Last week we revealed our 2015 Songs of the Year, and this week we go a little bigger, with the 2015 Rock Albums of the Year. The music industry is changing and great albums are simply becoming more difficult to discover. But, thanks to a nice year of Indie Rock contributions, I came up with a good list of albums that I feel defined the year. Take a look and see if you agree.
25. Wilco – Star Wars – another eclectic record from the band, a mix of genius and borderline repetition. They gave this one away which is pretty damn cool.
24. Blur – The Magic Whip: The reunited Blur turning over some new leaves and also delivering a few comfortable tunes reminiscent of their halcyon days gone by.
23. Rightovers – Blue Blood: It’s a collection of smooth comfortable rockers, and the perfect accompaniment to a cruise along the Pacific coastline.
22. Short Skirts – Family Values: 9 songs, 19 minutes. This is the epitome of breakneck pop punk from a talented Norwegian band.
21. Tame Impala – Currents: Kevin Parker at his intimate best, charting a new melancholy course in life as they deliver more of their welcomely unique rock.
20. Welshly Arms – Welshly Arms: Ohio is where it’s at in the American rock scene these days, and these guys delivered gritty rock with a classic feel in their debut.
19. Cafeine – New Love: It’s a solid pop-rock album with a bit of a punk touch to it. A thoroughly enjoyable album with a few magnificent gems.
18. Mumford and Sons – Wilder Mind: More rock and less folk and I liked it. A lot of critics feel they sold out. Who cares about critics’ opinions? Ummmm except for mine, of course.
17. Florence & The Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful: Florence Welch at her emotional and passionate best on a killer selection of songs.
16. Soko – My Dreams Dictate My Reality: I remember Stereogum calling her music Pop-Goth – it fits perfectly. Interesting performer and even more interesting take on music.
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15. Courtney Barnett, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit: It’s garage rock with profound lyrics from an exceptional new talent with a huge future.
14. Gang of Youths – The Positions – It’s a deeply emotional, profound collection of songs with the feel of big early 80’s rock album.
13. Bring Me The Horizon – That’s The Spirit: Metalcore no more. These UK artists have hit the mainstream with a vengeance and they seem the perfect fit.
12. Diamond Youth – Nothing Matters: Diverse as hell, heavy at times, poppy at others but it all goes together nicely on their first full-length.
11. Radkey – Dark Black Makeup: The three young Radke brothers put a wonderful new spin on punk rock in their excellent debut release.
10. Kuroma – Kuromarama: 60’s Psychedelia meets 2015 Alternative Pop on this killer new project from MGMT’s Hank Sullivant.
9. Foals – What Went Down: Still what you have grown to love about the Foals, but bigger, grittier and guitarsier (yeah that’s a word).
8. Cranford Hollow – St. Telluride: Guitar-driven, fiddle-infused late-night, porch rocking, bourbon sipping music that absolutely drips with passion.
7. Pop Evil – Up: The Michigan rockers continue to grow and this collection of anthemic rockers is a great landscape for Leigh Kakaty’s talented vocal stylings.
6. Purple – 409: Fantastically diverse debut from this boy/girl Texas trio. At times pop, grunge, punk and guitar rock, but it all comes together wonderfully.
5. Le Butcherettes – A Raw Youth: The dynamic Teri Gender Bender shines on this punk/rock masterpiece in yet another wonderfully diverse album.
4. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats: Son of a bitch this is cool. What’s old is new again. Soulful, gritty rock with a sweet nostalgic feel that never gets old.
3. Twenty One Pilots – Blurryface: It’s not for everyone, but it’s easy to see why this duo has become the hottest act in the Alt-Rock universe. Diverse rock with profound lyrics from a band on the rise.
2. Frank Turner – Positive Songs For Negative People: Turner actually looking through the world through a cheerful lens and the music is just as compelling as his fantastic earlier efforts.
1. Chris Cornell – Higher Truth: Cornell shows off his chops in a catchy addictive alt-country kind of way. The music is captivating yet different, and Cornell’s exceptional vocals are the perfect accompaniment.
There you have it 25 excellent albums that defined the year in rock. What did I miss / get right?
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