Paste's 50 Best Albums of 2015

Paste's 50 Best Albums of 2015

Original Source

50. Calexico - Edge of the Sun

Calexico - Edge of the Sun
April 14, 2015
Americana
Critic Score
76
12 reviews
User Score
71
44 reviews

49. Julien Baker - Sprained Ankle

Julien Baker - Sprained Ankle
October 23, 2015
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
80
9 reviews
User Score
80
74 reviews

48. Dilly Dally - Sore

Dilly Dally - Sore
October 9, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
78
13 reviews
User Score
77
32 reviews

47. Pops Staples - Don't Lose This

Pops Staples - Don't Lose This
February 17, 2015
Gospel
Critic Score
80
6 reviews
User Score
71
8 reviews

46. Beirut - No No No

Beirut - No No No
September 11, 2015
Indie Folk
Critic Score
63
18 reviews
User Score
68
89 reviews

45. Desaparecidos - Payola

Desaparecidos - Payola
June 23, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
74
19 reviews
User Score
71
36 reviews
Rebellion hasn’t sounded this awesome—or honest—in a long time.
Full Review →

44. Purity Ring - Another Eternity

Purity Ring - Another Eternity
March 3, 2015
Synthpop
Critic Score
68
28 reviews
User Score
68
235 reviews
It’s enough of a creative leap to perhaps usher in more copycats, but Purity Ring again checks in first.
Full Review →

43. Majical Cloudz - Are You Alone?

Majical Cloudz - Are You Alone?
October 16, 2015
Ambient Pop
Critic Score
79
19 reviews
User Score
77
123 reviews

42. My Morning Jacket - The Waterfall

My Morning Jacket - The Waterfall
May 4, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
75
24 reviews
User Score
74
92 reviews

41. 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
78
20 reviews
User Score
74
58 reviews

The Things We Do is a record for anyone who’s ever felt, even for a moment, that music is what matters the most. For any hard-luck kid or nowhere bum who needs it, that escape is heaven.

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40. Ryan Adams - 1989

Ryan Adams - 1989
September 21, 2015
Pop Rock
Critic Score
67
16 reviews
User Score
69
67 reviews

39. The Decemberists - What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World

The Decemberists - What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World
January 20, 2015
Indie Folk
Critic Score
73
25 reviews
User Score
70
103 reviews
While an overarching theme is largely absent on this album, it’s instead filled with 14 stand-alone folk-pop songs that show their fluency in a multitude of pop genres and styles.
Full Review →

38. Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color

Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color
April 21, 2015
Southern Rock
Critic Score
79
26 reviews
User Score
78
317 reviews

Sound & Color is a daring and deliberate record, and its greatest success stems from the band’s complete defiance with its choices.

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37. Ashley Monroe - The Blade

Ashley Monroe - The Blade
July 24, 2015
Country
Critic Score
81
9 reviews
User Score
73
21 reviews
The hooks are there—and they stick in deep—but there’s no EDM bluster or rock histrionics cooked into the stew. Monroe and her producers Vince Gill and Justin Niebank have created something a lot more even-keeled.
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36. Battles - La Di Da Di

Battles - La Di Da Di
September 18, 2015
Experimental Rock
Critic Score
69
24 reviews
User Score
71
82 reviews

La Di Da Di is a unique listen, giving large responsibility to the listener to determine or interpret the parameters of its far-reaching sonic liberties.

Full Review →

35. Palehound - Dry Food

Palehound - Dry Food
August 14, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
74
9 reviews
User Score
76
27 reviews

On Dry Food’s eight heartbreaking observations, she teeters between aching insecurity and crushing tenderness, rarely allowing sunlight to peak through the clouds.

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34. JD McPherson - Let the Good Times Roll

JD McPherson - Let the Good Times Roll
February 10, 2015
Rockabilly
Critic Score
83
4 reviews
User Score
75
12 reviews

Rock ’n’ roll has a knack for brute force, but these songs are never less than nimble, always full of electricity and a steady barometer of unfailing good taste.

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33. Twerps - Range Anxiety

Twerps - Range Anxiety
January 27, 2015
Indie Pop
Critic Score
72
15 reviews
User Score
74
55 reviews

Range Anxiety is a great guitar record for people who love the guitar but not in the way that Guitar Center people love the guitar.

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32. Royal Headache - High

Royal Headache - High
August 21, 2015
Garage Rock
Critic Score
83
14 reviews
User Score
79
96 reviews

31. Wilco - Star Wars

Wilco - Star Wars
July 16, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
80
20 reviews
User Score
73
194 reviews
Wilco sound spryer, looser, livelier, wittier, and more fun than they have in years. And when was the last time anyone used “fun” to describe this serious band?
Full Review →

30. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats - Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats - Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
August 21, 2015
Rock
Critic Score
69
7 reviews
User Score
72
8 reviews

29. 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
26 reviews
User Score
77
322 reviews

The 11 songs on Beautiful resonate in a deeper way by varying the sonic palette and focusing her words inward.

Full Review →

28. Guantanamo Baywatch - Darling... It's Too Late

Guantanamo Baywatch - Darling... It's Too Late
May 12, 2015
Critic Score
75
2 reviews
User Score
85
2 reviews

If you’ve been searching for your perfect summer soundtrack for 2015, you may look no further.

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27. Kacey Musgraves - Pageant Material

Kacey Musgraves - Pageant Material
June 23, 2015
Country
Critic Score
78
19 reviews
User Score
77
106 reviews
At 26, Musgraves has kept her wonder, honed her focus and remained true to her core.
Full Review →

26. Vince Staples - Summertime '06

Vince Staples - Summertime '06
June 30, 2015
Hip Hop
Critic Score
85
21 reviews
User Score
83
473 reviews

25. The Lone Bellow - Then Came The Morning

The Lone Bellow - Then Came The Morning
January 27, 2015
Indie Folk
Critic Score
69
5 reviews
User Score
65
10 reviews

Most of Then Came the Morning shows a confident band stepping more fully into a compelling sound.

Full Review →

24. Grimes - Art Angels

Grimes - Art Angels
November 6, 2015
Art Pop
Critic Score
84
29 reviews
User Score
81
702 reviews

23. Jessica Pratt - On Your Own Love Again

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

At its core, this follow-up to 2012’s JP is as whimsically experimental as it is steeped and reveling in its own revivalism.

Full Review →

22. Tobias Jesso Jr. - Goon

Tobias Jesso Jr. - Goon
March 17, 2015
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
79
21 reviews
User Score
77
279 reviews

Goon is mostly excellent slow songs about heartbreak, about the fear of failure, about losing your direction and hoping to find it. 

Full Review →

21. Holly Herndon - Platform

Holly Herndon - Platform
May 19, 2015
Art Pop
Critic Score
80
22 reviews
User Score
76
171 reviews

Platform is still avant-garde enough to only be appreciated by some, but those who break through the surface, will understand this album for being the important, temporal work that it is.

Full Review →

20. Jamie xx - In Colour

Jamie xx - In Colour
June 1, 2015
UK Bass
Critic Score
84
32 reviews
User Score
82
795 reviews

19. Beach House - Depression Cherry

Beach House - Depression Cherry
August 28, 2015
Dream Pop
Critic Score
79
30 reviews
User Score
80
510 reviews

Depression Cherry doesn’t always have the emotional heft, or melodic impact, of their 2010 breakthrough Teen Dream or its follow-up, 2012’s Bloom, but the duo’s knack for crafting thoughtful, enveloping songs makes their return more than welcome.

Full Review →

18. Jason Isbell - Something More Than Free

Jason Isbell - Something More Than Free
July 17, 2015
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
80
18 reviews
User Score
76
63 reviews

Isbell’s increasing skill as a storyteller, and the natural affinity he has for melody, combine to make Something More Than Free a masterful piece of work.

Full Review →

17. Kamasi Washington - The Epic

Kamasi Washington - The Epic
May 5, 2015
Jazz Fusion
Critic Score
83
6 reviews
User Score
82
288 reviews

16. CHVRCHES - Every Open Eye

CHVRCHES - Every Open Eye
September 25, 2015
Synthpop
Critic Score
79
27 reviews
User Score
75
311 reviews

Every Open Eye is another album you can throw on at a party to get everyone dancing just as easily as you could pensively listen to it alone in your bedroom.

Full Review →

15. TORRES - Sprinter

TORRES - Sprinter
May 5, 2015
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
80
20 reviews
User Score
79
219 reviews

While Torres’ self-titled 2013 debut was a hushed affair—even the loud bits came in gradual, measured bursts—Sprinter crackles and explodes, with a dynamic range that’d make Steve Albini blush.

Full Review →

14. Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Style

Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Style
October 30, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
78
12 reviews
User Score
78
107 reviews

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

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

Much of b’lieve remains mellower and more cognizant than Vile’s previous works, blending organic and inorganic sounds.

Full Review →

12. Protomartyr - The Agent Intellect

Protomartyr - The Agent Intellect
October 9, 2015
Post-Punk
Critic Score
82
16 reviews
User Score
79
175 reviews
Essentially, it’s an album of spindly bass, needling guitar and economical drums. And yet, with Protomartyr’s inventive ensemble flare, it sounds like much more.
Full Review →

11. The Mountain Goats - Beat the Champ

The Mountain Goats - Beat the Champ
April 7, 2015
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
74
18 reviews
User Score
72
76 reviews

It’s an artistic success as a literary exercise, and as a wrestling fan it’s hugely gratifying to see a serious artist that I’ve enjoyed for decades take wrestling seriously.

Full Review →

10. Deerhunter - Fading Frontier

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

Instead of trying to make an experimental oddity for music nerds, he made an indie pop album for music fans. He went for our hearts rather than our heads.

Full Review →

9. Leon Bridges - Coming Home

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

Coming Home, however unintentionally, represents the spiritual cleansing and soulful healing we need right now. It’s the sound of an era where civil rights seemed so desperate, but progress also felt in reach.

Full Review →

8. Tame Impala - Currents

Tame Impala - Currents
July 17, 2015
Psychedelic Pop
Critic Score
83
32 reviews
User Score
83
982 reviews
This is a near-perfect album. It’s a superb progression from their last efforts, a study in internal consistency and just chock fucking full with nearly an hour of great songs.
Full Review →

7. Natalie Prass - Natalie Prass

Natalie Prass - Natalie Prass
January 27, 2015
Chamber Pop
Critic Score
83
18 reviews
User Score
79
330 reviews
It is the debut of a songwriter not struggling to find a voice, but fully formed and confident as all hell.
Full Review →

6. Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell

Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell
March 31, 2015
Indie Folk
Critic Score
90
34 reviews
User Score
88
1024 reviews

Carrie & Lowell is a demonstration of why Stevens sings songs, of why we listen to songs: to feel less alone, to make sense of the things that are hardest to make sense of. Hopefully it proves as rewarding to the singer as it is for his audience.

Full Review →

5. Hop Along - Painted Shut

Hop Along - Painted Shut
May 5, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
83
12 reviews
User Score
79
179 reviews

Although Hop Along’s lyrical content can be heavy at times, Painted Shut’s tracks are well-balanced between catchy indie pop with an edge and more discordant fare.

Full Review →

4. Sleater-Kinney - No Cities to Love

Sleater-Kinney - No Cities to Love
January 20, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
89
30 reviews
User Score
78
495 reviews
In just 10 songs and a little over 30 minutes, Sleater-Kinney does so much more than revive an old band. They craft an argument for having improved in its absence.
Full Review →

3. 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
84
31 reviews
User Score
81
663 reviews

By channeling her anxiety into wonderful, shaggy, relatable and supremely catchy songs, she’s made Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit one of the most compulsively listenable albums to come out so far this year.

Full Review →

2. Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly

Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly
March 16, 2015
Hip Hop
Critic Score
95
34 reviews
User Score
90
1397 reviews

1. Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear

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

Honeybear thrives on the knife’s edge of that enigmatic split personality, as he attempts to reconcile the love-swept optimist with the world-weary wise-ass.

Full Review →
Original Source: http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2015/12/the-50-best-albums-of-2015.html

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