Album of the Year 2016 – Number 19

Welcome to day 12 of my ‘Album of the Year 2016’ top 30 countdown. I trust you are all enjoying this endeavour of mine?

There’s going to be no long-winded introduction today, just a quick reminder to those who are interested that links to all other posts in this series can be found at the bottom of this post.

And with that, let’s get on with the show…

Number 19

airbag cover

 

Airbag
Disconnected
Karisma Records

 

“Some bands have a knack of making everything sound so simple and effortless. Airbag are one of these bands, a quartet that seem to have something of a Midas touch; everything they write is of the highest quality with a disarming smoothness and sophistication that others can only dream of.

…there’s no unnecessary noodling or pointless grandstanding with Airbag; each note is precise, each passage is thoroughly thought out and each song delivers exactly what it needs to. At times, the music is modern, minimalist and stark. At others, it is rich, vibrant and full of drama. The word ‘epic’ can be overused, but here it is well-placed and fully deserved.

‘Disconnected’ is a devastating album. On the one hand, it sounds so simple, so unassuming. However, give it your full attention and the magic starts to flow. Emotionally charged, epic and beautiful, there’s unlikely to be a more majestic progressive rock album released this year. This really is a wonderful album and I love it.”

Read the full review here

Pic: Anne-Marie Forker

Pic: Anne-Marie Forker

In preparation for this post, I have been listening to ‘Disconnected’ a lot recently and one thing is for sure: it has lost none of its magic. Indeed, if anything, it has only increased. This is a truly sublime album packed full of emotion, atmosphere and subtlety which all comes together to create something utterly compelling and all-consuming.

The compositions are assured and beautifully crafted, the melodies are gorgeous and the whole thing is wrapped up in an atmosphere which is dripping with depth and a certain poignancy that cannot be ignored. The more I listen, the more I fall under the Airbag spell.

Airbag are one of the most important and relevant examples in 2016 that progressive rock need not be all about musical excess an exercises in instrumental prowess. These guys are clearly very accomplished musicians but it is the music and the compositions themselves that come first. Then comes the feeling of the song and only after all that, if the composition demands it, comes anything even remotely resembling an exercise in individual proficiency and flamboyance. And with that, comes an honesty that makes the whole experience even more rewarding.

Listening to Airbag is a true experience, one that has left a lasting and enduring impression on me during 2016.

In case you’ve missed any of the other posts in the 2016 series, here they are for you to explore and enjoy:

Album of the Year 2016 – number 20
Album of the Year 2016 – number 21
Album of the Year 2016 – number 22
Album of the Year 2016 – number 23
Album of the Year 2016 – number 24
Album of the Year 2016 – number 25
Album of the Year 2016 – number 26
Album of the Year 2016 – number 27
Album of the Year 2016 – number 28
Album of the Year 2016 – Number 29
Album of the Year 2016 – Number 30

And from previous years:

Album of the Year 2015
Album of the Year 2014
Album of the Year 2013
Album of the Year 2012

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