5. Killer Mike – R.A.P. Music
It took me three months after R.A.P. Music came out for me to actually sit down and give it a listen. This turned out to be one of my worst decisions of the entire year. By the end of my first listen, I was completely hooked on Mike’s thought-provoking badassery and El-P’s inventive beats, and I proceeded to then listen to the album nonstop for the next few weeks.
4. Troubled Coast – Awake and Empty
What still amazes me every time I listen to Troubled Coast is how simply powerful their music is. Sure, it’s certainly not the most original pos-thardcore in the world, but I really don’t care when they can write songs as invigorating as “Winter” and as touching and vulnerable as “Lonely States”.
3. Make Do and Mend – Everything You Ever Loved
Ever since it’s release, I’ve felt like I have a drastically different opinion about Make Do and Mend’s latest album then everyone else. Few people seem to love it like I do with most claiming that it either lacks the bite of their previous work or that it is too simple, radio-friendly rock. Well, I still think most people are missing out because Everything You Ever Loved is a passionate, powerful, and thoroughly enjoyable rock album in every aspect.
2. Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d city
Chances are that, at this point, you’ve seen dozens perhaps even hundreds of reviews and comments about how great of an album GKMC is. This type of astounding consensus is thoroughly deserved. The sheer scope of his concept and story coupled with the Lamar’s impressive technical ability and ear for beats make for an album that entirely deserves the universal praise and gold-certification.
1. Title Fight – Floral Green
I could go on and on about why Floral Green is the most passionate, humbling, and relatable experience one can have this year, but I don’t think I will. Instead please just go listen to the album. If you’re not in love by the end of the incredible opener “Numb But I Still Feel It”, then you really need to reevaluate your musical tastes.
Biggest Surprise: Death Grips – The Money Store. I thought that the band’s style and popularity was just a fad after Exmilitary. I was really wrong.
Biggest Disappointment: Stick to Your Guns – Diamond.
It’s a decent enough record, but it really just can’t stack up to The Hope Division in my mind.
Best Live Show: Brand New in Toronto. The energy and intensity they displayed in what Jesse Lacey says was one of his “top 3 favorite shows ever” was more than enough to cement them as one of my favorite bands of all time.
Most Anticipated: A$AP Rocky, Jimmy Eat World, Brand New