The Skinny's Albums of 2015

The Skinny's Albums of 2015

Original Source

50. Gnod - Infinity Machines

Gnod - Infinity Machines
April 20, 2015
Critic Score
90
2 reviews
User Score
74
3 reviews

49. Belle & Sebastian - Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance

Belle & Sebastian - Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance
January 20, 2015
Indie Pop
Critic Score
74
33 reviews
User Score
70
161 reviews

Girls in Peacetime… is lovingly crafted, laced with embellishment and detail, and it’s full of unexpected twists

Full Review →

48. Foals - What Went Down

Foals - What Went Down
August 28, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
75
22 reviews
User Score
75
182 reviews

Foals' latest cleaves closely to the melodic narrative arc set by 2013’s pivotal Holy Fire, but sets itself subtly apart with its insidious, atmospheric chill. 

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47. Deradoorian - The Expanding Flower Planet

Deradoorian - The Expanding Flower Planet
August 21, 2015
Art Pop
Critic Score
75
15 reviews
User Score
73
44 reviews

Exhilarating, hypnotic and sometimes even danceable, there’s no shaking this record off once it takes root. 

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46. EL VY - Return to the Moon

EL VY - Return to the Moon
October 30, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
73
20 reviews
User Score
74
81 reviews
Melodious and inventive, layered but not overly ornate: EL VY’s debut is too fully-formed to be dismissed as a side project.
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45. East India Youth - Culture of Volume

East India Youth - Culture of Volume
April 7, 2015
Synthpop
Critic Score
76
15 reviews
User Score
70
67 reviews
The record is a determined, forward-looking evolution from last year’s largely instrumental success.
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44. Deafheaven - New Bermuda

Deafheaven - New Bermuda
October 2, 2015
Atmospheric Black Metal
Critic Score
82
15 reviews
User Score
81
229 reviews

New Bermuda emotionally overloads the listener like a mixed-state manic episode; it's a darker autobiographical account than its predecessor, but equally gorgeous sonically.

Full Review →

43. Errors - Lease of Life

Errors - Lease of Life
March 23, 2015
Electronic
Critic Score
78
9 reviews
User Score
73
22 reviews

42. Ought - Sun Coming Down

Ought - Sun Coming Down
September 18, 2015
Post-Punk
Critic Score
81
15 reviews
User Score
77
145 reviews

Loose and taut in equal measure, Sun Coming Down roars and whispers but never does it hit too hard.

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41. Oneohtrix Point Never - Garden of Delete

Oneohtrix Point Never - Garden of Delete
November 13, 2015
Electronic
Critic Score
79
22 reviews
User Score
80
202 reviews

If 2013's R Plus Seven was a landscape of delicate synthwork and angelic choral sounds glossing over a murky atmosphere, then Garden of Delete flips the script in this seemingly aggressive record; muscular in tone, schizophrenic in delivery, all the while possessing a maniacal grin on its face.

Full Review →

40. Floating Points - Elaenia

Floating Points - Elaenia
November 6, 2015
Electronic
Critic Score
83
17 reviews
User Score
79
136 reviews

As befitting a music obsessed neuroscience graduate, the sounds here are as eclectic as much as they are cerebral, with Kenny Wheeler, Toru Takemitsu and Moreton Subotnick all cited as influences.

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39. Blur - The Magic Whip

Blur - The Magic Whip
April 27, 2015
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
78
29 reviews
User Score
74
246 reviews
It's when the riffs seem plucked straight from the annals of 1997 that Blur seem to remember how to have fun
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38. The Phantom Band - Fears Trending

The Phantom Band - Fears Trending
January 27, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
80
4 reviews
User Score
73
12 reviews

Fears Trending's genesis might have been as an assortment of odd scraps, but as any foodie will tell you, sometimes the leftovers can be tastier than the main meal itself.

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37. Garden of Elks - A Distorted Sigh

Garden of Elks - A Distorted Sigh
April 6, 2015
Critic Score
65
2 reviews
User Score
NR

36. And So I Watch You From Afar - Heirs

And So I Watch You From Afar - Heirs
May 4, 2015
Math Rock
Critic Score
63
7 reviews
User Score
64
16 reviews

35. Hudson Mohawke - Lantern

Hudson Mohawke - Lantern
June 16, 2015
Wonky
Critic Score
71
20 reviews
User Score
67
70 reviews

Birchard is a long-established talent behind the decks, but Lantern – a defiantly slick sophomore LP – proves that being in high demand has in no way diluted his craft.

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34. Everything Everything - Get To Heaven

Everything Everything - Get To Heaven
June 15, 2015
Progressive Pop
Critic Score
78
13 reviews
User Score
80
180 reviews
It’s a proven formula, but throw in cheeky wordplay and EE are a welcome counterpoint to today’s starchily sincere indie brood. A repeatedly rewarding follow-up.
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33. Enablers - The Rightful Pivot

Enablers - The Rightful Pivot
April 13, 2015
Post-Rock
Critic Score
90
2 reviews
User Score
81
6 reviews

32. Wolf Alice - My Love is Cool

Wolf Alice - My Love is Cool
June 22, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
80
18 reviews
User Score
77
145 reviews
They deliver an invigorating, genre-defying debut whose pop savvy sets it comfortably apart from the schmindie workaday.
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31. Beach House - Depression Cherry

Beach House - Depression Cherry
August 28, 2015
Dream Pop
Critic Score
79
29 reviews
User Score
81
472 reviews
You have to admire a band that sees dreaming as a matter of principle. Beach House’s fifth album shows the Baltimore duo turning back the clock with a minimalist collection of songs that meditate on transience and loss.
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30. John Grant - Grey Tickles, Black Pressure

John Grant - Grey Tickles, Black Pressure
October 2, 2015
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
82
18 reviews
User Score
73
47 reviews
John Grant’s third impressive effort in a row sees the Iceland-based musician reach a new level of maturity, even as his stylistic choices shoot for something wilder.
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29. Tame Impala - Currents

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

This third outing takes off with Let It Happen, a fanfare of driving drums and kaleidoscopic synths that is reassuringly Tame Impala of old, but as it gains altitude Currents soars to a new level of sophistication.

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28. Low - Ones and Sixes

Low - Ones and Sixes
September 11, 2015
Slowcore
Critic Score
77
21 reviews
User Score
76
59 reviews

Ones and Sixes weaves together the strongest elements of their 22-year career – from slowcore sparseness to wiry post-punk to glorious sadrock – and while the results feel as mournfully doom-laden as ever, they still tingle the spine like no-one else.

Full Review →

27. LoneLady - Hinterland

LoneLady - Hinterland
March 23, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
80
11 reviews
User Score
76
28 reviews
The points of reference on Hinterland may be remnants now, but Campbell’s still singing of them, reviving them in her own way.
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26. Joanna Newsom - Divers

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

This dense lyricism is keenly matched with rich, luxuriant instrumentation and Divers perhaps reaches a zenith in Newsom’s arrangement skills.

Full Review →

25. Destroyer - Poison Season

Destroyer - Poison Season
August 28, 2015
Chamber Pop
Critic Score
82
25 reviews
User Score
81
284 reviews
Somehow, Bejar ensures all these pieces fit together seamlessly, and the picture that emerges feels damn close to perfect.
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24. Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress

Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress
March 31, 2015
Post-Rock
Critic Score
81
19 reviews
User Score
76
182 reviews

Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress is slim but huge, and tests the GYBE aesthetic with courageous enterprise.

Full Review →

23. Outfit - Slowness

Outfit - Slowness
June 15, 2015
Art Pop
Critic Score
78
6 reviews
User Score
75
12 reviews

22. Beirut - No No No

Beirut - No No No
September 11, 2015
Indie Folk
Critic Score
62
17 reviews
User Score
68
88 reviews

Strung out amidst languid peels of brass, graceful 70’s-style piano, and Condon’s silky, lost and found tenor, the beauty is soft, and fragile, but also fleet of foot, and highly engaging with it. 

Full Review →

21. CHVRCHES - Every Open Eye

CHVRCHES - Every Open Eye
September 25, 2015
Synthpop
Critic Score
79
26 reviews
User Score
74
282 reviews
For all the careful egalitarianism of Chvrches’ 2013 debut, the Glasgow three-piece’s second full-length shows their synth-pop becoming braver and brighter, owing in no small part to the growing charisma of lead vocalist Lauren Mayberry.
Full Review →

20. Sleaford Mods - Key Markets

Sleaford Mods - Key Markets
July 24, 2015
Art Punk
Critic Score
74
16 reviews
User Score
72
42 reviews

Maybe that tension’s the whole conceptual point, but it's not unreasonable to want a little more from Key Markets.

Full Review →

19. Preoccupations - Viet Cong

Preoccupations - Viet Cong
January 20, 2015
Post-Punk
Critic Score
82
23 reviews
User Score
79
417 reviews

Viet Cong is a solid, admirable distillation of early 90s US indie that dares to throw in some rewarding ideas of its own, proving that "retro" need not always be a cuss word.

Full Review →

18. Dutch Uncles - O Shudder

Dutch Uncles - O Shudder
February 24, 2015
Art Pop
Critic Score
73
11 reviews
User Score
71
26 reviews
It’s just that, for all its slick slabs of synth and tongue-in-cheek wit, a few tracks don’t quite hit the mark.
Full Review →

17. Deerhunter - Fading Frontier

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

Faded Frontier in contrast is a slow release and a desire for solitude.

Full Review →

16. 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
Still, all this detailed wordsmithery would mean little if Barnett didn’t have the tunes to back it up, and this debut album is full to the brim with irresistible shuffles and subtle left turns.
Full Review →

15. Dr. Dre - Compton: A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre

Dr. Dre - Compton: A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre
August 7, 2015
Hip Hop
Critic Score
80
25 reviews
User Score
75
194 reviews

Dre often feels everywhere and nowhere throughout Compton, managing to at once deploy and transcend the genre conventions he helped invent.

Full Review →

14. 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
What could have easily been an exercise in pretension is instead filtered through the appealing mediums of heartland rock and Jersey basement punk.
Full Review →

13. Waxahatchee - Ivy Tripp

Waxahatchee - Ivy Tripp
April 7, 2015
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
81
23 reviews
User Score
76
205 reviews

It takes considerable talent to pull off sincere, confessional songwriting as favorably as Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield.

Full Review →

12. Django Django - Born Under Saturn

Django Django - Born Under Saturn
May 5, 2015
Indietronica
Critic Score
73
19 reviews
User Score
73
83 reviews

Every click and stomp has hip-shaking purpose. Bells, whistles, brass, choral backing vocals – Born Under Saturn’s got it all, and knows how to work it. 

Full Review →

11. Faith No More - Sol Invictus

Faith No More - Sol Invictus
May 19, 2015
Alternative Metal
Critic Score
71
21 reviews
User Score
73
65 reviews
Passionate, hungry and still hearteningly uncompromising; this is the real thing.
Full Review →

10. Björk - Vulnicura

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

9. 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

That this familiar template still manages to sound so completely compelling is testament to both the malleable nature of his craft and the skill with which it's delivered.

Full Review →

8. 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
The production is grand and glorious, aping the spaciousness of dusty road Americana without sounding overwrought… Or, if it does, you know that it’s entirely intentional.
Full Review →

7. Young Fathers - White Men Are Black Men Too

Young Fathers - White Men Are Black Men Too
April 7, 2015
Hip Hop
Critic Score
81
19 reviews
User Score
78
186 reviews

Young Fathers' White Men Are Black Men Too is a gargantuan, fearless record. It’s a celebration, a rebuttal, a call to action; a dance party that won’t for a single minute let you rest.

Full Review →

6. Jenny Hval - Apocalypse, girl

Jenny Hval - Apocalypse, girl
June 9, 2015
Art Pop
Critic Score
80
18 reviews
User Score
75
140 reviews

It's her frequent attempts to empathise with these opposing views – doing so with a stunning vocal performance dilating from breathy spoken word to sky-gazing operatics – that makes for an incredibly arresting commentary on the state of the West.

Full Review →

5. Julia Holter - Have You in My Wilderness

Julia Holter - Have You in My Wilderness
September 25, 2015
Art Pop
Critic Score
87
24 reviews
User Score
84
418 reviews

Uninhibited, focused and majestically crafted, she’s simply never sounded more vital.

Full Review →

4. Blanck Mass - Dumb Flesh

Blanck Mass - Dumb Flesh
May 12, 2015
Electronic
Critic Score
77
16 reviews
User Score
76
58 reviews
It’s a volte-face of staggering ambition, and whilst newcomers and longterm listeners alike can expect to be bowled over, Power himself sounds rock solid on his feet here.
Full Review →

3. 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

2. Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell

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

Lyrically it's uncompromising, dark and surprisingly direct – mentions of blood, death and ghosts are plastered all over its 11 tracks – but there's a real beauty to Carrie & Lowell that shines through the darkness.

Full Review →

1. 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

In an era of cheap-shot reformations, Sleater-Kinney pull the plug on the past and flick the switch on the future.

Full Review →
Original Source: http://www.theskinny.co.uk/music/opinion/albums-of-the-year/50-best-albums-of-2015

MORE 2015 YEAR END LISTS:


MORE YEAR END LISTS FROM THE SKINNY:


Check out our 2015 Year End Summary.