My Top Albums of 2015

2014 was no 2013 in respect to the albums that were released. I don’t know if there are many other years that had as many amazing albums released as 2013 did. 2015 showed a bit more promise, leaving me a little more excited about writing this post about my favourite albums of 2015. Like last year and the year before I’ll be talking a bit about each album and posting a song to accompany the album, for those who have never listened to each respective album. This year sees an increase in bands which were given to me for review who I had never previously heard of. Almost half of the list as well as some honourable mentions have that in common, which makes this year’s Top 10 different from last year and completely different from the year before that.

#10 – The Floating Bridges “Creatures of Leisure”

Original review found here.

There were three albums that fought for the last two spots on this list. The only truly independent album on my list, The Floating BridgesCreatures of Leisure” made it thanks to its originality and uniqueness. It’s driven by a reggae rock sound but fused with so much more. It’s reggae rock songs like Dreamcatcher and Ball of Fire don’t prepare you for the edgier rock sounds of Eloquence and Home. The diversity is surprising and I can’t wait to see what lies next.

 

#9 – Torche – Restarter

Original review found here.

As much as I enjoyed Restarter, the main reason I really felt it deserves a spot on my list is thanks to Torche‘s original approach to heavy metal. Their sludgy sound and heavy backbone brings grunge and heavy metal together in such fine fashion. With slow grooves on tracks like Annihilation Affair to the fast beats of Loose Men (one of my favourite songs to come out this year) made me know almost instantly that this was an album that deserves recognition in the best way I know possible.

 

#8 – The Maine “American Candy”

Original review found here.

Pop rock at its finest. The Maine have come a long way from their bubblegum pop punk sound on their debut album Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop and have released American Candy, an album that can still appeal to the audience that desires strong hooks (I haven’t met the soul yet who didn’t immediately fall in love with Miles Away by the time it gets to its first chorus) while showing that their desire is to be taken seriously as song writers with songs like my personal favourite 24 Floors. It really started with previous album Forever Halloween, which had a bit of a darker vibe to it. This time around they brought back the hooks and kept the great lessons they learned on how to write music. Being in the genre of rock that they are in, The Maine probably wouldn’t be taken seriously by some, especially when compared to other bands on this list, but they will have to do something drastic to not be taken seriously by this fan.

 

#7 – Breaking Benjamin “Dark Before Dawn”

Original review found here.

One of my most anticipated albums on the year turned out to be worth the wait. This is comforting given the disappointments of some of the albums I was looking forward to coming out in 2015. Halestorm‘s new one comes to mind. If you know Breaking Benjamin, you know nothing much has changed in regards to their sound on this post-hiatus album, despite having a completely different band backing up founder Benjamin Burnley. It still has melodic heavy tracks like Angels Fall, heavy hitters like Bury Me Alive and the soft-yet-dark ballad Ashes of Eden.

 

#6 – Disturbed “Immortalized”

Original review found here.

These middle slots on the list are where it got kind of hard to choose the rankings. Another of the many albums I greatly anticipated in 2015, Immortalized (which also serves as another post-hiatus album) brought Disturbed back to where they left off. Actually, considering the disappointment I found previous album Asylum to be, Immortalized is much more than an album that picks up where the band left off. I wouldn’t call it the finest album by the band, but it certainly holds a high spot. Disturbed are a band that will be taken not so kindly by many metal followers. I don’t really see why, with colossally heavy tracks like the title track, and a slew of other great songs that don’t let up, including You’re Mine, which is the song I find a lot of people fancy from the album. My personal favourite is Save Our Last Goodbye. Sure there are some less than good moments like Fire It Up, and I wonder why The Light was chosen as second single from the album, but the good still greatly outweighs the bad on this adventure of a heavy metal album.

 

#5 – Blitzen Trapper “All Across This Land”

Original review found here.

This album was given to me at the perfect time. I’ve been listening to a LOT of southern rock/country rock/roots rock as of the past few months. I just can’t get enough of it. Of course that’s not the only reason I include All Across This Land on my list. It just so happens to be an intelligent output of terrific roots rock, capturing influences from Bob Dylan to Neil Young‘s folk rock sound on songs like Love Grow Cold or Across The River as well as some good Americana roots heard in the title track as well as my absolute favourite track on the album Cadillac Road.

 

#4 – Dead Sara “Pleasure To Meet You”

Original review found here.

I found Dead Sara‘s debut album absolutely groundbreaking and breathtaking, so my expectations for their long awaited follow up were tremendously high. Pleasure To Meet You just fell a little short of those expectations, but I think I just set the bar too high. However it still shows that Dead Sara’s heads are on right and that they are in as subtle a way possible a revolutionary band in the alternative genre. Mona Lisa is a song that never stuck with me. It’s a very uniquely written tune but I just never dug it properly. There are songs like Radio One Two and Lovesick that dominate though, as well as a bunch of other songs ranging from the passionate For You I Am to the neo-bluesy Blue Was The Beautiful You to the cheery rocker Something Good, all of which make for another strong output by one of my favourite modern rock bands.

 

#3 – Saint Asonia “Saint Asonia”

Original review found here.

This band and album, featuring former Three Days Grace singer Adam Gontier and Staind guitarist Mike Mushok, were announced out of the blue, but as soon as I caught wind of this I started counting the days to its release. I was first of all completely pleased at how rejuvenated Adam sounds on Saint Asonia, given how you could tell on his last Three Days Grace album (Transit of Venus) that he just wasn’t totally feeling it. Secondly, the album in general is like a stick of dynamite: exploding with tracks like Let Me Live My Life and Blow Me Wide Open as well as my favourite track Dying Slowly (another of my favourite songs released in 2015) along with some more fine slower songs to add to Adam’s repertoire like Waste My Time and Trying To Catch Up With The World, I was most satisfied with this album over any and all albums that I was anticipating the release of in 2015.

 

#2 – Royal Thunder “Crooked Doors”

Original review found here.

I gave this album a little more credit when I first heard it compared to how I see it now. At the time of initially reviewing this album I was sure it would be #1 and nothing would beat it but as I kept listening to it I saw the possibility of it being beat. I was given Crooked Doors without knowing a thing about Royal Thunder. By the first chorus of opening track Time Machine I was in love with Mlny Parsons‘ voice and the straight up hard rock sound of the track, as well as the diversity of the tracks that followed. The trans inducing Wake Up, and the psychedelic Forgive Me, Karma. Most importantly is the beautiful closing track The Bear II that perfectly ended the album in a way that just makes me want more.

 

#1 – Quiet Company “Transgressor”

Original review found here.

The most unexpected surprise of 2015 was catching Quiet Company open for Third Eye Blind during the summer and realizing quickly that I had to get their recently released album Transgressor at the merch booth. Quiet Company’s sound can be simplistically categorized as indie rock, but what they do in that genre, especially on this album, astounds me. They can get fun and quirky on songs like Mother of a Deal and Understand the Problem, they can get experimental with the heavily keyboard driven opening track Seven Hells, and they can prove to be incredibly intelligent songwriters on any of the last three tracks. Nothing, however, compares to the excellence of The Most Dangerous Game.

 

Honourable Mentions

As I mentioned way back at #10, there were three albums fighting for the last two spots. The third of those albums is Coffeepot Drive‘s album Edge of Town. This soulful rock album sure has a lot of punch to it, but ultimately it didn’t make the cut. I’m still wondering if I made the right decision because it’s a pretty dynamic output by a band that deserves the recognition. Other honourable mentions go to progressive metal band Periphery and both of their albums Juggernaut: Alpha and Juggernaut: Omega. More so the former than the latter, but both provide metal excellence. The third honorable mention is just for me, Third Eye Blind‘s Dopamine. As a diehard fan, I can’t help but be satisfied with how well Stephan Jenkins can still define a generation. It’s leading single Everything Is Easy is my favourite song of 2015.

Thanks for reading!

 

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