Sunday, December 27, 2015

Top CDs of 2015 - #4 & #3

You have landed on one singer/songwriter's list of the Top 10 Albums of 2015. What makes my list more important than someone else's? Nothing. Just some ramblings from me to you. Me giving praise to CDs that got me through the year. CDs that inspired me. CDs that I think you should consider for your own collection because I am obviously egocentric and think you should like what I like.

I am releasing two CDs a day in new blog posts until I get to all ten, so you do not have to bother yourself with scrolling to get to the new information. For those jumping in mid-list. If you want to know what's come before, you can read the full blog HERE.

#4 Alabama Shakes –Sound & Color: Well, you should know that the placement of this album at #4 has placed me in the doghouse with my wife. If Amanda was writing this list, Sound & Color would get the top honors, but she’s not, and I need to remain authentic. I love this recording and am continually impressed with each listen. They are spreading the fabric of soul, refusing to be locked into patterns and instrumentation. When incredible singers, such as Adele, are listing you as a favorite:

As a band I love their vibe, the way they look and interact – all with their own little character going on, but I'm obsessed with (lead singer) Brittany Howard. There's something about Brittany that puts fire in my soul. She reminds me of Etta James, Ann Peebles – she's so fucking full of soul, overflowing, dripping, that I almost can't handle it.
You’ve officially earned your badassery. Everything Adele says is true, as is every reason my wife has for Sound & Color being higher on the list, but the wall I run into is connection. At my core, I am a writer, as a result I am drawn to strong lyrics, lines like this Tom Waits gem, “And the sky turned the color of Pepto Bismol.” I want to peel back the layers. I want to hear phrases that paint pictures for me when I close my eyes. I want the details, what the room smelled like, how your skin felt, what you were wearing, who else was there. I want to be in the moment with every one of my senses. And while this album gives me all the feels, for the most part, my mind is blank when listening with shutters drawn. Sometimes music transcends lyrics. I appreciate that concept, which is why I placed it in the Top 5. If you are a music first devotee, feel free to drop me some hate in the comments. I can take it. I’ll read them while sleeping on the couch – jokes, I am too warm for my wife to kick me out of bed J

#3 City and Colour – If I Should Go Before You: Dallas Green is back and he dropped a CD that makes me weep. Of the CDs on the list, this is the one I would be most likely to have recorded, if I had an incredible falsetto. Sonically it sits between Alt-Country and Indie Rock with ample amounts of pedal steel and atmospheric delays. If I should… was a love at first listen CD. Often, when an artist I am obsessed with releases new material it takes me a while to warm to it, as I am still clinging to the love of the previous recordings, but “Woman” smacked me in the face, held me tightly, and let me know I was loved. The 11 tracks range from sultry to contemplative. Green provides a range of emotions for his listeners to experience. Like, The Hurry and the Harm, he refuses to shy away from discussion on the finality of this existence, something a lot of us 40 somethings are tackling this New Year. Standout tracks: “Woman,” “If I should go before you,” “Friends,” and “Blood.” The recording has a nice flow allowing an easy front to back listen and it spent days on repeat in my car.    

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