This page contains my music reviews for music originally released in 2015. Due to my podcast, I have not been listening to as much new music as I’d like.
1. Steve Coleman and the Council of Balance: Synovial Joints (10/10)
The best jazz album of the 21st century? Read more.
2. Vijay Iyer: Break Stuff (9/10)
Fantastic. Read the review.
3. The Visit: Through Darkness Into Light (9/10)
4. Mary Halvorson: Meltframe (8/10)
5. Wilco: Star Wars (8/10)
For just over a decade (between the mid ’90s and the mid ’00s) Wilco was one of the most interesting “indie” rock bands in the world – they changed their sound (nearly) every album, from roots rock to pop to post rock to classic rock revival. And then they got comfortable. For the last decade or so, they’ve been making very pleasant pop rock with only the odd hints of their more interesting past. (This is different live, where they remained edgy.) I have felt like the last few albums were the first time the band settled for something.
6. The Bad Plus Joshua Redman (8/10)
I saw these guys just the other night and found them significantly more traditionally jazzy than a few years ago.
7. Godspeed You! Black Emperor: ‘Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress’ (8/10)
To my ears, this is a more aggressively difficult record than the last one. It’s less obviously melodic and there is lots of time for noise. And though I welcome the change in some ways, I find it kind of less appealing than the stuff from their prime.
8. Rabbit Rabbit Radio Vol. 3 – Year of the Wooden Horse (7/10)
The third edition of Rabbit Rabbit Radio is different in conception than the first two. This time out, Kihlstedt and Bossi asked twelve guitarists to submit riffs to them, and then they’d build the songs.
9. Faith No More: Sol Invictus (7/10)
When I was young I hated reunions, I felt like they were cash-grabs, things only sell-outs would do. I had a hard time thinking of musicians, particularly my musical idols, as people. I had an idea of artistic integrity and I thought that musicians should stick to it (or face my wrath, I guess). But another reason I hated reunions was because I was a fan of (mostly) “classic” rock. And the vast majority of those bands which reunited…well, those reunions went badly. And my favourite band at the time had never reunited. And the band that took over that role form them only reunited for one off concerts every few years. Both “preserved” their legacies.
10. Battles: La Di Da Di (7/10)
11. Desaparecidos: Payola (6/10)