I'm going to preface this with that I don't really listen to mainstream or established artists. So these albums are of the independent/non-mainstream nature.
I was going to do a top 10 or 20 or 17 or whatever, but you know what, for me it's these five albums. There will be another post with many deserving albums to follow. What I found in 2016 was five albums that really, really resonated with me. And my criteria is pretty simple: No skip-worthy songs. I'll include a youtube of my favorite song from the album where available.
In no particular order (not even alphabetical, just random) here are the albums:
Dorothy - ROCKISDEAD
The satirical album title belies the fact that Dorothy does rock. And rocks well. Band namesake and singer Dorothy Martin is a treasure for rock fans. Her vocals are bluesy, sultry, smokey and at times slutty. But don't discount this band as a one woman show, the band has a sound straight out of the swampy south. I don't care how a Los Angeles based band gets there, but it works. For me this is one of the most complete rock albums put out recently. It holds up against Guns' Appetite For Destruction and Halestorm's The Strange Case of... in recent memory of an album that you don't skip songs.
Elizabeth Cook - Exodus of Venus
I knew of Elizabeth Cook. I enjoyed her work. Then she just blew it out of the water with Exodus of Venus. It's a departure from what you have heard of her before, and the departure resulted in her best work, by far. There is not a bad song on the album. Yeah, I know, that's a requirement for this list, but if you can disagree, then talk to me, I'm willing to debate, and I think I'll win.
Whiskey Myers - Mud
Mud is what Southern Rock sounds like. In 1977 or 2016. It's Southern Rock through and through. There are many sensibilities that won't play on the coasts. As a band that cut their teeth on the Texas country circuit, Whiskey Myers definitely shows their roots, but if you listen, they are more of a 70s Southern Rock/jam band than Texas country. And that's a good thing.
Rob Baird - Wrong Side of the River
This is my big album on what the hell genre is this? Yeah, it's got some rock. It's got some country. It's got some Americana (whatever the hell that is). But really what it is, is a fine collection of damned good songs. This is the album you put on and just listen. Taking a road trip, on your front porch/balcony, with friends, with musicians, with rockers, with country music fans, with anybody. It's that kind of record.
Butch Walker - Stay Gold
Butch Walker put out one the best albums of 2015 with Afraid of Ghosts. It was dark and poignant. Stay Gold is fun and nostalgic. I prefer both. But I just like good music. Butch Walker consistently makes good music. There is a bonus for those of my generation in that the nostalgia includes S.E. Hinton. You either get that reference or you don't. And that's OK.
Agree or disagree. It's all good. And all opinion