AOTY 2017
Pretty Much Amazing's Best Albums of 2015

Pretty Much Amazing's Best Albums of 2015

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50. Jessica Pratt - On Your Own Love Again

January 27, 2015
Critic Score
78
18 reviews

With On Your Own Love Again, Jessica Pratt has crafted a record that is as accessible as it is complex, two traits that she proves are not mutually exclusive.

49. Titus Andronicus - The Most Lamentable Tragedy

July 28, 2015
Critic Score
81
28 reviews

No, TMLT is not as precise as The Monitor, nor as pleasurable. It does, however, surpass it in imagination and aim. This alone cements The Most Lamentable Tragedy as one of this year’s greatest rock records.

46. Kacey Musgraves - Pageant Material

June 23, 2015
Critic Score
78
19 reviews

There are no stomping blues-rockers here, no rockabilly or harmonica hoedowns as there were on Same Trailer; everything’s pretty low-key. Sometimes this restraint can be tantalizing in the best ways.

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

June 2, 2015
Critic Score
78
26 reviews

Every song on How Big How Blue How Beautiful instead strives to be a thermonuclear warhead. And Welch’s struggle, with heartbreak and sobriety, is their emotional payload.

40. Young Thug - Barter 6

April 16, 2015
Critic Score
72
14 reviews

Thug’s entire approach to his music has never sounded so polished and potent as it sounds on Barter 6.

39. Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color

April 21, 2015
Critic Score
79
26 reviews

The biggest thing that Sound & Color seems to have going for it is how agreeable it all seems. Alabama Shakes don’t rock the boat necessarily, but by refining the formula, they’ve proven they can succeed with a model that has become all too easy to fail with in recent years.

37. CHVRCHES - Every Open Eye

September 25, 2015
Critic Score
79
28 reviews

Every Open Eye does feel as though it is trying to reach everyone all at once, and hits its marks less frequently than its predecessor.

36. Erykah Badu - But You Caint Use My Phone

November 27, 2015
Critic Score
75
11 reviews

It’s a funny and effortless mixtape. But there are little glints of excellence—parts of songs, particular grooves—that make it a substantial entry into the Erykah Badu canon.

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

August 7, 2015
Critic Score
80
26 reviews

We’re given exciting stuff throughout the hour long run time of Compton—blockbuster material—there’s plenty of action and drama to go around. And although fat definitely needed to be trimmed from this animal, it’s humbling to know Dre hasn’t let his ego get the best of him musically. 

33. Tobias Jesso Jr. - Goon

March 17, 2015
Critic Score
79
21 reviews

Goon is adept enough to say what it wants to, and flawed enough to appear derived from reality.

31. Kurt Vile - b'lieve i'm goin down

September 25, 2015
Critic Score
77
26 reviews

Vile’s music is deeply emotionally evocative, inviting the listener to use their own wild imagination to dissect the shades of joy, sadness, and confusion dotting Vile’s portrait.

30. Julia Holter - Have You in My Wilderness

September 25, 2015
Critic Score
87
25 reviews

Have You in My Wilderness’ best quality is that it won’t let you down if you get up close and sit with it for a while.

29. Beach House - Thank Your Lucky Stars

October 16, 2015
Critic Score
76
16 reviews

With the excellent Depression Cherry out just two months ago, Beach House would have done better to sit on Lucky Stars, or maybe even have turned the whole thing into one crazy, sprawling double album.

28. TORRES - Sprinter

May 5, 2015
Critic Score
79
21 reviews

The only resource Mackenzie Scott needs to make a beautiful song and tell a cathartic story is herself.

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

March 23, 2015
Critic Score
77
23 reviews

I Don’t Like Shit moves at a stroll not because it’s lazy but because its creator knows exactly what he’s doing, such that there’s no need to show off. 

26. Shamir - Ratchet

May 19, 2015
Critic Score
77
23 reviews

Its highs are high enough that its lows can be forgiven, or forgotten entirely. Ratchet consolidates Shamir's many talents: the sassy lyricist, the virtuosic tunesmith, the unperturbed diva. Those talents are singular, and they’re sure to flourish on future releases.

24. Joanna Newsom - Divers

October 23, 2015
Critic Score
87
32 reviews

If she has indeed made her most musically rewarding album since the first one, it’s telling that Divers doesn’t stretch Newsom’s music any further than the last two albums have. It’s just more organized, is all! Praise be!

23. Destroyer - Poison Season

August 28, 2015
Critic Score
82
27 reviews

Despite an overarching shagginess, this is an almost seamless artistic and conceptual exercise. Poison Season makes its predecessor appear minor by comparison, like a tuneful lark.

22. Beach House - Depression Cherry

August 28, 2015
Critic Score
79
31 reviews

Minor sonic updates don’t entirely compensate for the lack of deep cuts, but it’s hard to fault Depression Cherry for playing to Beach House’s well-established strengths.

21. Panda Bear - Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper

January 13, 2015
Critic Score
80
31 reviews

Grim Reaper is Panda Bear’s most aggressively electronic work to date, full of clattering rhythms and corroded keyboards, no computer-derived sound or structure permitted to masquerade as anything other than what it is. But this makes it, oddly, his most embodied work, too.

20. Empress Of - Me

September 11, 2015
Critic Score
80
10 reviews

Me is an album of crushingly introspective songwriting set to certifiably exciting dance music.

19. Preoccupations - Viet Cong

January 20, 2015
Critic Score
81
25 reviews
Viet Cong boast a rich arsenal of textures, which they’ve funneled, or sometimes wrestled, into post-punk-shaped confines.

18. Deerhunter - Fading Frontier

October 16, 2015
Critic Score
81
32 reviews
As tasteful and comfortable as this album is, the more I played it the more it felt like a bummer.

16. Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Multi-Love

May 26, 2015
Critic Score
80
25 reviews

Immediately, Multi-Love introduces its polyamorous priorities in multiple senses, equally emphasizing real-life interpersonal relationships as Nielson's many-tendriled affection for multi-instrumentation and electronic layering.

15. Neon Indian - VEGA INTL. Night School

October 16, 2015
Critic Score
78
17 reviews

Night School doesn’t go down like a third album. It goes down like a reimagined debut, because it introduces a newly carefree, naturally focused Neon Indian. And as third albums go, that’s just about the best mentality you can employ.

14. Vince Staples - Summertime '06

June 30, 2015
Critic Score
85
21 reviews
It may not be the most talked-about rap record of the year, but it probably deserves to be. Long live Ramona Park.

13. Miguel - Wildheart

June 30, 2015
Critic Score
81
26 reviews

Wildheart is his finest and most stubborn statement yet — a provocative, swooning mess, the 45-minute manifestation of that alternately deranged and inspired five-minute SNL performance. It also just might be one of the best rock albums of 2015.

12. Björk - Vulnicura

January 20, 2015
Critic Score
86
30 reviews
Her new album wipes from memory all the sterile, intellectual constructions that precede it.

11. Sleater-Kinney - No Cities to Love

January 20, 2015
Critic Score
88
31 reviews

The Woods remains Sleater-Kinney’s grandest statement. The trio, however, triumphs in short bursts of joy, rage, and those lesser, in-between emotions. No Cities to Love replaces its predecessor’s sweep with blood, fire, and melody

10. Carly Rae Jepsen - E•MO•TION

August 21, 2015
Critic Score
75
22 reviews

It’s also the best gift you never asked for, or even knew you wanted in the first place. I could say the same about CRJ herself, a minor pop star who’s emerged as the genre’s newest MVP.

9. Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment - Surf

May 29, 2015
Critic Score
81
16 reviews
Sure, it’s balmy and comforting, a Summer Record through and through. But even at its softest and most lysergic, it’s never passive. The emotional scope is wide and true. It’s capable of destroying you in the space of a few seconds and then sweeping you to your feet moments later.

8. Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear

February 10, 2015
Critic Score
89
32 reviews
The majority of the album is rooted in the same vintage Californian folk-pop tradition – think the Eagles or Electric Prunes – but its reflections on globalization are decidedly contemporary.

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

March 24, 2015
Critic Score
84
31 reviews

Sometimes I Sit and Think lends further support to the argument that women are the last, best hope of a once vital genre.

6. Tame Impala - Currents

July 17, 2015
Critic Score
83
32 reviews

No matter your proclivities for this new style, it’s hard to deny that Currents sounds fantastic. Parker isn’t using any new instruments here, he’s reappropriating instruments he has been using all along. Only this time, everything is curated cleanly.

5. Jamie xx - In Colour

June 1, 2015
Critic Score
84
33 reviews
Like much of Jamie xx’s body of work, it’s a chronicle of distance, both romantic and musical, a swooning love song for beat-loving introverts and sensitive ravers.

4. Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell

March 31, 2015
Critic Score
90
34 reviews

Stevens has finally revealed himself to be the person in his first-person pieces, and his songwriting lifts itself to new heights for that admission.

3. Grimes - Art Angels

November 6, 2015
Critic Score
84
29 reviews

She’s crafted a glorious pop monster entirely by her own mind, hand, and voice. Part dazzling confection, part snarling beast, Art Angels is a stitched together, hook ridden masterwork.

2. D'Angelo - Black Messiah

December 15, 2014
Critic Score
93
25 reviews

Is this the Second Coming of Sly, or Prince, or Stevie, or Marvin? No. This is the Second Coming of D’Angelo, not a close second, but a continuation of that lineage. We’ve waited fifteen years for his finest album to date.

1. Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly

March 16, 2015
Critic Score
95
34 reviews

Its politics may offend and its sonics may perplex, but there is no doubt that Butterfly is one of the year’s most fascinating and impressive musical artifacts.

Original Source: http://prettymuchamazing.com/features/best-albums-2015
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