Album Of The Year 2021 – Number 9

Welcome to the latest post in my 2021 Album Of The Year 2021 Top 30 Countdown. I really can’t believe that I am at the Number 9 point already. It seems like only yesterday that I started compiling my list and writing the first post. But Christmas is arriving with increasing speed, so it means that I’m nearing the business end of this year’s labour of love.

I hope that many of you are long-term readers, but if you’re discovering my website or this series for the first time, please head to the foot of this post to find all the links you’ll need to familiarise yourself with the rest of this year’s list, as well as my entire lists from years gone by.

In the meantime, here’s today’s pick…

Number 9

W.E.T.

“Retransmission”

Frontiers Records

Release Date: 22 January 2021

Score Of Much Metal: 96%

It gets more and more difficult to write about W.E.T. albums because there are only so many superlatives within the English language. Every record that this incredible band has released is as good as the last, if not better. As such, W.E.T. are, in my opinion, the very best melodic hard rock band out there at the current time.

‘Retransmission’ just continues the trend. I may be a metalhead, but there’s something truly irresistible about quality melodic hard rock. The riffs, the hooks, the choruses, the swagger…what’s not to like? And W.E.T. deliver each and every one of these elements with a smooth deftness that must make other bands within the genre weep.

The core trio of keyboardist Robert Säll (Work Of Art), guitarist Erik Mårtensson (Eclipse), and vocalist Jeff Scott Soto (Talisman) are incapable of producing magic when working under the W.E.T. moniker. All three bring their ‘A’ game once again to ‘Retransmission’ and even after 11 months since it was released, I am enjoying the record as much as I did in January, possibly more so in fact.

This is such a great record and is a very worthy inclusion in the top 10 albums of 2021.

What I wrote at the time:

“W.E.T. are clearly a band that are incapable of releasing sub-par music.

The album kicks off in typical authoritative style with the lead single, ‘Big Boys Don’t Cry’. It comes out of the blocks throwing punches in the form of big, meaty riffs and a strong groove. Soto picks up where he left off last time with another timeless vocal performance, effortlessly charismatic, and full of power, belting out the lyrics with passion. The chorus is a little surprising in that it is softer than the verses, very AOR-driven, complete with acoustic guitars and vocal hooks to die for. You get the obligatory wailing lead guitar histrionics towards the end of what is a cracking opening salvo.

…if anything, I hear more with each passing spin; be it the quality of a riff, a particular lyric, or the increasing strength of a hook or melody. The fact that some of the melodies are quite insidious in their nature, means that the album is afforded the kind of longevity that isn’t always the preserve of the melodic hard rock genre.

There’s little more to say, except to tip a nod to the production which, once again, is superb, affording power, crunch and clarity to best showcase the eleven tracks on the record. As with each of the three albums before it, ‘Retransmission’ is simply a masterclass in how to write, perform, and record near-perfect melodic hard rock. As such, there is literally nothing that I can fault about it. Feel-good melodic rock has rarely felt quite this good; ‘Retransmission’ is a joy to listen to and a joy to write about.”

Read the full review here.

The list this year so far…

Number 10

Number 11

Number 12

Number 13

Number 14

Number 15

Number 16

Number 17

Number 18

Number 19

Number 20

Number 21

Number 22

Number 23

Number 24

Number 25

Number 26

Number 27

Number 28

Number 29

Number 30

‘Honourable Mentions’

Also, if you’ve missed my lists from previous years, you can check them out here:

2020

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

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