10 Releases That Took Neon Noise By Surprise
Some were fantastic some were not
2015 has been a somewhat promising year for music. But amidst all the great mainstream successes there have been some even better, maybe even underrated albums. And unfortunately some of the albums that have recieved mainstream success are nothing short of carbon copies of one another. Here are 10 albums that have been good, or equally, bad.
Dexters - We Paid For Blood
The London based four-piece stepped up quite a large step in musical success this year. They were one of them bands that everybody had heard of but never listened to, but We Paid For Blood is going to change all of that. The album has two very different, well-balanced sides to it There is the explosiveness of tracks such like Stay Strange and The Wolves, but then the likes of contemplative Your Lovely Wife. It has to be said that frontman, Tom Rowlett, came into his own on this album lyrically. Unfortunately, they provided another shock this year as they disbanded.
Slaves – Are You Satisfied
Somehow, Slaves have made a name for themselves this year. It’s hard to understand when you think about it. This band is a punk band made up of two people. NME readers ten-fold seem to fall for their poorly written songs. Lyrically and musically they aren’t soft but they’re hardly game changing. You have to think back to the time that punk was the popular genre, would this band actually have a chance of making it then? No, probably not. It’s droll. Songs like “Cheer Up London” are ridiculously uninspiring. The band is one-dimensional, and though this album was considered one of the biggest breakthroughs of this year, 2015 will probably be the only year they’ll have any sort of mass audience. They’re the epitome of a band that aren’t for music lovers, just for fashionable people.
Death Cab For Cutie – Kintsugi
It was worrying to hear that in the making of this album Death Cab For Cutie had lost a long-standing member in Chris Walla and also named it something chauvinistically hipster like ‘Kintsugi’. Tow breaking cringe name it may be, but track for track, Kintsugi, is the epitome of Death Cab For Cutie. It’s almost like a mixture of their early stuff and newer more beat-driven sound. With a guitarist down, it was expected to be a more country and folk sound with Ben Gibbard working on a solo project a long them lines, yet tracks such as ‘Ghosts Of Beverly Drive’ beg to differ. The album is mostly about Gibbard’s divorce with Zooey Deschanel and it shows in the lyrically emotive track ‘Little Wanderer’. Strangely, it would appear that heart break does Gibbard the world of good when it comes to music.
Justin Bieber – Purpose
He’s not talented. Nor will he ever be. He isn’t iconic. Album sales aren’t everything. He’s not a tasteful musician. Everyone shut up about him.
Leon Bridges – Coming Home
When 2015 started, if you were to say that a Motown legend would come about you would be laughed out of the park. Weirdly enough, a Motown legend has been found in the form of Leon Bridges. The innocence of a man in love is something that is lacking in current music. Tracks like ‘Brown Skin Girl’ is undoubtedly one of the cuter songs released this year. His music is not only outrageously good, but it’s also very honest lyrically. As opposed to men singing about how they did their girl wrong, we now have an interesting difference in Leon Bridges just wanting to do right. He doesn’t address them as ‘bae’ or any other ridiculous pet names; he calls them beautiful and ‘baby’, which is a mark better than most others.
Adele – 25
If ‘Hello’ was anything to go by, 25 was always going to be lacklustre. Adele without even trying is becoming an annoying hipster by naming her albums after the age she was when she released them. Worse yet, she actually wrote the whole album herself, unsurprisingly, it’s actually boring as anything. Maybe the reason it’s so boring is because she’s hardly ever done anything different. Understandably a soul singer isn’t going to drop homage to heavy metal, but she could make something more exciting every so often. She’s the nation’s sweet heart, and with a name long that she must be nice, which is why everyone falls for her sub par sound. She won’t change anything, just the number on her album every couple of year, and with that number, her bank account will probably go from low to very high again. Because why else would she release these albums?
Editors – IN DREAM
Back in the day when guitar pop was the thing, Editors were a cracking band. So much energy in their first two albums it was sad to see them die out with their third. The third album was admittedly too soon for them. In retrospect, they put their guitars down and picked up the keyboards too early. But their fourth, IN DREAM, shows that they’ve polished up on their keyboard skills and wrote an album that represents their often depressed sound quite well. It’s saddening that such a great album didn’t receive the mainstream respect it was deserving of.
The Enemy – It’s Automatic
Credit where it’s due. Most bands would probably call it a day after losing the respect of critics and their own fans but The Enemy would appear to be more driven than the usual band. Unfortunately, The Enemy should have headed the warnings of unrest around their fandom when recording this album, because in short, it was terrible. It was like a cheap knock off of one hit wonders, The Big Pink, which says something, considering their poor form in the charts.
Only Real - Jerk At The End Of The Line
As far as debuts go, there have hardly been any particularly good ones this year. Yet Only Real has offered not only something good, but also something very different. The music isn’t a million miles away from a Peace record but has rapping through out. Songs like ‘Cadillac Girl’ have a very big sound to them, but also vocals sounding very reminiscent to those of Professor Green. Maybe Only Real is Alternative Music’s answer to the cheekiness n the emergence of Grime. Or may be, as always, it’s done in indie’s favourite fashion of irony.
Saint Raymond – Young Blood
After he released his first couple of singles, it was looking to be the year for Saint Raymond. Unfortunately, the album just didn’t give him the level of consistency he needed. Though tracks like ‘Come Back To You’ offered some level of decency the over production of all the songs made it far too much to handle. Not only that, but it feels as though he wants to be given the status of a credible alternative solo singer, but with the onstage persona of Robbie Williams singing Angels at Glastonbury, it feels as though he’ll only be given the credibility of a karaoke singer down at your local pub.