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Rolling Stone's 45 Best Albums of 2015 So Far

Rolling Stone's 45 Best Albums of 2015 So Far

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Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color

Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color
April 21, 2015
Critic Score
80
29 reviews
This is a weirder, woozier, fiercer and sexier record than their debut in nearly every way.

Björk - Vulnicura

Björk - Vulnicura
January 20, 2015
Critic Score
86
31 reviews

Arranged for voice with orchestral strings and electronic beats, Vulnicura is a unified set of nine dark, swarming, melodically distended songs.

Blur - The Magic Whip

Blur - The Magic Whip
April 27, 2015
Critic Score
78
35 reviews

Blur have returned with inspiration to spare.

Bob Dylan - Shadows in the Night

Bob Dylan - Shadows in the Night
February 3, 2015
Critic Score
80
25 reviews

Dylan transforms everything on Shadows in the Night — 10 slow-dance covers, mostly romantic standards from the pre-rock era of American popular songwriting — into a barely-there noir of bowed bass and throaty shivers of electric guitar.

Chris Stapleton - Traveller

Chris Stapleton - Traveller
May 5, 2015
Critic Score
83
4 reviews

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
Critic Score
83
35 reviews
The tunes are tight and sticky; the guitars hit with real sizzle and bite, accented by flourishes like the garage-rock organ in "Debbie Downer" or the cowbell swing of "Aqua Profunda!"

D'Angelo - Black Messiah

D'Angelo - Black Messiah
December 15, 2014
Critic Score
93
25 reviews

Black Messiah shows how deep easy can go. D'Angelo and his band have built an avant-soul dream palace to get lost in, for 56 minutes of heaven.

Death Grips - The Powers That B

Death Grips - The Powers That B
March 31, 2015
Critic Score
76
7 reviews

Downtown Boys - Full Communism

Downtown Boys - Full Communism
May 4, 2015
Critic Score
79
5 reviews
The group's first full-length album flies by in a boisterous, intoxicating rush, 24 minutes of saxophone-laced noise and radical slogans.

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

Drake - If You're Reading This It's Too Late
February 12, 2015
Critic Score
78
24 reviews
For the first time in his career, Drake doesn't sound like he wants to be remembered as one of the greats. This time, he just is.

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
Critic Score
77
25 reviews

On his excellent second LP, Earl Sweatshirt keeps deepening his game — spooling out dense, mordant rhymes over zombifically blunted tracks as he somehow sucks you into his sunless reality.

Faith No More - Sol Invictus

Faith No More - Sol Invictus
May 19, 2015
Critic Score
73
24 reviews

Sol Invictus, the band's first record since 1997's underrated Album of the Year, offers newer, better versions of Faith No More's formula.

Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear

Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear
February 10, 2015
Critic Score
88
34 reviews

Upping the spectacle from Fear Fun, his 2012 debut, I Love You, Honeybear is an autobiographical set about love, marriage and derangement that's both ironic and empathic.

Fifth Harmony - Reflection

Fifth Harmony - Reflection
February 3, 2015
Critic Score
75
5 reviews
When it comes to girl groups in a post-Beyoncé world, female empowerment is the name of the game. On the debut from Fifth Harmony (which formed during the second season of The X Factor, in 2012), high self-esteem feels like a party.

Florence + The Machine - How Big How Blue How Beautiful

Florence + The Machine - How Big How Blue How Beautiful
June 2, 2015
Critic Score
77
30 reviews
Finally, Welch is leaning hard into the classic rock and soul sounds her vocals always flirted with, like Ophelia in a Mondrian miniskirt.

Future Brown - Future Brown

Future Brown - Future Brown
February 24, 2015
Critic Score
71
16 reviews
This timely set from four style-hungry producers recalls Elliott's turn-of-the-century heyday, with post-national street beats and an army of fresh MCs and singers. It feels like a genuine next-generation moment.

Hop Along - Painted Shut

Hop Along - Painted Shut
May 5, 2015
Critic Score
84
13 reviews
What's up with Philly lately? The most-mocked city in indie rock is suddenly bustling with fantastic young guitar bands like Hop Along. Their second album is a deep dive into raw emotions and ragged melodies.

Jack Ü - Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack Ü

Jack Ü - Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack Ü
February 27, 2015
Critic Score
65
7 reviews
Though they begin most of its 10 tracks in familiar territory, they quickly push on to new ground, or at least new levels of intensity.

Jamie xx - In Colour

Jamie xx - In Colour
June 1, 2015
Critic Score
83
36 reviews
What Joni Mitchell's "Woodstock" was to the hippie era, Jamie xx's solo debut is to British club culture: a wistful valentine conjuring a more innocent time.

Jazmine Sullivan - Reality Show

Jazmine Sullivan - Reality Show
January 13, 2015
Critic Score
81
8 reviews

Joey Bada$$ - B4.DA.$$

Joey Bada$$ - B4.DA.$$
January 20, 2015
Critic Score
70
22 reviews
His official debut LP still sounds like it's stuck in the past, with solid production from old-school legend DJ Premier and his latter-day disciple Statik Selektah.

Kacey Musgraves - Pageant Material

Kacey Musgraves - Pageant Material
June 23, 2015
Critic Score
77
20 reviews

It misses some of Trailer's storytelling wistfulness and formal experiments — but track for track, it's stronger, an object lesson in Nashville songwriting.

Kamasi Washington - The Epic

Kamasi Washington - The Epic
May 5, 2015
Critic Score
81
6 reviews
To be sure, it's a jazz album, as much about tradition as expanding it, informed by Coltranes (John and Alice), Miles Davis fusions, bebop and more; yet it's clearly shaped by crate-digger funk and film scores, hip-hop collage and gospel.

Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly

Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly
March 16, 2015
Critic Score
95
38 reviews

If we're talking insurgent content and currency, Lamar straight up owns rap relevancy on Butterfly, whatever challengers to the throne barely visible in his dusty rear-view.

Kid Rock - First Kiss

Kid Rock - First Kiss
February 24, 2015
Critic Score
60
4 reviews

Leon Bridges - Coming Home

Leon Bridges - Coming Home
June 23, 2015
Critic Score
76
17 reviews

This retro-soul man doesn't have to work so hard to win you over on his debut LP: His smooth, Sam Cooke-esque croon makes Coming Home the best kind of nostalgia trip.

Madonna - Rebel Heart

Madonna - Rebel Heart
March 10, 2015
Critic Score
64
24 reviews

Rebel Heart is a long, passionate, self-referential meditation on losing love and finding purpose in chilling times.

Marilyn Manson - The Pale Emperor

Marilyn Manson - The Pale Emperor
January 20, 2015
Critic Score
62
15 reviews
What emerges is a classier record than you might expect from Manson – and one that still manages to be the kind of old-fashioned alt-rock tantrum no one bothers throwing these days.

Mark Ronson - Uptown Special

Mark Ronson - Uptown Special
January 13, 2015
Critic Score
72
26 reviews

This LP moves on to Seventies and Eighties funk, with more sharp casting

Mbongwana Star - From Kinshasa

Mbongwana Star - From Kinshasa
May 19, 2015
Critic Score
90
8 reviews

METZ - II

METZ - II
May 5, 2015
Critic Score
79
19 reviews
The record twitches with the flying-off-the-rails urgency of the band's live shows as Metz sandblasts the industrial precision of their first album into a nastier, more shambolic attack.

Mumford & Sons - Wilder Mind

Mumford & Sons - Wilder Mind
May 4, 2015
Critic Score
56
24 reviews

Even amid all the new sounds on Wilder Mind, the impassioned earnestness that made Mumford & Sons stars is still their driving force.

Muse - Drones

Muse - Drones
June 8, 2015
Critic Score
55
22 reviews

Drones is a truly guilty pleasure, like watching The Daily Show and knowing Jon Stewart's best jokes start with someone else's colossal error or hurt.

Pops Staples - Don't Lose This

Pops Staples - Don't Lose This
February 17, 2015
Critic Score
80
6 reviews

Rae Sremmurd - SremmLife

Rae Sremmurd - SremmLife
January 6, 2015
Critic Score
76
12 reviews
Producer Mike Will Made It's phantasmagoric funk is a perfect backdrop for rhymes about safe sex and paychecks, emptying out the ATM, and the raw thrill of making it big.

Refused - Freedom

Refused - Freedom
June 30, 2015
Critic Score
61
19 reviews
It's the exhilarating sound of a band that still lives by its own rules.

Rhiannon Giddens - Tomorrow Is My Turn

Rhiannon Giddens - Tomorrow Is My Turn
February 10, 2015
Critic Score
84
6 reviews

Giddens is having a solo coming-out party, displaying her classical vocal training and ability to reanimate traditional music in her own nuanced image.

Sleater-Kinney - No Cities to Love

Sleater-Kinney - No Cities to Love
January 20, 2015
Critic Score
87
33 reviews
They sound as hungry, as unsettled, as restless as any of the rookies on their jock. After a career of breaking the rules, they're back to break a few more.

Speedy Ortiz - Foil Deer

Speedy Ortiz - Foil Deer
April 21, 2015
Critic Score
79
23 reviews

Foil Deer is an upswing from the listless cynicism that clouded their 2013 breakout, Major Arcana: This time, Dupuis and fellow guitarist Devin McKnight take charge.

Steven Wilson - Hand. Cannot. Erase.

Steven Wilson - Hand. Cannot. Erase.
March 3, 2015
Critic Score
86
6 reviews

Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell

Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell
March 31, 2015
Critic Score
89
37 reviews

Stevens strips his sound far enough to reveal his deepest anguish; neither the Disney-style orchestras of 2005's Illinois nor the synth-pop-as-craft-project of 2010's The Age of Adz peek through his acoustic fingerpicking and warm-milk voice.

Zac Brown Band - Jekyll + Hyde

Zac Brown Band - Jekyll + Hyde
April 28, 2015
Critic Score
56
7 reviews
Original Source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/45-best-albums-of-2015-so-far-20150616
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