Saturday, January 02, 2016

Roger’s Year in Music 2015 (Part 2): My Top Twenty Albums, 10 - 6.

In the world of pop/rock music that interests Roger (that's me, you know), 2015 wasn't as strong as 2014 from top to bottom; however, the Top Ten for 2015 is balanced and memorable, and might be reshuffled in any number of configurations.

Here is finality.

For now.

10. New Order … Music Complete
Panned and praised in equal measure, the album's critical reception seems largely predicated on whether the listener approves or disapproves of the absence of founding member and bassist Peter Hook. Verily, it is regrettable that he's gone, but the results here dispel at least some of the persistent acrimony of the split, with lessons aplenty for me as I prepare for plank walking. As is the case with so many new releases by veteran acts, Music Complete compelled a week-long immersion in New Order's "classics" from the 1980s and early 1990s, and it was virtuous, indeed.

9. Peace … Happy People
Is Peace "vanilla indie designed by committee" (The Guardian) or buoyantly proud 90s-influenced Brit Pop? Obviously, I opt for the latter. Melody, damn it. MELODY.

8. Def Leppard … Def Leppard
Metaphorically, we all possess our own personal Def Leppard, something about which it is impossible to be entirely objective. I stand before you with an unrepentant guilty plea. This said, the band plays like Def Leppard, sounds like Def Leppard, and so must be Def Leppard. This is not a bad development. Also, note that this is a band, period -- not a "hair band." Please cease insulting the lads from Sheffield, or you'll have to answer to me (see "non-objective").

7. Duran Duran … Paper Gods
The band's last album was filled with fine pop songs, and generally avoided production values aimed at contemporary relevance. The latter return with Paper Gods, and at first listen, I hated it ... yet even so, a couple of ear worms already had scored access. The second listen was far better, and number three had me. Duran Duran has remained a real working band, one deserving of more credit than it usually receives.

6. Foals … What Went Down
NME gets the call. I love this band, their new album and this description.

For ‘What Went Down’, written in their Oxford “stinkbox”, they have found their fulcrum. Riffs. Massive, fucking heavy cavern rock riffs, the size of cathedrals and the weight of God’s balls. They slammed into your eardrums like wrecking balls the first time you heard the compulsive title-track, aghast that these desert rock goliaths could be the same band that sounded like frivolous disco pixies just two years ago.


Roger’s Year in Music 2015 (Part 2): My Top Twenty Albums, 10 - 6.

Roger’s Year in Music 2015 (Part 3): My Top Twenty Albums, 15 - 11.

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.

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