It felt strange writing that date and to be honest I'm surprised I even remembered to change the year after twelve months of writing it, we're off to a good start! OH and happy new year by the way, I hope your PM-AM was full of joy and happiness just like mine was - sat on the couch with pizza and Gossip Girl, how is that not pure joy? Without further ado I'm going to share my favourite sounds from the past year with you in the hopes that you'll agree that 2015 was a pretty good year for music.
Let's start with one of the greats, Kendrick Lamar. I'm a pretty big fan which stems all the way back to my love for his 2011 album Section.80 which holds some of favourite hip-hop lyrics - 'This is your generation. Live fast and die young. Who's willing to explain this story?'. But let's be real To Pimp a Butterfly slays any previous album by a mile, the record flows perfectly song to song and features vocals from other gods in the business. That's one huge reason as to why I love hip-hop as a genre, hearing dozens of artists come together to create an hour long masterpiece takes so much work which is completely inspiring. This has got to be the album of the year for me!
Dr Dre - Compton
Keeping on the god like theme let's talk Dre and his latest triumph, Compton: A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre. The man has been going strong since the year I was born - quiet literally and I've listened and replayed all of his albums so many times it's like a second nature to me. Anything he does from his solo career to the insane ride with NWA has been incredible and a huge mark in the crazy world of hip-hop.
Beck - Morning Phase
Now although this album came out early 2014 (I'm fully aware this is cheating) it was this year that it made an impression on me, the folk rock sound that Beck brings to the table is a rare thing in the modern days of music which makes listening to him feel retro and I forgot just how much I enjoy that. I love the mix of upbeat and relaxing tunes he displays on his albums, for example Guero has some cracking singles with a more rock sounding melody that Morning Phase doesn't quite reach but nevertheless It's still a top album for me. It was only the other day that me and my friend were trying to decide what style of Beck we prefer and for me it depends what mood I'm in, some days I can have a jam to E-Pro or laze around to Morning.
One Direction - Made In The AM
It's time to talk about that band with a numeric digit in the name which contains four incredibly charming gentlemen that people are afraid to like, yep that's right we are about to have that talk. I know a lot of people out there have become a sudden 'Directioner' since watching that perfect Carpool Karaoke video which shows them all as the very normal and very humorous guys they most probably are, it's also not the first time this month that I've seen people convert to someone they never thought they would. You know I'm talking Bieber... But, let us forget about Justin and Adele or whoever else is in the top ten for a minute and focus on this glorious band (with no shame at all) for a whole two minutes, shall we?
Their previous album was one that made me fall for the once five some so when I heard the news of the much anticipated fifth album with only the remaining four of them I got pretty excited. I never really enjoyed the sounds of Zayn's voice, don't get me wrong he is incredibly talented but his voice is too 'boy band' for me. What can I say, I prefer the husky tones of a certain H more.
Their latest record, Made In The A.M. screams maturity and individuality and I'm all for it. Many of the songs bring out the best in the boys voices and shows us just how talented they are. You can really feel their personal influences shining through with this one, it features familiar sounds from some of my favourite bands like Fleetwood Mac, Paul Simon and the classic Shania Twain. I adore this album and these four boys so instead of thinking negative feels towards them before even a hint of a listen, do yourself a favour and just give it a go.
Favourite tracks - Wolves, What a Feeling, Long Way Down, Perfect.
Keith Forever! He may not have the other Stones helping him on this one but it's still a brilliant album which makes the twenty three years of waiting for it worth while. Crosseyed Heart is pure rock and roll that oozes husky tones and deep guitars that make my knees weak. I can imagine lots of whisky and late nights helped make this album what it is.
Favourite tracks - Amnesia, Trouble, Substantial Damage.
Best Soundtrack - Palo Alto
Another cheat from me but It feels like this movie came to the surface this year rather than the two years ago it was actually released, so to me it's still classes as a 2015 special. Twenty fifteen was a year of good films with even better soundtracks but one stood out for me more than any this year. The work of James Franco is obviously going to have a hip and artsy soundtrack to match. With artists like Devonté Hynes (Blood Orange) and Mac DeMarco it's bound to be one that sticks out from the rest. I'm a complete sucker for 90's sounding music that was made for a film based on young love in southern California, such an indie cliche but who cares. If you've ever heard of the band Rooney then you may also be familiar with Robert Schwartzmans whose solo work shows up more than a few times on this soundtrack. His music video that goes along side the release of the film gives you a taster into what to expect from the movie and of the soundtrack.