Top 5 Albums Of The Year

By Coleman Patrick Ranahan

Oh god, oh no. It’s that time of year again. EGADs. Run for the hills. Batten down the hatches. Throw steak knives at your loved ones (don’t do that). I don’t really write about music a whole hell of a lot because, let’s face it, I’m an idiot when it comes to the true depths of modern music.

I once asked if someone knew about a popular band (at the time – and no, I’m not telling you jerks what it is) in middle school, like it was sliced bread and the stupefied response like I was just emerging like Rip Van Winkle from a twenty-year bender. But this year I just felt like writing about my top five albums of the year, namely because a few of them aren’t probably going to be in people’s purview, and namely I’m just fascinated by the list.

My taste in music seems to be ever evolving, what I once listened to five years ago is not even close to what I listen to now. And good, I don’t want to get boring (despite being a boring person). I like throwing in something new. So maybe you’ll give one of these a listen, if you’ve never listened to the more obscure artists, maybe you will after. Here ya go, ya bastards.

5. Kendrick Lamar – Damn

Yeah, you’d be kind of an idiot to not include one of the best rap albums of the last few years. I mean, Damn, Damn, Daaaaaamn. (Sorry, the ghost of Gene Shalit is haunting me right now).  But yeah, you know it’s good.

4. ZZ Ward – The Storm

I discovered ZZ Ward just earlier this year while working and became immediately entranced by her combo of blues, rock, and R & B. The album has plenty of fantastic singles and shifts gears when it needs to. It’s a really stellar album that I’m glad came out of left field.

3. Lorde – Melodrama

Lorde has fantastically avoided the sophomore slump with something so eloquent and graceful. Lorde is evolving as an artist and so far it only seems the like the trajectory is up. Green Light, though fantastic, seems a little bit like an oddball on the album, but it still works. It still all gels together. Lorde is my jam. And I’ll listen to whatever the hell she wants to do next.

2. Alex Lahey – I Love You Like A Brother

Honestly, I was an inch away from putting this as my favorite album of the year. The up and comer from Australia has infused Aimee Mann style lyrics to such a fun and thumpin’ tune I was a fan from the first listen. It’s hard to name a single favorite on this, as I pretty much enjoy them all, but some of the lyrics to things like ‘Backpack’ and ‘Awkward Exchange’ and ‘Perth Traumatic Stress Disoder’ tell me we’re in for some great albums from Lahey ahead and I hope she develops a great following. Loved, loved, loved this album.

1. Kesha – Rainbow

Kesha has taken the chains holding her back and shattered them into a thousand pieces. If you wanted an artist to completely break free from her past archetypes while also embracing the pop soul she started out with, it’s all here in ‘Rainbow’. Kesha moves from genre to genre, pop, pop-rock, country, ballads, anything and everything you can think of is there. And she can do it all. There’s absolutely no reason to doubt the talent that Kesha truly has, and having seen her in concert in November, I can tell you, she’s a certified rock-star. The best album of the year is Kesha’s ‘Rainbow’.

Follow Coleman on Twitter here.

Liked this article? Consider donating to his Patreon here.

Move Over Baby Driver, The Great Heist of 2017 Is Here

By Coleman Patrick Ranahan

Sorry folks, it isn’t done with boppin’ tunes and an attractive lead, but with tomfoolery and a bunch of idiots. The great bank heist of 2017 wasn’t done with speeding cars and a bunch of pscyho’s in my back seat, it was half-assed with two blubbering fools with a futuristic laser rifle. It didn’t happen in the streets of Georgia or the real, gritty streets of Los Angeles in the dead of night, it happened of course, in my head.

But let’s hold up for just a second. What could have possibly have lead to such a dream? And how did it go so wrong? Meet me, a college-grad with a job as a YouTube Channel Manager in beautiful Los Angeles, California. I may not have a roving herd of PR flacks, agents, and a posse of idiots running around, but I got a good thing going. How did I develop such a psychosis to lead to a bumbling bank heist?

What my dream didn’t tell me were the spaces in between, the finer details. How did I just happen to come across a futuristic laser rifle that would allow me to break into bank ATM’s in the first place? Why was my one particular friend my partner in crime? Did I have a meet up akin to ‘The Wire’? I’d love to imagine being on the docks of Los Angeles, shrouded in a dark coat, waiting for my mysterious laser rifle to arrive, only to likely trip on a small rock and eat a puddle of rainwater (in this version of LA we get rain all the time). How did I develop these contacts? Was I on the *finger quotes* “Dark Web”?

But let’s fast forward to our finest hour, as my partner (a real life friend for some reason) and I decide to try it out for the first time and actually break into a local ATM. None of us know what we’re doing (naturally – and of course – as always). We try everything we can to figure out how to cut open the front of an ATM machine, but at this point, we’re just painting with a broad brush and making the ATM look like a burned Picasso. We get seriously frustrated and shoot the ATM’s camera right in its little damned, arrogant (?) eye, and we thankfully leave. (Sorry about the mess, Chase).

It didn’t work out the first time, we were complete fools. We couldn’t have possibly dropped the ball more than that, but did that deter us? Did we pack it in and decide, “to hell with it”? NO, OF COURSE NOT. For we are the great ATM Bandits of 2017, we have a god damn’d laser rifle, and we need to close out the year in style because ‘Fuck You’ Donald Trump (I’m not sure what he has to do with this but I had to sneak one in there).

Our second attempt at thievery was upon us. So back in we go, except this time, we use our bank ATM card to get into the building as one does when the building is closed. Hmm, seems like a terrible way to get caught, no? (The chorus shouts back: YES!). How did a chorus get in here? Now who is the one sneaking around??

As we were surely attempting a sound #2 (hold your jokes please) heist, a group of out of town tourists came flocking in, desperate for cash. My crime partner and I froze, as if we were just having some troubles, none the wiser. Everyone, in their Hawaiian shirts and touristy hats (so many hats) fought over who got to use the ATM first, and we decided to just sit there and sweat. We did afterall, have a futuristic laser rifle, capable of cutting into ATM’s, but we were gentlemen, and decided not to cause a scene while Bob and Margaret were retrieving their twenty-dollar bills. As the tourists left, my crime partner and I looked at each other, the dream ended, and I woke up laughing. I’ll never know if we got to pull off the greatest bank heist in recorded history, but it sure was dumb as hell trying to figure it out.

Follow Coleman on Twitter here.

If you liked this article, consider donating to his Patreon.