Happy holidays! It's that time of year when we take a look back to celebrate what kept us moving forward. This week, we'll countdown the Top 25 albums and next week we'll take on the singles.
5. Japandroids, “Celebration Rock” (Polyvinyl): The most accurately titled album of the year. Everything about the Vancouver duo's sophomore album says Pacific Northwest indie-rock party – nods to Nirvana, fuzzy guitars, circle pits and big grins while you scream along with “The House That Heaven Built.”
4. The Vaccines, “Come of Age” (Columbia): “I’m not magnetic or mythical,” Justin Young lets us know in “Teenage Icon.” “I’m suburban and typical.” Nothing wrong with that, especially when it's clear he's also a talented student of Brit rock from the past half-century, fashioning his own take on punk, Merseybeat, and Two Tone.
3. Bruce Springsteen, “Wrecking Ball” (Columbia): It's a testament to Springsteen's skill that he can make an accurate portrayal of America's economic struggles still sound fiery and uplifting, especially in the title track and “Death to My Hometown.”
2. fun., “Some Nights” (Fueled by Ramen): Nate Ruess wears his insecurities on his sleeve, right next to his heart. His style of rock, in “We Are Young,” especially, is so earnest and un-jaded that he practically invites the criticism. Yet the New York band also knows that the well-crafted, Queen-like arena dreams they crafted will sound even bigger with their army of fans singing along.