I was hoping for more to post but as far as albums go there were very few that were solid all around this year, a lot of great single tracks but as far as cohesive albums it was pretty much a wasteland.
First up are honorable mentions, Beborn Beton released an album after about a decade. A Worthy Compensation has some great material on it but I am guessing due to the timespan between tracks being written it just didn’t hold together as an album; I am just happy to see anything from them at all.
Mr.Kitty served up only one album this year, Fragments which I reviewed previously, it is a good album overall and I highly recommend it. He has also been busy making a slew of remixes for other artists and has been killing it over and over.
Die krupps’ album V came out this year as well and I am a biased judge when it comes to Die Krupps but the numbers don’t lie, this album is a beast and has torn up charts overseas for a reason.
Here are my top 5, maybe I missed a release or the nuances of a release this year but not when it comes to these. I have these albums on repeat on any given day.
5. Mind in a Box – Memories
Mind in a Box returned this year with the fifth chapter in the ongoing saga of Black and this is a welcome return to form. It’s only downside is lyrical content is not as strong as usual and I didn’t feel it necessary to break the fourth wall with the listener. I prefer the more subtle hints at storyline peeking out of individual tracks in their previous albums as opposed to tracks laying out the story plainly.
4. Ashbury Heights – The Looking Glass Society
This latest and long awaited return has yet another female vocalist and is excellent end to end with one or two tracks that are subpar. The music has proessed and seems more polished, in some cases i feel it might be too polished as it took a few listens to really appreciate the album as a whole. Solid.
3. X Marks the Pedwalk – The House of Rain
I can’t say enough good things about this thing. With each release since their return XMTP have outdone themselves and taken things further and this album is a killer. Highly recommended.
2. Neuroticfish – A Sign of Life
Neuroticfish return from their long absence with an album that delivers everything that makes them so popular. This album is back to back club hits from beginning to end and the lyrical content is excellent, I identified with the entire album from reflections on the state of the scene to the surgery on my skull I had last spring. This album delivers time and again with a replay value that can’t be beat. Expect tracks from this to be in my playlists for some time to come.
1. Camouflage – Greyscale
Excellence from beginning to end, Camouflage opens the new album up with Shine, a slightly retro sounding gem that immediately reminds the listener of just how long they have been around and what synthpop used to sound like. The second track, Laughing ups the pace and darkens the mood some before winding down for the next few tracks, three synthpop ballads including a duet with Wolsheim’s Peter Heppner and a short instrumental. Misery brings the pace back up and the album really starts to get unreal from here, Leave You Room Behind, If, and End of Words are all monsters, I couldn’t pick a favorite if my life depended on it. A downtemo ballad helps to cool the jets and wraps the album up nicely. This album embodies synthpop at it’s very finest and if you have even a passing interest in the genre this is a must-have.