Sputnikmusic's Top 50 Albums of 2015

Sputnikmusic's Top 50 Albums of 2015

Original Source

50. Fightstar - Behind the Devil's Back

Fightstar - Behind the Devil's Back
October 16, 2015
Critic Score
NR
User Score
60
1 review

49. Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress

Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress
March 31, 2015
Post-Rock
Critic Score
81
19 reviews
User Score
76
191 reviews

It’s an invigorating makeover of Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s firmly entrenched sound, and thus Asunder is both a thematic and musical awakening for the band.

Full Review →

48. Marina and the Diamonds - Froot

Marina and the Diamonds - Froot
March 13, 2015
Electropop
Critic Score
74
16 reviews
User Score
76
229 reviews
Blending the light touch of her backing band with selectively applied electronic elements, Marina gives a more refined take on songs that in her past might have been layered in obtrusive electropop production or overwhelming string arrangements.
Full Review →

47. Cairo Knife Fight - The Colossus

Cairo Knife Fight - The Colossus
May 29, 2015
Critic Score
80
1 review
User Score
NR

46. Blur - The Magic Whip

Blur - The Magic Whip
April 27, 2015
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
78
29 reviews
User Score
74
251 reviews

That they were able to put another six years of touring and botched recording sessions behind them and put out this long-gestating, bizarre little Blur album is a testament to the band’s separate creative energies, pooled back into one. The Magic Whip sounds like what these guys were always meant to do.

Full Review →

45. Kacey Musgraves - Pageant Material

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

44. Soilwork - The Ride Majestic

Soilwork - The Ride Majestic
August 28, 2015
Critic Score
70
1 review
User Score
76
2 reviews

43. Horrendous - Anareta

Horrendous - Anareta
October 30, 2015
Death Metal
Critic Score
81
2 reviews
User Score
77
16 reviews

42. Bring Me The Horizon - That's The Spirit

Bring Me The Horizon - That's The Spirit
September 11, 2015
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
74
7 reviews
User Score
65
72 reviews

41. Exgenesis - Aphotic Veil

Exgenesis - Aphotic Veil
January 25, 2015
Critic Score
NR
User Score
NR

40. Jenny Hval - Apocalypse, girl

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

39. 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
297 reviews
If this is meant to be a transitional record – and, despite the halfhearted attempt to tone the theatrics down a notch, it certainly appears to be – it’s an album that nonetheless ends with a promising look ahead.
Full Review →

38. Leviathan - Scar Sighted

Leviathan - Scar Sighted
March 3, 2015
Black Metal
Critic Score
77
3 reviews
User Score
75
17 reviews

37. Frank Turner - Positive Songs for Negative People

Frank Turner - Positive Songs for Negative People
August 7, 2015
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
69
13 reviews
User Score
70
14 reviews

Unfortunately, the album’s biggest strength also holds it back from ranking among his finest, as the overarching optimism makes the record feel slightly thin and superficial compared to his previous offerings.

Full Review →

36. Bosse-de-Nage - All Fours

Bosse-de-Nage - All Fours
April 14, 2015
Atmospheric Black Metal
Critic Score
90
1 review
User Score
79
8 reviews

35. Foals - What Went Down

Foals - What Went Down
August 28, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
75
23 reviews
User Score
75
186 reviews

34. Tame Impala - Currents

Tame Impala - Currents
July 17, 2015
Psychedelic Pop
Critic Score
84
31 reviews
User Score
83
929 reviews

It’s reductive and doesn’t help really anyone by saying the hooks just aren’t there on the level they used to be, but it’s telling that I searched the rest of Currents in vain for anything as immediate as the crashing waterfall of multitracked vocals on the chorus to “The Moment.”

Full Review →

33. Queensrÿche - Condition Hüman

Queensrÿche - Condition Hüman
October 2, 2015
Critic Score
70
1 review
User Score
81
2 reviews

32. Turnover - Peripheral Vision

Turnover - Peripheral Vision
May 5, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
72
3 reviews
User Score
75
36 reviews

31. Björk - Vulnicura

Björk - Vulnicura
January 20, 2015
Art Pop
Critic Score
86
28 reviews
User Score
82
536 reviews

Vulnicura is gruesome because of its trying structure, abandoning accessibility for labyrinthine ideas that casually stumble off-course.

Full Review →

30. Cult Leader - Lightless Walk

Cult Leader - Lightless Walk
October 16, 2015
Mathcore
Critic Score
81
2 reviews
User Score
69
7 reviews

29. Paradise Lost - The Plague Within

Paradise Lost - The Plague Within
June 1, 2015
Doom Metal
Critic Score
83
2 reviews
User Score
75
10 reviews

It should be stressed that with the The Plague Within album, the veterans of doom and gloom are resisting decay with style, not falling off the high standards they have set over the years.

Full Review →

28. Amorphis - Under The Red Cloud

Amorphis - Under The Red Cloud
September 4, 2015
Critic Score
60
1 review
User Score
80
5 reviews

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
287 reviews
With this, Earl is setting himself as the anti-hero of the urban catacombs. As his peers conspire to help each other on the way to the perfectly marketable, headphone-empire utopia, Earl cuts up his creations in the subterranean.
Full Review →

26. Intronaut - The Direction of Last Things

Intronaut - The Direction of Last Things
November 13, 2015
Critic Score
80
1 review
User Score
74
7 reviews

25. Joanna Newsom - Divers

Joanna Newsom - Divers
October 23, 2015
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
87
31 reviews
User Score
83
241 reviews

Such is the album’s richness and fluidity that one could ignore Joanna’s words and still come away enthralled, which is not a statement to be taken lightly when it concerns a piece of work as involved as this.

Full Review →

24. Carly Rae Jepsen - E•MO•TION

Carly Rae Jepsen - E•MO•TION
August 21, 2015
Dance Pop
Critic Score
76
21 reviews
User Score
79
355 reviews

E MO TION isn’t a stablemate of innovation, nor does it have an elaborate, all-encompassing concept; its allure stems from its consistency, with each and every track seamlessly passing the baton to the next without any significant dip in momentum.

Full Review →

23. Blanck Mass - Dumb Flesh

Blanck Mass - Dumb Flesh
May 12, 2015
Electronic
Critic Score
77
16 reviews
User Score
76
61 reviews

22. Arcturus - Arcturian

Arcturus - Arcturian
May 12, 2015
Progressive Metal
Critic Score
70
2 reviews
User Score
74
3 reviews

21. Deerhunter - Fading Frontier

Deerhunter - Fading Frontier
October 16, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
82
31 reviews
User Score
80
315 reviews

The growth that is present in the album is one of ideology as opposed to sound. Deerhunter are looking at the world with a refined philosophical perspective. There’s a subtle undercurrent of optimism that directs the music.

Full Review →

20. Vince Staples - Summertime '06

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

Summertime '06 is as bleak as mainstream hip-hop will allow for in 2015. It's not overtly enjoyable to experience because this is a reality that does not call for glamour.

Full Review →

19. Beach House - Depression Cherry

Beach House - Depression Cherry
August 28, 2015
Dream Pop
Critic Score
79
30 reviews
User Score
80
489 reviews

Depression Cherry is a startlingly easy record to get lost in. Some have called this a detriment, causing the record to blur together, to which I say: isn’t that the point?

Full Review →

18. Kamasi Washington - The Epic

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

17. Ghost - Meliora

Ghost - Meliora
August 21, 2015
Hard Rock
Critic Score
76
9 reviews
User Score
76
63 reviews

The intentionality behind Meliora's accessibility -- namely with the progressive-pop-doom hybrid that Ghost have crafted on Meliora, with the occult aesthetic running in parallel to the music -- is a resounding victory for the Swedish sextet and is assuredly the band's strongest album to date.

Full Review →

16. Oneohtrix Point Never - Garden of Delete

Oneohtrix Point Never - Garden of Delete
November 13, 2015
Electronic
Critic Score
79
23 reviews
User Score
80
206 reviews

15. Deafheaven - New Bermuda

Deafheaven - New Bermuda
October 2, 2015
Atmospheric Black Metal
Critic Score
82
16 reviews
User Score
81
236 reviews

14. Hop Along - Painted Shut

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

These little flashes of songwriting ingenuity are too numerous to count on Painted Shut, and they make each listen into something exciting.

Full Review →

13. Kauan - Sorni Nai

Kauan - Sorni Nai
October 20, 2015
Post-Rock
Critic Score
90
1 review
User Score
81
10 reviews

12. Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear

Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear
February 10, 2015
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
89
31 reviews
User Score
84
767 reviews
Tillman takes his musical cues from his confessional forebears, ‘70s singer-songwriters like Jackson Browne and James Taylor, his soulful tenor a warm and inviting presence that makes his refreshingly modern lyrics and transparent sensibilities all the more affecting.
Full Review →

11. mewithoutYou - Pale Horses

mewithoutYou - Pale Horses
June 16, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
73
7 reviews
User Score
75
18 reviews

10. Dance Gavin Dance - Instant Gratification

Dance Gavin Dance - Instant Gratification
April 14, 2015
Post-Hardcore
Critic Score
80
2 reviews
User Score
60
20 reviews

9. We Lost The Sea - Departure Songs

We Lost The Sea - Departure Songs
July 23, 2015
Post-Rock
Critic Score
NR
User Score
77
9 reviews

8. Jamie xx - In Colour

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

In a sentence, that’s why In Colour is so good: it remodels slabs of wax in a way that not only acknowledges but embraces the pop potential those snippets of sound have been denied for so long.

Full Review →

7. Sleater-Kinney - No Cities to Love

Sleater-Kinney - No Cities to Love
January 20, 2015
Indie Rock
Critic Score
89
30 reviews
User Score
78
484 reviews
Not only does it meet every one of our over-the-top demands as fans, it serves as a great entry point for those new comers who have yet to be introduced to one of the most important bands of the last quarter century.
Full Review →

6. 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
445 reviews

Deciphering the message in her words relies on just how much time the listener is willing to devote to the album, but with music this brilliant, the task seems all the more alluring.

Full Review →

5. Preoccupations - Viet Cong

Preoccupations - Viet Cong
January 20, 2015
Post-Punk
Critic Score
82
24 reviews
User Score
79
423 reviews

4. The Dear Hunter - Act IV: Rebirth In Reprise

The Dear Hunter - Act IV: Rebirth In Reprise
September 4, 2015
Progressive Rock
Critic Score
82
4 reviews
User Score
85
18 reviews

3. Grimes - Art Angels

Grimes - Art Angels
November 6, 2015
Art Pop
Critic Score
84
28 reviews
User Score
81
644 reviews

2. Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell

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

Shared with us in the most intimate of atmospheres, it’s so threadbare that you might as well be sitting in his apartment with him as he sings and plays you his life story.

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
90
1308 reviews
Every song possesses a distinctive identity, a different color fleshed out by its instrumentation. And the lyrical wonders Lamar works on top of all this is even more worthy of praise.
Full Review →
Original Source: http://www.sputnikmusic.com/blog/2015/12/16/staffs-top-50-albums-of-2015-50-31/

MORE 2015 YEAR END LISTS:


MORE YEAR END LISTS FROM SPUTNIKMUSIC:


Check out our 2015 Year End Summary.