These Days... - Ab-Soul
The most lyrically capable member of TDE (a surprising feat in itself), Soul's follow up to Book Of Soul is truly a marvel. The wordplay on display here is second to none, and using it to both grapple with larger ideas and deconstruct hip-hop is handled so incredibly well.
Run The Jewels 2 - Run The Jewels
Not sure if I prefer this to last year's, but Killer Mike and El-P know how to make a mixtape. It clips along at a breakneck pace, which helps contribute to this energy which pulsates through every song, even when the beats slow down a bit to allow for some more breathing room.
The Future's Void - EMA
Broadening the more overtly personal qualities of Past Life Martyred Saints, EMA's latest never sacrifices her signature sound nor the chilling lyrics and perspective which have made her music such a delight to experience.
St. Vincent - St. Vincent
Another highly accomplished work from a highly accomplished musician. While it may appear at first that her work does not change too often, it really is in the aural nuance and subject matter of the songs that define the true brilliance of Annie Clark.
"What Is This Heart?" - How To Dress Well
As far as raw emotion is concerned, few albums produce the results that are found on the latest How To Dress Well. There's a longing, a desire, and occasionally even a bliss that permeates the entire record, and it's all so beautiful.
Benji - Sun Kil Moon
Yet the most compelling art of the year (and wherein I essentially call this, with These Days... as a close second, my favorite album from 2014) comes when the deeply personal is used as a window in to a larger conversation about humanity. Surely that has happened here with Sun Kil Moon's latest. Sweeping and sprawling, every line even in their most basic form takes on gigantic importance. There's little more I could ask for in a great album.
And there we have it. If I do the games one next, I guess maybe it will be the same? We'll see. I might just switch over to film first if I don't do/post games pretty soon though. I promise to try and keep better tabs in the coming year!
Comments are welcome and, for anyone with a literary mind, I encourage checking out my poetry blog filled with all original works for your reading pleasure.
Also, I am on the old Twitter thing so I guess you can follow me at twitter.com/r_thor1.
And if you want to know what I'm watching, listening to, playing , and reading you can follow my tumblr account!
© 2015 Richard James Thorne