Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Best Albums of 2015: Number Eight

best albums of 2015

Sometimes you just want to go through your day like a badass with a soundtrack. Ok, maybe not just sometimes. But still, while that soundtrack will vary depending on my mood, a lot of the time it's going to feature some version of what this album in the number 8 position for 2015 is doing. La Batteria by Italy's La Batteria runs the gamut of late 60s to mid 80s B movie soundtracks, except these are all original compositions.

2015 album

I don't usually say things like this, but they just don't make movie soundtracks like they used to. My generation grew up with, and took for granted, some of the greatest music ever to be written specifically for movie and TV. Some of that music even came from libraries of stock music that happened to feature some great musicians, but I figure that as electronic instruments became more prominent, these libraries became filled with much more generic Casio sounding music, losing the funk and groove of that previous era. But eventually many of those great pieces would be heard in samples from the 90s to today used by everyone from Portishead to The-Wu Tang Clan and beyond. In any case, La Batteria pays homage to all of this in a very specifically Italian way, recalling bands like Goblin.

The opening track, "Chimera" is a melancholy tune of the sort Ennio Morricone would throw onto a scene of a lonely assassin, contemplating his hit list while smoking a cigarette, only to discover that his final target is the love of his life. He's not necessarily surprised by this, and is likely not going to take immediate steps to save her because he's being watched, but it weighs on him enough to elicit a smokey sigh of resignation to fate. He clearly deserves the pain and that realization is what will lead to his ultimate sacrifice as he gives his life to save her. Yeah, all this from a simple instrumental featuring a guitar and harpsichord. That's how great this album is.

The next track, "Vigilante" is what the soundtrack should be to a superhero movie if they had any soul. "Scenario" is obviously about a highly tense heist and "Formula" is chase that slowly builds in intensity with the pulsing synths that bubble like the warped plastic cover of some old forgotten VHS horror movie from the 80s. I could go on and on, with each track, but maybe it's better if you just listen for yourself and let it reveal these imagined movies to you. Oh, and by the way, the last track, "Persona non grata" plays as the lonely assassin slowly dies, a victim of his own trap, realizing that the person that hired him was his lost love, who hates him, and knew full well he would sacrifice himself to save her, from himself. Roll credits.

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