Top 20 Rock Albums, June 2014
by Justin Farrar | June 18, 2014
This month's roundup features albums from two of rock's biggest stars. Hot on the heels of his latest row with Black Key Dan Auerbach, former White Stripe Jack White unleashes his second solo effort in Lazaretto. As with its predecessor, Blunderbuss, the set encompasses an unwieldy breadth of tactics, from progressive folk and synth-rock to country rock and garage blues. Linkin Park's The Hunting Party, meanwhile, is a whole other beast. The fact that both Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello and Helmet genius Page Hamilton make cameo appearances should tip you off that the band has cranked out a balls-to-the-wall "rawk" record, one stuffed with humungous riffs, hardcore attitude and a seriously dire reading of modern society courtesy of singer Chester Bennington. For those fans who dig the group's more aggro material, The Hunting Party is mandatory listening. But be forewarned: It is smeared in dystopian resignation and bummer vibes.
If you're craving the mellow after obliterating your eardrums with Linkin Park, there's plenty of that stuff here as well. June is a vital month for the new school of singer-songwriters, with Birdy, Phillip Phillips and Passenger all dropping high-profile albums in recent weeks. Then there's the latest from O.A.R.: The Rockville LP finds the veteran jam rockers experimenting with a sound that's slightly more folk rock in disposition. It's not a radical departure by any means, but it is solid proof that O.A.R. know how to evolve and change with the times. Now get listening ...