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’.
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