Monthly Archives: January 2015

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Top 10 Albums of 2015…So Far

by Jason Stone

Here are the Top Albums of 2015, so far.
We’ve had the first big change of the year. With the release of Courtney Barnett’s first proper album, it has shot to the top of my chart for the year. This album is outstanding. It’s nice expectations were met. They were high!
Click on the album cover or title to hear some music samples from each album.

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1

Courtney Barnett Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit
Is it possible a Courtney Barnett album could be my favorite two years in a row? There is a lot of year left in 2015, but it’s going to be another great album to top this one. It’s probably a good thing her voice is a little “too Australian” for some people because maybe that will keep her off American radio and keep her pure! We can only hope, right?

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2

The Amazing Picture You
Maybe it’s because their sound is so throwback to 40 years ago, but it’s hard to believe this is only their third album. It was easily my most anticipated new release of 2015 so far, and it is exactly what I was hoping for and expecting. I think Pitchfork summed it up best in its review when it wrote: “The Amazing’s previous album was called Gentle Stream and very much earned that title; this one is more like a lazy river.”

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3

Father John Misty I Love You, Honeybear
There is no doubt this will be the best lyrical album of the year — maybe the decade. Even the song titles are classic. Check out this gem from “The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apartment”: “She says, like literally, music is the air she breathes. And the malaprops make me want to fucking scream. I wonder if she even knows what that word means. Well, it’s literally not that.” It’s actually hard to believe this guy was actually in the Fleet Foxes now that we know better.

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4

The Decemberists What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World
My only gripe about The Decemberists over the years is some of their records are chores to get through because they can get intense with all the instrumentation and description of historic characters you never wanted to know about. But this album is a complete joy to listen to from start to finish. I wouldn’t be surprised if this one ends the year high on the list.

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5

The Dodos Invalid
The sixth album from his Bay Area duo has all the good elements of bands like Grizzly Bear, just maybe not as weird. This is an album that gets better with more listens, so it’s hard to judge it the first time through. We’ll see if it has staying power this year.

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6

Panda Bear Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper
Early front-runner for top album right out of the gate, only because it was the first release I played over and over again to start the year. Panda Bear is not for all moods, obviously. I’m not sure I want to see this performed live, however. I think listening loud on the headphones at home is good enough. Which reminds me, get headphones for this one.

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7

Sleater-Kinney No Cities to Love
I always wondered why Sleater-Kinney were in such a hurry and why they always seemed to be yelling about something. Somewhere along the way, I must have figured it out. Can’t wait to see them live in April.

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8

Belle & Sebastian Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance
A change of pace dance album after some lovey-dovey releases. It doesn’t hit as emotionally as most great B&S albums, but it’s still a great listen if only because “Perfect Couples” and “The Party Line” are hard to get out of your head. You know, once you realize you actually like the songs after initially dismissing them as 80s-throwback crap.

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9

Peace Happy People
I have already highlighted “World Pleasure” off this band’s second album as a Song of the Week. It’s a fun listen all the way through — in all its 80s/90s Brit glory. Some of it does feel a little forced, down to the contrived album cover and videos. But I’ll give them a break and say pass the Peace pipe.

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10

Elle King Love Stuff
You gotta love a woman who is 25, looks 35 and sounds 45. That’s about what you get with Elle King. I hear a lot of comparisons made with Amy Winehouse and Jack White, but she seems to be doing her own thing. Check out “Ex’s and Oh’s.” It’s irresistible. (Interesting fact: She’s the daughter of Rob Schneider! Making..music!)

Honorable mention