1 – 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.
2 – 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.
3 – 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.
4- 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.
5 – 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
6 – Fairly Local – Twenty One Pilots – Extremely dramatic neo-new wave electronica, and smart as a whip. A shockingly great mix and match of Blur and any number of indie bands. .
7 – 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
8 – How Can I – Laura Marling – In which Laura mines Blue and finds herself, with an acoustic guitar and her soaring voice, with run on sentences and real sentences: “I will go anywhere with you…” Laura promises. We will see
9 – Song Of Life – David Bronson – The song 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.
10 – That Means A Lot – The Weekling – One of the greatest Beatles covers i’ve ever heard.
11 – 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.
12 – 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.
13 – Blur My Hands – Lupe Fiasco – This is where r&b meets hip hop, with a rock guitar playing winding licks right behind it.
14 – Charles De Gaulle – Letts – Great singer songwriter, “don’t walk away from me” is a great as a hook as you’ll hear this year.
15 – Honey Trap – Shinobi Ninja – Without a doubt, the best guitar hook the band has ever come up with.
16 – Underwater – Matt Whipkey – The best rock song you won’t hear this year
17 – Top Shelf Drug – Ryan Bingham – Terrific metaphor for love for a song that sounds like a cross between love and Exile
18 – 6pm In New York – Drake – “oh you gotta love it”, now this is unbridled ego.
19 – Interviews – Brodinski – ILOVEMAKONNEN plus a really great ping pongy beat.
20 – I Don’t Know her Name – Leo “Bud” Welch – This sounds like Brit blues.
21 – St. Jude – Florence + The Machine – Just when it was safe to ignore Florence Welch, she releases a ballad a s great as her best.
22 – Monterey – Milk Carton Kids – It starts like “Mona Lisa”, but that is just a feint and the band owns a new and very lovely melody.
20 – Go Out – Blur – droning guitars meets an addictive chorus,when was the last time Damon was involved in an addictive chorus
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – August 1975 (Volume 7, Number 3)
If I did fifty shows I’d get the money from one
a growling, prowling slap pump and just another all American
a 28 song full, full blown reggae rasta brilliance
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – July 1975 (Volume 7, Number 2)
the boundary breaking shock rocker of the decade
Harry seems to have it sewn up
a superb songwriter who can fill an album with excellent country mainstreamers
lovely tribute to her single mom
a classical guitarist and composer and has released more than 30 solo albums
“The song is about a mental institution”
Freakout Records Announce The 10th Annual Freakout Festival Taking Place on November 10-13 in Ballard (Seattle, WA)
a diverse arrangement of voices and sounds