Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and a great start to 2016. I’m ready to kick this fresh start into gear. Before I look forward though, let’s review some of my favorite albums of 2015, shall we?
Granted, I have not listened to every single record that was released during 2015, I can tell you how I feel about the ones I did grace my ears with. These, of course, are all my opinion. I’d love to hear what yours are.
My favorite albums of 2015:
BØRNS – Dopamine
I pre-ordered this on iTunes from the moment pre-ordering came available. This ’21st Century Terrestrial Luvrboy’ knocked it out of the park with the long awaited Dopamine record. Forgive my somewhat biased opinion of this West-Michigan-born synth pop star, but listen for yourself to see just how good it is.
Favorite track: Holy Ghost
Chris Stapleton – Traveller
It’s no surprise sir Stapleton ended up in my top 10. After his profound and ever-so-popular performance with Justin Timberlake at the CMA’s a few months ago, he certainly made a name for himself in the mainstream industry. If “Tennessee Whiskey” is all you’ve heard from this talent, you’re missing out on some gut-wrenching lyrics that will send you on a journey.
Favorite tracks: Parachute & Sometimes I Cry
Kacey Musgraves – Pageant Material
As a born-again country girl, Musgraves’ ‘Pagent Material’ spoke to my soul. With the utmost respect for her as a songwriter, I couldn’t wait to dissect her every lyric. The record did not disappoint, as ‘Dime Store Cowgirl’ and ‘Good Ol’ Boys Club’ quickly climbed to the top of my favorite song list. I think that entitles Luke Laird to an honorable mention as a co-writer.
Favorite track: Dime Store Cowgirl
Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors – Medicine
Smooth like butter and sweet like honey, Holcomb’s sound is one that cannot be duplicated. He and the Neighbors continued to draw inspiration from personal relationships with ‘Medicine’ and the result was nothing short of beautiful.
Favorite track: American Beauty
Justin Bieber – Purpose
All aboard the belieber bandwagon! I have to admit, I was one of the many that didn’t believe my ears when others raved about how great this album was. I decided to put this record on my commute to work this morning and was instantly eating crow. Without a shred of doubt, his new music boasts growth musically and spiritually. I never thought those words would come out of me. This record just may make you a Belieber.
Favorite track: Love Yourself
Lord Huron – Strange Trails
There’s something I’ve always loved about the melodic sound of Lord Huron. Maybe it’s the high reverb or balladic tempos, or maybe it’s just the way it intentionally produces a specific mood when you listen to it. Much like his debut full-length record “Lonesome Dreams”, this one captures the essence of earthy, outdoorsy elements.
Favorite tracks: Fool for Love & Meet Me in the Woods
The Weeknd – Beauty Behind the Madness
This album is something else. Although my music familiarity doesn’t typically stretch beyond indie/folk/rock, this r&b record is completely worth a listen or twenty. His inventive and poetic ways have gathered quite the cult following, too.
Favorite tracks: The Hills & Shameless
Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color
Southern soul-filled music can almost always find its way into my heart. Alabama Shakes’ ‘Sound & Color’, was no exception. With a bit of a differing sound than originally expressed in their prior album ‘Boys & Girls’, they boast r&b tones with a touch of swampy jazz.
Favorite track: Miss You
The Lone Bellow – Then Came the Morning
It had felt like eternity waiting for their sophomore album after the 2013 release of their debut self-titled record “The Lone Bellow”. But, after seeing them play at a secret show here in Nashville through Cause a Scene, I had seen the light. After a taste of their new music, I was delighted with the release of “Then Came the Morning”. Who doesn’t love a good stomp and clap record, anyway?
Favorite track: Heaven Don’t Call Me Home
Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free
Jason Isbell has a way of breaking my heart into a million pieces while tragically begging for more. As an old-time fan of Drive-By Truckers, I adore Isbell’s lyrical storytelling. If you admire great and honest songwriting, there’s no reason you shouldn’t like this album.
Favorite tracks: How to Forget & 24 Frames
And for probably my most biased opinion yet (but seriously, it’s amazing), check out Steve Rivers‘ album “No Boundaries” that was released in August. It’s available here on iTunes.
My most anticipated albums of 2016 include NEEDTOBREATHE’s record that is in the works, The Wild Feathers- Lonely is a Lifetime, and new music from Colony House.
What were your favorite albums of 2015?