It was especially disappointing because this was McLachlan’s first work following the dissolution of her marriage, and I love me a good heartbreak album. Instead, we got a boring one.
I guess that makes Triplicate the unlikeliest Bob Dylan album of them all. Not only has Dylan released his third straight album of stately covers from the Great American Songbook, this one is a three-disc set. As Rolling Stone pointed out in their review, Dylan “has now made more successive albums in this idiom than in any other style since his world-changing mid-1960s electric trinity, Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde.”
I discovered Brad Paisley in 2009 after the release of his best album, American Saturday Night. That album opened my mind to country music in general and I have since sought out and loved the music of quite a few artists in the genre.
I also gobbled up Paisley’s previous work and found those albums, especially Mud on the Tracks and Time Well Wasted, just as fresh and exciting. In 2011, Paisley released This Is Country Music, and while it wasn’t the equal of those other albums it was damn close.
As it happens, just about all of my favorite albums this year have been by women, with Aimee Mann’s Mental Illness vying for the top spot. Of course, when she promised her “saddest, slowest, most acoustic” album yet, I was destined to love it.
The Shins 2012 album Port of Morrow is one of my very favorites. In fact, I named it the best album of the 00’s so far back in 2014, and I don’t know if anything has dethroned it. There’s a list I’ll have to revisit next year.
Following up that pop masterpiece was going to be difficult, and I regretfully report that they didn’t quite hit it out of the park with this year’s Heartworms. One big caveat: I’ve given Heartworms just a handful of listens and it’s grown on me each time, so it might still climb in my estimation. But it’s no Port of Morrow.
Fewer than 20 new albums in a year is pretty lame by serious music fan standards. Music websites and magazines will publish Top 50 lists that might not even include some of these titles. But I tend to buy music by the artists I like, only occasionally dabbling in new artists, and I’m fine with that.
Reputation is pretty much what I expected based on the mostly disappointing pre-release singles. The good news is the rest of the album is a step up in quality, even if the subject matter is disappointingly more of the same. Dis tracks, love songs and meditations on what it’s like to be as famous as Taylor Swift.