Monday, January 18, 2016

Top 50 Albums of 2015

Well, we're already 18 days into 2016 but it's never too late to reflect. 2015 wasn't the greatest year we've ever had for music, but it was still pretty damn incredible. Beach House returned with TWO stunning LP's, Kamasi Washington literally made a jazz epic and we saw legendary debuts from the likes of Vince Staples, Natalie Prass, Jamie xx and many more. I couldn't listen to every record that was released in 2015, but I tried to listen to as many as I possibly could and these were my 50 favorites.


50.   Fetty Wap by Fetty Wap
Fetty consistently brings great production and unique personality on his debut LP.

*

49.   Liability by Prof
Prof's follow up to his supurb debut, King Gampo, is just as zany and ridiculously catchy.

*

48.   Another One by Mac Demarco
The most laid back but also most vulnerable we've ever seen Mac on a record.

*

47.   The Phosphorescent Blues by Punch Brothers
Their most breathtaking LP yet; Phosphorescent Blues features some of the best folk tracks of the year.

*

46.     At.Long.Last.A$AP by A$AP Rocky
Yet another notable record from Rocky, featuring some of his nastiest production to date.

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45.   Born Under Saturn by Django Django
A fun follow up to their excellent self-titled debut.

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44.   King Push - Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude by Pusha T
If these were the tracks that couldn't make the cut for King Push, then we're in for one hell of a record.

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43.   Blurryface by Twenty One Pilots
Darker, weirder and catchier than their last LP, which I really didn't think was possible.

*

42.   The Incredible True Story by Logic
Just a year after his impressive debut, Under Pressure, the Baltimore rapper comes back with an even better record.

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41.   Thank Your Lucky Stars by Beach House
The second of their two wonderful records from this year.

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40.   Depression Cherry by Beach House
The first of their two wonderful records from this year.

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39.   Ratchet by Shamir
Shamir likes to have fun and dance and Ratchet is the musical definition of that lifestyle.

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38.   What Went Down by Foals
Foals structure What Went Down with attitude and dominance.

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37.   Every Open Eye by Chvrches
Chvrches second LP brings us another dose of dreamy pop/dance greatness.

*

36.   Rodeo by Travi$ Scott
The most hyped up release of the year doesn't disappoint. Incredible production and writing throughout.

*

35.   Vulnicura by Björk
One of the lovely Björks greatest works to date.

*

34.   jenny death by Death Grips
What we thought was to be the groups final record sent them off wonderfully into the sunset (but not really because they actually didn't break up, I guess).

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33.   Late Nights: The Album by Jeremih
From making songs in his college dorm room to receiving critical acclaim, Late Nights finally earns Jeremih the recognition he deserves.

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32.   25 by Adele
Adele delivers some of the most stunning vocal work to ever grace the ears of music listeners.

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31.   Barter 6 by Young Thug
"But really what is it to do / when you got the whole world hatin on you?" You shut them the fuck up by putting out a record like Barter 6.

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30.   Natalie Prass by Natalie Prass
It's basically like the score to a really depressing but elegant, beautiful Disney film.

*

29.   Tetsuo & Youth by Lupe Fiasco
If you ever for a moment think Lupe's lost his touch, listen to this record.

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28.   M3LL155X [EP] by FKA Twigs
Another stunning piece of experimental, trip-hop from Tahliah Barnett.

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27.   Poison Season by Destroyer
A very impressive record from the legendary Dan Bejar.

*

26.   Dirty Sprite 2 by Future
2015 was a big year for the Atlanta rapper, being attached to four different releases, Dirty Sprite 2 was the highlight.

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25.   No Cities To Love by Sleater-Kinney
An immaculate return from the legendary trio.

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24.   If You're Reading This It's Too Late by Drake
2015 was Drakes year and it started the very moment he shouted "I was running through the 6 with my woes!"

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23.   Viet Cong by Viet Cong
A stellar debut to the band formerly known as Viet Cong.

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22.   The Epic by Kamasi Washington
At a staggering 173 minutes, The Epic is one of 2015's most incredibly well crafted pieces of music.

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21.   VEGA INTL. Night School by Neon Indian
The electro/psych/dance sound of Neon Indian has never been so groovy!

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20.   Surf by Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment
When Chance The Rapper announced Surf, we were all sure this was going to be his next mixtape, but what we got instead was a wonderful, collection of some of the best collaborations of the year helmed by the talented Donnie Trumpet.

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19.   Wildheart by Miguel
The incredible production and Miguel's very suggestive lyricism makes Wildheart one of the sexiest records of the year.

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18.   Goon by Tobias Jesso Jr.
"How could you, babe?" croons the singer/songwriter during the second track of the LP, starting the journey through this beautiful, heart breaking record.

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17.   New Bermuda by Deafheaven
For anyone who slept on 2013's stellar Sunbather, New Bermuda is here to remind you to start paying attention to Deafheaven.

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16.   Sun Coming Down by Ought
The zany lyrics and suburb, post-punk arrangements make Sun Coming Down a must listen.

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15.   In Colour by Jamie xx
The long awaited debut from the xx member was seemingly loved by everybody in 2015, especially by my self.

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14.   A New Place 2 Drown by Archy Marshall
King Krule's debut as Archy Marshall is dark, eerie, creepy and delicious.

*

13.   Painted Shut by Hop Along
There isn't a track on this LP that won't make you want to shred some air guitar and head-bang.

*

12.   Have You In My Wilderness by Julia Holter
The dreamy/art-pop sound Julia Holter has developed comes together nicer than ever on Have You In My Wilderness, featuring some of her most stunning vocals to date.

*

11.   Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper by Panda Bear
Noah Lennox is a hopeless wanderer and especially on PBMTGR. It feels like Noah is taking us on a trip through his current home country, Portugal, sharing with us stories of him and his father, his adolescence and his greatest fears.

*

10.   Carrie & Lowell by Sufjan Stevens
There isn't a moment on this record where Sufjan isn't tugging on you heartstrings. The emotion pours out of his voice and guitar like the deepest, darkest secrets you only tell to your closest friends.

*

9.   Compton by Dr. Dre
It was everything I wanted and more. Dr. Dre makes a historic return with what is arguably his best record yet.

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8.   I Love You, Honeybear by Father John Misty
In a year where true originality was hard to find, we had Father John Misty to turn to. With the wide array of sounds from folk to rock to pop, I Love You, Honeybear was a true delight.

*

7.   Apocalypse, girl by Jenny Hval
The dark and mysterious Apocalypse, girl put Jenny Hval on the map. The experimental production and Jenny's soft, almost whispering vocals send chills up your spine from start to finish.

*

6.   Summertime '06 by Vince Staples
After last years superb Hell Can Wait EP, no one was more excited for his follow up, debut LP than I, and the Long beach rapper did not let me down. The double LP, featuring 10 tracks on each, flow so smoothly you'll completely forget the record is almost an hour long.

*

5.   Art Angels by Grimes
If you ever had a doubt in your mind that Claire Boucher wasn't a badass then you need to listen to Art Angels, asap. Just the first three tracks prove how much she has brought up the intensity in her music. Art Angels is Grimes best effort yet, a record that doesn't lose an ounce of momentum, if even for a second.

*

4.   Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit by Courtney Barnett
Nobody won my heart more in 2015 than Courtney Barnett. I had yet to listen to her, in depth, before I saw her perform on night one of the 2015 Bonnaroo Music Festival. In front of a restless crowd, waiting for Mac Demarco, her and her band stepped out to the stage, gave a quick hello and didn't say much after that, nor did she have to. Much like this record, her performance was dominant, you could hear it and see it. The energy she brought, the lyricism, the punk-rock personality. It was something so completely new and something so special.

*

3.   Simple Songs by Jim O'Rourke
Jim O'Rourke cares about craftsmanship and in his fifth studio solo record, the former Sonic Youth member showed us exactly that. He blends his masterful post-rock sound with his witty lyrics and remarkable vocals. There are very few tracks on Simple Songs that don't end with a stadium shattering jam. The arrangements he produces are so stunning, all you can really do is sit back and let Jim take you away to rock and roll heaven.

*

2.   Currents by Tame Impala
"I was doing fine with out you / until I saw your face, now I cant erase" sings Kevin Parker on The Less I Know the Better. He sings to a past lover who he though he had gotten over until he crosses paths with her again. This is a reoccurring theme in Currents. The lonely guy who created Lonerism is now somehow lonelier than ever and you can hear it in every word and every moment where a synth takes the place of Parker's usual guitar glory. Currents is groovier and dancey than past Tame Impala records but it is also immensely more devastating than any of his previous works.

*

1.   To Pimp A Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
Once the final moments of Kendrick's faux interview with 2pac ended, I knew there wouldn't be a better record to come out in 2015. It was only March but I was certain and here we are, nine month later and it still sits at the top. There really was no question why this was number one on a lot of peoples lists; it's absolute perfection. The social-lyrical themes, writing, production credits from Flying Lotus, Sounwave and Boi-1da, stellar features from Thundercat, Snoop Dogg, Rapsody, etc. It's not just the record we wanted from Kendrick, it's the record we needed.