Uhm… Top 10 you say? Well, it’s not actually a top 10. While I was making this list it became a top 5 with 5 other albums in random order because it’s so hard to choose which album should be on ‘a certain place in the list’.
This was a great year full of fantastic new albums. I discovered a lot of new artists and music and even discovered a lot of music which was released before 2015 (I even felt a bit sad that I couldn’t place those albums in this list). Too bad it’s only a top 10 list because there were so many great albums. I probably miss some albums in my top 10 list that I would definitely appreciate because I haven’t had the chance to listen to all albums that were released this year of course!
Anyway, enough jibber-jabber, here are five great albums in random order:
The Neal Morse Band – Grand Experiment
What? Neal Morse? Me? Yes, me… You can read the reason why in my review, which you can read here.
Big Big Train – Wassail EP
Ok, not really an album but definitely a great EP. The title track blew me away and the rest of the album is fantastic as well. You can read my full review here.
Dreadnaught – Gettin’ Tight With Dreadnaught
Another EP, but a very good one! You can read my full review about this mini album here.
Theo Travis’ Double Talk – Transgression
I had the honour to interview Theo Travis before his gig with Soft Machine at the Boerderij Zoetermeer in December (you can listen to the interview here and read the concert review here). I never had the chance to listen to the album until this month, and I should actually feel bad because this album is fantastic!
Gazpacho – Molok
A big surprise in my list. I really appreciate their music but I never knew that they would end up in my top 10 list this year. A lot of friends were really lyrical about it, but I had to be convinced… And I became convinced! This is a great album! I will post a review about it soon. I also had the honour to interview keyboardist Thomas Andersen before his gig at the Boerderij Zoetermeer in October. You can listen to the interview here and read the concert review here.
And now, it’s time for my top 5… Are you ready?
On place number 5 we find 3RDegree with their album Ones & Zeros Volume 1!
An album that gets better and better the more you listen to it! The music is refreshing and they have their own identity, you can’t compare this band with any other bands. Gravity is my favourite track from the album, mostly because of the surprising outro. I interviewed the lovely blokes after their gig at ‘t Blok in Nieuwerkerk a/d IJssel. you can listen to the interview here and read the concert review here.
On place number 4 it’s Necromonkey with Show Me Where It Hertz!
Necromonkey is one of the best discoveries this year. Yes, I know the band since 2014, but this year I really made some time to listen and pay my full attention to their music. I really love every album they made so far and this album is awesome! You can read my complete review about the album here.
On place number 3 we have Riverside’s Love, Fear And The Time Machine!
This is the most listened album in my 2015 collection. I already had the digital version of the album months before the official release date and I had difficulties to temper my enthusiasm because I was not allowed to spread the news yet. When I heard the first track Lost I was ‘lost’ as well, because this track is just amazing. You can read my full review about this album here. I also interviewed Mariusz Duda, the bassist/singer of Riverside, you can listen to the interview here.
Ok, now it’s time for number 2 and number 1. Both albums are very special to me and I love both artists a lot. They make wonderful music, both deserve more attention and recognition and I hope that they will make a lot more beautiful music in the future. I didn’t have the chance to interview both artists this year, so I hope that there will be possibilities to interview them next year. Now, give me a drumroll! ………… *insert drumroll here*
And on place number 2 it’s Molesome with Songs For Vowels And Mammals!
A solo album from the one and only Mattias Olsson. Mattias gave me this album along with Necromonkey’s Show Me Where It Hertz to review. This is an album I fell in love with that contains beautiful music. The tracks The Artist, Every Street And Pavement Mute and Before Belvedere Street are my favourites from the album. You can read the complete review here.
So, there’s only one place left, which is number 1. And that place is reserved for…
Tim Bowness and his brilliant album named Stupid Things That Mean The World!
Before I’m going to explain to you why this album is on place number 1 I have another story to tell. As some of you may know, the year 2015 was a life-changing year for me. I’m involved with radio-related work since 2013, but only as a promoter and an occasional reporter. This year I finally started to do more interviews with artists/bands on location as a roving reporter for House of Prog. I started in early 2015 with doing one or two interviews on location a month, but now it’s no surprise when I have two interviews scheduled in a week. I also started working for Background Magazine as an album/concert reviewer in July. I was writing some reviews here and there over the past few years but now I ‘push’ myself to write at least one review a week.
I love to work as a reporter and a reviewer, I really enjoy it 100% of the time, which makes those two ‘stupid things’ the best choices I’ve ever made in my life so far. I hope I can turn this voluntary work into a paid job someday… and in the meantime I try to do the best I can.
Because I was so busy with interviews and writing reviews I had no clue that Tim Bowness released an album back in July 2015. On a random summer day I was randomly scrolling through my Facebook page. Suddenly a photo of one of my friends popped up, showing the new Tim Bowness album. “What? Wait, what is that! New Tim Bowness album? How could I miss this? He just released Abandoned Dancehall Dreams last year! Wow, this guy knows how to make new albums fast!”
I’m a big no-man fan and like a lot of albums where Tim collaborated on. Sadly, I have to admit that I wasn’t completely convinced by his album Abandoned Dancehall Dreams. It’s a lovely album, no doubt, but I had the feeling Tim could accomplish a lot more than this…
And indeed, he did! Stupid Things That Mean The World is just beautiful, magical and the best album I’ve heard this year. It’s better than Abandoned Dancehall Dreams in my opinion (I know someone who is reading this now is heavily disagreeing with me… Sorry John Thelin!). When I heard the first track The Great Electric Teenage Dream I was completely sold, but when I heard the second track Sing To Me I already knew that this album would be my number one. Every track is beautiful. Tim also surrounded himself with wonderful and talented musicians, including one of my favourite bassists Colin Edwin!
I was hoping I could make a review for this album for Background Magazine, but sadly another colleague already reviewed it. Maybe I will write a review soon when I have the time, who knows?
For my closest friends it’s no surprise that this album is on number one because I praised this album a lot when I just heard it (sadly I couldn’t convince all of them to purchase the album). I will keep on praising this album and I hope that Tim will continue making brilliant music.
So, this is my list for this year, and I would like to thank you, dear reader, for reading my complete top 10 list. You probably think “Where’s Steven Wilson’s Hand.Cannot.Erase?”. Well, there are some reasons why I haven’t placed this album in my top 10; I haven’t listened to the album much, let alone listening to it in its entirety. A lot of people praise this album while I think this is not Steven’s best work so far (Grace For Drowning is his best solo album in my opinion, and I actually still prefer the good old early and mid 90s Porcupine Tree and no-man). This album doesn’t grab me, even though some parts of the music are very beautiful. I’m sure this album is a grower and I will listen to it more often.
I would like to wish everybody a wonderful 2016. Let it be filled with music, happiness and dreams that will come true!
Cheers and hugs!