rocking sir!!
    13. Paul Rodgers Midnight Rose-One of the greatest singers ever put out a great album in 2023.  Anything this man sings is gold.  Check it out.
    14. Vandenberg Sin-Great album from guitarist Adrian Vandenberg.  Sounds very much like Whitesnake (which he was in for several years) which is not a bad thing.  I am seeing him in March and cannot wait.
    15. Alice Cooper Road-Alice has been around since the 60s and still as great or better than he has ever been.  This album is another masterpiece in his massive masterpiece of a discography.  I could have ranked this much higher, but a lot of great albums came out in 2023.  And please go see him live.  He’s phenomenal.
    16. Black Oak Arkansas The Devil’s Jukebox-Singer Jim Dandy is still going strong.  He and his band released a mostly covers album in 2023 and it is very good.  I am so happy Jim is still around and I soooooooooo want to see him and Black Oak in concert.  Please?!?!
    17. KK’s Priest The Sinner Rides Again-Former Judas Priest guitarist KK Downing and former Judas Priest singer Tim “Ripper” Owens have released their second album under the banner of KK’s Priest.  Very heavy album.  If you are a Heavy Metal or Judas Priest fan, you should really like this one.  I cannot wait to see the band in March.
    18. Ian Hunter Defiance Part 1-Such a great album from Mott The Hoople singer/songwriter Ian Hunter.  Lots of guests on this album too.  I hope I can see Ian in concert and I truly hope there will be a Part 2.  
    19. Sweet & Lynch-Stryper singer/songwriter/guitarist Michael Sweet and guitarist George Lynch released their third album in 2023.  If you are a fan of these guys’s work, you need to check out their albums together.  They make a great pair and I hope they will make more together.
    20. Plow Horse Plow Horse II Blood On The Plow-This is my friend Kevin Montavon’s band out of Ohio.  He is the singer/songwriter of the band.  I was truly blown away by this album.  A great hard rock album.  All originals except for one cover by John Mellencamp.  And wow what a cover it is.  You can check out this album on Amazon Music, Apple Music, Bandcamp, Pandora, and Spotify.  I have the physical copy, which to me is always the best.  Thanks Kevin.  This album rules.
    21. Extreme Six-Great album by singer Gary Cherone, guitarist Nuno Bettencourt, bassist Pat Badger, and drummer Kevin Figueiredo.
    22. Dolly Parton Rockstar-Dolly Parton put out a very good double album of original and classic rock songs in 2023.  Lots of guests on it too.  She and all the guests did a great job on this.

    OK that is my 2023 album list.  I am sure there is more and maybe I will add them to this list at a later date. 

    But until then, be healthy and safe everyone.  And I cannot wait for great albums to be released in 2024, along with more great concerts.

    Rock on!!