Real Gone’s best albums of 2016

2016 has been an interesting year. We’ve heard hundreds of albums and we’ve heard lots of good ones, but in comparison to the previous couple of years there has been a paucity of great ones. Nevertheless, there’s always gold to be mined and here are Real Gone’s top ten albums of the year.
[As always, in the interest of fairness, the choices are limited to those actually reviewed on the website]

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A Million Ways To Change Your Life (A Real Gone Sampler)

In 2016, Real Gone celebrated it’s seventh full year online. This year also marked the sixth year we’ve given away new music at the end of the year. Now a staple of the RG catalogue, the free album-length download is looked forward to by a core of our supporters and in turn helps bring new readers and listeners to our site.

2016 hasn’t been quite as notable for new music compared with a couple of years previously, but that’s not to say it hasn’t thrown up some great stuff. On the first of Real Gone’s free compilations for 2016, we take a look at a broad selection of tunes from punk, country, singer-songwriter fare and more… [a selection of metal oriented artists can be found over here]. If you’ve been paying attention to our website over the past twelve months, a few of these names will be familiar. If not, it’s time to say hello to new music. If you find a couple of things to love, our work here is done!

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pearl handled revolverChances are, you’ve previously read something about Pearl Handled Revolver that likens them to Tom Waits. If you have, just forget it. Their frontman Lee Vernon posses the vocal stylings of a few old souls, but comparisons to Waits are pretty much right out. There’s very little heroin and drink addled shouting in his delivery, nor is the music his voice fronts in any way obtuse enough to be derived from absolutely anything in the Tom Waits catalogue, especially post 1983. There are swathes of music on this – Pearl Handled Revolver’s third album – that culls huge influence from The Doors, explores the darkest corners of Love and even shows allegiance to the more contemporary sounds of Mark Lanegan, but those coming looking for a direct influence from Waits will be disappointed. Waits, too, being ever the contrarian, might even be put out that his name is being banded about in places, simply because an album includes work by a vocalist who has probably had a snifter of whiskey. In short, it’s typical lazy journalism to wheel out the Waits comparisons just because a vocalist has a darker sound in his delivery – and it’s usally almost exclusively the practice by hacks who’ve seemingly never heard a Tom Waits LP.

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