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The Best of 2015: rock nyc Best Songs In Order And Reviewed Through June 30th, 2015

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1 – Fatal Flaw – Titus Andronicus – As we get closer to the release of The Most Lamentable Tragedy, it becomes clear there is a whole lot of baggage to go along with Patrick Stickles epic disaster disaster, sort of “Inside Outside” for solipsistic egomaniacs. And with songs as great as this, a flat out masterpiece and one of his greatest Stickles’ songs of all time, I could care less.

2 – L$D – A$AP Rocky – As in love, sex and drugs, this is a hallucination of a mood song, though well tinged by weed as well, so everything drags behind the beat and the sex is wet and exciting but slow and druggy.

3 – Norf Norf – Vince STaples – Another Odd Future alumni not even close to being on my radar till now, his new album is a masterful horror story about money and dying in East L.A> This song has best piece insight on the album: “”I never run from anything but the police”.

4 – 24 Frames – Jason Isbell – Isbell is a songwriters songwriter, the level of passionate thought, of terror and of hardship, of life as seen, and also catchiness and hookiness (all the “this is how you…” stuff), makes for an undeniable masterpiece.

5 – Old Rock N Roll – Young Fathers – The Scottish Nigerian trio suggest here something that is just about self-evident, “I’m tired of playing the good black, I’m trying to have to hold back”. Which makes sense but not as much as Young Fathers equating racism with money and power. Which is where the real stuff is.

6 – The Blacker The Berry – Kendrick Lamar – This is what rap needs to be. This is where art and politics intermingle. This is self-confidence without bullshit

7 – Really Love – D’Angelo – Really released late 2014 of course, still, it lives on as a 2015 song. A ballad as good as anything but the best he has ever written.

8 – Song Of Life – David Bronson – The song allows the great singer songwriter to pinpoint his concerns and also to answer his concerns: it is where he answer the one question, how to live with love.

9 – Joan Of Arc – Madonna – An impossibly fragile Madge, shows her heart is going up in flames as scumbugs like yours truly put her through the ringer for being a middle aged diva well past her prime. Which she might well be, but you can’t tell from this song.

10 – I Took A Pill In Ibiza – Mike Posner – Quite possibly the most beautiful sad song of the year.

11 – Shoegaze – Alabama Shakes – This is the great pop move that allows the band to fuck about with the rest of the songs structures, it’s like it proves they know what they are doing because they’ve proven they can do this.

12 – That Means A Lot – The Weeklings – One of the greatest Beatles covers i’ve ever heard.

13 – I Want You Back – Tony Succar and Tito Nieves – Horns aplenty on this splendid Latin American style remake.

14 – All Your Favorite Bands – Dawes – I am ready to forgive Dawes every single I hate about them on the strength of this great benediction.

15 – Up Above My Head – Rhiannon Giddens – Her achievement on this is not to improve on Sister Rosetta Tharpe, nigh on impossible, but to sing it beautiful and to make make some of its heaven Rhiannon’s very own.

16 – No Cities to Love – Sleater-Kinney – If this isn’t agitprop, than what is it. If they aren’t rebuilding David Byrne, or rebuilding where you live or why, they are teaching you how to choose better.

17- Jules – Rhett Miller – Weak guy, strong woman, “there’s no such thing as rescuing a boy who’s broke in two” says it all.

18 – Murder In The City – Brandi Carlile – The last song on the album, and the best, a sad story of familial regard, disregard, futures and passed, “I’m proud of you both in so many different ways”, the father says to his children. A stunning song.

19 – Another World – Dwight Yoakam – Timeless country rocker

20 – Before This World/Jolly Springtime – James Taylor – One of his best songs, a deeply felt ode to joy or at least to life, self help in the Spring.

21 – Jet Pack Blues – Fall Out Boy – As a lyricist Pete Wentz is a child of his emo rock urges, the strange drawn out song titles that turn and move in ways you don’t expect. Except it never quite manages to pay off well enough. Except this one does, a masterpiece of lost love which uses Judy Jetson’s mobility as a future history of a disappeared love

22 – Fool For Love – Lord Huron – I bet they don’t have another song this great in em, and I bet this is a song this great. Even the intro is excellent

23  – Love 3X – Ward – Ward the blue artist we know, but Ward the cray girlfriend as pop star is a new one.

24 – Go Out – Blur – droning guitars meets an addictive chorus,when was the last time Damon was involved in an addictive chorus

25 – Honey Trap – Shinobi Ninja – Without a doubt, the best guitar hook the band has ever come up with.

26 – Underwater – Matt Whipkey – The best rock song you won’t hear this year

27 – Top Shelf Drug – Ryan Bingham – Terrific metaphor for love for a song that sounds like a cross between love and Exile

28- 6pm In New York – Drake – “oh you gotta love it”, now this is unbridled ego.

29 – Day Dreams – AraabMuzik – The new album hasn’t dropped yet so this will have to hold you

30 – Feeling OK – Best Coast – A really terrific love song off the new album, really it deserves to be a hit.

31 – Moaning Lisa Smile – Wolf Alice – This is their moment, and here they bask in it.

32 – The Valley – Miguel – Off an album of the year, this is filthy dirty porn love sex.

33 – People Want To Hear About Love – Neil Young And Promise Of The Real – If we are gonna get lectured, this is the way to do it.

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