Top Ten Albums of 2015 [+ link to Mind the Gap]

As usual, I’ve made my list of the best albums of the year, including links to any reviews I wrote on them. You can click here for a playlist featuring two of my favourite songs from each release!

top ten of 2015

1) That’s the Spirit – Bring Me the Horizon
2) American Candy – The Maine
3) American Beauty/American Psycho – Fall Out Boy
4) Future Hearts – All Time Low
5) Life’s Not Out to Get You – Neck Deep
6) Blurryface – twenty one pilots
7) Life in Real Time – Paradise Fears
8) Automatic – Don Broco
9) Sounds Good, Feels Good – 5 Seconds of Summer
10) Vikings – New Politics

There was lots of other good albums this year, including Knuckle Puck’s Copacetic, The Wonder Years’ No Closer to Heaven, Young Guns’ Ones and Zeros, Muse’s Drones, We Are Harlot’s self-titled debut, and Nate Ruess’s solo release, Grand Romantic.

What made your list of best albums?

She wants to dance like Uma Thurman

If you ever want to witness a 20-something year old completely lose her mind, you should come with me next time I see Fall Out Boy live. They’re one of those bands that I can scream over for days, and their live shows are always amazing.


I saw FOB yesterday for the fifth time (fourth since they came back from their hiatus). No matter how many times I see them, I will probably still lose my voice right around the time when they play my favourite song, “A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More Touch Me”.

The weird thing about this concert was the other bands on the bill. The “Boys of Zummer” tour is a co-headliner, so even though FOB closed, they were preceded by an hour-and-a-bit long Wiz Khalifa set.

I don’t really like Wiz Khalifa, to be honest. I appreciate what FOB was doing, partnering with a band outside of their “scene”, and they (FOB) have always had a hand in the hip-hop world. And I even get that there were a lot of fans there to see both fans. But I don’t always appreciate reeking like secondhand pot smoke (because I’m secretly an 85 year old who shakes her head disapprovingly at kids these days and their mari-ju-ana).

Plus after the two Wiz songs I know*, everything else just sorta sounded the same.

*I know the chorus of “Black and Yellow” and the only reason I know “Roll Up” (which I didn’t realize was a Wiz Khalifa song) is because The Ready Set once covered it for a Punk Goes Pop compilation.

Before Wiz came out, we were also treated to a Hoodie Allen set. Again, not really my type of music, but his one of his songs – which he said was inspired by early 2000’s pop-punk staples like Green Day and FOB – was something I could get behind.

After what felt like centuries (see what I did there?), FOB came out and made it worth the wait (and the lingering pot smell, plus the beer that somehow ended up on my sweater even though I wasn’t drinking).

They were incredible. Opening with “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down” seemed like a bold move; even though it’s one of their biggest songs, it’s something you’d expect to hear in the middle of the set. But it worked. One of the reasons I love hearing “Sugar” live is to hear the call-and-response between the band and audience: Patrick will start off belting “AM I MORE” then he steps back from the mic, letting the crowd shout “THAN YOU BARGAINED FOR YET? I’VE BEEN DYING TO TELL YOU” before he comes back in on “ANYTHING, YOU WANT TO HEAR…”

Patrick’s live performance has improved so much since this DVD was made (in 2008).

Maybe you have to be there, but it’s a wonderful feeling, being part of a crowd of 15,000+ (the amphitheatre has a capacity of 16,000 people), all yelling the same words.

FOB doesn’t really talk much on stage; in fact, any talking is usually done by Pete and even he’s gotten better (sometimes he rambles about stuff and you’re just like “dude, get to the part where you play a song!”). Not this time, though – there was minimal talking, which meant they fit a lot of songs into their allotted hour and a half (18 songs in total, including a drum solo, and two acoustic songs performed on the mini stage near the lawn seats).

This being a tour in support of their most recent album, American Beauty/American Psycho, they obviously played quite a few new songs, including a gorgeous acoustic version of “Immortals”, the majestic “Irresistible”, and, of course “Centuries”. I was also really happy that the seats around us were empty because when they played “Uma Thurman”, I was able to, well, dance like Uma Thurman.

Like I said, I could go on about FOB for hours. They’re always incredible live, and, even though they don’t play as many songs from Take This To Your Grave or Folie a Deux as I’d personally like (only “Saturday” and “I Don’t Care”, respectively), they’re so much fun and have so much energy. If you’re a FOB fan, I highly recommend catching them the next time they tour through your area; it’s always good to have a night of dancing and singing-until-you-lose-your-voice once in a while.

She’s an American beauty, I’m an American psycho

Last week, Fall Out Boy released a new album, American Beauty/American Psycho. I decided that instead of doing a full review, I would write about my feelings on a track-by-track basis and highlight my favourite lyric from each song. If there’s one thing Fall Out Boy excels at, it’s writing lyrics.

1) “Irresistible”

Favourite lyric: You look so Seattle but you feel so LA

The majestic horns at the beginning make this the perfect intro to post-Save Rock & Roll Fall Out Boy. It was one of the singles they released leading up to the album, and I think it really sets the tone for the rest of the track list.

2) “American Beauty/American Psycho”

Favourite lyric: And I’m the best worst thing that hasn’t happened to you yet

When this song/video initially dropped, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. It has a solo-Patrick Stump vibe, which I love (unlike a lot of people, I actually really enjoyed his solo album, 2011’s Soul Punk). By the time I listened to it a third time though, I was hooked. Sidenote: it’s also ideal if you want to do jumping jacks.

3) “Centuries”

Favourite lyric: I can’t stop till the whole world knows my name/Because I was only born inside my dreams

Our first taste of new FOB music came out in September, and I can’t even count how many times I listened to it. I initially described it as “massive“, and I still stand by that. It was still hard to determine what the rest of the album would sound like based off this first single, but it gave us an idea of what to expect.

4) “The Kids Aren’t Alright”

Favourite lyric: And in the end, I’d do it all again/I think you’re my best friend/Don’t you know that the kids aren’t alright

This was another song released before the album, and I loved it right away. One of the strongest songs (in my opinion), this almost-but-not-quite-a-ballad track is the one that I think, lyrically, sounds the most like FOB’s 2008 album, Folie a Deux (does anyone else get “What A Catch, Donnie” vibes from it?), which is a good thing.

5) “Uma Thurman”

Favourite lyric: I’ll keep you like an oath/”May nothing but death do us part”

I never knew I wanted to dance like Uma Thurman until I heard this song. It’s impossible to sit still while this is on. You wouldn’t think sampling the theme song from The Munsters would work, but FOB proved us all wrong.

6) “Jet Pack Blues”

Favourite lyric: She’s in a long black coat tonight/Waiting for me in the downpour outside

My favourite part of this song is the chorus. Just when you think Patrick Stump’s voice has reached max power, he belts out something like this.

7) “Novocaine”

Favourite lyric: If you knew what the blue birds sang at you/You would never sing along

This is my least favourite track, which is not to say I don’t like it. It just isn’t as impressive as some of the others and, unfortunately, it comes right before one of my favourite cuts, which means I have very little patience for it.

8) “Fourth of July”

Favourite lyric: You and I were fireworks that went off too soon

Like “American Beauty/American Psycho”, I was a little “meh” during my first listen. Then I listened to it a second time and that was it. I LOVE this song. I can’t get it out of my head which is fine because I don’t ever want it to leave me.

9) “Favourite Record”

Favourite lyric: You are the song stuck in my head/Every song that I’ve ever loved

This is another one where the lyrics remind me of old-school FOB. I don’t know this for a fact, but it feels like a throwback to “Dead on Arrival” (“I know I’m not your favourite record”). It doesn’t has as much pizazz as the other cuts, but it’s still pretty solid.

10) “Immortals”

Favourite lyric: I am the sand in the bottom half of the hourglass

A slightly different version of the song they did for Big Hero 6, I have two words: dance party. Listen to this and “Uma Thurman” back to back if you want an amazing workout.

11) “Twin Skeleton’s (Hotel In NYC)”

Favourite lyric: I just wanna throw my hands in the air and scream

This final track reminds me of Panic! at the Disco (and since I love P!ATD, this is a good thing). I think it’s “ohs” near the end, but it has a bit of a Vices & Virtues-vibe, doesn’t it? Either way, it’s an excellent closer, and I think it would flow really well into “Save Rock and Roll” if it was played live.