AOTY 2017
PopMatters' 80 Best Albums of 2015

PopMatters' 80 Best Albums of 2015

Original Source →

80. Ought - Sun Coming Down

September 18, 2015
Critic Score
81
17 reviews

Sun Coming Down gives us just enough new ideas while highlighting everything that makes this band great.

79. U.S. Girls - Half Free

September 25, 2015
Critic Score
78
14 reviews

Chirping Half Free‘s most compelling of its many indelible hooks, she tries to convince whoever listens “You all have nothing here / You have so much to fear”.

78. Cam - Welcome to Cam Country

Cam - Welcome to Cam Country
March 31, 2015
Critic Score
70
2 reviews

77. Gwenno - Y Dydd Olaf

July 24, 2015
Critic Score
80
12 reviews

76. Rae Sremmurd - SremmLife

January 6, 2015
Critic Score
75
12 reviews

75. Ruby Amanfu - Standing Still

Ruby Amanfu - Standing Still
August 28, 2015
Critic Score
77
3 reviews

73. Girl Band - Holding Hands with Jamie

September 25, 2015
Critic Score
80
23 reviews
Not only do Girl Band evade easy definition, they come across as if the very notion of being slotted into an pre-established marketing category makes them physically uncomfortable.

72. Titus Andronicus - The Most Lamentable Tragedy

July 28, 2015
Critic Score
81
28 reviews

A massive, sprawling mess of styles and genres, all rooted in Stickles’ wordy lyrical catharsis, Tragedy reflects the wild mood swings associated with those suffering from bipolar disorder; raging one moment, euphoric the next before settling into a seemingly bottomless depression.

71. Jaga Jazzist - Starfire

June 2, 2015
Critic Score
69
9 reviews

70. Dungen - Allas Sak

September 25, 2015
Critic Score
76
9 reviews

68. Shamir - Ratchet

May 19, 2015
Critic Score
77
23 reviews

Shamir might not be the most conventional of vocalists, and Ratchet might not be the perfect pop record “On the Regular” hinted it could have been, but this is still one of the most dazzling debuts of 2015.

66. The Weeknd - Beauty Behind the Madness

August 28, 2015
Critic Score
71
22 reviews

Despite such strong highlights dropped in the album’s middle section ... Beauty ends up having a strange beast of a failing: none of the guest spots really add to the album’s overall vibe.

65. Leon Bridges - Coming Home

June 23, 2015
Critic Score
75
16 reviews

The fact that he can make this into a compelling tale without overdramatizing the details reveals his knack for narrative. He can sing a story.

64. Jlin - Dark Energy

March 24, 2015
Critic Score
84
5 reviews

63. Heems - Eat Pray Thug

Heems - Eat Pray Thug
March 10, 2015
Critic Score
70
13 reviews
At some point, all the music’s dissonance and divergence just makes it more vital and interesting. Without Das Racist, Heems’ limitless creativity has completely erupted, and as messy as it all is, it’s a little beautiful, too.

62. Battles - La Di Da Di

September 18, 2015
Critic Score
69
24 reviews

This is a confident record that focuses on beat and melody, while still allowing the group space to throw in other musical ideas.

61. Deradoorian - The Expanding Flower Planet

August 21, 2015
Critic Score
74
16 reviews

The Expanding Flower Planet is a confident declaration of independence from a vital artist operating at the top of her creative game.

60. Omar Souleyman - Bahdeni Nami

Omar Souleyman - Bahdeni Nami
July 24, 2015
Critic Score
69
15 reviews

58. DJ Spooky with Kronos Quartet - Rebirth of a Nation

DJ Spooky with Kronos Quartet - Rebirth of a Nation
August 28, 2015
Critic Score
80
2 reviews

57. John Grant - Grey Tickles, Black Pressure

October 2, 2015
Critic Score
82
18 reviews
John Grant is making some of the best art of the new millennium as he struggles with his many demons, both those internal and those external.

56. Max Richter - SLEEP

September 4, 2015
Critic Score
77
4 reviews

55. Iron Maiden - The Book of Souls

September 4, 2015
Critic Score
76
15 reviews

They did push themselves like they’ve never done before, and they’ve rewarded their millions of worldwide fans with a late-career zenith.

53. Chelsea Wolfe - Abyss

August 7, 2015
Critic Score
76
22 reviews

Abyss may not be a go-to for either late-night or summer listening, but it ably solidifies Wolfe’s presence as a devastatingly unique voice in our current musical climate.

51. Bully - Feels Like

June 23, 2015
Critic Score
76
17 reviews
Bully’s exuberant strain of alt-rock is undeniably vintage, but what keeps the music afloat above the familiar jangle guitars and chunky bass lines is that spirited attitude of sunny nostalgia that Bognanno so deftly taps into.

50. Young Fathers - White Men Are Black Men Too

April 7, 2015
Critic Score
81
22 reviews
They might have to destroy pop to save it, but if anyone has a vision for a great new musical world, it’s Young Fathers.

48. C Duncan - Architect

July 17, 2015
Critic Score
79
6 reviews

47. Rhiannon Giddens - Tomorrow Is My Turn

February 10, 2015
Critic Score
83
6 reviews

Everything works on Tomorrow Is My Turn, an album that heralds the arrival of a major American artist.

46. Future Brown - Future Brown

February 24, 2015
Critic Score
70
15 reviews

45. Dâm-Funk - Invite the Light

Dâm-Funk - Invite the Light
September 4, 2015
Critic Score
74
14 reviews

It’s a very good approximation of a very specific sound and furthers Dâm-Funk’s reputation and worthiness of his chosen sobriquet.

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

June 2, 2015
Critic Score
78
26 reviews

She’s as huge and commanding as ever on How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, the third album under the Florence and the Machine name, but the music that surrounds her is coupled with hints of restraint, making the record her sleekest and most gorgeous yet.

42. CHVRCHES - Every Open Eye

September 25, 2015
Critic Score
79
28 reviews

The songs on Every Open Eye move better, evolve cleaner and hit bigger heights. It’s a subtle evolution, but a big step for this kind of pop band.

41. FKA Twigs - M3LL155X

August 13, 2015
Critic Score
85
12 reviews

The effect of the album is soothing and challenging all at once; full of complex messaging yet equally suitable as backdrop for studying; worthy of lingering concentration on each and every note or dozing off to on an airplane.

40. Beach House - Depression Cherry

August 28, 2015
Critic Score
79
31 reviews

Some minor, targeted deviation from the formula would have pushed Depression Cherry to an unprecedented level of novelty for the band, but as it stands, the record falls into a creeping, achromatic daze far more ambitious than it is visionary.

39. Skylar Spence - Prom King

Skylar Spence - Prom King
September 18, 2015
Critic Score
69
4 reviews

38. Ashley Monroe - The Blade

July 24, 2015
Critic Score
81
9 reviews

The Blade is her first album that can’t be construed as a debut. It’s also the first that doesn’t feel like a debut. It’s coming from a place of confidence in talent, of assurance in what she’s doing.

37. Holly Herndon - Platform

May 19, 2015
Critic Score
79
23 reviews

In its least engaging moments, Platform feels more like a homework assignment geared to some equivocal set than an album. In its better moments, it’s electronic music for the fourth-dimension.

35. TORRES - Sprinter

May 5, 2015
Critic Score
79
21 reviews

Voice, both the sound that emanates from vocal cords and the perspective from which songs are written, is what’s been honed on Torres’s second album Sprinter.

34. Earl Sweatshirt - I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside

March 23, 2015
Critic Score
77
23 reviews

Never in any danger of overstaying his welcome, Kgositsile shows an overall maturity on Outside that suggests great things in his future.

31. Lupe Fiasco - Tetsuo & Youth

January 20, 2015
Critic Score
76
14 reviews

Tetsuo & Youth finds Lupe Fiasco returning to the ambitious abandon that defined his first two albums.

Original Source: http://www.popmatters.com/feature/the-80-best-albums-of-2015/
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