Top 5 albums of 2015 so far
Toto XIV by Toto
Key tracks: 21st Century Blues, Running Out Of Time, Great Expectations, Orphan, Holy War, Chinatown
(For me the best album of 2015 so far, and this is from a group who I considered washed up. Surprisingly it's the non-singles that impressed me the most. The opener rocks. Toto XIV is the band's first record in 9 years. RIP former Toto bassist Mike Porcaro who died at 59 on March 15)
Why Make Sense? by Hot Chip
Key tracks: Need You Now, Easy To Get, Huarache Lights, Why Make Sense?
(In an age when many albums only contain a couple of good tracks, Hot Chip have crafted a record I can listen to from start to finish)
Vulnicura by Björk
Key tracks: Stonemilker, Lionsong, Black Lake
Lyric from Black Lake: "Did I love you too much. Devotion bent me broken. So I rebelled"
(A melancholy breakup album, about Björk's split from her longtime partner and father of her 12-year-old daughter. The lyrics feel very personal and also universal, in that listeners who have gone through a painful breakup could mirror themselves in her heartbreak. As a commenter on YouTube said, the full album sounds much better than the songs separately)
Carrie & Lowell by Sufjan Stevens
Key tracks: Fourth of July, Should Have Known Better, All of Me Wants All of You
(The first 6 tracks are outstanding. Inspired by the 2012 death of his mother, Carrie, and the family trips they took to Oregon in Stevens' childhood. The album title also references his stepfather)
Lost River (soundtrack) by Various Artists
Key tracks: Tell Me (Feat. Saoirse Ronan), YES (Love Theme), Shell Game
(A dreamy soundtrack by Johnny Jewel. Featuring Chromatics, Glass Candy, and members of the cast)
Agree or disagree? Which is your favorite album of the year? Later this month, I'll reveal my top 50 songs of 2015 so far.