15. The Decemberists … What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World
Clever and tuneful as always, with a pervasive wittiness encapsulated by the album's opening cut, in which the singer tries to reason with his fans.
14. Blur … The Magic Whip
Back in the 1990s, when Oasis recharged my adoration for all things Brit pop/rock, I wasn't aware of a rivalry between the Gallaghers and Blur, which became a cultural marker of sorts in the UK. I merely liked both bands for different reasons, and still do.
13. Squeeze … Cradle to the Grave
When it comes to great post-Beatles pop songwriting teams, I genuinely believe Difford and Tilbrook deserve to be included in the discussion, alongside the likes of Elton John/Bernie Taupin.
With its best songs vividly referencing the 70s South London landscape of Difford and Tilbrook’s youth, FTCTTG is frequently nostalgic, yet it’s largely upbeat and mostly eminently radio-friendly.
12. Florence + The Machine … How Big How Blue How Beautiful
I have no profundity to offer, apart from enjoying the vibe ... and I'm a sucker for music about lost causes, and one's principled defiance in their wake.
11. Muse … Drones
As thematic musical concepts go, perhaps militarization borne of drones isn't a shtick designed to capture addled minds -- though why not? Drones kill enemies, but isn't this the stuff of dystopian science fiction come to fruition? Isn't this as deserving of scrutiny as the Vietnam War? There's a protest here somewhere, right? I have no answers, and neither do Muse. The fact is, I've come to love the band's bombast, even if its reach exceeds grasp.
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.