Showing posts with label Best of 2015. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Best of 2015. Show all posts

Jan 4, 2016

FTM's Best Albums of 2015: Individual Top 10 Lists

The votes were varied this year, but coagulated well enough to form a consensus. 
Here are our individual voters' ballots featuring such far flung choices as High on Fire, Courtney Barnett, and Titus Andronicus, so hopefully you can find even more cool music to spend your holiday gift cards on. I'm just including top tens since everyone sent in at least ten. Some voters had more than 10 selections and some of those votes outside the top ten were used for tiebreakers 
(ties were only broken inside the overall top 10).

1. Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear
2. Chris Stapleton - Traveller
3. Whitey Morgan - Sonic Ranch
4. Turnpike Troubadours - s/t
5. Jason Isbell - Something More Than Free
6. The Honeycutters - Me Oh My
7. Randy Rogers & Wade Bowen - Hold My Beer, Vol. 1
8. Jonathan Tyler - Holy Smoke
9. James McMurtry - Complicated Game
10. Ray Wylie Hubbard - The Ruffian's Misfortune

Matthew Martin
1. James McMurtry - Complicated Game
2. John Moreland - High On Tulsa Heat
3. Turnpike Troubadours - Turnpike Troubadours
4. Lucero - All A Man Should Do
5. Great Peacock - Making Ghosts
6. American Aquarium - Wolves
7. Titus Andronicus - The Most Lamentable Tragedy
8. Thunderbitch - Thunderbitch
9. Craig Finn - Faith In The Future
10. Chris Stapleton - Traveller

Jeremy Harris
1. William Clark Green - Ringling Road
2. Whitey Morgan - Sonic Ranch
3. Chris Stapleton - Traveller
4. Benton Leachman - Bury the Hatchet
5. Whiskeydick - The Bastard Sons of Texas
6. Stoney Larue - Us Time
7. American Aquarium - Wolves
8. Eric Church - Mr. Misunderstood
9. Jason Isbell - Something More Than Free
10. Dallas Moore - Dark Horse Rider

Kevin Broughton
1. James McMurtry - Complicated Game
2. Jason Isbell - Something More Than Free
3. Jonathan Tyler - Holy Smoke
4. Turnpike Troubadours - s/t
5. The Yawpers - American Man
6. The Pollies - Not Here
7. Son Volt - Trace (20th Anniversary Reissue)
8. John Moreland - High on Tulsa Heat
9. Ray Wylie Hubbard - The Ruffian's Misfortune
10. Rhett Miller - The Traveler

Kelcy Salisbury
1. Jason Boland and the Straggers - Squelch
2. Ray Wylie Hubbard - The Ruffian's Misfortune
3. American Aquarium - Wolves
4. Turnpike Troubadours - s/t
5. The Yawpers - American Man
6. Lindi Ortega - Faded Gloryville
7. JEFF the Brotherhood - Wasted on the Dream
8. Courtney Patton - So This is Life
9. High on Fire - Luminiferous
10. The Deslondes - s/t

Chad Barnette (Tiebreaker votes)
1. Allison Moorer - Down to Believing
2. Jason Isbell - Something More Than Free
3. Turnpike Troubadours - s/t
4. Alan Jackson - Angels and Alcohol
5. Ashley Monroe - The Blade
6. The Yawpers - American Man
7. Chris Stapleton - Traveller
8. Cody Jinks - Adobe Sessions
9. Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit
10. Dirty Streets - White Horse

Dec 30, 2015

FTM's Best Songs of 2015 Playlist

Here are the songs from our top 40 songs lists (and a few extras) in a Spotify playlist:

Farce the Music's Top 13 Albums of 2015

For the first time, our best albums list is a composite voted on by Trailer and FTM's 4 most frequent contributors (Kelcy Salisbury, Kevin Broughton, Jeremy Harris, and Matthew Martin) along with a tiebreaker vote from Trailer's concert buddy/friend with good taste in music, Chad. We hope this will add validity and weight to the results. It was another great year for music, as you'll see clearly below. 

11. (Tie) Jason Boland and the Stragglers - Squelch
Boland & a slightly reworked Stragglers lineup provide proof that country music can evolve without sacrificing its identity. Not many artists are turning out this kind of work nearly two decades into their career, but the proof is in the pudding as The Stragglers have put out a rollicking rock-tinged album with a subversive, punk rock type aesthetic throughout. If you like smart, socially conscious lyrics with a bite, this is the country album for you. -Kelcy

11. (Tie) William Clark Green - Ringling Road
It may head towards the pop country direction a few times. I don’t care. It may contain a few songs that are catchy but don’t contain much substance. I don’t care. It may be from someone that a lot of you had never heard of. I don’t care. I chose this as my top album because it’s my top album. How can you argue with that logic? I don’t know or care. All I know is this is by far my favorite album of this year and it wasn’t even something that required much thought. -Jeremy

11. (Tie) Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear
Indie-pop is a sub-genre I usually avoid due to the twee nature of its typical fare. Father John Misty doesn't do twee. He infuses his catchy pop tunes and lounge rollers with a strong dose of balls. His lyrics are clever, biting, and frequently downright asshole-ish. These songs comfort, provoke, enlighten, and annoy, often at the same time. Our narrator is a jerk, but a jerk that you have to stick around to see what he'll do or say next. This is a record that will gnaw at you and stick with you, each song taking its turn being an earworm or soundtrack to some odd moment. -Trailer

10. Jonathan Tyler - Holy Smokes
It’s astounding when you realize all the things this guy has accomplished by his 30th year. Out of a contract with the suits at Atlantic Records, Tyler combines songwriting chops and a top-flight vocal range to express his newfound independence in impressive fashion. Expect more great things from this prodigy. -Kevin

9. John Moreland - High on Tulsa Heat
It's not an album you may want to listen to over and over because it's so heavy. But, whether you want to or not, you'll be compelled to continue to listen. It's catchy. It's a bummer. But John Moreland sings with the conviction of a man who has no choice but tell you about the pains of life. Moreland's voice is so powerful and strong. If you don't own this album, stop everything you're doing and get this album. Listen to it. Then, listen to it again regardless of your gut feeling. This album will hit you, and hit you hard. By the time you get to "Cherokee" on the last half of the album, you'll realize how special Moreland, and this album, is. -Matthew

8. Ray Wylie Hubbard - The Ruffian's Misfortune
The Wylie Lama has released his best album in years, and we are lucky enough to witness it. "Stone Blind Horses" is as good a lyric as anything released all year, "Bad On Fords" is about as much fun as anything Hubbard has ever put out, the whole vibe is great & the results are fantastic. -Kelcy

This seasoned, wry songwriter really can’t make a bad record. “Chick singer, Badass Rocking” has the kind of driving, tribal feel as a RWH standard, “Snake Farm.” And the record closes with “Stone Blind Horses,” which would make my top 5 list of singles from 2015. -Kevin

7. The Yawpers - American Man
If this were a list of the top rock albums, Nate Cook and his band would be at the summit. The songs confront a range of social/societal issues head on, but what blows you away is how much sound the Yawpers get from two acoustics and a drum kit. Buckle up; this one gets you by the throat. -Kevin

Rock & Roll isn't dead, you just can't see it from the highway or hear it on corporate radio, but there are still some bands keeping it alive. This album is at once sprawling, messy, smart, cynical, homesick & rebellious. It's a good thing. -Kelcy

6. American Aquarium - Wolves
To say the musical arrangements are daring & a departure from past albums is true. Yes, the same basic structure is there, the skeleton is intact enough to keep the loyal fans sated. But BJ Barham & the boys take risks here. The lush "Man I'm Supposed To Be" could be something Chet Atkins produced, but the darkness that lurks in this most honest of love songs somehow makes the song even more powerful. -Kelcy

5. Whitey Morgan - Sonic Ranch
How does an album with a bunch of covers make a year end list? By making you forget they’re cover songs. Whitey hits a home-run with this one and his vocals should’ve made this album more talked about than it already was in 2015. -Jeremy

As strong a "real country album" as you'll hear in 2015. It's refreshing to hear such unfiltered honky-tonk music in this day and age of contrived edge and softened edges. Morgan and the 78s' version of modern outlaw country is a comparable sound to what Sturgill Simpson is doing, but with a blue collar approach and a more pronounced low-end. This album may not drive Morgan to acceptance/hype in the same circles as Jason Isbell and Sturgill, but it's a big statement album that will bring in new fans and make old ones very happy. -Trailer

4. Chris Stapleton - Traveller
Chris Stapleton has been around the scene for a long time and I think many folks have had 
a feeling that one day he'd get the recognition due him. I'm glad that day has come, and this 
album is completely worthy of all the praise it has garnered. Stapleton's voice is as strong as 
ever and the songs are perfect showcases for his style. The slower, sadder tunes on the 
album are the real highlights though and the song "Fire Away" is far and away my favorite 
track on the album. -Matthew

3. Jason Isbell - Something More Than Free
The only thing keeping this one out of my top spot is the fact that it was just a year since his last tour-de-force, Southeastern.  As I wrote here, this record lets your emotions off the mat a little bit, and allows you to breathe. I think it’s his best to date, but the dude keeps raising the bar. -Kevin

2. James McMurtry - Complicated Game
The first studio album in six years from the dean of Texas songwriting. McMurtry turns a phrase better than most, and injects an extraordinary pathos into his everyman characters. He didn’t miss a beat during the half-dozen year delay, and this one is well worth the wait. -Kevin

I'm not sure there is anyone out there today who can write songs about everyday scenarios as perfectly as James McMurtry. On his latest effort, McMurtry strips down his songs to their basics and lets the focus be on the stories within each song. The incredibly heartbreaking song "You Got To Me" will leave you missing something- whether that be home, a past relationship, or just earlier years will be up to you. The song and the album stuck with me for weeks after listening to it. -Matthew

1. Turnpike Troubadours - Turnpike Troubadours
On this record, the Troubadours let a little color and light in, and it's just enough to fully realize the absurd potential of this group. There's space, separation, and vividness in the sound. The slower songs soar, the rockers punch, and there's fiddle and steel galore. On a good set of speakers, this thing is stunning. Their writing was already excellent, but they've even upped their game in that department. "The Bird Hunters" tells the tale of a man coming to terms with an ended relationship over the course of a quail hunt. This could come across as hokey or forced in the hands of a lesser act. The Troubadours make it a song-of-the-year candidate, epic, cinematic, and immersive. -Trailer


Other popular selections:
The Pollies - Not Here
Lindi Ortega - Faded Gloryville
Baroness - Purple
Kacey Musgraves - Pageant Material
Randy Rogers & Wade Bowen - Hold My Beer
Allison Moorer - Down to Believing
Lucero - All a Man Should Do
Courtney Patton - So This is Life
Benton Leachman - Bury the Hatchet
Ashley Monroe - The Blade
The Honeycutters - Me Oh My
The Deslondes - s/t
Eric Church - Mr. Misunderstood
Will Hoge - Small Town Dreams

Dec 29, 2015

FTM's Top 20 Songs of 2015

20. Jonathan Tyler (with Nikki Lane) - To Love is to Fly

19. Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats - S.O.B.

18. Kendrick Lamar - King Kunta

17. Jamie Lin Wilson - Seven Year Drought

16. Allison Moorer - If I Were Stronger

15. John Moreland - White Flag

14. Darrell Scott - Thanksgiving 1985

13. Benton Leachman - Lonely

12. Ray Wylie Hubbard - Stone Blind Horses

11. Anderson East - What a Woman Wants to Hear

10. Chris Stapleton - Fire Away

9. Father John Misty - The Night Josh Tillman Came to Our Apt.

8. Ashley Monroe - Bombshell

7. Whitey Morgan - Still Drunk, Still Crazy, Still Blue

6. Wrinkle Neck Mules - Beehive

5. Hailey Whitters - Low All Afternoon

4. Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen - El Dorado

3. The Honeycutters - Me Oh My

2. Baroness - Chlorine & Wine

1. Turnpike Troubadours - The Bird Hunters

Dec 28, 2015

FTM's Top Songs of 2015: 21-40

I'll post my Top 20 songs of 2015 tomorrow, but here are 20 more songs that moved me in 2015. The depth of talent (mostly, but not entirely outside the mainstream) is staggering in recent years, so it's always difficult to narrow songs and albums down to a ranking at the end of the year, but I felt like these all needed some recognition.

In no particular order, though my favorites are generally towards the top of the list.

Jason Isbell - 24 Frames

American Aquarium - End Over End

Courtney Patton - So This Is Life

The Lone Bellow - Diners

Faith No More - Matador

Clutch - X-Ray Visions

Sam Outlaw - Ghost Town

Houndmouth - Sedona

Kacey Musgraves - Late to the Party

Lucero - Went Looking for Warren Zevon's Los Angeles

Kurt Vile - Pretty Pimpin'

Red Shahan - Black Veins Pt. 1

Adele - Hello

High on Fire - The Cave

The Yawpers - 3 A.M.

Gretchen Peters - The Cure for the Pain

Vince Staples - Norf Norf

Eric Church - Knives of New Orleans

Dawes - All Your Favorite Bands

Dec 18, 2015

Best Songs of 2015 Spotlight: Chris Stapleton - Fire Away

Ten Worst Country Songs of 2015

First off, I need to address the elephant in the room. There are no Sam Hunt songs on this list. I didn't exclude him because he isn't country (he isn't) or because he isn't the worst thing that happened to country radio in 2015 (he was). I just found all 10 of these songs to be far more a tax on my nerves than anything Hunt released in 2015. He still sucks, don't get me wrong, but here are truly the 10 worst country songs of 2015!

1. The Band Perry - Live Forever
The Band Perry plays country music, or at least that's what their Twitter bio read in 2013. Fast forward to 2015, past a couple hits and several underperforming singles and TBP completely reinvented themselves as a grating pop band with this bit of pointless fluff. Nonsensical lyrics, an overpowering shade of yellow, and absolutely no ties whatsoever to the genre in which they so shittily released this rancid pile of vomit. Evolution schmevolution, this is full on pop, and not even good pop. Embarrassing. A torpedo to a modestly promising career if ever there was one. There's talk of them "going pop" like Taylor Swift did, but Taylor had name recognition and good songs. Maybe the Perry brood should go into hair-styling.

2. Luke Bryan - Kick the Dust Up
The butt of endless jokes and memes here at FTM, this song had the nearly middle-aged Mr. Bryan tossing out slang, partying with the youngs, and inviting them under the bridge as long as they left their cell phones at the truck and didn't tell anyone. Wait, what? Nearly as bad as "That's My Kind of Night," one of the worst country songs ever released.

3. Florida-Georgia Line - Sun Daze
Released in 2014, puked …err peaked in 2015. Maybe that's cheating a little, but this song is bad enough to make "worst of" lists in multiple years. Our heroic lead singer, in this classy gem, refers to his penis as an umbrella and his paramour's vagina as a drink in which he plans to insert his tiny decorative umbrella whilst she perches uncomfortably upon the sink, hoping not to be grinded into the dirty dishes by the stoned Tyler Hubbard. Hot garbage. Not even the catchy kind.

4. Zac Brown Band - Beautiful Drug
Enough's been said about this lame-ass EDM song to fill a book the size of Benedict Arnold's biography. Can one song ruin the legacy of a heretofore mostly respected artist? Maybe not, but this is at least enough to leave a smelly stain and cause a great deal of worry about this talented band's future.

5. Old Dominion - Break Up With Him
This creepy bastard wants you to break up with your boyfriend, for whom you've confessed no ill will towards, and come over to have sex with him. When I used to write lyrics, one of the oft-repeated rules was to back up your message. In this song, they needed to prove the current boyfriend actually deserves to be broken up with to make the singer more sympathetic. They did nothing of the sort, coming off as an Axe-sprayed, too-tight-tshirt-wearing douchebag just looking for a little play, not caring about the repercussions on other people's lives. Just a pile of crap.

6. Cole Swindell - Let Me See Ya Girl
This song proved bro-country in its purest form hadn't left us in 2015. In fact, it went to #1 on the charts with this craptastic half-written rehash of everything Florida-Georgia Line has wet dreams about. Drive truck with hottie, find place to party. Come up with new and exciting figures of speech to describe the sexy movements of the aforementioned hottie. Hey, I know!... "like wind moves cotton?" Really?

7. Chase Rice - Gonna Wanna Tonight
Insipid. Every time I went in Dollar General this year, there was a 1/3 chance this song was playing over the intercom. I made my visits quick. 

8. Haley Georgia - Ridiculous
This song would be ranked higher if it had had any impact whatsoever upon the charts or "country music" culture, but it didn't… thankfully. This tune was basically an excuse for a girl to sing the word "dick" over and over without getting censored for it. True ear torture.

9. Jason Aldean - Gonna Know We Were Here
Jason Aldean doesn't care anymore and he doesn't even care if you know it. In the point of his album era when Aldean usually releases a song that seems way too good for an a-hole of his calibre, Jason this time chose to put out one of his least distinctive and worst singles of his career.  

Rant: As mean as I can be on here, I don't actually hate or even dislike (as people) most of the artists that I pick on, but Aldean's a tool and I truly don't care for the guy, and he's certainly not making it easy to change that line of thinking with his music, his attitude, or his actions.

10. Danielle Bradbery - Friend Zone
Just listen to this shit.

Oct 12, 2015

Top 30 Albums of 2015: 3/4 Report

Here's my 3/4 of 2015 Favorite Albums list. I'm going to attempt to do a composite among FTM's regular contributors (Matthew, Kelcy, Jeremy, Kevin, and myself) and hopefully have our first team-voted official list (at least a top 10) at the end of December, so this is just a 20% slice here. -Trailer

1. Father John Misty - I Love You Honeybear

2. Chris Stapleton - Traveller

2. Whitey Morgan - Sonic Ranch

4. Turnpike Troubadours - s/t

5. Jason Isbell - Something More Than Free

6. The Honeycutters - Me Oh My

7. Randy Rogers & Wade Bowen - Hold My Beer, Vol. 1

8. James McMurtry - Complicated Game

9. American Aquarium - Wolves

10. Ray Wylie Hubbard - The Ruffian's Misfortune

11. Jonathan Tyler - Holy Smokes

12. J.D. McPherson - Let the Good Times Roll

13. Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly

14. Ashley Monroe - The Blade

15. The Pollies - Not Here

16. Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats - s/t

17. Jamie Lin Wilson - Holidays & Wedding Rings

18. The Damn Quails - Out of the Birdcage

19. Anderson East - Delilah

20. Kacey Musgraves - Pageant Material

21. Faith No More - Sol Invictus

22. Lindi Ortega - Faded Gloryville

23. John Moreland - High on Tulsa Heat

24. Lucero - All a Man Should Do

25. Benton Leachman - Bury the Hatchet

26. Wrinkle Neck Mules - I Never Thought It Would Go This Far

27. Clutch - Psychic Warfare

28. Darrell Scott - Ten

29. The Deslondes - s/t

30. Dwight Yoakam - Second Hand Heart

I haven't heard these enough yet to rank them: Jason Boland and the Stragglers - Squelch, Hailey Whitters - Black Sheep, The Yawpers - American Man, Corb Lund - Things That Can't Be Undone, Don Henley - Cass County, Gretchen Peters - Blackbirds.


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