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Top Albums of the Year

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By Jack Rea

It’s that time of year and as everybody loves a good list, here are my top albums of the year. It was supposed to be a top ten, but hey who likes confines so I’ve included eleven. If you want to listen to tracks from my choices click the link before each album for the Youtube video. I hope you enjoy the musical choices, even if you don’t always agree. Happy reading/listening and here’s to a happy new year, hopefully filled with more great music!

11. Peace – Happy People

Birmingham quartet, Peace’s follow-up to their excellent 2013 debut showed they still had plenty of fresh ideas. With baggy and catchy hooks, “Happy People” saw them delving into the nineties for a new take on the Britpop era, truly making the sound their own. At times wonderfully experimental and full of funky bass-lines it’s worth checking out.

Best Track – World Pleasure

10. Only Real – Jerk at the End of the Line

West-Londer, Niall Galvin known as “Only Real” delivered one of the most exciting debuts of the year. Picking up the mantle from the likes of Jamie T, he sings and slurs his way through laid-back beats creating an end product you’ll want to listen to again and again.

Best Track – Can’t Get Happy

9. The Libertines – Anthems For Doomed Youth

The Libertines’ first album in eleven years captures plenty of the magic of the glory days. While it might not scale the same heights as their previous offerings, there’s enough here to rejoice at the return of one of the most talented indie-rock bands of all time.

Best Track – Heart of the Matter

8. Wolf Alice – My Love is Cool

Wolf Alice surprised everyone by releasing an intelligent and hard to pin down debut album that’s an excellent piece of craftsmanship. Though its mixture of sounds and genres may be just a little disjointed at times, there’s something for everyone and shows it’s truly deserving of its Mercury Prize nomination.

Best Track – Your Loves Whore

7. Blur – The Magic Whip

Another returning artist, Blur’s first album in twelve years is truly a delight. Pieced together from a reunion band-jamming session in Hong Kong, this album will remind you why Blur are such a big deal. Recapturing the magic, seemingly effortlessly it’s an intriguing journey from start to finish.

Best Track – Ghost Ship

6. Everything Everything – Get to Heaven

Everything Everything’s third album sees them at the top of their game. Awkward vocals and sometimes unsettling electronic backing music shouldn’t work but in their hands it just does. Their poppiest and danciest effort yet, but also deeply serious and dealing with contemporary issues. Well worth a listen.

Best Track – No Reptiles

5. The Cribs – For All My Sisters

Having successfully survived since the indie filled mid-noughties the Cribs are on their sixth album and only increasing in quality as the years go by. They have a formula that just works and are yet to put a foot wrong. An album of instant Cribs-classics.

Best Track – Pink Snow

4. Slaves – Are You Satisfied?

The punk-duo from Royal Tunbridge Wells have had a huge year. Their snarly and raw lyrics have set them up as one of the most memorable new bands of 2015, selling out tours across the UK and being nominated for the Mercury Prize. Check them out and let the humour and high energy of their debut win you over.

Best Track – Sockets

3. Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit

Aussie newcomer Courtney Barnett sings about seemingly meaningless situations but always draws you into her stories. A talented witty songwriter with an original voice and an album full of growers; don’t let her slip you by.

Best Track – Dead Fox

2. Gengahr – A Dream Outside

London band Gengahr have a very distinct dreamy and mesmerising style. You’re not always sure what they’re signing about, but if you let them draw you in you’ll enter another world where everything’s chilled and okay. The best debut of the year.

Best Track – Fill My Gums With Blood

1.Drenge – Undertow
Just taking the top spot is the second album from Sheffield alternative rock band, Drenge. Their album is a love-letter to the Peak District and the rundown industrial areas that surround their home. Filled with grungey, moody passion and meaning they have produced in my eyes the best album of the year.

Best Track – Running Wild

Jack is a third year English student and self-proclaimed Whovian who also enjoys film and live music. You can read his blog here.


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aAh! Magazine is Manchester Metropolitan University's arts and culture magazine.

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