An in-depth look at the history, present, and future of the synthwave genre.
Genre labels are valuable tools for understanding and communicating with one another about music. The responsible use of them increases clarity, recognition, and appreciation of artists’ creations.
Rating: 45 / 100 Carpenter Brut’s long-awaited return is a feverish misfire packed with cringeworthy kitsch and mutilated attempts at metal fusion
Rating: 90 / 100 Neon Droid’s Sunset Trilogy masterfully combines diverse musical styles and instrumentation for an exciting creation at the frontiers of modern synthwave and darksynth.
Rating: 92 / 100 White Wizzard makes a stunning return to form on Infernal Overdrive with several exceptional and inspired melodic metal creations
Rating: 60 / 100 Lazerpunk’s impressive sound production and aggressive style make his shift away from synthwave and toward dubstep an attractive proposition, though monotonous songwriting and lack of inspired details drags down the recording’s potential.
Rating: 93 / 100 Raytracers’ journey through a well-realized science fiction universe represents an exciting and memorable creation at the frontiers of modern synthwave music.
Rating: 65 / 100 Tokyo Rose’s long-awaited full-length album is a moderately enjoyable release burdened by monotony and outdated songwriting.
Rating: 96 / 100 Caspro’s debut album offers a unique blend of electronic genres with prominent melodies and engaging rhythms that can be enjoyed numerous times.
The Top 10 Synthwave Albums of 2017, including links to in-depth reviews of each entry.
Rating: 95 / 100 “Cosmic Boundaries is arguably the finest release from Phaserland to date, and once the shape and overall composition of the album become familiar, it can be enjoyed from start to finish without a single dip or break in its overall quality. The many inspired touches amid Phaserland’s careful compositions are a joy to discover and experience, and the true brilliance of the recording becomes clearer on each consecutive playthrough.”
Rating: 90 / 100 “Ellen Replay’s debut album Star Citizen 426 is a modest and subtly masterful synthwave creation that incorporates elements of classic synthpop, ambient music, space synth, and science fiction movie soundtracks into its tapestry of cosmic-oriented sounds. It delivers some of the finest and most addictive melodies of any release in the genre, and there’s a natural confidence in the album that helps it stand out from the large crowd of newcomers to the scene.”
Rating 87 / 100 “Four years after the excellent Deja Vu album, FM Attack has once again delivered a highly rewarding collection of songs. A pair of contributions from Mnynms help to accent and diversify FM Attack’s own vocal approaches, and several inspired melodic compositions propel the album into the upper echelon of the genre in 2017.”
Rating: 86 / 100 “Archeosynth is an undeniably spirited and original creation that succeeds in the artist’s goal to create a synth-based exploration of themes of ancient civilizations. The result is a satisfying conceptual voyage into history, science fiction, and superstition. The bold innovation and undeniable technical skill on display make Archeosynth one of the most remarkable albums of the year, even if some of its songs tend to be more rewarding than others.”
Rating: 82 / 100 “As Lost Future unfolds, its serene, slightly melancholic atmosphere begins to feel like its own world, with each track representing a visit to a different corner of the self-contained universe. Many of these experiences are genuinely surprising and immersive, and though a late-album collapse mars its overall quality, Lost Future stands as a gem of modern space synth.”