I did this ranking in Music Mania, so I decided to update it and make some changes.
I can't believe Lana's album was so high and Taylor's album was so low.
15. Kylie Minogue - Kiss Me Once
I don't like any Kylie album as an entire piece, but over the years I have always been looking forward to her albums and finding some pop gems. Kiss Me Once is one of the most solid pop albums this year. It has some really nice tunes, but also a couple of fillers. It isn't experimental like X. Maybe Aphrodite supposed to be her sexy album, but this album is definitely her most sensual and sexiest album ever. A song called Sparks appeared only on Japanese edition. Too bad, because it was one of the best songs that deserves to be on the standard edition.
Highlights: Million Miles, Sexy Love, Les Sex, Fine, Sparks
14. Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence
The queen of melancholy delivering another good album. It doesn't bring anything new, what we haven't heard on her previous works, but that's not a flaw. It is more cohesive than her previous works and very dreamy. I think this album isn't so accessible and catchy to general public like her other works.
Highlights: Ultraviolence, Old Money
13. Simple Minds - Big Music
A solid rock album. The good thing is that Simple Minds sound with this album just like their 80s stuff. The album is coherent and all songs have similar atmosphere and mood. There is a cover of The Doors' Riders On The Storm on a deluxe edition.
Highlights: Honest Town, Midnight Walk
12. Sinead O'Connor - I'm Not Bossy, I'm the Boss
Very listenable and very catchy rock album. Sinead is still capable to write interesting lyrics. There is nothing new on this album. It is similar to her previous works, but that isn't a bad thing.
Highlights: 8 Reasons, James Brown, Take Me To Church
11. Tori Amos - Unrepentant Geraldines
Tori is one of those artists who do their own thing. She never tries to make music for masses, even when she makes more accessible stuff like Cornflake Girl. This album is good, but it is just another Tori Amos album. She is too much focused don baroque pop stuff on her latest works. Where is the energetic Tori from the 90s who made piano rock anthems? That would be the only criticism. Good album, good lyrics, nice melodies and compositions.
Highlights: Maids of Elfen-Mere, Wedding Day, America
10. Ramona Lisa - Arcadia
Caroline Polachek, a member of Chairlift band, released her first solo album this year, under the name Ramona Lisa. It is one of the most interesting albums this and the most unique on this list. She wanted to make an album that will be electronic, but to have an organic vibe. She succeed at it. It is dreamy, surreal, nostalgic and melancholic. Ramona used only her laptop and its MIDI music. She didn't use real instruments or external microphones. It is very creative and not one of those catchy albums that are liked by general public.
Higlights: Backwards & Upwards, Dominic
09. Billy Idol - Kings & Queens of the Underground
I am glad he returned and delivered an album that's has the vibe of his classic works (albums:Billy Idol, Rebel Yell, Whiplash Smile, Charmed Life). Like many artists, Billy Idol had also ups and downs. With 1990 album Charmed Life Billy proved he isn't just an 80s act, but 1993 album Cyberpunk was his first bad album and one of the worst albums in general. It had a good concept, but its execution was horrible. Mixing trashy techno/house with rock wasn't was a bad idea, but it could have been well made. Some rock bands succeeded at it. Still, the album has some gems. Billy returned on the music scene in 2005 with Devil's Playground album. It was a solid album, but it didn't have classic sound and was too loud. New album, Kings & Queens of the Underground, is a return to formand has good positions on charts. Song Postcards from the Past reminds of his 80s hit Rebel Yell, while up tempo ballads One Breath Away and Nothing To Fear have the quality of his 80s ballads.
Highlights: Postcards from the Past, One Breath Away
08. Kelis - Food
I like the artists like Kelis, the artists who keep making music even if they aren't super successful. The reason why they should keep making music is simple: they make good music. Instead of following trends and doing what is currently hot like many other singers, Kelis decided to play her own game and she is good at it. I have never expected her to be musically adventurous. She really transformed herself into a princessof reinvention musically.From r'n'b and hip hop albumstoFlesh Tone which mixed electronica, dance, pop and house. Now, her album Food mixeselectronica and soul and she pulled itoff. The album represents a modern approach to soul, while being catchy and accessible to general public.
Highlights: Rumble, Breakfast
07. Coldplay - Ghost Stories
Definitely one of the better albums in Coldplay's discography. The only really bad song is A Sky Full Of Stars, which is too commercial and too basic. It seems this song was a template for their next album. Ghost Stories has dreamy, yet accessible songs. Very strong and cohesive album and a big improvement after solid Mylo Xyloto.
Highlights: Magic, All Your Friends
06. La Roux - Trouble In Paradise
After the futuristic electropop album with the 80s elements, La Roux deliversanotherelectropop album. This time it is less futuristic and more organic and tropical. La Roux is still inspired by the 80s music, but she said she is inspired by a different type. A source of inspiration she found in Italo-disco, funk and "weird, late '70s and early '80s sci-fi disco", dub and ragga. The album is very cool, sexy, light and much warmer than her debut album. It is full of catchy melodies and definitely the album of summer thanks to its tropical vibe.
Highlights: Tropical Chancer, The Feeling
05. The Horrors - Luminous
Dreamy, melancholic, nostalgic...Luminous is a continuation of Skying album which represented the new sound of The Horrors, while leaving uninspiring gothic rock and garage rock. While it has been criticized for being too similar to Skying and not delivering some new elements, Luminous is definitely a qualitative album
Highlights: Sleepwalk, Mine And Yours
04. The Ting Tings - Super Critical
After their disappointing Sounds from Nowheresville album, Super Criticalis a return to form. Super Criticalhas the fun vibe typical for their debut album We Started Nothing, but it has funky atmosphere and ismuch catchier than debut album. Sounds from Nowheresville album was supposed to sound like their debut album and a song called Hands (which supposed to be the first single of the second album), but the plans were changed when Hands became a hit song and The Ting Tings decided to leave the catchytunes. What a stupid decision.Super Critical album is very radio friendly and any song could be released as single.
Highlights:Failure, Wrong Club, Wabi Sabi
03. Dum Dum Girls - Too true
An awesome indie pop/rock album. It evokes 80s rock music and new wave. The songs are very ethereal, melancholic and melodic. Too True is their best album, perfectly crafted and very cohesive.
Highlights: Rimbaud Eyes, Under These Hands
02. Taylor Swift - 1989
She surprised me with this album. I became mildly interested when there was an information how the album was inspired by the 80s and the year 1989. As a fan of the 80s music and the 80s revival, I decided to give it a try. Actually, just a few songs have the 80s vibe. The album is full of catchy and modern pop/synthpop gems. The album isn't groundbreaking or original, but it is warm and charming. This is a great direction for Taylor. Her music is becoming more mature and stronger.
It isn't surprising that this album was so successful. It is very accessible musically, without being tacky, basic or typical music for the masses. Ryan Adams made a cover album of 1989 in 2o15 and only showed how Taylor's album is brilliant. Strong melodies, cool lyrics, charming, catchy and most importantly timeless.
Highlights: Out Of The Woods, Wildest Dreams, Wonderland, Bad Blood, New Romantics
01. Ryan Adams - Ryan Adams
Just like his cover album of Taylor's 1989, this is another 80s inspired album. I don't know how many of his albums are truly inspired by the 80s, but Ryan is obviously in his 80s phase and I hope there will be more works like this and 1989. Many tricks, effects and vibes he used here, he also used on 1989, only that he went further with 1989 and made it to sound like it was made in the 80s.
This album has great lyrics, great music, melodies... Another timeless album in Ryan's discography.
Highlights: Gimme Something Good, Kim, Shadows, Feels Like Fire