Best Album of 2015
AWOLNATION – Run
This wasn’t even close for me. I know I listened to the tracks on Run more than 350 times since this album was released in March, more than twice that of any other album in my collection. This album is spectacular from start to finish, with a variety of catchy tracks.
Admittedly, at first pass, the album didn’t stand out to me, but did continually leave me wanting more. “Hollow Moon” was the initial release that let me know there was a new album, but it’s songs like “Like People, Like Plastic”, “Jailbreak” and the album’s namesake “Run” that shine with an odd mix of melancholy and grit. The entire album has a lot of play and exploration, jumping from one track to the next, but manages to have a consistent feel.
For me, there was no other album that put together the full package like AWOLNATION did this year.
And Four Other Great Albums from 2015
Blur – The Magic Whip
It’s been 12 years since we’ve gotten an album from Blur, and The Magic Whip didn’t disappoint. I’ve already called out my favorite song from the album, “Ong Ong“, but this was another full and consistent ablum. However, it did feel a little like lead singer Damon Albarn’s other project, Gorillaz, bled into this album some (not that it’s a bad thing…). The first song they made a video for from this album, “I Go Out“, definitely has a sound similar to Gorillaz Plastic Beach album.
My second favorite song from this album, “I Broadcast”, is much more Blur-centric, as is the second video for “Lonesome Street“. Overall, a lot of fun with a familiar sound, which is basically comfort food for my ears.
Passion Pit – Kindred
I had previously had 4 Passion Pit songs in my collection, but their albums had never resonated with me. However, I gave Kindred a try with Amazon Prime Music, and earlier this year I wrote about “Until We Can’t (Let’s Go)“, but that’s also joined by a bunch of other fun songs, including “Lifted Up (1985)”, “My Brother Taught Me How To Swim” and “All I Want”.
Passion Pit’s unique vocal sounds play perfectly throughout the entire album, and it feels like a journey down memory lane, reminiscing about childhood and growing up. For me, it stirs up some great memories, which is probably why I just keep on listening.
Gin Wigmore – Blood to Bone
I wrote about how I stumbled across Gin Wigmore’s music earlier this year when sharing “New Rush”, and she turned in another great album this year with Blood to Bone. It’s got a much darker feeling than her Gravel & Wine album, but still shines. “DFU” is a very dark sounding song about being overlooked, while “Holding on to Hell” is an eerie song about not letting go of a bad relationship, and “Written in the Water” is closest to the sound that I came to love with Gravel & Wine.
Overall, it’s a more emotional album than the flippant Gravel & Wine, but is well worth the journey.
Everclear – Black is the New Black
While Black is the New Black hit it’s high note with the first single, “The Man Who Broke His Own Heart“, it was mostly just great to get new Everclear music this year. As a long-time Everclear fan (20+ years), I helped back their PledgeMusic campaign, and we got some more edgy and old-school feeling Everclear music in return, including “American Monster” and “Sugar Noise”. Well worth the investment.
Looking back, 2015 was a pretty darn good year for albums!