2016: an overview in 25 releases

We lost far too many musicians in 2016.

But 2016 is also to be remembered for some great albums. We present 25 of them in the categories melodic hard rock, AOR, classic rock, hard rock, blues rock, southern rock.

Melodic Hard Rock

Vega Who We Are CD Album Review

British Vega released their fourth CD in 2016, Who We Are. It’s probably the best melodic hard rock album of the year. Almost perfect in every respect (review). Melodicrock.nl rating: 94/100.

Master of the universe | Palace CD | LargePalace‘s debut Master Of The Universe offers excellent melodic rock with a lot of keyboards. A band to keep an eye on in the years to come (short review). Melodicrock.nl rating: 91/100. read more

Interesting new albums (August 2016)

Last month some interesting Scandinavian albums saw the light of day.

Three fine melodic hard rock debut albums


Fans of 1980s style AOR can’t go wrong with Palace‘s debut album Master Of The Universe (review 1, 2, 3 & 4). Swedish quality, with excellent keyboards and guitar interplay and adventurous songs, at least within the limits of the genre. Production and vocals could’ve been even better and the refrain of No Exit gets pretty annoying once you realize the repetitive character of it, but hey, this is just a debut. The more you listen to it the more you’ll get convinced that this album could have a lasting significance. Melodicrock.nl rating: 91/100. read more

West Coast, some recent albums

West Coast has been described as well-crafted, soft-focused music mainly made and played in California. Or: California soft rock with some jazz elements thrown in. Also labeled as Yacht Rock, it’s relaxing and perfectly for a lazy sunday morning. Because most of it doesn’t qualify as melodic rock we cover it only marginally on this website.

West Coast was especially popular from the mid 1970s to the mid 1980s. You can find out more about relevant artists and albums in this detailed Encyclopedia of West Coast Music. Or listening to this top 100 songs. read more

For Danger Danger fans good things still came in two in April 2016


Last month some very interesting Danger Danger spin-off albums were released. The Defiants, (comprised of Danger Danger alumni including singer Paul Laine) debuted with a strong album. And a few days ago original (and current) singer Ted Poley released a new solo CD. For Danger Danger good things still seem to come in twos.

Two excellent pop rock debut albums (November 2015)

Space Elevator Album Cover

Though already released in March 2014, Space Elevator‘s debut album  is only recently available on iTunes. It contains excellent songs and very good performances of all artists involved, including veteran bass player Neil Murray and impressive singer The Duchess. If you like your AOR or Pop Rock classy, female fronted & with some theatrical hints this is definitely for you! Melodicrock.nl rating: 91/100.

Find out more about the album in an interview with guitarist David Young (of musical We Will Rock You fame). read more

Noteworthy releases by three well known acts (November 2015)

Everyone who loves the classic Leppard sound of the 1980s will surely have a good time with Def Leppard‘s new album. They’re not breaking new ground but do what they do best and most of the magic’s still there. Melodicrock.nl rating: 80/100. The opening song:

Unfortunately the same can not be said of Bryan Adams new album, even though he teams up with songwriter Jim Vallence again after a long time. The album features short 1960s/70s style pop songs that are alright but nowhere near the sophisticated yet expressive melodic rock songs the tandem was famous for in the 1980s. Maybe expectations were to high. Let’s hope the collaboration lasts and that Adams employs a more rock oriented producer for the next album. Melodicrock.nl rating: 50/100. read more