Pretty Much Amazing's Best Albums of 2015

Pretty Much Amazing's Best Albums of 2015

Original Source

50. Jessica Pratt - On Your Own Love Again

Jessica Pratt - On Your Own Love Again
January 27, 2015
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
78
17 reviews
User Score
77
98 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.

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49. Titus Andronicus - The Most Lamentable Tragedy

Titus Andronicus - The Most Lamentable Tragedy
July 28, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
82
26 reviews
User Score
77
164 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.

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48. Susanne Sundfør - Ten Love Songs

Susanne Sundfør - Ten Love Songs
February 16, 2015
Art Pop
Critic Score
85
5 reviews
User Score
81
166 reviews

47. Jenny Hval - Apocalypse, girl

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

46. Kacey Musgraves - Pageant Material

Kacey Musgraves - Pageant Material
June 23, 2015
Country
Critic Score
78
18 reviews
User Score
77
91 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.

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45. Jason Isbell - Something More Than Free

Jason Isbell - Something More Than Free
July 17, 2015
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
80
18 reviews
User Score
76
60 reviews

44. Holly Herndon - Platform

Holly Herndon - Platform
May 19, 2015
Art Pop
Critic Score
80
21 reviews
User Score
76
162 reviews

43. Thee Oh Sees - Mutilator Defeated At Last

Thee Oh Sees - Mutilator Defeated At Last
May 18, 2015
Psychedelic Rock
Critic Score
78
7 reviews
User Score
77
82 reviews

42. Jeremih - Late Nights: The Album

Jeremih - Late Nights: The Album
December 4, 2015
R&B
Critic Score
78
8 reviews
User Score
74
59 reviews

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

Florence + The Machine - How Big How Blue How Beautiful
June 2, 2015
Art Pop
Critic Score
78
24 reviews
User Score
77
270 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.

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40. Young Thug - Barter 6

Young Thug - Barter 6
April 16, 2015
Hip Hop
Critic Score
73
13 reviews
User Score
74
131 reviews

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

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39. Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color

Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color
April 21, 2015
Southern Rock
Critic Score
78
24 reviews
User Score
78
290 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.

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38. 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

37. CHVRCHES - Every Open Eye

CHVRCHES - Every Open Eye
September 25, 2015
Synthpop
Critic Score
79
26 reviews
User Score
74
279 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.

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36. Erykah Badu - But You Caint Use My Phone

Erykah Badu - But You Caint Use My Phone
November 27, 2015
Neo-Soul
Critic Score
77
9 reviews
User Score
74
67 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.

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35. 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

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. 

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34. Protomartyr - The Agent Intellect

Protomartyr - The Agent Intellect
October 9, 2015
Post-Punk
Critic Score
82
14 reviews
User Score
78
156 reviews

33. Tobias Jesso Jr. - Goon

Tobias Jesso Jr. - Goon
March 17, 2015
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
78
19 reviews
User Score
78
268 reviews

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

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32. Lin-Manuel Miranda - Hamilton: An American Musical (Original Broadway Cast Recording)

Lin-Manuel Miranda - Hamilton: An American Musical (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
October 16, 2015
Hip Hop
Critic Score
80
4 reviews
User Score
74
12 reviews

31. 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

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.

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30. 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

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.

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29. Beach House - Thank Your Lucky Stars

Beach House - Thank Your Lucky Stars
October 16, 2015
Dream Pop
Critic Score
77
14 reviews
User Score
79
255 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.

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28. Torres - Sprinter

Torres - Sprinter
May 5, 2015
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
80
20 reviews
User Score
79
209 reviews

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

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

Earl Sweatshirt - I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside
March 23, 2015
Hip Hop
Critic Score
77
22 reviews
User Score
77
261 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. 

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26. Shamir - Ratchet

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

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25. Kamasi Washington - The Epic

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

24. Joanna Newsom - Divers

Joanna Newsom - Divers
October 23, 2015
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
87
30 reviews
User Score
83
224 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!

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23. Destroyer - Poison Season

Destroyer - Poison Season
August 28, 2015
Chamber Pop
Critic Score
82
25 reviews
User Score
81
279 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.

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22. Beach House - Depression Cherry

Beach House - Depression Cherry
August 28, 2015
Dream Pop
Critic Score
79
29 reviews
User Score
81
460 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.

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21. Panda Bear - Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper

Panda Bear - Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper
January 13, 2015
Psychedelic Pop
Critic Score
81
29 reviews
User Score
78
403 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.

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20. Empress Of - Me

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

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

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19. Preoccupations - Viet Cong

Preoccupations - Viet Cong
January 20, 2015
Post-Punk
Critic Score
82
23 reviews
User Score
79
411 reviews
Viet Cong boast a rich arsenal of textures, which they’ve funneled, or sometimes wrestled, into post-punk-shaped confines.
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18. Deerhunter - Fading Frontier

Deerhunter - Fading Frontier
October 16, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
82
30 reviews
User Score
80
299 reviews
As tasteful and comfortable as this album is, the more I played it the more it felt like a bummer.
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17. Hop Along - Painted Shut

Hop Along - Painted Shut
May 5, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
83
12 reviews
User Score
79
175 reviews

16. Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Multi-Love

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Multi-Love
May 26, 2015
Psychedelic Pop
Critic Score
79
23 reviews
User Score
78
307 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.

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15. 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

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.

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14. Vince Staples - Summertime '06

Vince Staples - Summertime '06
June 30, 2015
Hip Hop
Critic Score
86
20 reviews
User Score
83
390 reviews
It may not be the most talked-about rap record of the year, but it probably deserves to be. Long live Ramona Park.
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13. Miguel - Wildheart

Miguel - Wildheart
June 30, 2015
Alternative R&B
Critic Score
81
24 reviews
User Score
79
260 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.

Full Review →

12. Björk - Vulnicura

Björk - Vulnicura
January 20, 2015
Art Pop
Critic Score
86
27 reviews
User Score
82
491 reviews
Her new album wipes from memory all the sterile, intellectual constructions that precede it.
Full Review →

11. Sleater-Kinney - No Cities to Love

Sleater-Kinney - No Cities to Love
January 20, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
89
29 reviews
User Score
78
472 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

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10. 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

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.

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9. 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
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.
Full Review →

8. 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
698 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.
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7. 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

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

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6. Tame Impala - Currents

Tame Impala - Currents
July 17, 2015
Psychedelic Pop
Critic Score
84
30 reviews
User Score
83
849 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.

Full Review →

5. Jamie xx - In Colour

Jamie xx - In Colour
June 1, 2015
UK Bass
Critic Score
84
31 reviews
User Score
82
711 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.
Full Review →

4. Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell

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

Full Review →

3. Grimes - Art Angels

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

Full Review →

2. D'Angelo - Black Messiah

D'Angelo - Black Messiah
December 15, 2014
Neo-Soul
Critic Score
93
23 reviews
User Score
86
365 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.

Full Review →

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

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.

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

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