2015: Pete's Top 10

The Best Of 2015

by Pete Crigler

Soooooo, this year has been very interesting. In between health crises within the family, getting into my first car wreck and landing a new job, I have been very busy. But this year has also been one of the best when it comes to music. I will quit talking and get right down to it!


10. Love – Black Beauty

Recorded over 40 years ago but unreleased until just recently, this is Arthur Lee’s farewell as a dignified singer-songwriter. The band he had backing him up was on the top of their game and some of the songs rank as high as Love’s classic catalogue. One of the most eye opening and exciting records of the year.

Highlights: “Young & Able (Good & Evil),” “L.A. Blues”


9. Adele – 25

I know, I know. Everyone has already spoken about how good this album is until they’re blue in the face, but it’s great to see that well-written music still has a place in this world. The songs aren’t covered in keyboards and drum machines and her voice is real, no trickery behind it. Just one of the most amazing voices in popular music.

Highlights: “Hello,” “When We Were Young,” “River Lea”


8. Teenage Time Killers – Greatest Hits, Vol. 1

A punk rocker who’s who made one of the most ferocious records of the year without any compromise. Very fast, hard-hitting and full of not giving a shit attitude, this is one of the few records of the year to retain an original hardcore vibe. Would love to see a sequel at some point.

Highlights: “Exploder,” “Hung Out To Dry,” “Time To Die”


7. Ron Funches – The Funches of Us

The best comedy album of the year. One of the funniest people on “Undateable,” Funches talks about his child, his careers and his fascination with Muppet Babies. An absolute laugh riot from beginning to end.

Highlights: “Muppet Babies,” “Malcolm”


6. Radkey – Dark Black Makeup

Three brothers from St. Louis made one of the best rock records of the year. It’s got a stripped-down sound with no gimmicks – just real rock and/or roll that proves, despite what Gene Simmons claims, that rock isn’t dead after all. It’s just that not everyone wants to listen to this type of rock. So get on it, people!

Highlights: “Best Friend,” “Dark Black Makeup,” “Feed My Brain”


5. Therapy? – Disquiet

Over twenty years after getting started, the long-running Irish rockers make their best record since 2000. These guys have rarely ever changed their approach and it served them well here. This is one of their hardest, most concise records and it was so good to hear that after all these years, that they’ve still got the fire in them.

Highlights: “Idiot Cousin,” “Good News Is No News,” “Helpless Still Lost”


4. Blur – The Magic Whip

One of the most surprising records of the year. I wasn’t expecting much, considering the band hadn’t put out a decent record since the ‘90s. But reunited with Graham Coxon, the band put out the type of record that everyone who loves ‘90s Britpop can be proud of.

Highlights: “Ong Ong,” “Mirrorball,” “New World Towers”


3. Death Cab For Cutie – Kintsugi

Probably their best album in a decade, full of some of their best songs. “Little Wanderer” alone is in my top three favorite songs of the year. This is a band that hasn’t changed their approach, and that’s why they’re still relevant all these years later.

Highlights: “Little Wanderer,” “You’ve Haunted Me All My Life,” “No Room In Frame”


2. Faith No More – Sol Invictus

I know some people are asking, “But Pete, I thought FNM was your favorite band ever; how could they come in at #2?’ Well, this album is great, but it’s not the best of the year. This was as strong a comeback record as they could’ve done, and the fact I finally got to see them live this summer was one of the greatest nights of my life. But it still didn’t manage to come in at #1.

Highlights: “Sunny Side Up,” “Superhero,” “Matador,” “From The Dead”


1. Lamb Of God -- VII: Sturm Und Drang

Hands down the best metal record of the year and one of the greatest records Lamb has ever put out. Reenergizing themselves after a couple tumultuous years, they placed greater focus on the music and came up with some of their greatest songs. “Overlord” is without a doubt the song of the year. I’m very proud to say that a Virginia band has put out the best record of the year.

Highlights: “Overlord,” “Erase This,” “Anthropoid,” “Torches”

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