Timmy T’s Top 10 of 2015

13 Feb

(Editor’s note-  Another great year, another finely curated list from the excellent aficionado Timmy T. Although Unsung may have some strings to pick with the list…) 

Image result for leon bridges coming home

Here we go (not in a particular order):

  1. The Wind & The WaveCovers One
    • Best Song: “Ignition (Remix)”
    • Why It’s On The List: If you’re going to cover a song, do it right, and more often than not, do it acoustic. This band has other good stuff, so it’s not like they only have covers to rely on. But, this work of art is both extraordinary and also nostalgic.
  2. Ryan Adams1989
    • Best Song: “Wildest Dreams”
    • Why It’s On The List: See above. It was quite amusing to see the comments from Swift fans insulting a “no name” artist for covering her work and trying to “get famous” from it. Adams takes Swift’s work and does it with style and grace and compliments. Hopefully, this inspired at least one or two Swift fans to explore a bit beyond Bubblegum Pop.
  3. Mumford & SonsWilder Mind
    • Best Song: “Just Smoke”  *tied with*  “Believe”
    • Why It’s On The List: A solid album from start to finish with nary a musical issue to be found. More mainstream? Perhaps. Less valid? Definitely not. I defy you from trying to sing along with “Believe” and not enjoy it.
  4. Ron Hawkins & The Do Good AssassinsGarden Songs
    • Best Song: “Peace & Quiet”
    • Why It’s On The List: Folksy awesomeness with Costello-like enthusiasm.
  5. Sharon Jones & The Dap-KingsIt’s a Holiday Soul Party
    • Best Song: “Ain’t No Chimneys in the Projects”
    • Why It’s On The List: Sharon has been clawing away at the TT Top 10 for a few years now, but hasn’t made the cut until now. I still hear naysayers of Christmas music suggest it is a tired and annoying genre. I highly recommend this album for anyone who does not have ready-access, or as a suitable follow-up on a playlist, to the Unsung/Timagination classic, “Yes, Virginia. There is a Good Christmas Album.”
  6. The Barr BrothersAlta Falls (EP)
    • Best Song: “Never Been a Captain”
    • Why It’s On The List: Just give it a listen. It’s short and sweet and “Never Been a Captain” may just bring a tear to your eye. Pair with a Barley Wine.
  7. Leon BridgesComing Home
    • Best Song: “Better Man”
    • Why It’s On The List: I will admit to you that I only happened upon this as a recommendation from iTunes to me. But, it did not disappoint. Their review/summary is spot-on. He captures the soul of an era that has long since gone.
  8. Ryan AdamsLive at Carnegie Hall
    • Best Song: “The Rescue Blues”
    • Why It’s On The List: Whhhhaaaaa!!??? Two Ryan Adams albums!? Yes, two Ryan Adams albums! If you just can’t bring yourself to listen to this whole fantastic live chronology, despite you finding favour with him from 1989, you will be able to find a trimmed-down 10-song version of this album. However you choose to discover it, at least be strongly encouraged to do so. Side note: too bad he wasn’t this good live when he was in Edmonton 😦
  9. Florence & The MachineHow Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
    • Best Song: “Various Storms & Saints”
    • Why It’s On The List: Hasn’t been a female vocal lead in rock n’ roll this powerful since Janis Joplin. And there’s some vocal abilities reminiscent of Joplin’s range to boot. I look forward to the upcoming documentary on Florence from the makers of “Making a Murderer”.
  10. Buddy Guy Born To Play Guitar
    • Best Song: “Whiskey, Beer & Wine”
    • Why It’s On The List: Well look, whether you like the Blues or not, this guy is a master. Second only perhaps to the late great B.B. King who recently passed on (and for whom Buddy & Van Morrison offer up a moving tribute song on this album). It’s just simply a great blues record that echoes traditional blues, some rip-roaring riffs and some cutting edge guitar work.
Honourable Mentions:
  • Bob Schneider – King Kong Vol. 2 – “Han Solo” – Rock
    • Just crazy good to listen to, and so timely.
  • Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats – “S.O.B.” and “I Need Never Get Old” – Rock
  • The Strumbellas – “Spirits” – Rock
  • Cold War Kids – Hold My Home – “First” (technically 2014, but a huge hit in 2015 & 2015 saw the release of the Deluxe version) – Rock
  • Jamie xx – In Colour – “Stranger In A Room”, “Loud Places” and “i Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)” – Electronic
  • Jeff Coffin – The Inside Of The Outside – Jazz
  • Gilad Hekselman – Homes – Jazz
  • Rihanna and Kanye West and Paul McCartney – “FourFiveSeconds” – Pop
  • Whiz Khalifa – “See You Again” (feat. Charlie Puth) – Pop
    • Well, because – I mean honestly, who didn’t shed a single tear at the Paul Walker send-off at the end of the epic Furious 7?
  • Mark Ronson – “Uptown Funk” (feat. Bruno Mars)
See you all next year!!

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