Now that 2016 is in full swing, it’s time to get started on my year-end 2015 posts. Here we are with The 2015 Clownies. Now, I always have to remind myself about these posts, so I assume you need a refresher, too. The Clownies celebrate the best of what I reviewed in 2015, not necessarily what was released in 2015. I cover the best of what was released in 2015 in my Best Of post, which will be severely delayed this year because I want to review a few more 2015 albums before getting around to that one.
So on to the winners.
Song Of The Year
This one was easy. Last February I reviewed the Best Song Ever, Guns N’ Roses’ “Coma” from Use Your Illusion I, so that’s the winner.
Album Of The Year
This award was quite a bit trickier to nail down, and I’m still not sure I got it right. I reviewed four five-clown albums this year, which seems high, but I’ll stand by those four.
That said, Led Zeppelin’s IV [Deluxe Edition] was quickly eliminated from contention when I re-reviewed them over the last couple of weeks. It’s just not nearly as immediate as the other three candidates.
The next to be eliminated, though it was a strong contender, was Alice In Chain’s Facelift.
I should point out here that all four of these albums were surprise contenders. Led Zeppelin because I’d previously reviewed the non-deluxe version of IV and found it underwhelming. Morrissey because I had no idea he made albums that good. And Kyuss and Alice In Chains because I thought I preferred each album’s follow-up, which I definitely don’t.
Anyway, after a lot of careful listening, I am awarding the Clownie to Wretch by a pinky. Your Arsenal is excellent, and as a tighter package, leaves you breathless and just satisfied. Wretch goes a little too long; I’m always thinking it should end when it gets to the ninth track (“I’m Not”) but it’s got two more to go. Still, it’s so much more visceral that, despite, or maybe because of, its rough edges I slightly prefer it.
Artist Of The Year
This is not quite as obvious a winner as “Coma,” but still kind of a shoo-in in a year where there were very few artists of whom I reviewed more than one release. The winner is Led Zeppelin, as I reviewed the deluxe editions of four of their albums: II, III, IV, and Houses Of The Holy. And it wasn’t just quantity of reviews, either. Along with IV‘s ultimate rating, the other three all came in at 4.5 clowns. What a career to get into forty years after the fact. Go Fat Clown!