I found 2015 to be pretty eclectic in terms of music. There were albums that brought a smile to my weathered jowls and others I will happily never listen to again. It is for those things that I did find it difficult to create a Top Ten list, but I still wanted to give my thoughts on a few of 2015’s highlights.
- I was absolutely stunned by Death Cab for Cutie’s latest album Kintsugi in terms of production level and remain pleased with Ben Gibbard’s consistently outstanding vocals. I must say I enjoyed the hell out of it and am still impressed with the musical diversity Death Cab continues to display, especially on songs like second single “The Ghosts of Beverly Drive”, with its eerie, almost Don Henley-esque feel.
- I share the opinion of most by saying that Father John Misty’s I Love You, Honeybear blew me away. Not much more needs to be said. A near-perfect album.
- Gary Clark Jr.’s The Story of Sonny Boy Slim served as the soundtrack to a road trip I took with my family last summer, and never was there a better choice for that endeavor. The opening chords and slow burn of “The Healing” sets the tone for an excellent album that’s worth revisiting many times over.
- Alabama Shakes’ Sound & Color managed to remain on the public radar thanks in no small part to a slew of well-received TV appearances and frontwoman Brittany Howard’s electric stage presence. I too found it enjoyable and look forward to what they have in store for us next.
- The brograss movement got a fair amount of love this year with a new Avett Brothers live album and Mumford & Sons’ Wilder Mind, the latter of which saw the band set aside their banjos in favor of electric guitars and a sound more akin to Coldplay. What can I say? I loved it.
- The emo kid in me found some enjoyment in Mayday Parade’s Black Lines and Four Year Strong’s eponymous sixth release. Good records, and that is all I will say.
- I’m not embarrassed to say that twentyonepilots’ Blurryface was another unexpected delight. Haters may very well hate, but there’s no denying the propulsive energy of album opener “Heaydirtysoul”.
- I must also point out the extreme disappointment my ears felt after listening to Foo Fighters’ Saint Ceceilia EP. A surprise release last fall that the band put online for free, the record boasted a great deal of promise (such as a guest appearance by Ben Kweller) but ultimately falls flat due to a bland collection of songs we’ve heard in the Foo catalog many times over. Following the misfire that was Sonic Highways, I expected my favorite band to rally and give us something memorable-unfortunately, I don’t believe this bodes well for future albums from this still-great band.
There you have it. Did you also know Savage Garden put out a new record last year? Now you do.