With a boatload of great 2015 releases already on the horizon less than a month in to the new year I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that 2015 will be a much better year than the general crapfest that last year was.
And don’t get all “…but what about this record” on me. I released a record last year too, so I’m putting that in the pile as well; just trying to be objective here.
Anyway, this week is much, much better than many weeks last year so let’s dive right in shall we….?
Sleater-Kinney | No Cities To Love
Music lovers and critics alike are losing their collective minds over the return of everybody’s favorite 90’s femma-punk act Sleater-Kinney who have been on extended hiatus/defunct since 2006. The new record No Cities To Love is even garnering very early album of the year nominations from blogs and rags all over the world. It’s tough for me to jump on that bandwagon, even though the renewed vigor, energy, and arguably their best work is very evident on this record.
Belle & Sebastian | Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance
In doing the very thing that many critics felt was impossible – reinvent who they are as a band – Belle & Sebastian may have released, if not necessarily the best, their most important work. This album may not really win over new fans, but stalwarts who have been following the band for a time will get something even more exciting, experimental, and amazingly well-written, along with a certain sonic identity that steps it apart from the rest of their discography.
The Decemberists | What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World
Remember when I said last week that Portland had reached ‘peak Portland’? It may be possible that The Decemberists have also hit the theorectial peak of what they ‘are’. To say that this record even comes close to sagas like ‘The Crane Wife’ or other great albums would be disingenuous, but rather it feels like The Decemberists may have become a bit of a masque of themselves. They’re doing themselves so well now it almost seems like they’ve gone through the other end of the rabbit hole and everything else they do now is just a reflection of their former selves.