Rolling Stone's 50 Best Albums of 2015

Rolling Stone's 50 Best Albums of 2015

Original Source

50. Bomba Estéreo - Amanecer

Bomba Estéreo - Amanecer
June 2, 2015
Critic Score
68
1 review
User Score
74
11 reviews

49. Bob Dylan - Shadows in the Night

Bob Dylan - Shadows in the Night
February 3, 2015
Traditional Pop
Critic Score
77
21 reviews
User Score
65
30 reviews

Dylan transforms everything on Shadows in the Night — 10 slow-dance covers, mostly romantic standards from the pre-rock era of American popular songwriting — into a barely-there noir of bowed bass and throaty shivers of electric guitar.

Full Review →

48. Carly Rae Jepsen - E•MO•TION

Carly Rae Jepsen - E•MO•TION
August 21, 2015
Dance Pop
Critic Score
76
20 reviews
User Score
79
310 reviews

Almost every track is like a bouncy castle: fun, certainly, but not made for long-term stays.

Full Review →

47. James Taylor - Before This World

James Taylor - Before This World
June 16, 2015
Critic Score
67
4 reviews
User Score
61
2 reviews

46. Rhiannon Giddens - Tomorrow Is My Turn

Rhiannon Giddens - Tomorrow Is My Turn
February 10, 2015
Folk
Critic Score
80
5 reviews
User Score
72
17 reviews

Giddens is having a solo coming-out party, displaying her classical vocal training and ability to reanimate traditional music in her own nuanced image.

Full Review →

45. Madonna - Rebel Heart

Madonna - Rebel Heart
March 10, 2015
Electropop
Critic Score
61
20 reviews
User Score
61
141 reviews

Rebel Heart is a long, passionate, self-referential meditation on losing love and finding purpose in chilling times.

Full Review →

44. Rae Sremmurd - SremmLife

Rae Sremmurd - SremmLife
January 6, 2015
Hip Hop
Critic Score
75
12 reviews
User Score
61
135 reviews
Producer Mike Will Made It's phantasmagoric funk is a perfect backdrop for rhymes about safe sex and paychecks, emptying out the ATM, and the raw thrill of making it big.
Full Review →

43. Selena Gomez - Revival

Selena Gomez - Revival
October 9, 2015
Pop
Critic Score
68
6 reviews
User Score
70
133 reviews

42. Björk - Vulnicura

Björk - Vulnicura
January 20, 2015
Art Pop
Critic Score
86
27 reviews
User Score
82
507 reviews

Arranged for voice with orchestral strings and electronic beats, Vulnicura is a unified set of nine dark, swarming, melodically distended songs.

Full Review →

41. Kamasi Washington - The Epic

Kamasi Washington - The Epic
May 5, 2015
Jazz Fusion
Critic Score
81
5 reviews
User Score
82
262 reviews
To be sure, it's a jazz album, as much about tradition as expanding it, informed by Coltranes (John and Alice), Miles Davis fusions, bebop and more; yet it's clearly shaped by crate-digger funk and film scores, hip-hop collage and gospel.
Full Review →

40. Songhoy Blues - Music In Exile

Songhoy Blues - Music In Exile
February 24, 2015
Critic Score
78
4 reviews
User Score
77
13 reviews

39. Muse - Drones

Muse - Drones
June 8, 2015
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
53
18 reviews
User Score
56
168 reviews

Drones is a truly guilty pleasure, like watching The Daily Show and knowing Jon Stewart's best jokes start with someone else's colossal error or hurt.

Full Review →

38. Ashley Monroe - The Blade

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

Her third LP imagines a 2015 mainstream by reflecting what it once was — Loretta and Dolly in the Sixties, sure, but also Emmylou in the Eighties and Reba in the Nineties.

Full Review →

37. Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color

Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color
April 21, 2015
Southern Rock
Critic Score
78
24 reviews
User Score
78
297 reviews
This is a weirder, woozier, fiercer and sexier record than their debut in nearly every way.
Full Review →

36. Hop Along - Painted Shut

Hop Along - Painted Shut
May 5, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
83
12 reviews
User Score
79
175 reviews
What's up with Philly lately? The most-mocked city in indie rock is suddenly bustling with fantastic young guitar bands like Hop Along. Their second album is a deep dive into raw emotions and ragged melodies.
Full Review →

35. Vince Staples - Summertime '06

Vince Staples - Summertime '06
June 30, 2015
Hip Hop
Critic Score
86
20 reviews
User Score
83
404 reviews
It adds up to a hard-hitting 20-track portrait of life and love in a mad city.
Full Review →

34. Marilyn Manson - The Pale Emperor

Marilyn Manson - The Pale Emperor
January 20, 2015
Industrial Rock
Critic Score
63
12 reviews
User Score
66
58 reviews
What emerges is a classier record than you might expect from Manson – and one that still manages to be the kind of old-fashioned alt-rock tantrum no one bothers throwing these days.
Full Review →

33. Beach House - Depression Cherry

Beach House - Depression Cherry
August 28, 2015
Dream Pop
Critic Score
79
29 reviews
User Score
81
472 reviews

The Baltimore duo's fifth album sticks to that signature sound, and go figure: A formula that might seem limiting feels instead like it can contain entire worlds.

Full Review →

32. Jazmine Sullivan - Reality Show

Jazmine Sullivan - Reality Show
January 13, 2015
R&B
Critic Score
81
8 reviews
User Score
73
74 reviews

31. Leon Bridges - Coming Home

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

This retro-soul man doesn't have to work so hard to win you over on his debut LP: His smooth, Sam Cooke-esque croon makes Coming Home the best kind of nostalgia trip.

Full Review →

30. Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Style

Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Style
October 30, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
79
10 reviews
User Score
77
102 reviews
It's the best classic-rock record anyone under 50 is likely to make this year.
Full Review →

29. Joanna Newsom - Divers

Joanna Newsom - Divers
October 23, 2015
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
87
30 reviews
User Score
83
234 reviews

A concept album about history, memory, movement, loss and love, the emotional tone here — a wry, wistful melancholy — is pretty straightforward, a function of Newsom's tightened focus.

Full Review →

28. Miguel - Wildheart

Miguel - Wildheart
June 30, 2015
Alternative R&B
Critic Score
81
24 reviews
User Score
79
265 reviews
It's a necessary record that should generate plenty of thought, and more than a few babies, too.
Full Review →

27. Eric Church - Mr. Misunderstood

Eric Church - Mr. Misunderstood
November 6, 2015
Country
Critic Score
76
4 reviews
User Score
76
7 reviews

It's no big shock to hear him big-upping Wilco's Jeff Tweedy (and even nicking one of his tunes) on this album, where he cleverly juggles genres and often leans on his somber singer-songwriter side.

Full Review →

26. Future - DS2

Future - DS2
July 17, 2015
Hip Hop
Critic Score
79
18 reviews
User Score
70
179 reviews

It has little of the far-reaching ambition of Honest, but what it lacks in bold strokes, it more than makes up for in consistency.

Full Review →

25. Darlene Love - Introducing Darlene Love

Darlene Love - Introducing Darlene Love
September 18, 2015
Critic Score
63
4 reviews
User Score
40
1 review

24. Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment - Surf

Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment - Surf
May 29, 2015
Neo-Soul
Critic Score
83
15 reviews
User Score
77
243 reviews

Chance the Rapper's 2013 mixtape Acid Rap marked him as one of the brightest new voices in hip-hop. For his next move, he's swerved left, collaborating with a crew of Chicago pals led by Nico Segal (a.k.a. Donnie Trumpet) on a warm, evocative pop-soul-jazz album that comes straight from the heart.

Full Review →

23. Mark Knopfler - Tracker

Mark Knopfler - Tracker
March 16, 2015
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
70
7 reviews
User Score
63
5 reviews
Knopfler's quicksilver guitar is understated, and he delivers stories of stoic ache like an old watchmaker on a pub stool — quietly riveting.
Full Review →

22. 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
Finally, Welch is leaning hard into the classic rock and soul sounds her vocals always flirted with, like Ophelia in a Mondrian miniskirt.
Full Review →

21. Chris Stapleton - Traveller

Chris Stapleton - Traveller
May 5, 2015
Country
Critic Score
83
3 reviews
User Score
77
36 reviews

20. Don Henley - Cass County

Don Henley - Cass County
September 25, 2015
Critic Score
70
5 reviews
User Score
NR

19. 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
248 reviews
Kurt Vile's most introspective LP is the sound of a guitar hero plumbing existential doubt without wanting to wake the kids.
Full Review →

18. Boz Scaggs - A Fool to Care

Boz Scaggs - A Fool to Care
March 31, 2015
Blues
Critic Score
80
3 reviews
User Score
80
4 reviews

17. Keith Richards - Crosseyed Heart

Keith Richards - Crosseyed Heart
September 18, 2015
Blues Rock
Critic Score
77
12 reviews
User Score
73
10 reviews

His most eccentric and best-ever solo set. Crosseyed Heart is the sound of Richards following his pleasure wherever it leads.

Full Review →

16. Jack Ü - Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack Ü

Jack Ü - Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack Ü
February 27, 2015
Electronic
Critic Score
66
7 reviews
User Score
61
50 reviews
Though they begin most of its 10 tracks in familiar territory, they quickly push on to new ground, or at least new levels of intensity.
Full Review →

15. 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

Upping the spectacle from Fear Fun, his 2012 debut, I Love You, Honeybear is an autobiographical set about love, marriage and derangement that's both ironic and empathic.

Full Review →

14. Wilco - Star Wars

Wilco - Star Wars
July 16, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
80
20 reviews
User Score
74
186 reviews
It's their most concise, catchy, naturally songful album in at least a decade — the sound of a band reconnecting with the fun of rocking out together in a room.
Full Review →

13. Tame Impala - Currents

Tame Impala - Currents
July 17, 2015
Psychedelic Pop
Critic Score
84
30 reviews
User Score
83
867 reviews

The guitar rides in the back, the keyboards up front. The beats have a synthesized snap even when they're live drums, and even the dreamiest tracks pack a pop bounce.

Full Review →

12. Lana Del Rey - Honeymoon

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

Whatever her intentions, they've led to her most genuinely thrilling music ever.

Full Review →

11. 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
They sound as hungry, as unsettled, as restless as any of the rookies on their jock. After a career of breaking the rules, they're back to break a few more.
Full Review →

10. Blur - The Magic Whip

Blur - The Magic Whip
April 27, 2015
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
78
29 reviews
User Score
74
246 reviews

Blur have returned with inspiration to spare.

Full Review →

9. The Arcs - Yours, Dreamily

The Arcs - Yours, Dreamily
September 4, 2015
Garage Rock
Critic Score
69
12 reviews
User Score
73
50 reviews

Yours, Dreamily, takes what Auerbach does at his best, in and out of the Keys — confessional, texturally enriched blues propelled with garage-rock force — and adds a riveting jump in eccentricity.

Full Review →

8. Lin-Manuel Miranda - Hamilton: An American Musical (Original Broadway Cast Recording)

Lin-Manuel Miranda - Hamilton: An American Musical (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
October 16, 2015
Hip Hop
Critic Score
80
4 reviews
User Score
73
11 reviews

7. 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
It's a master class in songwriting from an artist who's never sounded more confident.
Full Review →

6. 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
The tunes are tight and sticky; the guitars hit with real sizzle and bite, accented by flourishes like the garage-rock organ in "Debbie Downer" or the cowbell swing of "Aqua Profunda!"
Full Review →

5. The Weeknd - Beauty Behind the Madness

The Weeknd - Beauty Behind the Madness
August 28, 2015
R&B
Critic Score
72
20 reviews
User Score
72
282 reviews

If the sound has widened and even brightened in spots, the Weeknd still rocks a serious Eeyore vibe for much of Beauty Behind the Madness.

Full Review →

4. D'Angelo - Black Messiah

D'Angelo - Black Messiah
December 15, 2014
Neo-Soul
Critic Score
93
23 reviews
User Score
85
371 reviews

Black Messiah shows how deep easy can go. D'Angelo and his band have built an avant-soul dream palace to get lost in, for 56 minutes of heaven.

Full Review →

3. 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
334 reviews
For the first time in his career, Drake doesn't sound like he wants to be remembered as one of the greats. This time, he just is.
Full Review →

2. Adele - 25

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

Whether she's holding notes with the strength of a suspension bridge or enjoying a rare lighthearted "whoo-hoo!" on "Sweetest Devotion," her incredible phrasing – the way she can infuse any line with nuance and power – is more proof that she's among the greatest interpreters of romantic lyrics.

Full Review →

1. 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

If we're talking insurgent content and currency, Lamar straight up owns rap relevancy on Butterfly, whatever challengers to the throne barely visible in his dusty rear-view.

Full Review →
Original Source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/50-best-albums-of-2015-20151201

MORE 2015 YEAR END LISTS:


MORE YEAR END LISTS FROM ROLLING STONE:


Check out our 2015 Year End Summary.