Music in 2015

Now the Pazz & Jop is out, so I can check for albums from early in the year that I’d forgotten.  Here’s my best-of list, in which compared to the nominal P&J critic I overvalue sonic beauty and timbre, production and engineering, and harmony; undervalue lyrics, melody.  (For reference: 2013 and 2012)

Best-of 2015 (version 3)

  1. Punch Brothers, best of the year, of which every time I listened I think of someone to whom I could drop-ship a copy.
  2. Joanna Newsom, almost as good as Have One on Me, maybe better if you appreciate the efficiency of packing as much into a single-album package.
  3. Sufjan Stevens, took a while to grow on me, unusual in serving equally well as background music or listening music
  4. Low, my favorite of all the Lows so far, just the right mix of spooky and something else
  5. Dave Rawlings Machine, is not a Gillian Welch record, but as close as we get is still a really engrossing listen
  6. Sturgill Simpson, like everyone else who liked this album, I don’t much like country, but I keep listening for that vocal tone and will file it away between Bill Callahan and Nick Cave
  7. Torres, rockous and catchy in the same way that Metric used to be
  8. Metric, rockous and catchy almost in the same way that Metric used to be
  9. Decemberists, slowest burner of the year (as was The King is Dead) but now pop-easy to listen to and hum along