The 100 best albums of 2015: 60-51

Here’s the fifth instalment of the greatest album releases of 2015 from TeamRock, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog and Blues. It might help you decide what to spend those vouchers on…

60. LONELY ROBOT – Please Come Home (Century Media)
Prog said: “Performing all the instruments apart from drums, John Mitchell’s songwriting is accomplished throughout and his gift for creating slick tracks is ever present. There may be occasional glimpses of his past work that filter into some of the songs – the guitar riff that opens Construct Obstruct could neatly slot on to an It Bites album – but overall, Please Come Home is infused with a diverse originality.”

59. GRAVE PLEASURES – Dreamcrash (Columbia)
Classic Rock said: “The second album from the band formerly known as Beastmilk is one part love letter to 80s goth, one part heartfelt attempt to jump-start it for the 21st century. It’s a ringing success on both fronts. Lipstick On Your Tombstone could be the theme tune to some bleak, alternative-universe Twilight where everyone dies in the end and doesn’t come back…”

58. SONNY LANDRETH – Bound By The Blues (Provogue Records)
Blues said: “No sooner has that opening track made the statement of Landreth’s ‘formal’ return to the genre than he’s bending the rules and the notes again, and delightfully so. The title track has him embellishing the canvas with the sonic texturing that only a masterful player could pull off convincingly.”

57. DOWN I GO – You’re Lucky God, That I Cannot Reach You (Holy Roar)
Metal Hammer said: “Down I Go’s trademark swivel-eyed amalgam of lurching, dissonant hardcore, quirky strings and brass and insidious, out-of-focus melodies was always too smart and sassy to connect with the generic rock populace, but from the opening clatter of_Mother In The Pen_ to the wonky thump of The Sending, they remain a band with bounteous charm and millions of deranged but compelling ideas.”

56. KING KING – Reaching For The Light (Manhaton Records)
Blues said: “There has to be a reason for the blues accolades heaped upon King King and from the first track of this third album – the stinging Hurricane – it’s immediately apparent: rock solid songcraft.”

55. RIVERSIDE – Love, Fear and the Time Machine (InsideOutMusic)
Prog said: “It’s a pleasure to listen to: savvy musicians eschewing showing off to feed the overall feel. For all its downcast musings it emerges, as intended, with a sense of hope. Time machine? Riverside sound neither retro nor futuristic here. They sound completely at ease with their perfectly-pitched songs about unease. They tread softly, and conjure up a whole new forest of dreams. Heavenly.”

54. WALTER TROUT – Battle Scars (Provogue Records)
Blues said: “Liver failure, plus a coma and the loss of 13 pints of blood – followed by a transplant and a slow recovery – tends to leave a mark on a man’s psyche, and it’s this switch in perspective that Trout explores on these 12 songs. As he reasons, each of the fans who donated to the $245,000 fundraising campaign that saved his life has a stake in Battle Scars, and therefore it needs to be great, not just good. Fortunately, it’s one of the best electric blues albums likely to emerge this year.“

53. SONGHOY BLUES – Music In Exile (Transgressive)
Blues said:
“Formed after being forced out of their hometown by Islamic extremists, their collective sound is a raucous clash of loping African rhythms and primal blues power. With Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs on production duties, it straddles the traditional and modern with admirable verve. This is a debut steeped in social conscience that remains unequivocally danceable.”

52. ALL TIME LOW – Future Hearts (Hopeless)
We said: “As the record wraps up with Old Scars / Future Hearts, one thing becomes obvious: as much as Future Hearts has its cheesy moments, it’s never dull, and it wears its heart on its sleeve throughout. Pop punk might not have changed in 12 years, but it definitely isn’t dead.

51. THUNDER – Wonder Days (earMUSIC)
Classic Rock said: “The rigorous, blues-tinged melodic hard rock elements which established the band’s reputation in the first place are still intact, but they’ve expanded on these horizons. A lot of thought and graft has clearly gone into making Wonder Days sound so effortless. It would have probably been a monster hit in the mid-70s. Now, it’s a massive reminder that class is both timeless and incandescent.”