Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 Top 10 Albums of the Year

Last year I reviewed around 30 albums, this year it was around 50.  So a better number, but I'd still like to get the number up closer to 100.

For each album below I've included an excerpt from my original review.

10.  Love Life by Tamia
I have complained on here about modern R&B being unable to distinguish between sexy and raunchy but this album has no problems with it whatsoever. It's a fun, sexy album that delivers from the first moment what you want and expect from it.

9.  2014 Forest Hills Drive
It's the kind of album that I'm always saying we need more of in rap. It's personal and reflective. It has smart moments and funny moments, and its a full album moving from song to song and taking you along with it.
8.  The Bright Side by Lenka
I'm a Lenka fan. Her music is fun and upbeat and thoughtful, and so I always enjoy listening to her music.
7.  Pagans in Vegas by Metric
For the most part the album works well. Good hooks, good beats and I really like the song "Celebrate."
6.  Lovetap! by Smallpools
The big difference here is that these guys are getting there influences from bands like The Outfield, while Foster the People are getting theirs from bands like The Cure. That's a big difference and when it's translated to 2015 it makes for two bands who sound similar but quite different.
5.  Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit by Courtney Barnett
But the most important thing about Courtney Barnett is her guitar playing. As a singer she lacks a lot, hopefully she'll improve over time with that, but her real voice right now is her guitar. It is the heart of every song on the album and drives the album.
4.  We Fall by Emile Haynie
Haynie is not an artist in the traditional sense, in a tradition sense Haynie is a producer, but what he has done here is create an album using a variety of artists. But like Back to Mine his album has a theme to it. The theme is heartbreak, breakups, something along those lines. And even though he has a wide array of artists on here from Randy Newman to Lana Del Rey, he makes it all work to feel like a single album.
3.  Black Messiah by D'Angelo
What D'Angelo has pulled off here is brilliant. It feels modern, completely unique, but you can hear these influences from the past behind everything. It works quite well and for pulling this off D'Angelo and The Vanguard are to be praised.
2.  The Blade by Ashley Monroe
Musically the album is a bit more experimental than Like a Rose. She ranges from country pop, to adult contemporary, to country rock, to more traditional country. It's a good mix and she proves that she can pull off every one of those sounds.
1.  Froot by Marina and the Diamonds
I have to say this album grabbed me from the moment I first put it on. And unlike The Balcony by Catfish and the Bottlemen, this album did get under my skin. Going to take a shower I wanted to throw it on. Wake up in the morning and a song from the album is stuck in my head. Found myself repeating a song multiple times. That's how you distinguish a 2 star album from a 3 star album.

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