Friday, December 4, 2015
The most immediate thing that stood out for me was how many of my best new artists class of 2013 made the list. It's not easy entering the scene in spectacular fashion, only to return with diminished results. But, this isn't to shame but more to encourage. For the first time, I've included albums that were not released, even though they were promised...in this social media era the fans want are promised to them and that includes new music.
Here's the list:
1. Jamaican Queens Downers: if I were Jewish, this is where I’d let out a huge ‘Oy…”
2. Cee-lo Green Heart Blanche: I blame ‘The Voice’ for this and his need to conform to modern pop expectations with some corny-ass lyrics.
3. Radkey Dark Black Makeup: punk mission detour? I hope not…
4. THEESatisfaction EarthEE: sometimes a groovy underground band stays too much—and too long—in character…
5. Mac Demarco Another One: an apt title, as opposed to The One.
6. Alabama Shakes Sound And Colour: three years is a long time between releases but, even with the band’s emerging fame, the sophomore, surprisingly, manages to box in Howard’s amazing vocals instead of setting fire to them.
7. Autre Ne Veut Age of Transparency: too early to shout one-trick pony but let’s hope when we look back on his career we won’t say ‘buy the debut and skip the rest’.
8. Lana del Rey Honeymoon: “Oh Lord, please don’t let/ me be misunderstood”, Lana croons on the ending track. I have the advice: quit with the sad, droopy music, love.
9. Charli XCX Sucker: kinda feels like a sell-out effort because we know, lyrically, she’s better than this.
10. Active Child Mercy: it’s always dismal when a talented act loses their plot and seemingly have no way of getting out of the mess. Pat Grossi used to produce mesmerizing electronic ditties but now all he cares about is expressing sadness—instead of realizing the dance genre cannot expand that way. He needs some rage and quick.
11. Summer Camp Bad Love: a perfectly charming album but we’ve heard the duo sound much arty so at this point of their career we expect much more.
12. Angel Haze Back To The Woods: technically a toss away mixtape before the real thing but it was still patchy at best.
13. Beach House Depression Cherry: when even indie critics who defend this band with their lives don’t have it in year-end top 10 lists, then you know it disappointed.
14. ASAP Rocky At Long Last ASAP: he’s started to get stuck.
15. No Kanye West or Frank Ocean album: the entire year was dominant of new work from these two and here we are still waiting.