Ben’s Favorite Albums of 2015

Lake Street Dive.  That should be the end of this review, because you should already know this band by name.  However, I feel it necessary to explain more in the event you do not know them. Infused within the name Lake Street Dive is a 2014/2015 blend of amazing soulful melody and an R&B disco feel that I personally cannot get enough of. If this band was a smoothie you would blend these; Jackson 5; Daft Punk; Three dog Night; Stevie Nicks.  It’s just smooth but ridged.  Melts in your heart, not in your hands.

Lake Street Dive.


First time I heard Nathaniel Ratliff’s single, S.O.B.  I thought of this:  I’m at a church in south Mississippi, with broken floor boards, its 99 degrees, humidity 100%, there’s a choir of nine and the pews creak (not that anyone is sitting down).  The pastor reveals exactly what he’s thinking, and out loud in front of his congregation of 18.  He knows it’s just because he’s mad for not finding clear direction, a great purpose and self-fulfillment.  He screams out, “Son of a bitch, give me a drink!”   The congregation shocked, looks up and realizes, this is truth…and their leader has lost his bearing, but are happy to see a fellow human worshiping with them, a real person with real sin.  Finally, he’s human and not just our figure head pastor.   That might be a little too deep, but songs like this make me develop full motion picture in mind.  This is what happens when you take away MTV and VH1, so… yeah. Killer 2015 Album.


Can’t help it, Hozier. Sure, it’s a 2014 Album, but it took a minute for Hozier. I can’t find a bad song on this album.  You can have a coffee in the morning and listen to this album, or you can be having a bad day and let this feed you goodness, or you can be driving 15 hours a week to and from work, and just enjoy yourself. His voice says, “WHAT!? I’m singing HERE!”, and at the same time, “it’s Ok, relax, I’m here for you…”  There’s nothing really fancy going on with this album, just melodic builds with a few huge dynamic swells.  There’s the surprise tag or riff here and there, but this album plays itself. It is one of my favorite albums of 2014-2015 (It’s relevant because it makes WXPN’s songs of the week).

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