1 – 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.
2 – 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 aundeniable masterpiece.
3 – 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.
4 – 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
5 – 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.
6 – 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.
7 – 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.
8 – Dimed Out – Titus Andronicus – There is simply no better indie rock songwriter than Patrick, this promises a lot from the upcoming rock opera.
9 – 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.
10 – That Means A Lot – The Weeklings – One of the greatest Beatles covers i’ve ever heard.
11 – I Want You Back – Tony Succar and Tito Nieves – Horns aplenty on this splendid Latin American style remake.
12 – 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.
13 – 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.
14 – Jules – Rhett Miller – Weak guy, strong woman, “there’s no such thing as rescuing a boy who’s broke in two” says it all.
15 – 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.
16 – Another World – Dwight Yoakam – Timeless country rocker
17 – 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
18 – 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
19 – 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.
20 – Love 3X – Ward – Ward the blue artist we know, but Ward the cray girlfriend as pop star is a new one.
21 – Go Out – Blur – droning guitars meets an addictive chorus,when was the last time Damon was involved in an addictive chorus
22 – Honey Trap – Shinobi Ninja – Without a doubt, the best guitar hook the band has ever come up with.
23 – Underwater – Matt Whipkey – The best rock song you won’t hear this year
24 – Top Shelf Drug – Ryan Bingham – Terrific metaphor for love for a song that sounds like a cross between love and Exile
25 – 6pm In New York – Drake – “oh you gotta love it”, now this is unbridled ego.
26 – Before The World Was Big – Girlpool – This sounds like the Roches if the Roches weren’t so much or Girlpool wasn’t so damn LA. A completely lovely fingerpainted art popper
27 – Feeling OK – Best Coast – A really terrific love song off the new album, really it deserves o be a hit.
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