Well, another year, another top 10 list. Each year I also proclaim that I will blog more, and this year will be no different. Keeping that discussion to the end of this post, it’s been a very good year for music with lots of great albums from the usual suspects, and a few new additions. Those honorable mentions not in my top 10 include (alphabetical):
- Lee Harvey Osmond, Beautiful Scars
- Metric, Pagans in Vegas
- Ron Sexsmith, Carousel One
- Sarah MacDougall, Grand Canyon
- Slayer, Repentless
Ok, “So Let’s Go” and jump right in!
10. The Acorn, Vieux Loup. The Acorn hail from Ottawa, Ontario. I have been a fan of the band since I first heard their 2007 album, Glory Hope Mountain (around 2007). All of The Acorn’s albums are distinctly ethereal. They always put me in a good place, and this album is no different. My favorites include: In Silence, Rapids, Palm Springs, and Dominion
09. City and Colour, If I Should Go Before You. AKA, Dallas Green, a highly skilled, consummate musician. On this album, he breaks free(er) from his past, largely acoustic efforts. However, the fact of the matter is, it’s still great! My favorites include: Mizzy C, Wasted Love, If I Should Go Before You, Northern Blues, Lover Come Back, and Runaway.
08. Adele, 25. Every now and then, there comes along a musician who is simply, and wonderfully fantastic. Adele is an example of a singer who is this for me. Her voice simply one of the best there is! My favorites include: Water Under the Bridge, Send My Love, River Lea, Hello, and Million Years Ago
07. Colin Linden, Rich in Love. I was first exposed to Colin’s music when becoming a huge fan of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings (BARK), which Colin is 1/3 of (Stephen Fearing and Tom Wilson making up the other thirds). Going back and listening to his many albums I realized Colin is not only a giant talent in the Canadian music scene, but globally as well (recording and playing with many greats). This album is such a delight! My favorites include: Everybody Ought to be Loved, And Then You Begin, No More Cheap Wine, Knob and Tube, Delia Come for Me, and all others! Unfortunately I could not find a full version youtube of a track on his new album, but here is a teaser
06. Disturbed, Immortalized. Back after a little bit of a hiatus, “The Guy” and his troops have come roaring back. This band is one of my favorite bands. Many of their songs come with excellent, politically charged narratives that simply speak to me. Many of their tunes are some of the best there is in heavy metal world. Their last album, “Asylum” did not make my top 10 list of that year but later became one of my most played albums and is still in high rotation. This album is represented here in my top 10 and I’m convinced I’ll be listening to it for years to come. A great album indeed. As an aside, I’m looking forward to finally seeing these folks live in 2016 in Moose Jaw! My favorites include: The Vengeful One, What Are You Waiting For, Open Your Eyes, The Light, Who, Immortalized, and Who Taught You How To Hate.
05. Rah Rah, Vessels. Another great album from these very fine Regina indie rockers. Actually, they have always been my favorite band from my little city. Every song on this album is great, complete with catchy and groovy…well, grooves! (wow…lame…ha). Picking favorites: Chip of the Heart, A Love that Sticks, All I Got, Fix Me. Actually, I thoroughly enjoy every tune on this album!
04. Faith No More, Sol Invictus. I never thought I would hear new music these fine folks again after they broke up in the late 1990’s. Always one of my most favorite bands, they do not disappoint on their latest. Sol Invictus is classic Faith No More, complete with funky grooves, metal epicness, with, as always, a dash of humor added. Their music just speaks to me on a certain level. I enjoy all songs on this album, but if picking a few favorites: Rise of the Fall, Sunny Side Up, Separation Anxiety, Matador, Superhero, and Motherfucker.
03. Mumford and Sons, Wilder Mind. There is no denying that this band is one of the greats and will likely go down in the history of musical lore as being such. On their 2015 album, they took a lot of heat for departing from their fundamentally roots driven music, replacing banjos for more electric sounds. Regardless of the detractors, this album is fantastic and is a true testament to the most excellent musicianship of all members. All songs are great. However, picking a few favorites: Wilder Mind, The Wolf, Believe, Tompkins Square Park, Monster, bah….every song is just wonderful!
02. Ron Hawkins and the Do Good Assassins, Garden Songs. Being a huge fan of the Canadian indie rock gods, Lowest of the Low, by default I am also quite the fan of singer songwriter Ron Hawkins (lead vocalist of the band). When I first heard “Saskia Begins” on the CBC radio, it immediately brought back good feelings. This album also helped to reignite my passion for making music and was instrumental in helping me get me through the break-up of my own band, Burns and Maciag which happened this year. What it did? Well, with my band’s break-up I was all set to lay low musically. On hearing this album, it re-energized me to get over it and start playing/practicing and writing again on my own. For that I am very thankful. It made me realize that playing and making music (and art) is a part of who I am and what I want to be doing. Amazing how music can do that! From the beautiful harmonies, to catchy grooves, this album is quite simply wonderful. All songs are great, but picking a few favorites: Propellers, Garden Song, Peace and Quiet, kingdom of the Sun, and Waiting on Something That’s Already Here – this song in particular got me playing and writing again, although I may have made up my own interpretation, it helped me bite the bullet and join the Regina Mandolin Orchestra (such a great experience that this has been) as well as pick up the pen, paper, harp, and guitar again.
01. Alan Doyle, So Let’s Go. One album that was continually ringing through my ears in 2015 was “So Let’s Go.” This is a true testament to the greatness of this album for me as it was released in January of 2015, way at the beginning of it all! Alan is such a wonderful musician and person. From his Great Big Sea days to his solo efforts, he has an energy about him that can only be described as magical. Seeing him live at the Casino this year was one of my most memorable highlights of the year. I also made an effort to read his book which I got for Christmas in 2014, “Where I Belong” which was just as touching a read as his music is to listen to. As with Ron’s album in #2, this album also helped me get back on the musical path, inspiring me to play/practice and write music again. “So Let’s Go” is just a beautiful album made by a beautiful human being.
Well, there you have it, my top 10 of 2015. Great year for me and a wonderful year for music. Will I blog more next year, who knows…ha. Regardless, cheers to 2015, and bring on 2016! -tMac