Mid-Year/Most Anticipated 2015

This was supposed to be a top 10 mid-year list, but a strange thing happened this year: I’ve only purchased 12 albums released in 2015, and I have spent very little time listening to about half of those purchases. I simply haven’t connected with any new albums so far this year, so instead here are a few highlights.

Fall Out Boy - American Beauty/American Psycho

Fall Out Boy surprised me in January when they dropped their 6th full length. After getting tired of hearing "Centuries" dominate radio, I didn’t expect much from the album. But I was so, so wrong. Tracks like "Uma Thurman," "Jet Pack Blues," and "The Kids Aren’t Alright" find the band pushing into new pop territory while solidifying their past strengths.

All Time Low - Future Hearts

An album that surpassed everyone’s expectations, All Time Low’s newest effort finds a pretty good balance between their poppiest inclinations and the pop punk that reigned on their previous album, Don’t Panic!. If "Missing You" doesn’t end up on the radio within the next month, it will only be because "Runaways" beat it out.

Nate Ruess - Grand Romantic

I’m of two minds on Nate Ruess’s solo work. One, the sequencing, lyrics, and overall rushed feeling on this album make it difficult to enjoy. But two, "AhHa," "Harsh Light," and "Great Big Storm" have been at the top of my listening list for months now. Truly, this is a mixed bag and a second half with nearly 4(!) ballads in a row does nothing to abate that. As with every mixed bag, however, there’s some great material to be found here and one can only hope that it doesn’t take as long for Nate to be collaborating with his friends again.

Most anticipated: Marianas Trench - Astoria

Marianas Trench released my favorite album of 2014 in 2011, Ever After. Though their follow up, Astoria, was supposed to be out last winter and then this spring. The band continued to work on it through all of the rumored release dates and now it has a tentative date of this fall. Though there is no single released yet, the band has been playing new material live, and the harmonies in Who Do You Love have me very excited.