American Songwriter's Top 50 Albums of 2015

American Songwriter's Top 50 Albums of 2015

Original Source

50. Kristin Diable - Create Your Own Mythology

Kristin Diable - Create Your Own Mythology
February 24, 2015
Critic Score
80
1 review
User Score
85
3 reviews

49. Sleater-Kinney - No Cities to Love

Sleater-Kinney - No Cities to Love
January 20, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
89
29 reviews
User Score
78
476 reviews

48. Glen Hansard - Didn't He Ramble

Glen Hansard - Didn't He Ramble
September 18, 2015
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
73
9 reviews
User Score
71
12 reviews

Well, so much for judging a book by its cover or Hansard by his previous missteps because Didn’t He Ramble is a surprising and unexpectedly refreshing success.

Full Review →

47. Iris DeMent - The Trackless Woods

Iris DeMent - The Trackless Woods
August 7, 2015
Country
Critic Score
79
5 reviews
User Score
90
1 review

46. Punch Brothers - The Phosphorescent Blues

Punch Brothers - The Phosphorescent Blues
January 27, 2015
Bluegrass
Critic Score
76
7 reviews
User Score
75
64 reviews

45. Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line - Wake

Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line - Wake
February 24, 2015
Country
Critic Score
80
1 review
User Score
71
2 reviews

44. Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear

Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear
February 10, 2015
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
89
30 reviews
User Score
84
724 reviews

43. GospelbeacH - Pacific Surf Line

GospelbeacH - Pacific Surf Line
October 16, 2015
Critic Score
NR
User Score
NR

42. Adele - 25

Adele - 25
November 20, 2015
Soul
Critic Score
71
29 reviews
User Score
73
226 reviews

The finished product here seems like an attempt to up the ante on the drama and showstopping that permeated 21.

Full Review →

41. Aaron Lee Tasjan - In the Blazes

Aaron Lee Tasjan - In the Blazes
October 6, 2015
Critic Score
70
1 review
User Score
80
2 reviews

40. Bully - Feels Like

Bully - Feels Like
June 23, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
76
16 reviews
User Score
76
87 reviews
There’s not much in the way of innovation here, but there’s a hell of a lot of fun to be had.
Full Review →

39. Promised Land Sound - For Use and Delight

Promised Land Sound - For Use and Delight
October 2, 2015
Critic Score
80
2 reviews
User Score
83
3 reviews

38. My Morning Jacket - The Waterfall

My Morning Jacket - The Waterfall
May 4, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
76
23 reviews
User Score
74
88 reviews
Regardless of how many stylistic changes are shoehorned into any cut, nothing feels forced or stilted.
Full Review →

37. Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell - The Traveling Kind

Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell - The Traveling Kind
May 12, 2015
Americana
Critic Score
73
6 reviews
User Score
71
3 reviews

36. Jessica Pratt - On Your Own Love Again

Jessica Pratt - On Your Own Love Again
January 27, 2015
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
78
17 reviews
User Score
77
98 reviews

35. Lana Del Rey - Honeymoon

Lana Del Rey - Honeymoon
September 18, 2015
Art Pop
Critic Score
74
25 reviews
User Score
72
280 reviews

Honeymoon isn’t quite as fine as Ultraviolence, but that’s less an indictment of the new album than high praise of the older one ... In any case, Del Rey’s rollercoaster of a career seems to have steadied on an impressively high level.

Full Review →

34. Deerhunter - Fading Frontier

Deerhunter - Fading Frontier
October 16, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
82
30 reviews
User Score
80
303 reviews

33. Built to Spill - Untethered Moon

Built to Spill - Untethered Moon
April 21, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
74
13 reviews
User Score
74
69 reviews

32. Florence + The Machine - How Big How Blue How Beautiful

Florence + The Machine - How Big How Blue How Beautiful
June 2, 2015
Art Pop
Critic Score
78
24 reviews
User Score
77
276 reviews

31. Dwight Yoakam - Second Hand Heart

Dwight Yoakam - Second Hand Heart
April 14, 2015
Country
Critic Score
82
6 reviews
User Score
74
9 reviews
It’s clear Yoakam is as inspired nearly 30 years into his career as ever.
Full Review →

30. Leon Bridges - Coming Home

Leon Bridges - Coming Home
June 23, 2015
Soul
Critic Score
75
15 reviews
User Score
74
96 reviews

29. Lucero - All a Man Should Do

Lucero - All a Man Should Do
September 18, 2015
Alt-Country
Critic Score
76
5 reviews
User Score
74
5 reviews

28. Beach Slang - The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us

Beach Slang - The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us
October 30, 2015
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
79
18 reviews
User Score
74
57 reviews

27. The Deslondes - The Deslondes

The Deslondes - The Deslondes
June 9, 2015
Americana
Critic Score
78
3 reviews
User Score
69
5 reviews

26. Drake - If You're Reading This It's Too Late

Drake - If You're Reading This It's Too Late
February 12, 2015
Hip Hop
Critic Score
77
22 reviews
User Score
76
333 reviews

25. Steve Earle & The Dukes - Terraplane

Steve Earle & The Dukes - Terraplane
February 17, 2015
Blues
Critic Score
72
10 reviews
User Score
63
7 reviews

Terraplane is such a standout that we can only hope he makes his way back around to the blues relatively soon.

Full Review →

24. Titus Andronicus - The Most Lamentable Tragedy

Titus Andronicus - The Most Lamentable Tragedy
July 28, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
82
26 reviews
User Score
77
165 reviews

23. Dave Rawlings Machine - Nashville Obsolete

Dave Rawlings Machine - Nashville Obsolete
September 18, 2015
Americana
Critic Score
84
5 reviews
User Score
76
9 reviews

22. Andrew Combs - All These Dreams

Andrew Combs - All These Dreams
March 3, 2015
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
73
3 reviews
User Score
71
9 reviews

21. Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color

Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color
April 21, 2015
Southern Rock
Critic Score
78
24 reviews
User Score
78
297 reviews

After the wild success of Alabama Shakes’ debut album, it took a lot of courage to veer into the territory they explore in Sound & Color, a deeply layered collage of tempos and textures – and a seemingly hard left-turn from their previous work.

Full Review →

20. Josh Ritter - Sermon on the Rocks

Josh Ritter - Sermon on the Rocks
October 16, 2015
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
70
4 reviews
User Score
73
7 reviews

19. Patty Griffin - Servant of Love

Patty Griffin - Servant of Love
September 25, 2015
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
81
7 reviews
User Score
75
7 reviews

18. Ashley Monroe - The Blade

Ashley Monroe - The Blade
July 24, 2015
Country
Critic Score
81
9 reviews
User Score
73
21 reviews

17. Dawes - All Your Favorite Bands

Dawes - All Your Favorite Bands
June 2, 2015
Folk Rock
Critic Score
64
9 reviews
User Score
74
19 reviews

16. Kacey Musgraves - Pageant Material

Kacey Musgraves - Pageant Material
June 23, 2015
Country
Critic Score
78
18 reviews
User Score
77
93 reviews
From beginning to end, it’s an absolute charmer. Every pretty melody, every sweet-tart lyric, every vocal and instrumental flourish … they definitely earn her – to borrow a title-song reference – a 4.0.
Full Review →

15. Rayland Baxter - Imaginary Man

Rayland Baxter - Imaginary Man
August 14, 2015
Critic Score
65
3 reviews
User Score
90
1 review

14. Kurt Vile - b'lieve i'm goin down

Kurt Vile - b'lieve i'm goin down
September 25, 2015
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
78
24 reviews
User Score
78
249 reviews

13. Houndmouth - Little Neon Limelight

Houndmouth - Little Neon Limelight
March 17, 2015
Alt-Country
Critic Score
72
5 reviews
User Score
78
14 reviews

12. CHVRCHES - Every Open Eye

CHVRCHES - Every Open Eye
September 25, 2015
Synthpop
Critic Score
79
26 reviews
User Score
74
282 reviews

11. Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly

Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly
March 16, 2015
Hip Hop
Critic Score
94
32 reviews
User Score
89
1194 reviews

10. Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell

Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell
March 31, 2015
Indie Folk
Critic Score
90
31 reviews
User Score
87
913 reviews

Carrie & Lowell demonstrates, brilliantly and harrowingly, over and over again, how life’s most valuable lessons can only be gleaned by enduring its worst circumstances.

Full Review →

9. Natalie Prass - Natalie Prass

Natalie Prass - Natalie Prass
January 27, 2015
Chamber Pop
Critic Score
83
18 reviews
User Score
79
319 reviews
This dream of an album sounds like little else currently in the pop field, and the fact that it’s a debut from a relative newcomer makes it even more impressive.
Full Review →

8. Craig Finn - Faith in the Future

Craig Finn - Faith in the Future
September 11, 2015
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
73
14 reviews
User Score
72
6 reviews

Finn is still as sharp as ever with his details and as striking as ever with his lyrical gambits.

Full Review →

7. Wilco - Star Wars

Wilco - Star Wars
July 16, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
80
20 reviews
User Score
74
186 reviews
At under 34 minutes running time, it packs a punch that requires only the first listen to feel, from the spiky, unkempt guitars of opening instrumental “EKG” to the hazy fugue state conjured by closer “Magnetized.”
Full Review →

6. John Moreland - High on Tulsa Heat

John Moreland - High on Tulsa Heat
April 21, 2015
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
76
3 reviews
User Score
75
6 reviews

5. James McMurtry - Complicated Game

James McMurtry - Complicated Game
February 24, 2015
Americana
Critic Score
85
6 reviews
User Score
75
53 reviews

It’s an album that shows again and again that very few songwriters on this planet illuminate the oft-unfair rules of this game or the inner workings of the players quite like he can.

Full Review →

4. Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
March 24, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
85
29 reviews
User Score
81
610 reviews

3. Jason Isbell - Something More Than Free

Jason Isbell - Something More Than Free
July 17, 2015
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
80
18 reviews
User Score
75
60 reviews

He’s followed up one masterpiece of an album, 2013’s Southeastern, with a new one that is probably stronger top-to-bottom.

Full Review →

2. Torres - Sprinter

Torres - Sprinter
May 5, 2015
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
80
20 reviews
User Score
78
212 reviews

1. Chris Stapleton - Traveller

Chris Stapleton - Traveller
May 5, 2015
Country
Critic Score
83
3 reviews
User Score
77
36 reviews
Original Source: http://americansongwriter.com/2015/11/american-songwriters-top-50-albums-2015-presented-daddario/

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Check out our 2015 Year End Summary.