Albums of 2015

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HRS
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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby HRS » Mon Jun 01, 2015 5:28 pm

Found Jamie xx's In Colour very conservative, especially compared to where electronic music is currently heading at in 2015, with the likes of Lotic and his Tri Angle crew or DJ Nigga Fox and Nidia Minaj from Lisbon scene or Jlin from Chicago. Jamie is nostalgic, but those songs failed even in nostalgia; they sound like utterly generic dance music, stripping his influences from anything that made them exciting in first place. Even the enjoyable pop singles such as Loud Places and I Know There's Gonna Be Good Times sound extremely familiar. The instrumental tracks were unremarkable, downright corny and unadventurous. This record is better understood contextualized: it fits well as the summer soundtrack for thousands of students and to enhance Jamie xx's brand in the pop festivals circuit. This is a ridiculously safe record, unevenly enjoyable. Pitchfork and other critics have been singing it praises, but I'm sticking with The Quietus on this one – and I agree with that writer that this is surprisingly apolitical, considering how much its influences were political, especially their present-day struggle to overcome gentrification and conservative values in and out of the dance floor; In Colour is the clean, radio-ready version of a scene once exciting and on the edge of electronic dance music. A sonic gentrification.

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby DocBrown » Mon Jun 01, 2015 6:42 pm

Welcome back, HRS. I've missed your reviews.

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby Nick » Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:02 pm

Interesting review, HRS, it's good to see an opposing view on the album. As you probably read earlier, I'm quite the fan of it myself, and though your points are strong, I cannot see myself agreeing with your criticisms.

I can admit that the music on "In Colour" is by no means the most "boundary pushing" music out there, especially in the genre it belongs to. I'd like to instead compare "In Colour" to another fantastic album that came out a couple years ago, "Settle" by Disclosure. Like "Settle", "In Colour" doesn't reinvent the wheel in its chosen genre. Instead, I find that the album is simply able to take the individual facets that define the genre, and use them in a way that sounds better than anything else out there. "White Noise" or "Latch", two singles from the Disclosure album, may not have the most original sounds in the world, but what they did was they provided such an adroit pop sensibility and craft that it was impossible for the critics, the public, and yes, myself, to ignore. A song like "Gosh" or "I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times)" functions in the same way, simply by doing what other people are doing, but better. Of course "better" is highly subjective, and where you see gentrification, I see improvement, a heightened sense of pop sensibility. Sure other songs may have the "sound" of those two, but how many of them share that pure, unbridled ecstasy that pervades "I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times)"? How many of those songs have that emotive rush of synthesizers that Pitchfork described as...

Pitchfork wrote:And then, just as the last tightly-bound fixture is put into place, there comes a squelchy, slightly awkward synthesizer solo that sounds like it was knocked off in one hurried take by someone who approaches the instrument with the excitement of a newcomer. When the keyboard falls in, which is still exciting and surprising after many dozens of plays, it’s as if our tower of sound is suddenly crowned by a massive cluster of balloons that lifts it into the sky, Up style."


...that is found in the later portion of "Gosh"?

Furthermore, as much as I love this album and hope that the critical success it is currently enjoying translates into large scale commercial success, I really cannot see this album being all that popular on the pop festivals circuit. As it stands, the album is too minimalist, and too intimate for such acceptance (at least in my view).

The idea that a sound can be "watered down" is a two way street. In one way, a sound can be distilled, sanded over to remove all the rough edges, packaged and sold to the masses as an inferior version of the original, lacking in all the elements that made the sound daring and unique in the first place (I'd take this time to list examples, but there are too many to count. Just one look at the American post-grunge scene post-Nirvana should be all the example needed). But there is another way to the process of distillation, and it is one that is rarely taken, at least in comparison to the aforementioned way. In rare occasions an artist can take a sound, distill it to its primary components, and then tweak the formula, ever so slightly, and in such a way that the original components are still recognizable, but have been forever changed into something much more compelling in a "pure pop satisfaction" sense. Radiohead's distillation of the music of 1970s computer music on their album "Kid A" is one example in a very short list of examples. In my opinion, "In Colour" is another. The line between the two may be precariously thin, and at times even blurred. But I feel that the critical acclaim surrounding "In Colour" is a testament to the notion that I am not alone in feeling this way.

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby HRS » Tue Jun 02, 2015 4:01 pm

Great analysis, Nick. I can't disagree with you in a way that isn't fully subjective, so here's some food for thought (or annoyances haha)

1. As a record, I didn't find anything particularly bad, just lazily crafted in comparison to more adventurous works out there in techno, jungle or rave that receives fewer attention, with just a representative or two crossing over strict electronic reviewers to broader critical acclaim. This point is subjective; it's about how you react as a listener to the critical reception of a record. I wrote in length about it above because the reception this is getting is downright ridiculous if we have in mind that this is nowhere boundary pushing nor superior to the excursions of other artists inside the respective genres Jamie borrowed. Hence, my view on the conservative values of In Colour. I don't think a music critic should only consider the enjoyability of a record as the sole point of analysis. In this case, we will end up creating Robert Christgau clones, critics with the sole function of guiding the consumer to consume something, attaching confusing ratings to records and ignoring completely genres, styles, innovations, etc In the days of streaming, this professional function of the music critic is confusing, since we can all take our time to stream anything, without spending any money or little amounts of it. If anything, we only count on them to filter the great amount of music information we receive daily. So we wake up and check reviews or news at Pitchfork, Tiny Mix Tapes, Stereogum, Resident Advisor, whatever source you use. I think that to attach this function solely to a critic is to equal it to what Bruce used to defend: Journalists, with no understanding on music, sharing their opinions, many times driven by exogenous reason that are not the music being availed (hype, promotion, money from labels, from PR, etc). I don't agree that music criticism should be about the form, either. I think the music critic should show interest and research about the record it is writing about, especially a long awaited record such as this. In terms of sole enjoyment, Taylor Swift's 1989 is a five-star record, for me. But there are other forces acting on it, including time, that has shown me that many of the pleasure wear themselves away, like ubiquitousness, for example.

Applying this to Jamie xx, critics should have shown knowledge of his influences, compare it, to avail what's being manipulated here, what isn't, what's truly new and what's a revamp. Later, they should commit to their subjectiveness and opine if they find it greatly crafted pop music, as you found it to be or just a gentrified version of a much more exciting scene, as I did, for example. There's none of this rationality on the reviews. They basically read as press kits filtered through Creative Writing. I've perceived more rationality on your analysis than I did in plenty of other professionals attaching it their 10s, their 9s, their As or four stars. They sell it as new, even as forward thinking; as superior to where Jamie xx heavily borrowed, but in what terms? I don't want to blame the writer, since I think many of those publications are edited to the point that such an extended analysis wouldn't be feasible. But the likes of Pitchfork, Stereogum, etc they have the online means to write long reviews, they do write them and they are still more attached to hype than research; to articulate pretty descriptions instead of getting down to the work, to what sets the critics apart of the audience. Instead, we have a privileged audience writing us what we should care about – and their reasons are mostly unknown to us if we don't fully believe in the level of enjoyment one.

2. Your Settle comparison is spot on, since that's one of those records that didn't understand the level of acclaim it received. I do see it as well designed pop music, but it had it shares of filler and unevenness. Still, found it more memorable than In Colour. And Disclosure rise to the mainstream through american festivals should tell that Jamie xx is carving the same brand rebuilding this summer. He won't have to score a top ten hit such as Lacht, just outgrow the xx enough.

3. I understood your comparison to Kid A, but i disagree, especially if we judge the context of Kid A. Music and its context are no longer separable. Kid A was the follow up to a highly copied and acclaimed record that deal with societal issues and technology. Kid A is very political, songs cryptical, but approaching heavy issues and fully incorporating the technology Radiohead commented on. Also, it was a daring follow up in the context of Radiohead as a band, on the pile of expectations over OK Computer. Radiohead incorporated dissonance, Kraftwerk, krautrock and 20th Century Classical Music in ways that were not seen in rock music, creating a new hybrid. But maybe that's my subjectiveness being more positive towards them. Still, Kid A benefited a lot from its historicity.

4. We used to disagree over key records, Nick, although I tend to agree with your positions more these days on "lyrics vs music" haha I respect your opinions and am glad that you were able to concord with the reception of this record and fully enjoy it. It is lost on me, so far.

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby HRS » Tue Jun 02, 2015 4:02 pm

DocBrown wrote:Welcome back, HRS. I've missed your reviews.


Thank you, Doc! Haven't had enough time to write, but I'm always reading you guys. Brazilian university teachers are on strike again, so I have time to listen to and debate with you guys once again! Cheers! :D

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby notbrianeno » Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:32 pm

HRS even though I enjoyed the record, I really enjoyed your analysis as well! Admittedly I only have a cursory knowlege of electronic music "landmark" albums. Could you recommend me some albums if i want to see some of "In Colour"s Influences?
Current AOTY 2018: Daughters |You Won't Get What You Want
Current SOTY 2018: Mitski | "Geyser"

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby Nick » Fri Jun 05, 2015 12:29 am

HRS wrote:4. We used to disagree over key records, Nick, although I tend to agree with your positions more these days on "lyrics vs music" haha I respect your opinions and am glad that you were able to concord with the reception of this record and fully enjoy it. It is lost on me, so far.


I respect your opinions too, HRS, and I'm glad that you're able to eloquently express your opinions, especially when they run against the prevalent view. The occasional essay length posts you make are some of my favorites of this forum.

:D

Hopefully one day I'll be able to understand the appeal of Grouper though.

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby whuntva » Sat Jun 06, 2015 12:50 am

Kendrick Lamar-To Pimp a Butterfly
Dodos-Individ
Sufjan Stevens_Carrie and Lowell (Not his best work, but good)
Courtney Barnett-Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit (okay, but didn't live up to "Pedestrian at Best")
Bjork-Vulnicura
British India-Nothing Touches Me (Again, one good song and several that are just so-so)
AWOLNATION-Run (Starting to grow on me; two songs here I liked)
Mountain Goats-Beat the Champ
Birds of Tokyo-Anchor EP (Dubstep? Really? Title track is fine, but gradually gets worse)
Decemberists-What A Terrible World, What a Beautiful World
Doomtree-All Hands

2015 has been a meh year overall. There are three albums I'm hoping will change that, though.
" Ah, yes! Our meager restitution"

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby Nick » Sat Jun 06, 2015 3:24 am

Update list for the beginning of June...

1. Kendrick Lamar- To Pimp a Butterfly: 95

2. Jamie xx- In Colour: 85
3. Father John Misty- I Love You, Honeybear: 85

4. Sufjan Stevens- Carrie & Lowell: 80
5. Bjork- Vulnicura: 80
6. Shamir- Ratchet: 80
7. Panda Bear- Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper: 80
8. Sleater-Kinney- No Cities to Love: 80
9. Blur- The Magic Whip: 80

10. Tobias Jesso Jr.- Goon: 75
11. Alabama Shakes- Sound & Color: 75
12. Viet Cong- Viet Cong: 75
13. Courtney Barnett- Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit: 75
14. Drake- If You're Reading This It's Too Late: 75

15. Holly Herndon- Platform: 70
16. Passion Pit- Kindred: 70
17. Godspeed You! Black Emperor- Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress: 70
18. Natalie Prass- Natalie Prass: 70

19. Clark- Flame Rave (EP): 65
20. Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds- Chasing Yesterday: 65
21. Bob Dylan- Shadows in the Night: 65

22. Sun Kil Moon- Universal Themes: 60

23. Modest Mouse- Strangers to Ourselves: 55
24. Joey Badass- B4.Da.$$: 55

25. A$AP Rocky- At. Long. Last. A$AP: 40

On My Radar...

Tame Impala- Currents- July 18th
Titus Andronicus- The Most Lamentable Tragedy- July 28th
Four Tet- Morning/Evening- July
Destroyer- Poison Season- August 28th
Beach House- Depression Cherry- August 28th
Grimes- TBA- October

Chromatics- Dear Tommy- TBA
Frank Ocean- TBA- TBA
James Blake- TBA- TBA
Kanye West- SWISH- TBA
The Libertines- TBA- TBA
Radiohead- TBA- TBA
Run the Jewels- Run the Jewels 3- TBA
Spiritualized- TBA- TBA

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby GucciLittlePiggy » Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:15 pm

Nick wrote:On My Radar...

Run the Jewels- Run the Jewels 3- TBA


Back in May, El-P tweeted that RTJ3 wouldn't come this year, which makes me sad cuz that was one of my most anticipated releases for this year.

On that note, Frank Ocean's new LP is definitely my most anticipated, even when considering the possibility of SWISH being released this year. The album's singles so far, while good, have not blown me away at all.
Album of the Year: Post Malone - beerbongs & bentleys
Song of the Year: The 1975 - Love It If We Made It

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby notbrianeno » Sat Jun 06, 2015 5:19 pm

My most anticipated albums for the remainder of 2015
  • TBA by Bon Iver
  • Dear Tommy by The Chromatics
  • TBA by Frank Ocean
  • Currents by Tame Impala
  • Views From The Six by Drake
  • Depression Cherry by Beach House
  • TBA by The Weeknd
Current AOTY 2018: Daughters |You Won't Get What You Want
Current SOTY 2018: Mitski | "Geyser"

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby bootsy » Sun Jun 07, 2015 12:55 am

notbrianeno wrote:My most anticipated albums for the remainder of 2015
  • TBA by Bon Iver
  • Dear Tommy by The Chromatics
  • TBA by Frank Ocean
  • Currents by Tame Impala
  • Views From The Six by Drake
  • Depression Cherry by Beach House
  • TBA by The Weeknd

Wow all of these I'm looking forward to. I really hope the Weeknd delivers on this album. That last one was pretty average. I keep trying to make myself like it more than I want to everytime I listen to it and it doesn't work.

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby notbrianeno » Sun Jun 07, 2015 2:18 am

bootsy wrote:Wow all of these I'm looking forward to. I really hope the Weeknd delivers on this album. That last one was pretty average. I keep trying to make myself like it more than I want to everytime I listen to it and it doesn't work.

I agree, Kiss Land was pretty good, but definitely below Abel's usual standard. I have mixed feelings about his new poppier direction: one one hand I'm afraid the darkness in his work will be tamed and made bland, but on the other I feel he could be an amazing pop-crossover while remaining true to his artistry like Prince.
Current AOTY 2018: Daughters |You Won't Get What You Want
Current SOTY 2018: Mitski | "Geyser"

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby bootsy » Sun Jun 07, 2015 6:29 am

notbrianeno wrote:
bootsy wrote:Wow all of these I'm looking forward to. I really hope the Weeknd delivers on this album. That last one was pretty average. I keep trying to make myself like it more than I want to everytime I listen to it and it doesn't work.

I agree, Kiss Land was pretty good, but definitely below Abel's usual standard. I have mixed feelings about his new poppier direction: one one hand I'm afraid the darkness in his work will be tamed and made bland, but on the other I feel he could be an amazing pop-crossover while remaining true to his artistry like Prince.

I'm in wait and see mode on this new crossover Abel. Earned It grew on me, didn't like Often and The Hills is ok. I'm still excited for his new album regardless.

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby Romain » Sun Jun 07, 2015 1:54 pm

Jamie XX - In Colour 4,5 Elctro… each year, there is an album I really don't understand the success, it could be this one (and yet, I adore the XX).
Allah-Las - Worship the Sun 6 Really disapointing. I really love their first album, this one is far more weak.
Django Django - Born Under Saturn 9 13 songs = 13 gems, like their first album, they have maked an almost perfect pop album.


List in progress:
Django Django - Born Under Saturn 9
Blur - The Magic Whip 8,5
Björk - Vulnicura 8,5
The Decemberists - What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World 8,5
Of Montreal - Aureate Gloom 8
Archive - Restriction 8
Belle and Sebastian - Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance 7,5
Sufjan Stevens - Carrie and Lowell 6,5
Moon Duo - Shadow Of The Sun 6,5
Benjamin Clementine - At Least For Now 6,5
Pond - Man It Feels Like Space Again 6,5
John Carpenter - John Carpenter's Lost Themes 6,5
Allah-Las - Worship the Sun 6
All We Are - All We Are 5,5
Calexico - Edge Of The Sun 5,5
Jamie XX - In Colour 4,5
Toro y Moi - What For? 3

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby whuntva » Mon Jun 08, 2015 3:26 pm

Florence + The Machine-How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (Florence never sounded better; features best production and vocals on one of their albums)
Kendrick Lamar-To Pimp a Butterfly
Dodos-Individ
Sufjan Stevens_Carrie and Lowell
Courtney Barnett-Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
Bjork-Vulnicura
British India-Nothing Touches Me
Art of Dying-Rise Up EP (Too heavy for this site, but a decent metal album)
AWOLNATION-Run
Mountain Goats-Beat the Champ
Sun kil Moon (I got the appeal of Benji, but this was too much of the same-old, same-old, and it was really disappointing)
Birds of Tokyo-Anchor EP
Decemberists-What A Terrible World, What a Beautiful World
Doomtree-All Hands
" Ah, yes! Our meager restitution"

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby DocBrown » Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:40 pm

I am always somewhat out of touch with the consensus at AM but this year I seem to be following music on a different planet. Here's my top 15 so far.

1. Speedy Ortiz | Foil Deer
Can't believe I'm the only fan of this noise pop masterpiece so far. A huge step ahead in production from Major Arcana with great post-grunge stylings from Sadie Dupuis.
2. Torres | Sprinter
3. Godspeed You! Black Emperor | 'Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress'
All the things others disliked about this album; its brevity, the absence of field recordings, the drone tracks, were pluses for me. "Piss Crowns are Trebled" remains my track of the year so far.
4. Alabama Shakes | Sound & Color
5. Laura Marling | Short Movie
6. Björk | Vulnicura
7. San Fermin | Jackrabbit
8. The White Birch | The Weight of Spring
There have been two releases this year about the loss of ones' mother which have been much discussed. This one about the same subject is actually good.
9. Admiral Fallow | Tiny Rewards
10. Built to Spill | Untethered Moon
The dialogue between guitars reminds me of vintage Crazy Horse.
11. Gretchen Peters | Blackbirds
12. Sleater-Kinney | No Cities to Love
13. Screaming Females | Rose Mountain
14. Dan Mangan + Blacksmith | Club Meds
15. AWOLNATION | Run

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby Jirin » Tue Jun 09, 2015 5:04 pm

DocBrown wrote:I am always somewhat out of touch with the consensus at AM but this year I seem to be following music on a different planet. Here's my top 15 so far.



That just means you're the least influenced by hype. :)

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby whuntva » Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:02 pm

Florence + The Machine-How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
Kendrick Lamar-To Pimp a Butterfly
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds-Chasing Yesterday (Great jazzy tracks. I preferred the iTunes bonus tracks because "Do the Damage" is a hidden gem if there ever was one)
Dodos-Individ
Sufjan Stevens-Carrie and Lowell
Courtney Barnett-Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
Bjork-Vulnicura
British India-Nothing Touches Me
Mumford and Sons-Wilder Heart (Mumford and Sons' best song is "Little Lion Man", they still haven't followed it up well)
Art of Dying-Rise Up EP
AWOLNATION-Run
Mountain Goats-Beat the Champ
Sun kil Moon-Universal Themes
Birds of Tokyo-Anchor EP
Decemberists-What A Terrible World, What a Beautiful World
Doomtree-All Hands
" Ah, yes! Our meager restitution"

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby notbrianeno » Fri Jun 12, 2015 12:48 am

Bjork-Vulnicura (94)
Sun Kil Moon-Universal Themes (92)
Sufjan Stevens-Carrie and Lowell (92)
Kendrick Lamar-To Pimp A Butterfly (90)
Lupe Fiasco-Tetsuo and Youth (87)
Jamie XX- In Colour (86)
Liturgy-The Ark Work (86)
Father John Misty-I Love You, Honeybear (85)
Tyler, The Creator-Cherry Bomb (84)
Drake-If You're Reading This, It's Too Late (83)
Florence + The Machine-How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (83)
Susanne Sundfør-Ten Love Songs (81)
Prurient-Frozen Niagara Falls (80)
Young Thug-Barter 6 (80)
Panda Bear-Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper (78)
Bob Dylan-Shadows in the Night (78)
Torres-Sprinter (75)
Twin Shadow-Eclipse (74)
Blur-The Magic Whip (72)
Purity Ring-Another Eternity (71)
Hot Chip-Why Make Sense? (70)
Modest Mouse-Strangers to Ourselves (70)
Belle & Sebastian-Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance (65)
Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment-Surf (65)
Sleater Kinney-No Cities To Love (65)
Holly Herndon-Platform (65)
Godspeed You! Black Emperor-Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress (60)
Big Sean-Dark Sky Paradise (60)
Kamasi Washington-The Epic (60)
Passion Pit-Kindred (55)
Natalie Prass-Natalie Prass (55)
Viet Cong-Viet Cong (50)
A$AP Rocky- At.Long.Last.A$AP (40)
The Decemberists-What A Beautiful World, What A Terrible World (40)
Fall Out Boy-American Beauty/American Psycho (40)
Will Butler-Policy (30)
Doomtree-All Hands (30)
Twenty One Pilots-Blurryface (20)
Tobias Jesso Jr.-Goon (20)
Last edited by notbrianeno on Thu Jun 18, 2015 1:57 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Current SOTY 2018: Mitski | "Geyser"

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby Jirin » Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:49 pm

Added three new albums to my 2015 playlist:

Speedy Ortiz - Foil Deer
Jamie XX - In Colour
Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld - Never Where The Way She Was

I don't know how much traction an avant garde jazz album recommendation will get here but NWTWSW completely floored me. Possible AOTY candidate.

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby PlasticRam » Mon Jun 15, 2015 5:17 pm

Updated list, new ratings in bold.

Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly: 9.8
Jamie xx - In Colour: 9.4
Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment - Surf: 9.3
Lanza Manza - Leezus Meezus: 9.0
Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear: 8.6
Jlin - Dark Energy: 8.5
Sleater-Kinney - No Cities to Love: 8.5
Bob Dylan - Shadows in the Night: 8.3
Jenny Hval - Apocalypse, girl: 8.3
Blur - The Magic Whip: 8.3
Big Sean - Dark Sky Paradise: 8.1
Drake - If You're Reading This It's Too Late: 8.1
Steven Wilson - Hand Cannot Erase: 8.0
Björk - Vulnicura: 7.9
Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit: 7.6
Future - Beast Mode (EP): 7.5
FFS - FFS: 6.2
Sun Kil Moon - Universal Themes: 6.0
I feel like that

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby Nick » Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:52 am

I just listened to Kamasi Washington's extremely long album "The Epic", a 3 hour long jazz triple album with 17 songs, some of which are over 14 minutes long. The first 3 songs alone all run past the 12 minute mark. There are almost no vocals on this album, and it's a pretty freaking dense listen. However, it's been getting a lot of attention, so my interest was piqued. So tonight I sat down and decided to knock the entire album out in a single listen.

So how does the album compare to the hype surrounding it?

Well, for starters, "The Epic" is certainly a strong album. Although it's 3 hours long it really doesn't seem like it, and there weren't any times during my listen where I was wishing a certain song would hurry up and end. So that's an undeniably huge plus for "The Epic". The instrumentation on the album is full of technical virtuosity, and the album has a spiritual atmosphere to it that feels positively joyous and uplifting.

On the other hand, I do have my gripes. First of all, despite being a rather listenable 3 hour long album, it's still a 3 hour long album, which means that its repeat value for me is about nil, at least when it comes to listening to the album's entirety in a single sitting. Secondly, I've been hearing a little about how this album is a "revival" in jazz. On this point, I'm rather skeptical. I'm no expert when it comes to jazz, but I've heard a fair amount, and nothing on "The Epic" sounds all that revolutionary to me. It's certainly pleasant, but there's nothing on here that I haven't heard before. Additionally, the bulk of the album's tracks feel a bit too similar for their own good, and while that similarity does help this album function as some great background music, it otherwise negatively impacts my enjoyment ever so slightly.

Ultimately the bulk of what makes this album impressive lies with its monumental run time, which functions as a bit of a double edged sword. Sure, a 3 hour long jazz album that sounds great when you listen to it is an extremely impressive work of art. But who the hell is going to listen to this thing in a single sitting?

8/10 (Because the music is just so easy to love, but holy crap Kasami Washington, this thing in its entirety has no repeat value. Maybe future listens will consist of a single disc at a time.)

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby Greg » Sat Jun 20, 2015 7:00 am

Nick wrote:I just listened to Kamasi Washington's extremely long album "The Epic", a 3 hour long jazz triple album with 17 songs, some of which are over 14 minutes long.


Gonna go out on a crazy limb here and predict this will be sonofsam's AOTY :-D

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby notbrianeno » Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:27 am

Current AOTY 2018: Daughters |You Won't Get What You Want
Current SOTY 2018: Mitski | "Geyser"

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby Nick » Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:37 pm



Just heard the Vince Staples album. The album has a dark, gritty, almost merciless atmosphere, that accurately reflects that desperation of the lyrics. I enjoyed Staple's style on the album, but I can't help but feel like the brevity of the songs (over half of the album's 20 songs are either under the 3 minute mark or a couple seconds beyond it) doesn't really allow for one to fully immerse themselves in his world before we move onto the next song. Compare that to an album with some similar themes and a similar world, like Kendrick Lamar's "Good Kid, M.A.A.D City", where the long song lengths (like the 12 minute "Sing About Me, I'm Dying of Thirst") better facilitate that sense of immersion. Additionally, without any strong hooks/choruses, and a series of beats that become a little monotonous, it is a bit difficult to really determine one song from another, and while that does give the album a lot of cohesion, it's somewhat regrettable that there aren't any individual songs that really "jump out at you".

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby Nassim » Wed Jul 01, 2015 12:47 pm

Reached the 40 albums mark (well actually 41 because I forgot to note Hop Along on my tracking list)

1) Sleater-Kinney - No Cities to Love
2) Sufjan Stevens - Carrie and Lowell
3) Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experience - Surf
4) Young Fathers - White Men Are Black Men Too
5) Shamir - Ratchet
6) Jamie XX - In Colour
7) Dan Deacon - Gliss Riffer
8) Hop Along - Painted Shut
9) Godspeed! You Black Emperor - Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress
10) Various Artists - PC Music Vol. 1
11) Mourn - Mourn
12) Blur - The Magic Whip
13) Hot Chip - Why Make Sense ?
14) Natalie Prass - Natalie Prass
15) Lightning Bolt - Fantasy Empire
16) Father John Misty - I Love You Honeybear
17) Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit
18) Gaz Coombes - Matador
19) Algiers - Algiers
20) Faith No More - Sol Invictus
21) KEN Mode - Success
22) The Decemberists - What a Beautiful World, What a Terrible World
23) Vince Staples - Summertime '06
24) Colleen Green - I Want to Grow Up
25) Viet Cong - Viet Cong
26) Millencolin - True Brew
27) Modest Mouse - Strangers to Ourselves
28) John Carpenter - Lost Themes
29) Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly
30) Crapulax - Violence Gratuite et Flûte de Pan
31) The Dodos - Individ
32) Built to Spill - Untethered Moon
33) Lupe Fiasco - Tetsuo & Youth
34) BC Camplight - How To Die In The North
35) Jessica Pratt - On Your Own Love Again
36) Bjork - Vulnicura
37) Muse - Drones
38) Enter Shikari - The Mindsweep 
39) Madeon - Adventure
40) Panda Bear - Panda Bear meets the Grim Reaper
41) Holly Herndon - Platform

Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment - Surf : that probably won't be the best album of the year, and I'd argue that many I ranked lower have less flaws and are more outstanding, but this sure will be its most welcoming and heartwarming one. I can't overstate how much I think Sunday Candy is a pure jewel, but other tracks, especially Windows, are also incredibly comforting and warm. It's an album about being yourself, friendship and family and that's the perfect summer soundtrack.

Jamie XX - In Colour : it might indeed not be the complete masterpiece some say it is, or really that groundbreaking, but it reaches a very nice balance between warmth and melancholy by mixing the XX aesthetic with more summery dance touches. Unlike most, I see "I Know There's Gonna Be Good Times" more as a low point than a peak of the album though.

Hop Along - Painted Shut : the most straightforwardly enjoyable rock album of the year, sounds like Liz Phair doing some classic indie rock again

Godspeed! You Black Emperor : my 2nd favorite G!YBE album, the opening and closing tracks are really great and the drones part are just the right length to be intriguing and hypnotizing but not boring

PC Music vol 1 : I'm a sucker for PC Music, and I'm almost not ashamed by it ! I already knew the best tracks on the CD (first 2 tracks, Every Night and Beautiful) but there are still some nice surprises (bronze especially) and being 30 minutes long the albums stops before it could have became tedious. The lack of QT and Sophie is sad, but the real mistake is not including PC Music best song, the wonderful "Pink and Blue" by Hannah Diamond.

Algiers - Algiers : could this be the year we really feel TV on the Radio's influence on releases ? At the hommage game, Young Fathers was better, but that's still a solid album that might grow on me

KEN Mode - Success : could be confused with something by Future of the Left or a calmed down Fucked Up and this lack of personality is a bit of an issue for such a punk and rebelious album, but it's still pretty efficient

Vince Staples - Summertime '06 : didn't completely work for me, though I must say by the end I was enjoying it more and more so maybe after a while I'll dig the whole album !

Millencolin - True Brew : not oustanding, but much bette than previous album. The lyrics are as naive as ever but the riffs and melody are back to run of the mill vintage Millencolin

Muse - Drones : usually Muse albums were either great or terrible, Drones is the one that don't elicit any reaction, not good, not bad, just without the slightest interest, a watered down copy of Absolution. The final ballads are a bit ridiculous (in a Bryan Adams 90s hits way) and appears out of nowhere like if the band thought "guys, didn't we plan this to be our The Wall ? There was Comfortably Numb in it so we need something slow... ok, that'll do".
Most disappointing is that The 3rd Law, though not outstanding, was often hinting at interesting new directions for the band, Drones completely forgets that, erasing the main strengths of recent Muse good songs : the rhythm section. Good thing though, they really slowed down on their worst traits, removing almost all of their terrible strings arrangements.

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby Nick » Wed Jul 01, 2015 2:51 pm

Half year mark update. A pretty solid top 20 thus far...

1. Kendrick Lamar- To Pimp a Butterfly: 95

2. Jamie xx- In Colour: 85
3. Father John Misty- I Love You, Honeybear: 85
4. Sufjan Stevens- Carrie & Lowell: 85

5. Björk- Vulnicura: 80
6. Shamir- Ratchet: 80
7. Panda Bear- Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper: 80
8. Sleater-Kinney- No Cities to Love: 80
9. Blur- The Magic Whip: 80
10. Kamasi Washington- The Epic: 80

11. Tobias Jesso Jr.- Goon: 75
12. Miguel- Wildheart: 75
13. Viet Cong- Viet Cong: 75
14. Unknown Mortal Orchestra- Multi-Love: 75
15. Alabama Shakes- Sound & Color: 75
16. Courtney Barnett- Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit: 75
17. Four Tet- Morning/Evening: 75
18. Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment- Surf: 75
19. Drake- If You're Reading This It's Too Late: 75
20. Natalie Prass- Natalie Prass: 75

21. Holly Herndon- Platform: 70
22. Vince Staples- Summertime '06: 70
23. Day Ravies- Under the Lamp (EP): 70
24. Passion Pit- Kindred: 70
25. Godspeed You! Black Emperor- Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress: 70

26. Eternal Summers: Gold and Stone: 65
27. Clark- Flame Rave (EP): 65
28. Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds- Chasing Yesterday: 65
29. Bob Dylan- Shadows in the Night: 65

30. Todd Terje- It's It's Remix Time Time (EP): 60
31. Sun Kil Moon- Universal Themes: 60

32. Modest Mouse- Strangers to Ourselves: 55
33. Joey Badass- B4.Da.$$: 55

34. A$AP Rocky- At. Long. Last. A$AP: 40

On My Radar...

Tame Impala- Currents- July 18th
Titus Andronicus- The Most Lamentable Tragedy- July 28th
Destroyer- Poison Season- August 28th
Beach House- Depression Cherry- August 28th
Disclosure- Caracal- September 25th
Grimes- TBA- October

Chromatics- Dear Tommy- TBA
Frank Ocean- TBA- TBA
James Blake- TBA- TBA
Kanye West- SWISH- TBA
The Libertines- TBA- TBA
Radiohead- TBA- TBA
Run the Jewels- Run the Jewels 3- TBA
Spiritualized- TBA- TBA

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby drewcannon3 » Thu Jul 02, 2015 3:41 am

1. Best Coast - California Nights
2. Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
3. Marina and the Diamonds - FROOT
4. Waxahatchee - Ivy Tripp
5. Lord Huron - Strange Trails
6. Screaming Females - Rose Mountain
7. Wardell - Love / Idleness

Almost certainly filling out the Top 10, but need some time to place them:
Wolf Alice - My Love Is Cool
Bully - Feels Like
Leon Bridges - Coming Home

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby jonatan » Thu Jul 02, 2015 10:14 pm

That sure is one female-singer heavy list there.

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby Nick » Mon Jul 06, 2015 3:53 pm

Tame Impala's new album, "Currents", leaked yesterday. I've only given it one listen thus far, but I loved it.

"Currents" is a huge risk for Tame Impala that paid off immensely. I've seen some people claim that the album is a "fairly logical progression" for the band, but I completely disagree. While adding more effects and synths is something of a logical progression for the band, "Currents" detour into disco and funk is totally new territory, something that past releases didn't even hint at in the slightest. This experiment alone is commendable. To suggest that "Currents" doesn't mark a major change in sound for Tame Impala is, frankly, absurd.

The songs themselves are also top notch, "Let it Happen" could be the best song Tame Impala's released to date. Not only is it one hell of an opener (and incredibly ballsy to put an 8 minute psychedelic disco song as your opening track), but the way it effortlessly combines the seemingly disparate genres that make it up is amazing. My favorite musical moments of the year may be the first couple times the song "skips" when it transitions into its more rave friendly section. A couple of my other favorite songs are the Bee Gees/"Off the Wall" era Michael Jackson-esque "'Cause I'm a Man", as well as the punchy and immediate "Eventually".

If I had to offer any complaint about the album it's that the end section is a bit weaker than I would've liked, which isn't to say it's bad, but after the fantastic salvo of opening songs it's hard not to feel like "Currents" is a bit front loaded. Other than that, I think "Currents" is a fantastic genre experiment with catchy, immediate songs, some of which serve as highlights to Kevin Parker's career.

It's hard to say after only one listen how this compares to "Lonerism". But I could easily see "Currents" being better than that album. So far I'd say it's definitely better than "Innerspeaker", and it's definitely one of my favorite releases of this year.

85/100

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby GucciLittlePiggy » Wed Jul 08, 2015 4:20 am

01. 96 Earl Sweatshirt - I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside: An Album by Earl Sweatshirt
02. 96 Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly
03. 94 Drake - If You're Reading This It's Too Late
04. 93 Lupe Fiasco - Tetsuo & Youth
05. 89 Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell
06. 88 Jamie xx - In Colour > N/A
This album certainly met my expectations, though Pitchfork's 9.3 rating is kind of odd to me. I don't see how this record could possibly be on par with TPAB. And I couldn't see myself favoring it over The xx's debut, but to each his own. I can say however that "Gosh" and "I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times)" are easily 9.3 songs. Probably 10.0s.
07. 85 Panda Bear - Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper
08. 85 Miguel - Wildheart < 88 Kaleidoscope Dream
At first listen, I thought Miguel had definitely bested his 2012 sophomore effort but a couple more listens to both records tells me that it falls short. I still love the album but I think at times he's trying to do too much. "waves" absolutely floors me, though.
09. 84 Vince Staples - Summertime '06 > N/A
I can't say how excited I am for the emerging young rappers in the game today and this feller here is just another to add to my case that we are witnessing a second "golden age" of hip-hop. I'd say Kanye got the ball rolling with MBDTF and all the young guys (K Dot, Chance, Earl, Vince, Drake, and plenty others) are picking up the mantle.
10. 81 Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear
11. 80 Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment - Surf > N/A
12. 80 Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit > N/A
13. 79 Viet Cong - Viet Cong
14. 74 Sleater-Kinney - No Cities to Love
15. 72 Young Thug - Barter 6 > N/A
16. 70 Lower Dens - Escape from Evil
17. 65 Tyler, the Creator - Cherry Bomb
18. 55 Joey Bada$$ - B4.DA.$$
Album of the Year: Post Malone - beerbongs & bentleys
Song of the Year: The 1975 - Love It If We Made It

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby Romain » Wed Jul 08, 2015 4:11 pm

Curtis Harding - Soul Power 6 I have listened this kind of album thousand times. Nothing new nor original.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Multi-Love 6 An album I'd love to love much more than I actually did but something doesn't work well here.
FFS - FFS 6,5 Not bad but very repetitive (I know it's the Sparks Style but we don't find the madness of their albums here).
Glass Animals - Zaba 8,5 Best discovering of the year so far. I like each songs. An almost perfect first album.

Django Django - Born Under Saturn 9
Glass Animals - Zaba 8,5
Blur - The Magic Whip 8,5
Björk - Vulnicura 8,5
The Decemberists - What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World 8,5
Of Montreal - Aureate Gloom 8
Archive - Restriction 8
Belle and Sebastian - Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance 7,5
Sufjan Stevens - Carrie and Lowell 6,5
Moon Duo - Shadow Of The Sun 6,5
Benjamin Clementine - At Least For Now 6,5
FFS - FFS 6,5
Pond - Man It Feels Like Space Again 6,5
John Carpenter - John Carpenter's Lost Themes 6,5
Allah-Las - Worship the Sun 6
Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Multi-Love 6
Curtis Harding - Soul Power 6
All We Are - All We Are 5,5
Calexico - Edge Of The Sun 5,5
Jamie XX - In Colour 4,5
Toro y Moi - What For? 3

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby HRS » Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:23 pm

I'm back from a longer than expected family holiday.

First thing first:

notbrianeno wrote:HRS even though I enjoyed the record, I really enjoyed your analysis as well! Admittedly I only have a cursory knowlege of electronic music "landmark" albums. Could you recommend me some albums if i want to see some of "In Colour"s Influences?


Notbrianeno, this is exactly a problem for electronic music and it is a consequence of how we are used to listen to rock music. There aren't many landmark albums. There are great solid albums by the likes of Apex Twin, Boards of Canada, Autechre, Villalobos, Jaar, Oneohtrix that crossover to general critical masses etc but much of the landmark material of many electronic genres are spread out in singles format, especially house and techno. My opinions on Jamie xx haven't changed at all, but I think I understand the critical reception a tad better now, since I believe he's the one encapsulating that sound in album format. He's also someone commercially successful with large press appeal. There's an article on the New Yorker that cites some references for the record and even links the documentary that influenced choices of sound and samples made. If you want to understand the genre better, that are plenty of Rate Your Music lists that compile landmark DJs and their singles, including the London scene Jamie's record inhabits.

Other things:

1. Unlike many I didn't have expectations over Tame Impala's new record. I found Let it Happen meandering and Cause I'm a Man cheesy. Moreover, I had two problems with the pre-release singles: I disliked the way the synths sounded and found their use too tame. It's weird to see something being labeled as psychedelic when there's only a minimum amount of distortion. It doesn't sound as much as Bee Gees on acid as an uninteresting Flaming Lips doing synth pop. The disco influences are there but disco's been omnipresent on indie music since the rise and fall of Chillwave and the bedroom disco of Nite Jewel. We don't even need to go as far as the original disco scene to observe a great use of its sound since the likes of Chromatics and Daft Punk have fused the genre with synth pop with better results this decade. Also, Disciples sounds like Ariel Pink and his brand of pop by the numbers. Tame Impala have an ear for hooks and there are plenty here, though. I won't compare their overall quality to what came before for I'm more familiar with that material and particular sound. I just wished the atmosphere was closer to the spirit of Lonerism and not as claustrophobic as here. The wall of sound created sounded dated on arrival and too indebted to the failures of early 80s synth pop records instead of sticking to their strengths. Paradoxically, songs like Moreover and the closer aren't so removed from previous material, they just contain less guitars. After Lonerism I expected more synths and less guitars, so I won't praise as a sound shift a logical step forward in sound. 5/10


2. I listened to the new Beach House record. I want to take some time with it. Sparks was a false alarm and their sound remains largely intact, although slower on this album. It's pretty, though the laws of diminishing returns are acting on me. Teen Dream was a punch of beautifulness when released that cause me to reevaluate their previous material; Bloom was great, although I have left it midway through many times because of its tiring one-note atmosphere and song structures. This one has left me a little cold at first. It transports me to two years ago and then the two years previous to that, listening to their leaks. Same thing, different compensations. 6/10

3. I also listened to the new Destroyer and found it an emblem of mediocracy. It's the very epitome of safe. It's beautiful and expensive sounding, but everything sounds overstuffed and incredibly conventional to point of unbearableness. Indie for moms or the equivalent of David Bowie singing safe jazzy soul at Blue Note. 4/10

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby Jackson » Fri Jul 10, 2015 5:33 am

Julia Holter is returning with a new album out September 25!

The lead single, "Feel You", is beautiful on first listen:

Link

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby Maschine_Man » Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:18 am

I have a bunch of music to catch up on, but one of the albums I have listened to the last few weeks is the new Florence + The Machine album. It's fantastic from start to finish, i have a feeling it's a high contender for my AOTY.

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby whuntva » Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:06 am

Florence + The Machine-How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
Kendrick Lamar-To Pimp a Butterfly
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds-Chasing Yesterday
Civil Twilight-Story of an Immigrant (Mixed outside the singles, but still a worthwhile listen)
Dodos-Individ
Sufjan Stevens-Carrie and Lowell
Courtney Barnett-Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
Father John Misty-I Love You, Honeybear (An album I truly expected to hate I ended up really enjoying)
Bjork-Vulnicura
British India-Nothing Touches Me
Mumford and Sons-Wilder Heart
Art of Dying-Rise Up EP
AWOLNATION-Run
Mountain Goats-Beat the Champ
Sun kil Moon-Universal Themes
Birds of Tokyo-Anchor EP
Decemberists-What A Terrible World, What a Beautiful World
Doomtree-All Hands
" Ah, yes! Our meager restitution"

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby whuntva » Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:28 pm

Yep, I'm updating again. Every 2-3 albums I update, and I heard 2 just today.

Tame Impala-Currents (Heard the NPR stream. After much deliberation, I decided, yes, it is good enough to be on top for this year)
Florence + The Machine-How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
Kendrick Lamar-To Pimp a Butterfly
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds-Chasing Yesterday
Civil Twilight-Story of an Immigrant
Dodos-Individ
Sufjan Stevens-Carrie and Lowell
Courtney Barnett-Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
Father John Misty-I Love You, Honeybear
Bjork-Vulnicura
Years & Years-Communion (I feel it's underrated. Product of its time--yes, but a great product of this time)
British India-Nothing Touches Me
Mumford and Sons-Wilder Heart
Art of Dying-Rise Up EP
AWOLNATION-Run
Mountain Goats-Beat the Champ
Sun kil Moon-Universal Themes
Birds of Tokyo-Anchor EP
Decemberists-What A Terrible World, What a Beautiful World
Doomtree-All Hands
" Ah, yes! Our meager restitution"

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby notbrianeno » Wed Jul 15, 2015 1:32 am

Tame Impala-Currents (95)
Sufjan Stevens-Carrie and Lowell (93)
Bjork-Vulnicura (92)
Kendrick Lamar-To Pimp A Butterfly (91)
Lupe Fiasco-Tetsuo and Youth (87)
Sun Kil Moon-Universal Themes (87)
Various Artists-PC Music Vol. 1 (86)
Liturgy-The Ark Work (86)
Father John Misty-I Love You, Honeybear (85)
Jamie XX- In Colour (84)
Vince Staples-Summertime '06 (84)
Drake-If You're Reading This, It's Too Late (83)
Florence + The Machine-How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (83)
Susanne Sundfør-Ten Love Songs (81)
Prurient-Frozen Niagara Falls (80)
Young Thug-Barter 6 (80)
Panda Bear-Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper (78)
Shamir-Ratchet (78)
Bob Dylan-Shadows in the Night (78)
Miguel-Wildheart (76)
Tyler, The Creator-Cherry Bomb (75)
Twin Shadow-Eclipse (74)
Blur-The Magic Whip (72)
Purity Ring-Another Eternity (71)
Hot Chip-Why Make Sense? (70)
Modest Mouse-Strangers to Ourselves (70)
Jlin-Dark Energy (70)
Belle & Sebastian-Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance (65)
Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment-Surf (65)
Sleater Kinney-No Cities To Love (65)
Holly Herndon-Platform (65)
Godspeed You! Black Emperor-Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress (60)
Big Sean-Dark Sky Paradise (60)
Kamasi Washington-The Epic (60)
Courtney Barnett-Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit (60)
Passion Pit-Kindred (55)
Natalie Prass-Natalie Prass (55)
Viet Cong-Viet Cong (50)
A$AP Rocky- At.Long.Last.A$AP (40)
The Decemberists-What A Beautiful World, What A Terrible World (40)
Fall Out Boy-American Beauty/American Psycho (40)
Hudson Mohawke-Lantern (30)
Will Butler-Policy (30)
Doomtree-All Hands (30)
Twenty One Pilots-Blurryface (20)
Tobias Jesso Jr.-Goon (20)

An impeccably produced pop album. Currents is an amazing effort of emotive, honest songwriting and lavish production in the long tradition of artists like 10cc, Peter Frampton, ELO, and Steely Dan. Kevin has transcended the psychedelic revivalism of his previous records to create a release that renders the borders and labels of indie, rock, and pop irrelevant. Most band follow a successful album like Lonerismwith either a radical left-turn from the sound that brought them success, or retreat further into their existing style rather that rising to the challenge of their previous album. Currents is a bold evolution of Kevin Parker's vision, both unafraid of reaching the mainstream yet willing to take risks most indie bands would shrink from.

PC Music Volume 1 was irresistible. Pitch shifted, androgynous vocals paired with sugary synths. Underneath the neon bright thump however lies almost sinister undertones. Definitely looking forward to more postmodern bubblegum pop from this group.

Summertime '06 is yet another great release in a string of excellent rap albums in 2015. Though the album boasts a similar concept to good kid, m.A.A.d. city, Vince Staples debut album establishes him as a dark counterpart to his fellow new schoolers such as Kendrick Lamar, through dark grimy production from No ID, and Vince's own combination of black humor, nihilism, and gritty realism. Instead of seeking to tell a linear storyline, the album instead focuses on establishing the bleak circumstances of Staples' adolescence in Long Beach. Another great addition to the new school canon.

Wildheart by Miguel starts out extremely promising, but is compromised ultimately by its lack of cohesion and the dip in songwriting of the albums back half. Certainly an ambitious effort from an extremely talented artist, who I'm hoping can learn from the drawbacks of this release for his next project.
Current AOTY 2018: Daughters |You Won't Get What You Want
Current SOTY 2018: Mitski | "Geyser"

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby DocBrown » Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:52 pm

I remember hearing something years ago hypothesizing that Hip Hop and traditional Country come from the same place. It is the place where young, poor, disenfranchised men can legitimately enjoy poetry without fear of censure.

Despite all the great Hip Hop albums being talked about in 2015, I feel the best poetry of the year will be found in Jason Isbell's Something More Than Free. While 2013's Southeastern was almost enough to overcome the forum's usual antipathy to country music, this is a far superior album, and my new album of the year candidate. It certainly has enough southern twang to set your teeth on edge if you're not a natural country listener (I'm not) but while the arrangements are pretty standard Nashville fare, this is perhaps the most lyrically diverse and challenging record ever from Isbell (who was the best writer ever to pass through the DBT catalogue, in my opinion.)

Wilco's surprise drop of Star Wars on Thursday was the highlight of my week. I'm withholding judgement until I've given it a few more listens, but I hear echoes of the sonic imagination of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot here. That might be a bad thing thirteen years later, but I've recently bumped YHF up to number one on my all-time list, so you'll get no complaints from me. In fact, I can see Star Wars becoming my third, or even second favourite Wilco album.

Also new on my rotation is Wolf Alice's My Love Is Cool, a brilliant debut by a London Noise Pop band. Like Speedy Ortiz's sophomore effort, you have to ask whether you can still call it noise pop when an album is this brilliantly produced, clean and crisp sounding.

Unfortunately, I can't share the love for Tame Impala's Currents. A completely uninspired, formulaic synth pop album, this is a huge step backward from Lonerism.

RYM is down this morning, so I might be missing a few things from this list, but here's an updated top twenty.

1. Jason Isbell | Something More Than Free
2. Speedy Ortiz | Foil Deer
3. Torres | Sprinter
4. Wolf Alice | My Love Is Cool
5. Godspeed You! Black Emperor | 'Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress'
6. Wilco | Star Wars
7. Admiral Fallow | Tiny Rewards
8. Alabama Shakes | Sound & Color
9. Laura Marling | Short Movie
10. Björk | Vulnicura
11. San Fermin | Jackrabbit
12. The White Birch | The Weight of Spring
13. Built to Spill | Untethered Moon
14. Viet Cong | Viet Cong
15. Gretchen Peters | Blackbirds
16. Sleater-Kinney | No Cities to Love
17. Screaming Females | Rose Mountain
18. Dan Mangan + Blacksmith | Club Meds
19. AWOLNATION | Run
20. Modest Mouse | Strangers to Ourselves

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby Nick » Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:49 pm

Just heard the new Titus Andronicus album, which is streaming over at NPR.

It's 98 minutes long and...well, it's certainly good, but I can't exactly say that it justifies its extremely long runtime. It's supposedly a rock opera, but don't ask me what the story was, because I didn't catch any of it.
I've seen some people call this album as masterpiece or one of the best of the year. Frankly, this album is neither. It's a good album that desperately needed someone to cut the fat away from it.

There's a single 7 minute long song in the middle of the album which is just silence. Yeah, nothing else, just silence.

"Dimed Out" is still one of the best songs of the year though.

7/10? Maybe?

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby Jirin » Sat Jul 25, 2015 10:48 pm

New top 20 from me:

1. Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress
2. Sleater-Kinney - No Cities To Love
3. Viet Cong - Viet Cong
4. Mount Eerie - Sauna
5. Waxahatchee - Ivy Tripp
6. Lonelady - Hinterland
7. Nicholas Krgovich - On Cahuenga
8. Cannibal Ox - Blade Of The Ronin
9. Bop English - Constant Bop
10. Stone Jack Jones - Love & Torture
11. Gill Landry - Gill Landry
12. Tonik Ensemble - Snapshots
13. Olafur Arnalds & Alice Sara Ott - The Chopin Project
14. Shamir - Ratchet
15. Matthew E White - Fresh Blood
16. The Tallest Man On Earth - Dark Bird Is Home
17. Punch Brothers - Phosphorescent Blues
18. Pond - Man It Feels Like Space Again
19. James McMurtry - Complicated Game
20. Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby Nick » Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:17 pm

Just hit the big four oh, so here we go...

1. Kendrick Lamar- To Pimp a Butterfly: 95

2. Tame Impala- Currents: 85
3. Jamie xx- In Colour: 85
4. Father John Misty- I Love You, Honeybear: 85
5. Sufjan Stevens- Carrie & Lowell: 85

6. Dr. Dre- Compton: 80
7. Björk- Vulnicura: 80
8. Shamir- Ratchet: 80
9. Sleater-Kinney- No Cities to Love: 80
10. Blur- The Magic Whip: 80
11. Kamasi Washington- The Epic: 80
12. Tobias Jesso Jr.- Goon: 80
13. Unknown Mortal Orchestra- Multi-Love: 80
14. Panda Bear- Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper: 80

15. Viet Cong- Viet Cong: 75
16. Alabama Shakes- Sound & Color: 75
17. Courtney Barnett- Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit: 75
18. Titus Andronicus- The Most Lamentable Tragedy: 75
19. Miguel- Wildheart: 75
20. Four Tet- Morning/Evening: 75

21. Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment- Surf: 70
22. Drake- If You're Reading This It's Too Late: 70
23. Natalie Prass- Natalie Prass: 70
24. Wilco- Star Wars: 70
25. Holly Herndon- Platform: 70
26. Vince Staples- Summertime '06: 70
27. Day Ravies- Under the Lamp (EP): 70
28. Thundercat- The Beyond/Where Giants Roam: 70
29. Passion Pit- Kindred: 70
30. Godspeed You! Black Emperor- Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress: 70

31. Eternal Summers: Gold and Stone: 65
32. Clark- Flame Rave (EP): 65
33. Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds- Chasing Yesterday: 65
34. Bob Dylan- Shadows in the Night: 65

35. Todd Terje- It's It's Remix Time Time (EP): 60
36. Mac DeMarco- Another One (EP): 60
37. Sun Kil Moon- Universal Themes: 60

38. Modest Mouse- Strangers to Ourselves: 55
39. Joey Badass- B4.Da.$$: 55

40. A$AP Rocky- At. Long. Last. A$AP: 40

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby drewcannon3 » Wed Aug 12, 2015 6:34 pm

1. Best Coast - California Nights
2. Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
3. Wolf Alice - My Love Is Cool
4. Marina and the Diamonds - FROOT
5. Bully - Feels Like
6. Waxahatchee - Ivy Tripp
7. Leon Bridges - Coming Home
8. Lord Huron - Strange Trails
9. Screaming Females - Rose Mountain
10. Wardell - Love / Idleness

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby Maschine_Man » Wed Aug 12, 2015 6:53 pm

A quick update, I was pleasantly surprised by Colleen Green and The Chemical Brothers but Florence has knocked it out of the park this time.A brilliant, emotional and catchy album.

Great
Florence + The Machine - How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
Bjork - Vulnicura
Will Butler - Policy
Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit And Think...
Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear
Lonelady - Hinterland
Kate Peirson - Guitars and Microphones
Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color
Blur - The Magic Whip
Sufjan Stevens - Carrie and Lowell

Good
Villagers - Darling Arethmatic
Colleen Green - I Want To Grow Up
Laura Marling - Short Movie
Natalie Prass - Natalie Prass
The Chemical Brothers - Born In The Echos
Sleater Kinney - No Cities To Love
Hot Chip - Why Make Sense?
Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly
Shamir - Rachet
Husbands - Husbands
Tobias Jesso Jr. - Goon
Young Fathers - White Men Are Black Men Too
Django Django - Born Under Saturn
Bob English - Constant Bop

Okay
Matthew E White - Fresh Blood
Everything Everything - Get To Heaven
Panda Bear - Panda Bear Meet The Grim Reaper
Gaz Coombes - Matador
Brandon Flowers - The Desired Effect
Public Service Broadcasting - The Race For Space
Mark Ronson - Uptown Special

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notbrianeno
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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby notbrianeno » Thu Aug 13, 2015 1:25 am

Tame Impala-Currents (94)
Bjork-Vulnicura (92)
Drake-If You're Reading This, It's Too Late (92)
Kendrick Lamar-To Pimp A Butterfly (91)
Father John Misty-I Love You, Honeybear (89)
Sufjan Stevens-Carrie and Lowell (88)
Lupe Fiasco-Tetsuo and Youth (87)
Beach House-Depression Cherry (87)
Various Artists-PC Music Vol. 1 (86)
Liturgy-The Ark Work (86)
Sannhet-Revisionist (85)
Young Fathers-White Men Are Black Men Too (85)
Jamie XX- In Colour (84)
Jim O'Rourke-Simple Songs (84)
Vince Staples-Summertime '06 (84)
Sun Kil Moon-Universal Themes (84)
Django Django-Born Under Saturn (83)
Florence + The Machine-How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (83)
Four Tet-Morning/Evening (83)
Susanne Sundfør-Ten Love Songs (81)
Ash Koosha-Guud (81)
Prurient-Frozen Niagara Falls (80)
Young Thug-Barter 6 (80)
Panda Bear-Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper (78)
Shamir-Ratchet (78)
Bob Dylan-Shadows in the Night (78)
Miguel-Wildheart (76)
Nicolas Jaar-Pomegranates (76)
Tyler, The Creator-Cherry Bomb (75)
Twin Shadow-Eclipse (74)
San Firmin-Jackrabbit (73)
Blur-The Magic Whip (72)
Purity Ring-Another Eternity (71)
Hot Chip-Why Make Sense? (70)
Modest Mouse-Strangers to Ourselves (70)
Jlin-Dark Energy (70)
Belle & Sebastian-Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance (65)
Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment-Surf (65)
Sleater Kinney-No Cities To Love (65)
Unknown Mortal Orchestra-Multi-Love (65)
Holly Herndon-Platform (65)
Speedy Ortiz-Foil Deer (65)
Godspeed You! Black Emperor-Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress (60)
Big Sean-Dark Sky Paradise (60)
Kamasi Washington-The Epic (60)
Titus Andronicus-The Most Lamentable Tragedy (60)
Shlomo-Dark Red (60)
Courtney Barnett-Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit (60)
Mount Eerie-Sauna (60)
Passion Pit-Kindred (55)
Natalie Prass-Natalie Prass (55)
Viet Cong-Viet Cong (50)
A$AP Rocky- At.Long.Last.A$AP (40)
The Decemberists-What A Beautiful World, What A Terrible World (40)
Fall Out Boy-American Beauty/American Psycho (40)
Hudson Mohawke-Lantern (30)
Will Butler-Policy (30)
Doomtree-All Hands (30)
Twenty One Pilots-Blurryface (20)
Tobias Jesso Jr.-Goon (20)
Last edited by notbrianeno on Thu Aug 13, 2015 1:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
Current AOTY 2018: Daughters |You Won't Get What You Want
Current SOTY 2018: Mitski | "Geyser"

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby whuntva » Thu Aug 13, 2015 1:26 am

Tame Impala-Currents
Florence + The Machine-How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
Kendrick Lamar-To Pimp a Butterfly
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds-Chasing Yesterday
Civil Twilight-Story of an Immigrant
Jason Isbell-Something More than Free (Great lyrics and some memorable songs; almost tied with Story of an Immigrant)
Dodos-Individ
Sufjan Stevens-Carrie and Lowell
Courtney Barnett-Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
Father John Misty-I Love You, Honeybear
Bjork-Vulnicura
Years & Years-Communion
British India-Nothing Touches Me
Mumford and Sons-Wilder Heart
Art of Dying-Rise Up EP
Titus Andronicus-A Most Lamentable Tragedy (Overlong and slow by the middle, with a confusing story, but several good standalone songs)
AWOLNATION-Run
Mountain Goats-Beat the Champ
Sun kil Moon-Universal Themes
jonathan Tyler-Holy Smokes (Too easygoing for an otherwise edgy southern rocker; disappointing but enjoyable)
Birds of Tokyo-Anchor EP
Decemberists-What A Terrible World, What a Beautiful World
Doomtree-All Hands
" Ah, yes! Our meager restitution"

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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby DocBrown » Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:44 pm

If anyone is needing a dose of Icelandic post-rock, an album not by Sigur Rós can be streamed here:
http://exclaim.ca/Music/article/sigur_r ... bum_stream

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Romain
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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby Romain » Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:12 am

Thanks Docbrown, i always search icelandic music...

Muse - Drones 5,5 The same melody 10 times, it's too much.
Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color 8,5 An excellent album again. If all the songs had been like the incredible suite of songs 4, 5, 6, 7, the note would have been even better.

Django Django - Born Under Saturn 9
Glass Animals - Zaba 8,5
Blur - The Magic Whip 8,5
Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color 8,5
Björk - Vulnicura 8,5
The Decemberists - What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World 8,5
Of Montreal - Aureate Gloom 8
Archive - Restriction 8
Belle and Sebastian - Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance 7,5
Sufjan Stevens - Carrie and Lowell 6,5
Moon Duo - Shadow Of The Sun 6,5
Benjamin Clementine - At Least For Now 6,5
FFS - FFS 6,5
Pond - Man It Feels Like Space Again 6,5
John Carpenter - John Carpenter's Lost Themes 6,5
Allah-Las - Worship the Sun 6
Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Multi-Love 6
Curtis Harding - Soul Power 6
Muse - Drones 5,5
All We Are - All We Are 5,5
Calexico - Edge Of The Sun 5,5
Jamie XX - In Colour 4,5
Toro y Moi - What For? 3

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whuntva
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Re: Albums of 2015

Postby whuntva » Wed Aug 19, 2015 2:30 am

Tame Impala-Currents
Florence + The Machine-How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
Kendrick Lamar-To Pimp a Butterfly
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds-Chasing Yesterday
Civil Twilight-Story of an Immigrant
Jason Isbell-Something More than Free
Dodos-Individ
Sufjan Stevens-Carrie and Lowell
Belle and Sebastian-Girls in Peacetime want to Dance (A few good songs, it's okay)
Courtney Barnett-Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
Father John Misty-I Love You, Honeybear
Bjork-Vulnicura
Years & Years-Communion
British India-Nothing Touches Me
Mumford and Sons-Wilder Heart
Mbongwana Star-From Kishasa (Very nice work. I just wish I spoke the language)
Art of Dying-Rise Up EP
Titus Andronicus-A Most Lamentable Tragedy
AWOLNATION-Run
Mountain Goats-Beat the Champ
Sun kil Moon-Universal Themes
jonathan Tyler-Holy Smokes
Birds of Tokyo-Anchor EP
Decemberists-What A Terrible World, What a Beautiful World
Miguel-Wildheart (Has its moments, but ultimately very inconsistent)
Muse-Drones (Title is very appropriate)
Doomtree-All Hands

Looking forward to new stuff from Editors and Deerhunter.
" Ah, yes! Our meager restitution"


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