Best Albums of 2015: ‘No Cities to Love’ by Sleater-Kinney (No. 1)

Photo by Brigitte Sire.

Photo by Brigitte Sire.

With very few exceptions, bands that break up nowadays reunite eventually. So there was an excellent chance that Sleater-Kinney wasn’t finished for good when the band split in 2006. All the same, who would have expected the trio would return with an album as good as “No Cities to Love?”

My pick for the best album of 2015, it’s a fierce, powerful collection that is quite possibly the best that Carrie Brownstein, Corin Tucker and Janet Weiss have ever made. As I wrote for Paste’s “25 Best Albums of 2015 (So Far)” feature in July, “The interplay between Brownstein and Tucker has rarely been tighter or more ferocious, their voices and guitars twisting, turning and intertwining over explosive drumming from Weiss on songs that are as tuneful as they are hard-hitting.”

On the centerpiece song, “A New Wave,” Brownstein sings, “No one here is taking notice/ No outline will ever hold us/ It’s not a new wave, it’s just you and me.” It’s a declaration, a promise, a statement of purpose and not entirely correct: “No Cities to Love” is a mesmerizing tour de force that has drawn plenty of notice, all of it well-deserved.

The rest of my top-10 list is here.

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