The Best Albums of 2015 That I Listened To

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As my best albums list is the “Best Albums I Listened To” as opposed to just the “Best Albums,” it is more pointedly subjective than my other best of lists. I usually do not listen to enough albums each year to really be able to definitively say which are the absolute greatest. Thus, instead of focusing on objective critical analysis, I am concentrating more on my own personal experiences with each of these entries.

Currents

1. Tame Impala, Currents – The Australian psychedelic rockers’ latest gets my top spot because it is one of those vaunted albums in which I wanted to listen to every track over and over, both as a whole and individually. Tame Impala’s previous release, Lonerism, is one of my favorite albums of all-time; I am counting my blessings that its follow-up is now in the same category.

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SNL Recap February 28, 2015: Dakota Johnson/Alabama Shakes

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SNL: Dakota Johnson, Alabama Shakes, Kenan Thompson (CREDIT: YouTube Screenshot)

This review was originally posted on Starpulse in March 2015.

“SNL” returned to its regularly scheduled time slot after its 40th anniversary and … this episode did not feel like the comedown show after a big special so much as it felt like the type of episode that follow the ones that preceded it.  Fresh off the record-breaking box-office of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” Dakota Johnson stopped by to host for the first time, on a series that is still strongly favoring original material, and at its best when that material gets weird (which usually happens with the pre-recorded shorts).  Johnson brought a surprising and surprisingly effective mellow charm that made her disappear into a lot of her roles, making an impression in how much she did not make an impression.  Meanwhile, Alabama Shakes made their case for why they should be the musical guest every week.

Giuliani, or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance – What started as a fairly standard current affairs cold opening surprised and delighted by turning into a pastiche of this year’s Best Picture Oscar winner.  Portraying Rudy Giuliani’s comments about the president as a hubristic comeback attempt a la Riggan Thomson in “Birdman” was not a comparison that a lot of people have been making.  Taran Killam really bit into the opportunity (quite literally, what with all that jowl movement) to do the double impression of Giuliani-as-Michael Keaton.  There were not really any laugh-out-loud moments, but this bit still absolutely killed, as it captured the energy and original spirit of the source material. B+

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SNL Recap February 16, 2013: Christoph Waltz/Alabama Shakes

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A piano’s gonna fall on me or something?

Cold Opening – Carnival Cruise Ship
One of those throw-a-bunch-of-stuff-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks sketches.  And guess what: enough stuck!  I probably enjoyed more than most the voice of Kenan yelling out, “There is no god!”  Oscar PistROius? B

Christoph Waltz’s Monologue
I’m a sucker for a good pun, and “Who’s on wurst?” was far from the worst. B

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