20. Gaz Coombes … Matador
Coombes was the musical brains behind the late, lamented Supergrass, and this is his second solo album. It's more oblique than his work with the band, but the strong songwriting happily remains intact.
19. Crushed Beaks … Scatter
An youthful indie trio from London. Not yet fully formed, though with a sound that pleases.
18.Titus Andronicus … The Most Lamentable Tragedy
The only reason this album doesn't rank more highly is because a 29-track rock opera about mental illness takes a very long time to digest. I'll be listening to this for months to come. The band itself is beyond easy classification; the review quoted below mentions the Clash, Billy Joel, the Pogues and the E Street Band, and yes, they're all here, somewhere.
The Most Lamentable Tragedy is a story told in five acts that follows the Hero, an unnamed man (who's someone like Patrick Stickles) in an unnamed city (which is somewhere like New York) grappling with his neuroses. He's confronted by his doppelgänger—an alternate self that seems to have everything figured out, and pushes him to find solace outside of sin. It’s a protracted allegory for manic depression, which Stickles has publicly struggled with since the band first came to attention.
17. The Libertines … Anthems for Doomed Youth
An above average British pop band gets back together, and contributes a paean to Jeff Gahan's New Albany: "We're going nowhere ... but nowhere's on our way."
16. Paul Weller … Saturn’s Pattern
Famously of the Jam and Style Council, Paul Weller has become one of those veteran musicians who cannot not be tasteful and compelling in everything he does. This release is (perhaps) jazzier than Weller's recent output. Note to baffled local drivers: See how easily Weller navigates the roundabout at 0:53 of the video?
Roger’s Year in Music 2015 (Part 4): My Top Twenty Albums, 20 - 16.
Roger’s Year in Music 2015 (Part 5): A few album odds and ends.
Roger's Year in Music 2015 (Part 6): Five musical news items not classifiable by album release.
Roger's Year in Music 2015 (Part 7): The band Lynched, and New Albany's perpetual drone.
Roger’s Year in Music 2015 (Part 8): How did I die? A WWI lamentation.
Roger’s Year in Music 2015 (Part 9): Kamasi Washington and his Epic.
Roger’s Year in Music 2015 (Part 10): But first, some 2014 leftovers.