15 Best Tracks of 2015: and Why I Don’t Listen to Albums
I spent a bunch of time pondering why we still tend rate music by album rather than track when it comes to all these year-end “best” lists. I posed the question on Facebook where some of us arrived at the conclusion that amazing albums shine a light on artists who can create consistently good music, as opposed to one or two good tracks and a bunch of duds.
That said, I can’t help feeling that albums are a relic; a legacy format based on the recording industry’s former distribution models. Album-oriented rock became a genre partly as a result of LP and CD formats coming to prominence. The recording industry liked it that way because fans had to buy an entire album even if they only liked some of the tracks.
While albums continue to have artisitic merit, younger generations aren’t growing up with CDs and LPs (except for the folks who are into the retro aspect of vinyl). Albums are presented on platforms like Spotify, but I imagine folks are more often listening to single track recommendations and making their own playlists shared between friends; more akin to mixtapes than albums.
So I decided for my year-end best list that I’ll list tracks, but I’ve also decided to put an * next to tracks that happen to be on an album that I’d put in my best-albums list if I were to make one. So in that sense this list also contains my picks for the 5 best albums of ’15: