AllMusic's Best Albums of 2015

AllMusic's Best Albums of 2015

Original Source

Alejandro Sanz - Sirope

Alejandro Sanz - Sirope
May 4, 2015
Critic Score
80
1 review
User Score
NR

Ashley Monroe - The Blade

Ashley Monroe - The Blade
July 24, 2015
Country
Critic Score
81
9 reviews
User Score
73
21 reviews
All this makes for a diverse set of songs but the key to Monroe's appeal is that she seems neither showy nor calculating when she expands beyond her classic country roots.
Full Review →

Bilal - In Another Life

Bilal - In Another Life
June 30, 2015
Neo-Soul
Critic Score
74
7 reviews
User Score
73
13 reviews

Björk - Vulnicura

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

Vulnicura honors her pain and the necessary path through and away from loss with some of her bravest, most challenging, and most engaging music.

Full Review →

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

An even more consistent album than Kiss, E-MO-TION further defines Jepsen as an equally stylish and earnest pop artist.

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Cécile McLorin Salvant - For One To Love

Cécile McLorin Salvant - For One To Love
September 4, 2015
Critic Score
80
1 review
User Score
89
1 review

Chastity Belt - Time To Go Home

Chastity Belt - Time To Go Home
March 23, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
75
12 reviews
User Score
76
57 reviews
Depending on what aspect of the band the listener pays the most attention to, Chastity Belt can be either brazenly hilarious or mysterious and moving.
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Colleen - Captain of None

Colleen - Captain of None
April 7, 2015
Art Pop
Critic Score
77
6 reviews
User Score
75
21 reviews
It all makes for a breezy yet powerful expression of independence from an artist who is always true to herself.
Full Review →

Container - LP

Container - LP
June 8, 2015
Electronic
Critic Score
79
7 reviews
User Score
75
35 reviews
All of Container's recordings are amazing, but this one is his most concentrated burst of energy yet, and it cements his status as one of the most exciting and inventive artists in the underground American electronic music scene, as well as one of the most successful in merging noise with techno.
Full Review →

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
82
595 reviews

A convincing argument that rock & roll doesn't need reinvention in order to revive itself, Courtney Barnett's full-length debut Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit. falls into a long, storied rock tradition but never feels beholden to it.

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Deerhunter - Fading Frontier

Deerhunter - Fading Frontier
October 16, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
82
30 reviews
User Score
80
299 reviews
Musically and emotionally, this is one of Deerhunter's most powerful -- and delicate -- albums.
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Destroyer - Poison Season

Destroyer - Poison Season
August 28, 2015
Chamber Pop
Critic Score
82
25 reviews
User Score
81
278 reviews
At nearly an hour in length, it feels immense, but more so from its unexpectedly cinematic stylings than from playing time -- with rotating, scene-setting arrangements (rock, jazz, chamber music) and beat-poetic narrative vignettes of a gritty reality seemingly from another time, or another mind.
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Dornik - Dornik

Dornik - Dornik
August 7, 2015
Alternative R&B
Critic Score
76
5 reviews
User Score
78
9 reviews

Downtown Boys - Full Communism

Downtown Boys - Full Communism
May 4, 2015
Punk Rock
Critic Score
80
5 reviews
User Score
72
22 reviews
You'd have to go back to the MC5 to find a band that combined purposeful rage and passionate rock & roll energy as well as Downtown Boys.
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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

This brilliant kaleidoscopic LP, which was recorded in under a year, focuses on the veteran producer's connection to the modern world as it references Eric Garner, frames it with N.W.A.'s history, and decides that little has changed.

Full Review →

Eric Church - Mr. Misunderstood

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

Where The Outsiders was designed to dazzle, Mr. Misunderstood is built for the long haul: it settles into the soul, its pleasures immediate but also sustained.

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EZTV - Calling Out

EZTV - Calling Out
July 10, 2015
Indie Pop
Critic Score
73
8 reviews
User Score
76
4 reviews

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
696 reviews

I Love You, Honeybear, despite the occasional double entendre, is as powerful a statement about love in the vacuous, social media-obsessed early 21st century as it is a denouement of the detached hipster charlatan.

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Floating Points - Elaenia

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

Elaenia is fated to become one of those albums that inspires ritualistic listening parties held by small groups of audiophiles. That shouldn't be held against it.

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Fred Thomas - All Are Saved

Fred Thomas - All Are Saved
April 7, 2015
Chamber Pop
Critic Score
82
4 reviews
User Score
70
16 reviews

Gerardo Ortiz - Hoy Más Fuerte

Gerardo Ortiz - Hoy Más Fuerte
May 18, 2015
Critic Score
90
1 review
User Score
NR

Ghost - Meliora

Ghost - Meliora
August 21, 2015
Hard Rock
Critic Score
76
8 reviews
User Score
77
58 reviews

What holds it all together is solid writing that sticks close to stock pop/rock methodology.

Full Review →

Girlpool - Before The World Was Big

Girlpool - Before The World Was Big
June 2, 2015
Indie Pop
Critic Score
77
19 reviews
User Score
74
66 reviews
Even more than on their first release, Girlpool feel like a unit, totally locked into each other musically and emotionally, and their stark presentation remains a boon to their risky and appealingly human songs.
Full Review →

Guilty Simpson - Detroit's Son

Guilty Simpson - Detroit's Son
September 11, 2015
Critic Score
68
3 reviews
User Score
66
2 reviews

Hiatus Kaiyote - Choose Your Weapon

Hiatus Kaiyote - Choose Your Weapon
May 4, 2015
Alternative R&B
Critic Score
82
8 reviews
User Score
78
97 reviews
From track to track, one ingenious idea trails another. Vocal melodies and guitar wriggles sneak up and tickle the ears, burbling electronics mingle with spiny acoustic guitars, time signatures abruptly switch and stun.
Full Review →

Jake Xerxes Fussell - Jake Xerxes Fussell

Jake Xerxes Fussell - Jake Xerxes Fussell
January 27, 2015
Americana
Critic Score
80
3 reviews
User Score
74
5 reviews

Jamie xx - In Colour

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

As it moves from reflective to engaging and back again, In Colour covers the entire spectrum of Jamie xx's music, delivering flashes of brilliance along the way.

Full Review →

Jazmine Sullivan - Reality Show

Jazmine Sullivan - Reality Show
January 13, 2015
R&B
Critic Score
81
8 reviews
User Score
72
75 reviews

Just as potent and lasting as Fearless and Love Me Back, Reality Show completes one of the most impressive first-three-album runs.

Full Review →

Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - A Year With 13 Moons

Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - A Year With 13 Moons
February 9, 2015
Ambient
Critic Score
80
5 reviews
User Score
72
33 reviews

Without words or structures, A Year with 13 Moons translates a wealth of emotional content, achieving the rare feat of communicating pain, loss, yearning, and nostalgia with a noisy sonic palette that few can turn into anything besides confusion and chaos.

Full Review →

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
45 reviews

At nearly an hour long, Grey Tickles, Black Pressure is a dense, rewarding listen from an artist who's becoming more complex, and more direct, with each album.

Full Review →

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
408 reviews

While it's tempting to say Have You in My Wilderness is her most personal music yet, it might be more accurate to say that it's her most approachable: this time, her brilliance demands a lot from her listeners, but also meets them more than halfway.

Full Review →

Kamasi Washington - The Epic

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

Holistic in breadth and deep in vision, it provides a way into this music for many, and challenges the cultural conversation about jazz without compromising or pandering.

Full Review →

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
1140 reviews

To Pimp a Butterfly is as dark, intense, complicated, and violent as Picasso's Guernica, and should hold the same importance for its genre and the same beauty for its intended audience.

Full Review →

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
243 reviews

B'lieve I'm Goin Down... is an impeccably arranged album beneath its soothing, sleepy surface, with every element assisting in an illusion of deep, shimmering, and alluring melancholy.

Full Review →

Logic - The Incredible True Story

Logic - The Incredible True Story
November 13, 2015
Hip Hop
Critic Score
67
4 reviews
User Score
74
80 reviews

This is the album where it all changed, as the one they call Young Sinatra comes into his own and proves his nearly perfect debut was no isolated fluke.

Full Review →

Low Cut Connie - Hi Honey

Low Cut Connie - Hi Honey
April 21, 2015
Critic Score
77
3 reviews
User Score
68
4 reviews

Maddie & Tae - Start Here

Maddie & Tae - Start Here
August 28, 2015
Country
Critic Score
76
6 reviews
User Score
71
9 reviews

They're an unabashed country act, gliding between heartbreak harmonies and punch lines with aplomb, the gilded ease masquerading the careful craft behind these 11 songs, every one of which bears songwriting credits by the duo.

Full Review →

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

On Are You Alone?, Majical Cloudz pick up where the exceptionally beautiful Impersonator left off two years prior, and issue more sparse arrangements of hypnotic, minor-key electronics under plaintive cries and intimate observations, like a subdued, post-apocalyptic offspring of the Blue Nile.

Full Review →

Matchess - Somnaphoria

Matchess - Somnaphoria
June 23, 2015
Critic Score
80
1 review
User Score
71
2 reviews

Natalie Prass - Natalie Prass

Natalie Prass - Natalie Prass
January 27, 2015
Chamber Pop
Critic Score
83
18 reviews
User Score
79
315 reviews

Natalie Prass is the work of a distinctive new artist with a vision that embraces past and present, merging strength and vulnerability to powerful effect.

Full Review →

Okko Kamu & Lahti Symphony Orchestra - Sibelius: The Symphonies

Okko Kamu & Lahti Symphony Orchestra - Sibelius: The Symphonies
November 13, 2015
Critic Score
100
1 review
User Score
NR

Olivia Chaney - The Longest River

Olivia Chaney - The Longest River
April 28, 2015
Critic Score
83
3 reviews
User Score
72
1 review

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 way he transforms different sounds and eras into something nostalgic yet new has always been one of his greatest strengths. He goes one better on Garden of Delete, imbuing these songs with powerful, wide-ranging emotions.

Full Review →

Philharmonic Orchestra of Hamburg & Simone Young - Bruckner: Symphony No. 5

Philharmonic Orchestra of Hamburg & Simone Young - Bruckner: Symphony No. 5
August 7, 2015
Critic Score
100
1 review
User Score
NR

Rabit - Communion

Rabit - Communion
October 30, 2015
Grime
Critic Score
79
6 reviews
User Score
76
9 reviews

Rachel Grimes - The Clearing

Rachel Grimes - The Clearing
May 26, 2015
Modern Classical
Critic Score
70
6 reviews
User Score
76
5 reviews

Rachel Podger - Biber: Rosary Sonatas

Rachel Podger - Biber: Rosary Sonatas
October 16, 2015
Critic Score
100
1 review
User Score
NR

Róisín Murphy - Hairless Toys

Róisín Murphy - Hairless Toys
May 11, 2015
Art Pop
Critic Score
76
12 reviews
User Score
76
41 reviews

Hairless Toys opts for a more personal approach that is so powerful in part because it's so quiet.

Full Review →

Shamir - Ratchet

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

Ratchet is a fully realized, entertaining portrait of an artist who knows where he's from and where he's going.

Full Review →

Sick Sad World - Fear and Lies

Sick Sad World - Fear and Lies
April 21, 2015
Critic Score
80
1 review
User Score
73
1 review

Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell

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

Carrie & Lowell is the most harrowingly personal work Stevens has offered us to date; it also ranks with his most skillfully crafted albums despite its spartan approach.

Full Review →

The Internet - Ego Death

The Internet - Ego Death
June 30, 2015
Neo-Soul
Critic Score
77
8 reviews
User Score
76
79 reviews

One of the best noncommercial R&B albums of 2015, Ego Death is perfectly timed, in sync with -- and distinct from -- other standout releases connected to the thriving L.A. community.

Full Review →

The Sonics - This Is the Sonics

The Sonics - This Is the Sonics
March 31, 2015
Garage Rock
Critic Score
73
6 reviews
User Score
71
17 reviews

Vince Staples - Summertime '06

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

Blowing the promise of his Hell Can Wait EP into an extraordinary double LP, Summertime '06 finds rapper Vince Staples with all the pieces in place.

Full Review →

Yannick Nézet-Séguin - Ravel: Daphnis et Chloe

Yannick Nézet-Séguin - Ravel: Daphnis et Chloe
April 14, 2015
Critic Score
100
1 review
User Score
NR
Original Source: http://www.allmusic.com/year-in-review/2015/allmusic-best-of-2015

MORE 2015 YEAR END LISTS:


MORE YEAR END LISTS FROM ALLMUSIC:


Check out our 2015 Year End Summary.