BEST ROCK CD’S OF 2011-JOHN EMMS-check out john’s worldwide rock, blues, and roots radio show


Millions of people worldwide still love ROCK music. The only problem is mainstream radio mostly does not play along.

It’s a shame. That’s why people like myself and other radio outlets try to to play honest music. I have a passion for all styles of music but on my radio show rock, blues, roots, and no frills pop music always make the cut.

ROCK for most people now consists of classic rock.  But after the same four or five hundred songs for 40 years straight, it’s bloody well boring 

Here are my top ROCK ALBUMS for 2011. For some reason the word BLACK comes up in the best of releases this year. You will see when you check my list. These are in no particular order, and believe me these artists/bands are not boring. I rate only what I have heard or have played on my radio show  http://emms.podbean.com/ 

BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION 2-It’s amazing that this late in his career Glenn Hughes is making some of the best music of his life. It’s a great omen and together with Derek Sherinian on keys, the massive groove of Jason Bonham on drums and guitarist Joe Bonamassa for my money one of the most soulful players on the planet,  BCC groove like few bands can. Credit producer Kevin Shirley for the unforced and organic sound of this record.

FOO FIGHTERS-Wasting Light-Stuck in my vehicle  since late spring. Let’s face facts,  Grohl and company may be just peaking. Scary Thought. Killer rock n’ roll

THE  ANSWER-REVIVAL-Wow, and wow again. Not many bands can lay claim to actually writing classic rock songs in 2011. Once you put this in your vehicle and hit play the cd may never come out 

NILS LOFGREN-OLD SCHOOL-Do yourself a favour, don’t think twice. Lofgren has just released the best album of his career hands down. Sure, he plays some killer guitar with THE BOSS.  But this cd is truly where he shines. Title track and and Amy Joan Blues are must have downloads

RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS-(below) I’M WITH YOU-I have never been a huge fan, but a fan just the same.  One of the best mixed audio cd’s this year. Everyone plays their butts off  and yes Josh Klinghoffer’s guitar work shines. Songwriting is some of the best of their career.

THE BLACK KEYS-EL CAMINO An absolute killer album. Let me be honest, I have never been a two piece guitar/drums guy. My minimum is 3 because I was brought up on Cream and The Jimi Hendrix Experience. This cd has the “Keys” expanding the instrumentation and in addition  the variety of songwriting influences seal the deal.

BLACK STONE CHERRY-BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA-The band’s heaviest album by far. Less Southern more foot to the pedal board if you will. Uncomprimising and man this band means it! 

URIAH HEEP-INTO THE WILD- I knew it. 10 minutes after writing this review I look to my left and there it is UH’s INTO THE WILD-great cd, killer hooks and Mick Box is still rocking the world. Look for a lot more of this cd on my radio show!

CHCKENFOOT 111- Of course this is the band’s 2nd cd, and it’s better than the first. The songs are more focused and even though they could easily go into the stratosphere they dont!  Muscular rock never sounded so good in 2011.

RIVAL SONS-(ABOVE)-PRESSSURE & TIME-Hands down the most refreshing band I have heard in the last 3 years or so.  Welcome to what rock n roll used to be like. All Over The Road maybe the hottest song you could sing a long to while getting the job done. If you know what I mean. No band plays like this anymore. 

ICED EARTH-DYSTOPIA-I’m more of a hard rock fan than metal as you can see by my choices. However, no one makes metal this intelligent, except Iced Earth. Title track is the best metal song of the year. Nuff said!

STEVEN WILSON-GRACE FOR DROWNING-2cd set-I will be the first to say this is an acquired taste.  It’s superb ambient texture and Wilson’s gift for making his songs cinematic makes this a tasty treat on repeat listens

I know I missed some..but check my upcoming TOP BLUES CD’S OF 2011 and my just published BEST POP CD’S 2011

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, radio host and long time musican. check out JOHN’S stuff with  THE SHAFTMEN on Apple Itunes http://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/paycheque-blues/id365389443

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December 2011

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