The 405's 30 Best Albums of 2015

The 405's 30 Best Albums of 2015

Original Source

30. C Duncan - Architect

C Duncan - Architect
July 17, 2015
Indie Pop
Critic Score
79
6 reviews
User Score
76
30 reviews

29. Nils Frahm - Solo

Nils Frahm - Solo
March 29, 2015
Modern Classical
Critic Score
73
1 review
User Score
75
32 reviews

28. PWR BTTM - Ugly Cherries

PWR BTTM - Ugly Cherries
September 18, 2015
Power Pop
Critic Score
79
6 reviews
User Score
81
21 reviews

27. 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
300 reviews

26. Vince Staples - Summertime '06

Vince Staples - Summertime '06
June 30, 2015
Hip Hop
Critic Score
86
20 reviews
User Score
83
390 reviews

Vince Staples sharply illustrates a realistic and first-hand portrayal of gang life in LBC without any romanticized commercial appeal or taking on a highbrow discourse to its rationale.

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25. GABI - Sympathy

GABI - Sympathy
April 7, 2015
Art Pop
Critic Score
82
3 reviews
User Score
72
17 reviews

24. Future - DS2

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

DS2 just happens to be the soundtrack for the current manifesto - a modern testament to the scumbags, addicts, street bureaucrats, rap fans and nightlife culture. Because we’re all just as flawed.

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23. Shamir - Ratchet

Shamir - Ratchet
May 19, 2015
Electropop
Critic Score
78
21 reviews
User Score
74
198 reviews

Ratchet is instantly likeable and oh so infectious. A great pop album through and through, there's enough here to keep you dancing all through the summer.

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22. Empress Of - Me

Empress Of - Me
September 11, 2015
Electropop
Critic Score
80
10 reviews
User Score
78
140 reviews

There's an immediacy and energy to the album's pop stylings that eluded much of her previous work; it's gregarious and loud, adorned with sonically adventurous flourishes but not at all bothered with dream-pop's obfuscatory soundscapes.

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21. 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

As a cohesive album, Beauty Behind The Madness showcases artistic growth and sonic progression through danceable pop deliveries like 'In The Night' and grand acoustics like 'Shameless'.

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20. 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
327 reviews

IYRTITL is the work of a perfectionist curator, a restless star, a man who has reached the top and now looks over the precipice in a double-effort to repel competition and contemplate his hard-earned, often-perilous position.

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19. 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
76
194 reviews

Serving as more than just the nostalgic release that many expected it to be, Compton carries Dr. Dre back into spotlight from the boardroom on his own terms, with his own verification.

Full Review →

18. Youth Lagoon - Savage Hills Ballroom

Youth Lagoon - Savage Hills Ballroom
September 25, 2015
Art Pop
Critic Score
71
8 reviews
User Score
74
91 reviews

17. LE1F - Riot Boi

LE1F - Riot Boi
November 13, 2015
Hip Hop
Critic Score
76
8 reviews
User Score
70
25 reviews

16. Arca - Mutant

Arca - Mutant
November 20, 2015
Electronic
Critic Score
80
17 reviews
User Score
76
134 reviews

The amount of detail and the flow of Mutant is truly staggering; there are tracks that seem to take you down through secret passages to the next track, while you can still hear the sounds of the previous track fading away in the room above you.

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15. Joanna Newsom - Divers

Joanna Newsom - Divers
October 23, 2015
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
87
30 reviews
User Score
83
224 reviews
This is an album that is constantly unfolding over its themes, so the only option remaining is that of acceptance of her ingenuity. If you want to make it easy, you can acknowledge the density and move on. If you want to understand the core of the record, you'll have plenty of details to work through for what now seems like forever.
Full Review →

14. 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
238 reviews
The highly anticipated collaborative album debut, spontaneously unleashed for free on iTunes, is elevated and progressive throughout the 16-track opus, which fuses an anomaly of jazz, rap and R&B layers into a sort of audial Interstellar, free of rules or restrictions.
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13. Adele - 25

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

25 is a saviour record for a quarter life crisis, a sing-a-long for one of life's most difficult stages. While one of the world's most talented voices questions her purpose, her past and her future, may we feel a little more comforted while we do the same.

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12. Majical Cloudz - Are You Alone?

Majical Cloudz - Are You Alone?
October 16, 2015
Ambient Pop
Critic Score
79
18 reviews
User Score
77
123 reviews
While many will still dismiss them for being unexciting, there will be many people out there that forge a strong connection with their music; people who need this album to make them feel comfort, to make them feel companionship, to help them accept themselves and, ultimately, to make them feel less alone.
Full Review →

11. 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
409 reviews
In all, Holter has made an album about blissful, hypnotic escape in many forms, and in listening to it and engaging with it, you'll be overwhelmed by these feelings too.
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10. Neon Indian - VEGA INTL. Night School

Neon Indian - VEGA INTL. Night School
October 16, 2015
Chillwave
Critic Score
79
15 reviews
User Score
79
225 reviews

Not one sound is out of place, not one track over or under stays its welcome. Every element that made Neon Indian such a joy through the first two albums has been polished and improved upon to make a record that truly must be heard.

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9. Grimes - Art Angels

Grimes - Art Angels
November 6, 2015
Art Pop
Critic Score
84
27 reviews
User Score
81
572 reviews

Visions put Grimes on the map as pop's pure misfit but Art Angels secured her tangible place as the genre's most unconventional star. For those that doubted, she's done that thing she does, but better. More defined.

Full Review →

8. Jenny Hval - Apocalypse, girl

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

Apocalypse, girl deals in big ideas about life and society but does so in a way that that feels intimate and personal.

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7. Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell

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

As long as Stevens continues to pursue the unanswerable and chase down myths and ghosts, he'll continue to make incredible music. Carrie & Lowell is just the latest in a long line of unimpeachable achievements.

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6. Kamasi Washington - The Epic

Kamasi Washington - The Epic
May 5, 2015
Jazz Fusion
Critic Score
81
5 reviews
User Score
82
253 reviews

5. Little Simz - A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons

Little Simz - A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons
September 18, 2015
Hip Hop
Critic Score
78
7 reviews
User Score
76
26 reviews

4. Oneohtrix Point Never - Garden of Delete

Oneohtrix Point Never - Garden of Delete
November 13, 2015
Electronic
Critic Score
79
22 reviews
User Score
80
196 reviews
The result is a mesmerizing and constantly rewarding masterpiece that may be the magnum opus of one of our generations most creative and forward-thinking musicians.
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3. Björk - Vulnicura

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

Björk has never compromised her sound to anyone, and Vulnicura is a stark reminder of that.

Full Review →

2. Hieroglyphic Being & J.I.T.U. Ahn-Sahm-Buhl - We Are Not The First

Hieroglyphic Being & J.I.T.U. Ahn-Sahm-Buhl - We Are Not The First
October 30, 2015
Critic Score
81
4 reviews
User Score
69
3 reviews

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
1143 reviews
Proving that he'll keep us guessing for years to come, Kendrick has truly solidified his place in rap history with this album.
Full Review →
Original Source: http://www.thefourohfive.com/music/article/the-30-best-albums-of-2015-143

MORE 2015 YEAR END LISTS:


MORE YEAR END LISTS FROM THE 405:


Check out our 2015 Year End Summary.