As I do every year, I’m posting my favourite albums from the past 12 months. What music did you enjoy in 2015?
Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly
Epic in almost every sense of the word, this compelling tour de force from one of the most important musicians of our time will be a critical cultural and artistic reference point for generations to come. Through his rap, soul, funk, and above all, the spirit of his words, Kendrick Lamar has made me believe once again in the revolutionary power of music.
Sleater-Kinney – No Cities to Love
Musical reunions are a dime a dozen these days, and so rarely does actual new music accompany those nostalgic tours. After a hiatus of nearly a decade, this powerful rock trio returned in 2015 and surprised everyone with a record that I believe is their best ever.
High on Fire – Luminiferous
Every High on Fire album is deadly. Some are deadlier than others. This is their deadliest since Blessed Black Wings, in my opinion. If you like speed, heavy bass, and blazin’ solos in your heavy metal, this album is for you.
METZ – II
The second album from this Toronto/Ottawa three-piece is fierce, dirty, and loud, just like the first. They wear their punk/hardcore influences proudly on their sleeves to create a fervent sound. There’s nothing wrong with sticking to the formula, if it works and it slays.
KEN mode – Success
When the guy who produced In Utero gets behind the boards for the new album from one of the most unique metal bands in the world, that’s a surefire recipe for success! I’ll see myself out.
Faith No More – Sol Invictus
When I heard one of my favourite bands from my youth was putting out an album of new material after years of reunion tours, I set pretty low expectations. I was pleasantly surprised to hear interesting, original songs that take steps in a few different directions, while staying true to the band’s roots in rock and weirdness.
Torche – Restarter
Torche is the band for metal fans who like loud, crushing guitars paired with catchy, melodic vocals. The riffs are huge on this one, as usual, but there’s a harder edge to the tunes that’s a slight departure from the soaring harmonies that highlight their previous albums. As such, an already heavy band sounds even heavier.
Buffy Sainte-Marie – Power in the Blood
Speaking of revolution, she’s been leading it for five decades. Our hero came through this year and delivered a masterpiece that’s incredibly timely and vital. It transcends genre and culture, and managed to unify a collective of notorious critics who granted it the Polaris.
Slayer – Repentless
I choose to believe that Jeff Hanneman had more to do with this than he gets credit for. RIP.
BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah – Sour Soul
The foundation of music here is pretty good, but it’s really Ghostface and his guests that make this record exceptional. He could rap over the ambient sound of a construction site and yield something enjoyable.
Cris Derksen – Orchestral Powwow
The Dead Weather – Dodge and Burn
Baroness – Purple
Eagles of Death Metal – Zipper Down
My Morning Jacket – The Waterfall