Sputnikmusic's Top 50 Albums of 2015

Sputnikmusic's Top 50 Albums of 2015

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

March 31, 2015
Critic Score
81
19 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.

48. Marina and the Diamonds - Froot

March 13, 2015
Critic Score
74
16 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.

47. Cairo Knife Fight - The Colossus

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

46. Blur - The Magic Whip

April 27, 2015
Critic Score
78
31 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.

44. Soilwork - The Ride Majestic

Soilwork - The Ride Majestic
August 28, 2015
Critic Score
70
1 review

43. Horrendous - Anareta

October 30, 2015
Critic Score
81
2 reviews
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39. Florence + The Machine - How Big How Blue How Beautiful

June 2, 2015
Critic Score
78
26 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.

37. Frank Turner - Positive Songs for Negative People

August 7, 2015
Critic Score
69
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.

35. Foals - What Went Down

August 28, 2015
Critic Score
75
23 reviews

34. Tame Impala - Currents

July 17, 2015
Critic Score
83
32 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.”

33. Queensrÿche - Condition Hüman

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

31. Björk - Vulnicura

January 20, 2015
Critic Score
86
30 reviews

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

29. Paradise Lost - The Plague Within

June 1, 2015
Critic Score
83
2 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.

28. Amorphis - Under The Red Cloud

Amorphis - Under The Red Cloud
September 4, 2015
Critic Score
60
1 review

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

March 23, 2015
Critic Score
77
23 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.

25. Joanna Newsom - Divers

October 23, 2015
Critic Score
87
32 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.

24. Carly Rae Jepsen - E•MO•TION

August 21, 2015
Critic Score
75
22 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.

21. Deerhunter - Fading Frontier

October 16, 2015
Critic Score
82
31 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.

20. Vince Staples - Summertime '06

June 30, 2015
Critic Score
85
21 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.

19. Beach House - Depression Cherry

August 28, 2015
Critic Score
79
30 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?

17. Ghost - Meliora

August 21, 2015
Critic Score
77
10 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.

14. Hop Along - Painted Shut

May 5, 2015
Critic Score
83
12 reviews

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

13. Kauan - Sorni Nai

Kauan - Sorni Nai
October 20, 2015
Critic Score
90
1 review

12. Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear

February 10, 2015
Critic Score
89
32 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.

11. mewithoutYou - Pale Horses

June 16, 2015
Critic Score
73
7 reviews

8. Jamie xx - In Colour

June 1, 2015
Critic Score
84
33 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.

7. Sleater-Kinney - No Cities to Love

January 20, 2015
Critic Score
89
30 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.

6. Julia Holter - Have You in My Wilderness

September 25, 2015
Critic Score
87
25 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.

3. Grimes - Art Angels

November 6, 2015
Critic Score
84
29 reviews

2. Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell

March 31, 2015
Critic Score
90
34 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.

1. Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly

March 16, 2015
Critic Score
95
34 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.
Original Source: http://www.sputnikmusic.com/blog/2015/12/16/staffs-top-50-albums-of-2015-50-31/
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