My Top 30 Albums of 2015 :: 20-16


My Top 30 Albums of 2015 :: 20-16

20. Let It Reign :: Carl Barât and The Jackals
Cooking Vinyl
Released February 16, 2015


What I originally said about the album:

Album not included in review posts.


This one passed me by in February somehow, but when I found it I fell hard and fast for it. I have played this album so many times, in the car, at the gym, and through my headphones while I worked on my novel (two of the songs made it on to one of my character’s playlist) – it is addictive and riotous and brilliant. I only wish they’d played their California dates that they ended up cancelling (though that cancellation led to my favorite album of the year, so suppose its all forgiven).

Top 3 songs:

Beginning to See, Let It Rain and The March of the Idle

Beginning to See

19. I Love You, Honeybear :: Father John Misty
Released February 9, 2015


What I originally said about the album (here):

I’ve been digging Chateau Lobby #4 for some time now, even though it did take a few listens to grow on me mainly because of the “I’m so indie” recording style. It was worth it to keep listening though, as the song is lyrically rich and full of STORY, oh, and I love the Spanish sounding horns so much. Lyrics and storytelling are what I’m drawn to the most, there is so much going on in that regard that leaps out after a few listens – I encourage you to listen multiple times, and you’ll see (or really hear) what I mean.


It took some time to grow on me, even in the beginning (see above), but once it did, it took hold. Much like Courtney Barnett’s album, this one plays like a set of short stories, all set in Los Angeles, all seemingly current, yet there is something so Laurel Canyon/1960’s-1970’s in the songs sensibilities. The songs all paint such vivid pictures, much like the album cover and gate fold sleeve does – every week I seemed to land on a new favorite to come alive in my ears, and mind’s eye.

Top 3 songs:

Bored in the U.S.A., Holy Shit and Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)

Bored in the U.S.A.

18. Sing Elliott Smith :: Seth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield
Ramseur Records
Released March 17, 2015


What I originally said about the album (here):

Elliott Smith is one of my all-time favorite artists, and his songs mean a great deal to me, so giving a listen to an album of covers of his songs is something I both looked forward to, and was apprehensive about, as it is hard sometimes to see and/or hear reinterpretations of art that you love (think movies of your favorite book). That said, the first single that was released became a quick new favorite of mine, and I am quite happy to say that this entire album is the same, easily my favorite new release of the last two weeks, with songs on here that will now find their place among my all-time favorite cover songs. These versions are so haunting, chill-inducing actually, raw and beautiful.


This album cuts deep and brings tears to my eyes every single time I play it. It makes me miss Elliott and his music so much, and yet, it also keeps him and his music so alive to me. Seth and Jessica’s interpretations are beautiful and unique, full of artistry and so very much emotion.

Top 3 songs:

Between the Bars, Angeles and Somebody that I Used to Know

Between the Bars (live)

17. American Beauty/American Psycho :: Fall Out Boy


What I originally said about the album:

Album not included in review posts.


It took me awhile to get into Fall Out Boy, even though I’ve been exposed to them for a long time, first by my oldest daughter back when she was in junior high/high school, then by two of my best friends, and lastly, and most recently, but my younger daughter who is now in junior high and loves them. The album before this one had some songs that stood out to me, but this one was the first time I really got it, and got into them. Now I find myself doing the back catalog listening thing and thinking “yeah, yeah, I get it now. They are kinda awesome!”

Top 3 songs:

Uma Thurman, The Kids Aren’t Alright and Centuries

Uma Thurman

16. Kintsugi :: Death Cab For Cutie
Atlantic Records
Released March 31, 2015


What I originally said about the album (here):

More than a “break-up” album, this one seems to be about closure post-break-up, as well as a sometimes scathing look at loving among the bright lights, and stars, of Hollywood. There is a darkness here, a sadness, too, as well as a coming to terms that is not anyone’s “happy ever after“, but more of a reluctant resolution. Los Angeles seems to have its stamp all over this one, too, for better, or in most cases here, worse – yet I love the album almost as much (not quite) as I loved Transatlanticism, and that’s saying a hell of a lot.


Second to Transatlanticism as my favorite Death Cab album, this one has Los Angeles in its lyrical veins, is full of melancholy and loss, honesty, pain and vulnerability. Some of the songs feel so relevant to me, hit in those still sore spots, and have become part of my own struggles with love and loss. There are so many truths in here, so much regret and resolve all mashed up and mixed together, it is beautiful, and heartbreaking.

Top 3 songs:

No Room in Frame, Black Sun and Good Help (is so Hard to Find)

No Room in Frame

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