Thursday, December 10, 2015

Number 10 Album of the Year

I will post a full top 10 list at the end. In the meantime, I am going to fully explore each record in my top 10 and why I selected them. Again, this is not a "Best of". It is the albums that I've heard and resonated with me personally. There is some really good stuff out there that doesn't make my list because, well, it's my list. There's a lot of stuff I haven't even heard. Maybe you'll like some of it.
Brandy Zdan's self-titled "debut album" comes in at number ten. Debut album is in parentheses for a reason. It's her first full-length solo output. Zdan has put out some EP's and albums as part of other projects. So, this debut is not from a newcomer.

The best description of this album came from a tweet from my friend at Farce the Music, and I'm paraphrasing here: Brandy Zdan's new album come along and filled that space of smokey, rockin', good music.

That is exactly what it does.

As musically diverse as the album is, the one common thread is Brandy's smokey, sultry voice. It's like Grace Potter and the Nocturnals meets early Sheryl Crow with doom metal and goth undertones while sprinkling in some Americana combined with pop, country and dance with killer, yet sparse guitar work. As strange as that may sound, it all works.

The album itself also has an odd dynamic. And I'm not saying odd is not a good thing.

The first few songs are more of the rockers on the record. Then it slowly turns more melancholy, followed by the Americana/pop. Kinda. It's really not that linear.

But really, what makes a good album for me is that you can put it on and listen from start to finish without wanting to skip songs. Brandy Zdan accomplishes that in spades.

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