Tuesday, December 29, 2015

My 20 Favorite Albums of 2015

2015 felt like a more enjoyable year for music than 2014.  There's always good stuff to find in any year, but there was more of it this year and it was better.  I could stretch my list out to 40 albums and it would still only consist of records I liked quite a bit.

This year also had more albums that seemed to grab the entire internet at large.  Of course, the one that towered above the rest was Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly, which is currently running laps around everyone else on end of the year lists.  But there was also stuff like Sufjan Stevens, Jamie xx, Tame Impala, Deafheaven, and Father John Misty.  There was even a jazz album that the big blogs loved! (I haven't had the time to sit down with Kamasi Washington's triple album The Epic in full, but the bits I've heard of it certainly make the praise seem warranted.)

My top 20 only represents a fraction of the diversity of greatness we saw in 2015, but I'm still satisfied with how it turned out.  There's rap, punk, R&B, pop, old favorites, exciting newcomers, and an out-of-left field choice or two.

The rules: Due to the constant changing of the way music gets released, anything can be an album for the sake of this list.  You especially have to play fast and loose given the fact that many rap mixtapes function as albums anyway.  So LPs, mixtapes, 40-minute songs, EPs if they're good enough -- they're all albums to me!  If something got released in another country in a previous year, but got an American release this year, it works on a case-by-case basis (although there are no examples of that this year).  Otherwise, the eligibility window is that the album has to have been released between January 1, 2015 and today.  That means that D'Angelo's Black Messiah, which came out at the very end of 2014 but has appeared on many publications' lists this year, will not show up here.  (Plus it was my number 5 last year, since I actually wait until the end of the year to finalize my lists.)  So now with that bit of business out of the way, on to the actual list...

Honorable Mentions (25-21)
I'm not sure why the reaction to Destroyer's Poison Season was so muted -- I like it more than Kaputt.  To put it simply, Rose Mountain from Screaming Females absolutely rips.  It's surprising and delightful how much I enjoyed Art Angels, given the little use I had for Grimes before.  Winter's Diary 3 is great little mixtape of nimble rap/R&B hybrids from Tink.  Though the title may be a mouthful, King Push -- Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude keeps things short with 30 minutes of Pusha T breathing fire over ice cold beats.

20. Chvrches - Every Open Eye
There's an admirable quality to the "if it ain't broke..." ethos of Every Open Eye.  Chvrches' debut album launched them into the stratosphere of indie blog stardom two years ago, and it would've been easy for them to shrink away from that increase in popularity and fizzle out.  But instead, they revisit and refine what made The Bones of What You Believe so great.  A safe choice, sure, but also a smart one.  Every Open Eye is another series of catchy songs, full of sharp edges and gleaming synths.  Synth pop has become a bit of a bland label, but Chvrches make ferocious, exhilarating music under the parameters of the genre.  Moments like the Depeche Mode-aping breakdown of "Clearest Blue" or the fluttery chorus on "Never Ending Circles" are some of the most indelible pieces of music this year.  This band makes huge songs, and it would've been a shame if they changed that once they got a huge audience.

Highlight Songs
1. Clearest Blue
2. Never Ending Circles
3. Leave a Trace

19. Vince Staples - Summertime '06
"I'm just a nigger, until I fill my pockets / And then I'm Mr. Nigger" are the first lines on Vince Staples' first official album.  It's hard to think of a better introduction than that one, which perfectly sums up the bleak, fatalistic world in which Summertime '06 exists.  Staples raps about guns and gang life -- of which he has firsthand experience, being a former Crip from Long Beach -- with the dead-eyed tone of someone who's seen too much at the age of 22.  Most of this record was produced by No I.D., who matches Staples' worldview with a series of dark, eerie, minimal beats.  Even the title-track, the closest thing this album has to an Obligatory Love Song, is pretty grim.  But within that space, they're able to create some bangers, like the Future-sampling "Senorita."  Vince Staples is one of those rappers who you don't realize how good they are until you say their lyrics to yourself.  All of his raps just sound so good rolling off your tongue.  And it's fitting that Summertime '06 cuts off in the middle of a line, because a rapper like him always leaves you wanting more.

Highlight Songs
1. Senorita
2. Jump Off the Roof
3. Lemme Know (ft. Jhene Aiko)

18. Deerhunter - Fading Frontier
Sometimes a band will release something that causes all of their prior and future work to click for me.  Such was the case with Deerhunter's Monomania two years ago, ironically their least liked album.  Before then, I found them to be a merely okay band, but after loving Monomania, I felt like I finally "got" them.  So despite the fact that Fading Frontier sounds nothing like the previous album (barring the slinky glam rocker "Snakeskin"), the band's wavelength is still enjoyable to be on.  This time around, Deerhunter has given us a much more hazy, vibe-oriented effort.  It's less an album than it is a hypnosis initiation.  But they're such a talented group that it's very easy to be transported to wherever they're trying to take you.  Plus, they can pull out a stellar indie pop gem when they want to, as they do on "Breaker," with its wiggling guitar line and soaring chorus.  Fading Frontier is an excellent, weirdly underrated album.  If nothing else, it takes the cake for being the best album with the worst song ("Leather and Wood").

Highlight Songs
1. Breaker
2. Snakeskin
3. Carrion

17. Ought - Sun Coming Down
Unlike many of the current bands that get saddled with the "post-punk" label, Canadian quartet Ought actually sound like they've still got some punk in their blood.  They have a raucous, aggressive sound, but there's also a careful precision underlying that punk edge.  Sun Coming Down is eight tracks of well-orchestrated chaos, full of breakneck transitions and toaster-in-the-bathtub guitar riffs.  But what lifts the album to another level is the amount of sophistication they're able to find within their frenzied instrumentation, as they do on "Beautiful Blue Sky," the clear standout.  It's a seven and half minute rattler, building upon the repetition of mundane small talk remarks to an imaginary audience.  "Beautiful weather today!"  "How's the family?"  "How's your health been?"  The song gets more urgent and damning with every nicety.  Their lyrics aren't always so easy to parse, but the drudgery of everyday life seems to be a recurring element.  And yet, if there's anything that will snap people out of their stupors, it's Sun Coming Down.

Highlight Songs
1. Beautiful Blue Sky
2. Passionate Turn
3. The Combo

16. The Mountain Goats - Beat the Champ
John Darnielle is one of those rare writers who can make a song out of anything, so when it was announced that the next Mountain Goats album would be all about wrestling, nobody should've been worried.  First, Darnielle was a huge fan of wrestling as a kid, as if the way he lovingly loads lines with the sport's lingo didn't give it away.  But also, The Mountain Goats have always been concerned with misfit souls, so this subject matter is a perfect match.  Darnielle taps into the depressing nature of a low-level wrestler in lines like "Climb the turnbuckle high / take two falls out of three / blackout for local TV."  Beat the Champ complicates its emotions at every turn.  There's melancholy underneath every triumph, a sense of love even in the failures.  This is an album about being insignificant but feeling like a God while doing so.  Whether you're a diehard, a lapsed fan, or somebody who's never cared about wrestling at all, Beat the Champ will captivate and break your heart.

Highlight Songs
1. Heel Turn 2
2. The Legend of Chavo Guerrero
3. The Ballad of Bull Ramos

15. Built to Spill - Untethered Moon
As guitar rock continues to fade out in favor of wimpier sounds in the indie world, Built to Spill just feels more and more vital.  Doug Martsch's fret-melting wizardry has always been the draw of Built to Spill, and he and the rest of the band -- which includes some new members this time around -- sound as tight as ever.  Untethered Moon lacks much of the wandering of Built to Spill's younger days, which is either a plus or a minus depending on who you talk to.  But either way, this album is a nice look at an efficient version of the band, full of tight, catchy songs like "Living Zoo."  In this mode, they still find ways to hulk out and tear through massive breakdowns, such as the one that closes out "On My Way."  And some songs, like "So" and "Another Day," stand right up there with the classic stuff.  Nobody would dare to call Untethered Moon the best Built to Spill album, but it's a marvel that a band over 20 years old is still making music this good.

Highlight Songs
1. So
2. Living Zoo
3. Another Day

14. Young Thug - Barter 6 / Slime Season / Slime Season 2
Many of today's rap songs would be better off without any hooks.  That's because rappers these days are either terrible at writing them or commission an R&B singer to sing one instead.  How embarrassing must it be for the rest of the rap world that every Young Thug song not only has a fantastic hook, but also brilliant micro-melodies stuffed in the verses that function as their own little hooks?  He's got such an unconventional approach -- the rap version of a drunken master technique -- switching flows mid-verse and littering his lines with yawps and croons.  At first he just seems like an annoying eccentric, but after a handful of listens you begin to realize he's an oddball melodic genius.  2015 granted us full access to the strange mind of Young Thug with three releases: the Barter 6 tapped into his darker zoned-out side, Slime Season exhibited his pop leanings, and Slime Season 2 existed in the sticky musical goop between those two poles.  You can debate which of them is the best (I'm a Slime Season guy myself), but it's inarguable that these three records are proof that Young Thug is one of the most exciting rappers in the game.

Highlight Songs
1. Stunna (Slime Season)
2. She Notice (Slime Season 2)
3. Amazing (Barter 6)

13. Bully - Feels Like
It seems like music critics are a little lead singer-obsessed, given the way they focus on writing about them (especially in female-fronted bands), and tend to forget about the rest of the members of the band.  With Nashville band Bully, it at least makes sense to put so much focus on lead singer Alicia Bognanno, who wrote, produced, mixed, and engineered the entirety of debut album Feels Like.  Her voice is a force of nature: hoarse and roaring, it tears through every track.  But as a producer, she's even more impressive.  This is the same kind of 90s alt-revival rock that's been popular for the last few years, but it doesn't feel like a cheap imitation.  Feels Like genuinely sounds as if it was unearthed from a 1994 time capsule.  (Even the album art feels very 90s).  But underneath those bruising guitar squalls lie some sickly sweet melodies, ones that burst open into ripping, unshakeable choruses.  At 31 minutes, this album breezes by, but its songs make a lasting impression.

Highlight Songs
1. Sharktooth
2. Too Tough
3. Brainfreeze

12. Miguel - Wildheart
Wildheart lives up to both ends of its name.  Far too much R&B these days is oil spill slick, but Miguel isn't afraid to push sonic boundaries, summoning the wilder side of the genre.  Those muddy guitars on "A Beautiful Exit," that gurgling synth line in "The Valley," these are sounds you're not hearing from his peers.  What's more, "Deal" feels like "Can't Feel My Face" or "Uptown Funk," except with the lights dimmed to the lowest setting.  Lyrically, the album's pretty wild too.  The aforementioned "Valley" is one of the most NSFW songs of the year, where he gets straight to the point with lines like "I wanna fuck like we're filming in the valley."  It's no coincidence that he follows that up with "Coffee," one of the most sentimental songs on the album.  Miguel does that all over the album, breaking up the debauchery with moments of heart.  Wildheart is a guided experience, focused on rhythms and grooves rather than hooks.  It may not provide as much instant gratification as Kaleidoscope Dream did, but it ultimately satisfies in different ways.

Highlight Songs
1. NWA
2. Waves
3. Flesh

11. Girlpool - When the World Was Big
"My mind is almost 19 and I still feel angry.  I'm searching for the reason."  That's just one line on Girlpool's debut album that points to the emotional acuity duo Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad are able to achieve when speaking about youth, but there are more where it came from.  When the World Was Big truthfully captures the feeling of being in a transition period in your life, of being confronted with a wide array of senses and feelings that were never open to you before.  It's an album of thinking about things you've never thought about.  Sometimes these songs are so intimate they hurt to listen to ("We sat on cold concrete / I could only stare at my feet when you said / you felt close to me" they sing on "Pretty").  Other times it's the wistfulness that gets you ("And in our parents' houses / having seances / incense burning like our age").  At first I was annoyed by the central elements of the band's aesthetic -- the simple, staccato guitar and bass interplay; the mewling harmonies; the youthful navel-gazing -- but after a few listens, the emotions of this album penetrated and bowled me over.  Girlpool seemed like every band's new favorite band earlier this year, and When the World Was Big makes a strong case for why they're so special.

Highlight Songs
1. Cherry Picking
2. I Like That You Can See It
3. Emily

10. Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly
When an album is as critically acclaimed as To Pimp a Butterfly is, analyzing it becomes more about the conversation surrounding it than the album itself.  And the conversation surrounding this one always emphasizes how wildly ambitious it is, painting it as the War & Peace of rap albums.  Butterfly is ambitious, sure, but focusing so much on its scope neglects to mention the fact that it's an absolute blast to listen to.  Kendrick Lamar throws jazzy beat soups, west coast rap, 70s funk, and much more into a blender, cycling through flows to match the mix of influences on display.  Yet the album feels insanely cohesive -- in fact, it's one of the best sequenced LPs of the year.  (That transition from the suicidal depression of "u" to the triumphant reassurance of "Alright" flattens me every time.)  Lamar litters the record with corny ideas -- extended metaphor about a vagina ("These Walls"), a song where he cries on mic ("u"), employing goofy character voices (too many songs to list) -- but he commits to them so fully that they work.  Plus, it helps that the songs around them are good.  It's easy to bristle at the overwhelming plaudits this album has received, but once you give To Pimp a Butterfly another spin, you'll remember how glorious it truly is.

Highlight Songs
1. Alright
2. Institutionalized
3. You Ain't Gotta Lie (Momma Said)

9. Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
It's fitting that Kendrick Lamar and Courtney Barnett are adjacent to each other on this list, because they represent totally different ends of the lyrical spectrum.  Listening to Lamar feels like hearing somebody who spent hours and hours honing his lyrics.  Courtney Barnett, on the other hand, her lyrics feel like they were just thought up a few minutes before she stepped into the studio, but they're just as well-crafted.  Real heads already loved her after last year's double EP, but this full-length debut was an introduction to her conversational brilliance for many people.  Barnett is such a surprising lyricist -- you never really know where her ambling lyrics are headed, but the journey is an oddly energizing experience.  Sometimes I Sit shows that her and her band have started to beef up their instrumentation too.  "Pedestrian at Best" is her scratchiest, most jagged song yet.  A song like "Short Poppies" is a full-bodied rock song, seven minutes of pure guitar bliss.  But really, it always comes back to those lyrics, a perfect blend of shaggy wit, affable rambling, and genuine pathos.  She can morph a song about house hunting ("Depreston") into something incredibly moving.  Most idiosyncratic songwriters wear out their welcome quickly, but let's hope Barnett's shtick never grows tiresome.

Highlight Songs
1. An Illustration of Loneliness (Sleepless in New York)
2. Depreston
3. Aqua Profunda!

8. Natalie Prass - Natalie Prass
It's a shame that Natalie Prass' debut album came out so early in the year, because it seems to have been largely forgotten because of it.  Recorded with Matthew E. White at Spacebomb Records, it's such a lush and immaculately produced album, Prass' reedy vocals sitting nicely atop a pillow of horns and strings.  She recalls the best singer-songwriters of the 70s on these tracks, so soulful and melodic and emotional.  Natalie Prass pulls from many different vines -- Motown ("Your Fool"), chamber folk ("Christy"), even old school Disney princess films ("It Is You") -- and it ties those influences together beautifully.  It's all very retro without being capital-R Retro, a delicate balance Prass pulls off with aplomb.  Others may have forgotten how impressive this album is, but the long digestion period has only caused it to grow in my estimation.

Highlight Songs
1. Violently
2. Why Don't You Believe in Me
3. Never Over You

7. Carly Rae Jepsen - Emotion
Once news broke out that one-hit-wonder Carly Rae Jepsen was working with people like Dev Hynes, Ariel Reichstaid, and Rostam Batmanglij for her next album, we knew at the very least that it was going to be interesting.  And it's true that the best song on Emotion -- and maybe one of the best songs of the year -- is the left-of-center "Warm Blood," which features some burbling production work from Batmanglij.  But this album is not some blatant attempt to appeal to the indie crowd.  No, this is a pop album through and through.  It's delightfully cheesy, full of blaring saxophones ("Let's Get Lost"), 80s slap bass ("All That"), and roller rink melodies ("Boy Problems").  And true to its name, Emotion is a simple and direct album.  These 12 songs are about matters of the head and the heart, both the complicated moments when they clash and the wonderful times they align.  Most importantly, it's just an endless barrage of hits -- these bubblegum tunes will stick to you.  Emotion is unafraid to swim in the gooiest of feelings, and you shouldn't be afraid to like it, because it's terrific.

Highlight Songs
1. Warm Blood
2. Gimmie Love
3. Boy Problems

6. Joanna Newsom - Divers
Rarely do artists have the talent to match their ambition, but Joanna Newsom has succeeded time and time again.  She did it with Ys, her epic suite of tracks that each averaged about 10 minutes in length.  She did it again with Have One on Me, her massive triple album.  At first glance, it may seem like Divers is an attempt to scale back.  After all, it's only 11 tracks long and a total of 51 minutes (the longest song being "only" seven minutes).  In actuality, this might be some of her knottiest work yet.  She's still making those lush, ornate odysseys she's known for, but instead of jumping from subject to subject, she wraps every song around a single theme -- the inexorable march of time.  It's there in lead single "Sapokanikan," the dense piano number that weaves poetry, history, and politics together to ruminate on the fact that all of man's accomplishments are eventually plowed over and forgotten.  It's there in the staggering "Divers," a song about a woman who wastes her life away waiting for a man who may or may not reciprocate her feelings.  It's even there in the one song not written by Newsom, traditional folk tune "Same Old Man."  But in between that she stuffs all of these mini-themes, motifs, and linguistic treasure chests too.  (Never has Genius been more essential.)  Joanna Newsom is the best lyricist alive, and Divers is another opportunity for her to make a meal out of the English language.  It almost seems unfair to rank this album just a few months after it was released.  We are going to be unpacking it for years to come.

Highlight Songs
1. Divers
2. Goose Eggs
3. Sapokanikan

5. All Dogs - Kicking Every Day
Mental illness is often spoken about in terms isolated to the person suffering from it.  But less frequently in our art do we get to hear about the way it exists in relation to others.  In that respect, Kicking Every Day may be one of the best albums about how depression can effect the people around you.  How it can make you difficult to put up with, how it sabotages relationships.  It's an album about being hard on yourself, about feeling like a screw-up even when you're not.  Before the album dropped, lead singer Maryn Jones tweeted to clarify what the album was getting at, after so many blogs were quick to interpret every single as being about romantic relationships.  That's important information to know, because it would be easy to make the same mistake without seeing the deeper implications that make these songs so rich.  All Dogs play the same kind of catchy fuzz-rock that bands in their circle like Swearin' and Aye Nako make, and they're very good at it.  But what elevates it is the subject matter that they're mining on this album.  It's the classic contrast of raging songs with all-despairing lyrics.  Kicking Every Day, then, perfectly captures trying your best to be okay, even if you're really not.

Highlight Songs
1. How Long
2. Sunday Morning
3. Flowers

4. Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell
Sufjan Stevens has had a weird 10 years.  A decade ago he released Illinois, his career-defining album, and it seemed to loom over him.  So much so that it took him a whole five years to make the bizarre (but brilliant) Age of Adz, and ever since then his career has been full of odd detours and fallow periods.  Carrie & Lowell is a back-to-basics record, paring things back even more than Seven Swans, his previous album known as "the stripped-down one."  The good news is that all of the trappings of a great Sufjan album are here: dense with references to geography, history, and religion; deeply emotional; personal enough to resonate while also being cryptic enough to beguile.  Many of his albums are concept albums of a sort, and this one is too, in the sense that it's about the death of his mother, with whom he had a difficult and complicated relationship.  They say that in death, your life flashes before your eyes.  In a way that's what this album does for her, serving as pieces of her life flashing before Stevens' eyes, and all of the wistfulness ("Eugene"), pain ("Fourth of July") and regret ("Should Have Known Better") that entails.  For that reason, Carrie & Lowell can be a heavy, taxing listen.  However, if you can put yourself in the correct head space, it's one of the most rewarding experiences of the year.

Highlight Songs
1. Should Have Known Better
2. Drawn to the Blood
3. Carrie & Lowell

3. Hop Along - Painted Shut
In many ways, Painted Shut reminds me of the album that occupied the number three slot last year, LOSE by Cymbals Eat Guitars.  Like that record, this is a blistering, open-hearted guitar rock album from a band I previously didn't have much use for.  Lead singer Frances Quinlan has been called the best voice in rock music by certain critics, and those vocals are certainly attention-grabbing.  They're scratchy, forceful, powerful; and Quinlan perfectly locks in to these tangled tracks with her cracks and howls.  Certain phrases of hers just burn into your brain: the increasing intensity of "You and some others stick around" on "Waitress," the variations she finds in "We all will remember things the same" on "Happy To See Me," the list is nearly endless.  All of these songs feel like a volatile mixture, the crackling guitars, driving drums, and Quinlan's voice all reacting to each other.  It's exhilarating; the album gets better every time I listen to it.  Painted Shut is one of those albums where it's nearly impossible to winnow it down to three highlight tracks.

Highlight Songs
1. Texas Funeral
2. Happy To See Me
3. Powerful Man

2. Beach House - Depression Cherry / Thank Your Lucky Stars
Beach House don't make any efforts to tweak their sound unnecessarily, and many people choose to accept this under the pretense that the two-year wait between albums is just enough time to want to hear that sound again.  If nothing else, the two-month wait between their two 2015 albums, Depression Cherry and Thank Your Lucky Stars, proves that excellent music is excellent music no matter what.  You get the sense that each of these 18 songs are meticulously crafted, every detail is sculpted until it's perfect, from the piercing guitar tone of "Beyond Love" to the lilting synthesizer lead in "Common Girl."  But for all that calculation, neither of these albums are even remotely mechanical.  They're deeply felt records with songs that live and breathe and crack open for moments of pure catharsis.  Over the course of six albums now, Beach House has proven themselves to be this era's most reliable band.  Once you hear the first measure of that signature pre-programmed drum beat, you know you're in good hands. [Read the original reviews: Depression Cherry, Thank Your Lucky Stars]

Highlight Songs
1. The Traveller (Thank Your Lucky Stars)
2. Elegy to the Void (Thank Your Lucky Stars)
3. PPP (Depression Cherry)

1. Waxahatchee - Ivy Tripp
The headline I wrote for my initial review of this album was "You're unlikely to hear a better album this year than Waxahatchee's Ivy Tripp"...and I was right!  It might have been a self-fulfilling prophecy, but I was right!  Jokes aside, Ivy Tripp still retains its power and immediacy eight months after its release (and 10 months after it leaked).  Katie Crutchfield had the tough task of following up Cerulean Salt, her breakout album that served not only as a collection of killer songs but as a bible for one's early 20s, and she succeeded.  One of the ways Ivy Tripp sets itself apart is how it diversifies the Waxahatchee sound on songs like the keyboard and drum track-driven "La Loose," or the surfy "The Dirt."  And Crutchfield remains one of the most effective and resonant lyricists out there right now.  Her songs frequently find her stuck between different impulses and desires, and she sings them with simple, but probing poetry.  Who knew being unsure could sound so clear?

Highlight Songs
1. Air
2. Under a Rock
3. Summer of Love

Well, that wraps things up for my best albums of 2015 list.  I love reading other lists, so feel free to share yours in the comments.  Or if you want to share your thoughts on my list, then you can do that too!


  1. Nice list!
    Here's mine:
    1. To Pimp a Butterfly, Kendrick Lamar
    2. Beat the Champ, The Mountain Goats
    3. Sometimes I Sit..., Courtney Barnett
    4. The Things We Do..., Beach Slang
    5. Surf, Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment
    6. King Push..., Pusha T
    7. No Cities to Love, Sleater-Kinney
    8. Carrie & Lowell, Sufjan Stevens
    9. Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance, Belle and Sebastian
    10. Art Angels, Grimes
    11. The Magic Whip, Blur
    12. Emotion, Carly Rae Jepsen
    13. Star Wars, Wilco

    I'm of mind with you on Art Angels. Nothing against Grime's earlier work, but not for me. Art Angels seemed like it was designed for everybody.

    Also, I must say I heavily enjoy your blog. I've been keeping up with it since around June when I discovered your Top 30 Joss Whedon list, and have attempted to turn it on to anyone that's interested. Its great!

    1. Wow, thanks for the kind words! I read some of your blog back when you commented on my post about season 3 of Hannibal and I dug your posts too. I also just read your recent piece on Netflix being a network of convenience and you brought up alot of good points that I've been kicking around in my head for a while.

      Solid list too. I really ought to revisit that Belle & Sebastian album. They're one of my top 10 favorite bands and I'm one of the few people who thinks they're just as good as when they started, but Girls in Peacetime didn't do much for me. There wasn't anything I disliked but nothing I loved either. But you've inspired me to check it out again and see how I feel now.

      Surf and Star Wars were two albums that were close to being honorable mentions for me.

    2. I'm actually the same type of B&S fan, down to not being very interested in Peacetime when I first listened to it. It took my friend, who I'd turned on to the band, playing its singles over and over that I found myself really enjoying it. Seeing them live also might have stimulated a different feeling for many of these tracks then I would have had. Hope it suits you better the second time around.