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Conor's Column: Best and Worst of 2015 so far

Most of our readers probably aren't that familiar with my name. I'm Conor Whybrew. I'm one of the co-founders of Up to Tempo and a Senior Staff Writer. I wrote a lot of posts when no one was reading our blog but our friends. Then I got caught up with life, graduating college, moving on my own, and working full-time for the first time in my life. I didn't have much time to write any more. Yet, I remained on the staff page.

Whenever we had staff meetings during the re-launch, Jared and Kyle would say "Conor does whatever Conor wants." I decided to start taking advantage of that statement. I'm going to start a weekly column. This week I'm going to start with discussing the new music of 2015. This is the best and worst moments in music so far this year.

Best

Alternative rock! 
There has been so much great music being released for alternative rock so far this year. A lot of bands who we weren't expecting released or are releasing music.

"What Kind of Man" by Florence and the Machine
I cannot get enough of this song! I love that accusatory line "What kind of man loves like this." It speaks so perfectly for anyone in a sub-par relationship. The song is also a slight departure from their typical sound. It definitely still sounds like Florence, but heavier. This song reminds me a bit like Heart. That is a compliment, those women rock!

Imagine Dragons
Imagine Dragons released Smoke and Mirrors on February 17. After hearing "I Bet My Life," I was incredibly excited for this release. The first listen to the full album was somewhat disappointing. The album starts heavy then gets quite slow and melancholy about halfway through. I kept listening because I enjoyed the first half so much. I grew to enjoy the whole album. I could relate so well to the lyrics. I thought they lived the last five years of my life. That is the whole point to enjoying music for me, that feeling that someone else can put words to how I am feeling.

"Hollow Moon" AWOLNATION
This song is incredibly catchy and I completely enjoy it. It's a great song to listen and dance alone in your kitchen. I have yet to listen to the full album, but I've seen mostly positive reviews.

Mumford and Sons
This is one of those artists who were on hiatus and unexpectedly returned. Their new song "Believe" is a complete departure from their typical folk rock sound. My first thought upon listening was, "Whoa, this sounds 'normal.'" I enjoy the song and I'm eager to hear the new album. I completely do not know what to expect and that excites me.

Worst

Photo from https://instagram.com/clemente_310
Blink-182
Whatever your opinion of Tom Delonge's departure from the band, it is never good for a band to air their inner turmoil as publicly as they did. There's a lot of passive aggressive comments made from both parties in a very public way. This is not a good image for any band. Now the band announced, they will be recording a new album with Matt Skiba. Personally, I have an issue with continuing with the name Blink-182. Blink is one of those rare bands where every band member carries equal weight among their fans. They are one of the few bands that the general public could name all their members. To continue on
without Tom would completely change the image of the band.As a Blink fan, I think we all need to accept we will never have the band we loved in the early 2000's back again. 

Fall Out Boy
Their album was released at the beginning of the year and failed to get much attention. I'm a long time fan of these guys. Upon the release of the album, I was kind of apathetic. Then I heard the album and that apathy grew. The album was quite disappointing. They definitely went in an even more pop direction. The band set fans up for this in interviews with Patrick Stump discussing how the band doesn't view pop as a bad word. The album sounded like a combination of Patrick Stump's solo album, Soul Punk, and the sound of  Save Rock N Roll. I loved both of those albums, but the combination wasn't that great. I also don't like that the band gradually released every song to the public before the album release. I prefer a slight tease of what to expect, not a complete reveal.


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