Diandra’s 2015 in Music

This is very late, and I couldn’t branch out as much as in previous years, but here are music highlights of 2015.

The two albums I bought this year:

Algiers – Algiers

Note: Epilepsy warning for the music video.

Doom soul energized with angry Black radical lyrics that could unfortunately speak about both yesterday and today. Claudette [1] is the most radio-friendly track, but powerful album opener Remains [1] truly sets the tone for all the songs to come. Irony. Utility. Pretext [1] is another stunner, even for someone like me who doesn’t usually like most ‘80’s sounds. Sometimes it gets too distracted from politics with mistrust of women here and there. Yet, the work as a whole coheres with cinematic atmosphere and progression, continuing the dwindling tradition of crafting a complete album experience.

The Dead Weather – Dodge and Burn

Although the title may sound to some like graphics software effects, this is the rock supergroup’s best album yet. Highlight tracks include Let Me Through (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wO3HYFJ66vg) and Cop and Go. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gm3DMCNpOLw)

Favorites who could have been better:

Shiina Ringo is one of my top faves forever, but her new music was middling to me, even if the videos are striking. There’s also a pretty neat live performance of Kamisama, Hotokesama at this year’s NHK New Year’s Kouhaku Red and White singing festival.

Rap collective Doomtree also had a good video concept to go along with Final Boss [MV] but, aside from moments like the intro to Gray Duck [MV], the lyrics and sound in the album All Hands seem to have less consideration than in previous work, sounding more like an inconsistent patchwork of impromptu battle rhymes and riffs.

Brown Eyed Girls – Brave New World

This video has fantastic visuals, but the ideas don’t cohere, and the song itself seems just like a warm up album opener. Warm Hole [MV] was cheeky but Obsession’s [1] slinky sound makes for the better track.

Diandra Rodriguez

Proudly Latinasian NorCal American.

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