AOTY 2017
The Guardian's Best Albums of 2015

The Guardian's Best Albums of 2015

Original Source →

39. Iron Maiden - The Book of Souls

September 4, 2015
Critic Score
76
15 reviews

On the evidence of The Book of Souls, The Acceptance of the Inevitable isn’t on Iron Maiden’s agenda.

37. Janet Jackson - Unbreakable

October 2, 2015
Critic Score
75
15 reviews

The chunky bass of Dammn Baby hits the dancefloor spot – but otherwise, Unbreakable’s highlights are low-key moments of reflection and nostalgia.

36. Vince Staples - Summertime '06

June 30, 2015
Critic Score
85
21 reviews

In a year of impressive solo rap albums, Staples has managed to create one that’s arguably the most idiosyncratic of the lot.

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

August 7, 2015
Critic Score
80
26 reviews

It’s an hour-long demonstration that Dr Dre’s skills as producer and curator alike are still as potent as ever.

34. FFS - FFS

June 8, 2015
Critic Score
76
19 reviews
There’s more here than mere novelty appeal – enough to make you hope they repeat the experiment at some point.

32. Jenny Hval - Apocalypse, girl

June 9, 2015
Critic Score
80
18 reviews

It’s provocative, but these are ideas rarely heard in pop, which makes it all the more compelling.

31. CHVRCHES - Every Open Eye

September 25, 2015
Critic Score
79
28 reviews

It’s an assured follow-up to their US-conquering debut, The Bones of What You Believe, picking out its predecessor’s stadium-pop moments and turning up the intensity without ever overselling its charm.

30. Fantasma - Free Love

Fantasma - Free Love
March 9, 2015
Critic Score
77
3 reviews

29. Sleaford Mods - Key Markets

July 24, 2015
Critic Score
75
18 reviews
Anger is still their foremost energy, but there is a much richer seam of humour than they like to let on.

28. Natalie Prass - Natalie Prass

January 27, 2015
Critic Score
83
18 reviews

The touchstones here, such as Dusty in Memphis, are all records that revel in a particular kind of musicality, yet this is a record that never feels retro, just timeless.

27. Mac DeMarco - Another One

August 7, 2015
Critic Score
74
28 reviews
This follow-up arrives quickly, and is small in its ambition, but still feels well-formed.

26. Laura Marling - Short Movie

March 23, 2015
Critic Score
81
25 reviews

It’s less musically intense than its predecessor – as well as the usual neo-Brit folk rock, there’s spindly and angular rock and even, on Gurdjieff’s Daughter, an unmistakable debt to Sultans of Swing.

25. Ezra Furman - Perpetual Motion People

July 10, 2015
Critic Score
79
15 reviews

It is more than bluster: Perpetual Motion People is the restless sound of a genuine one-off in a generic world.

24. Holly Herndon - Platform

May 19, 2015
Critic Score
79
23 reviews
Banger-free, perhaps, but gloriously avant garde and fiercely inventive.

22. New Order - Music Complete

September 25, 2015
Critic Score
73
21 reviews

It’s a little long, there’s the odd duff track ... But Music Complete still feels like the freshest thing they’ve done in ages.

21. Susanne Sundfør - Ten Love Songs

February 16, 2015
Critic Score
85
5 reviews

Ten Love Songs shows a command of artpop, chilly synthpop, and that simultaneously joyous and desperate disco that seems to seep out of Scandinavia in an unending flood.

20. Grimes - Art Angels

November 6, 2015
Critic Score
84
29 reviews

19. Carly Rae Jepsen - E•MO•TION

August 21, 2015
Critic Score
75
22 reviews

Her voice is fine, rather than outstanding. She doesn’t do anything to stamp her identity on the songs: good as they are, you’re struck by the sense you could be listening to anyone.

18. Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Multi-Love

May 26, 2015
Critic Score
80
25 reviews
The songs nod to the 1960s (Like Acid Rain), 70s (The World Is Crowded) and 80s (Can’t Keep Checking My Phone), but always feel fresh – a giddy, psychedelic sound almost as unique as the subject matter.

17. Jamie xx - In Colour

June 1, 2015
Critic Score
84
33 reviews

Although In Colour flirts with being overly tasteful, it usually manages to stay just the right side of strange – much like the xx themselves.

16. Floating Points - Elaenia

November 6, 2015
Critic Score
83
17 reviews
Like its namesake – a lithe South American bird – Elaenia flits, swoops and soars beautifully, impossible to pin down, let alone cage.

15. Tame Impala - Currents

July 17, 2015
Critic Score
83
32 reviews
Like all great psychedelic music, it perfectly evokes a deeply weird altered state, albeit that of a head wrecked by grief rather than lysergic acid diethylamide.

14. Drake - If You're Reading This It's Too Late

February 12, 2015
Critic Score
77
24 reviews
Intimate, intense, wistful, endlessly questioning, open-hearted Drake, backed by pristine machine beats, with aching chord sequences and lovely synth codas – longtime Drake fans will find much to appreciate here.

13. Wolf Alice - My Love is Cool

June 22, 2015
Critic Score
80
19 reviews
It’s an invigorating debut with a gaunt, gallant identity of its own.

12. Deerhunter - Fading Frontier

October 16, 2015
Critic Score
81
32 reviews

There are so many straightforwardly commercial-sounding songs here that Fading Frontier could conceivably be an album that turns Deerhunter from cult concern into mainstream success.

11. Miguel - Wildheart

June 30, 2015
Critic Score
81
26 reviews

His previous albums were sonically scattered and eclectic, but Wildheart mints a signature musical style; moreover, it’s a signature musical style that doesn’t sound much like anyone else.

10. Joanna Newsom - Divers

October 23, 2015
Critic Score
87
32 reviews
It’s at turns maddening, exhausting, enrapturing, insightful and very beautiful. But it always feels like the work of an artist who’s out there on her own, doing something no one else is doing.

9. Young Fathers - White Men Are Black Men Too

April 7, 2015
Critic Score
81
22 reviews
They manage the rare feat of melding pop and politics into a potent mix, and continue a tradition – begun by the likes of Smith & Mighty, Tricky and Massive Attack – of reinterpreting pop, hip-hop and soul through the filter of black British life.

8. Kamasi Washington - The Epic

May 5, 2015
Critic Score
83
6 reviews

Dedicated to bringing jazz to the uninitiated, Epic features soul and gospel vocals, boiling drumming, swing, funk, and voicelike free-jazz blowing.

7. Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

March 24, 2015
Critic Score
84
31 reviews
Gentle, subtle, poignant, Barnett is almost crooning as she talks disappointment and expectation, and she has a photographer’s eye for detail when it comes to the otherwise mundane.

6. Sleater-Kinney - No Cities to Love

January 20, 2015
Critic Score
88
31 reviews
All hail Sleater-Kinney: as riotous and vital as ever.

5. Björk - Vulnicura

January 20, 2015
Critic Score
86
30 reviews

You could say there’s something gimlet-eyed about a woman who realises her relationship is collapsing and automatically thinks: still, great material. But it’s nothing if not honest. And besides, on the evidence of Vulnicura, she has a point.

4. Julia Holter - Have You in My Wilderness

September 25, 2015
Critic Score
87
25 reviews
The result is a genuinely exceptional and entrancing album, opaque but effective, filled with beautiful, skewed songs, unconventional without ever feeling precious or affected.

3. Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear

February 10, 2015
Critic Score
89
32 reviews

For all the layers of irony on I Love You, Honeybear, the biggest irony of all might be that such an ostensibly knotty and confusing album’s real strength lies in something as prosaic and transparent as its author’s ability to write a beautiful melody.

2. Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell

March 31, 2015
Critic Score
90
34 reviews

The music matches the lyrics, managing to be both overwhelming and understated: melodies match sentiment with perfect judgment. Carrie & Lowell is a delight in every way, surely one of the albums of the year.

1. Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly

March 16, 2015
Critic Score
95
34 reviews

Time will tell whether in decades to come, To Pimp a Butterfly is still being spoken of in the same breath as the kind of epochal albums it’s currently being compared to, but for the moment, he’s certainly achieved his aim in impressive style.

Original Source: http://www.theguardian.com/music/ng-interactive/2015/dec/02/best-albums-of-2015
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