Rolling Stone's 50 Best Albums of 2015

Rolling Stone's 50 Best Albums of 2015

Original Source →

49.

February 3, 2015
Critic Score
81
27 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.

48.

August 21, 2015
Critic Score
78
26 reviews

Almost every track is like a bouncy castle: fun, certainly, but not made for long-term stays.

47.

James Taylor - Before This World
June 16, 2015
Critic Score
66
5 reviews

46.

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.

45.

March 10, 2015
Critic Score
65
28 reviews

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

44.

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.

43.

October 9, 2015
Critic Score
68
8 reviews

42.

January 20, 2015
Critic Score
86
36 reviews

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

41.

May 5, 2015
Critic Score
86
8 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.

40.

February 24, 2015
Critic Score
79
8 reviews

39.

June 8, 2015
Critic Score
57
28 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.

38.

July 24, 2015
Critic Score
82
9 reviews

Her third LP imagines a 2015 mainstream by reflecting what it once was — Loretta and Dolly in the Sixties, sure, but also Emmylou in the Eighties and Reba in the Nineties.

37.

April 21, 2015
Critic Score
80
32 reviews
This is a weirder, woozier, fiercer and sexier record than their debut in nearly every way.

36.

May 5, 2015
Critic Score
82
15 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.

35.

June 30, 2015
Critic Score
84
22 reviews
It adds up to a hard-hitting 20-track portrait of life and love in a mad city.

34.

January 20, 2015
Critic Score
65
17 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.

33.

August 28, 2015
Critic Score
80
36 reviews

The Baltimore duo's fifth album sticks to that signature sound, and go figure: A formula that might seem limiting feels instead like it can contain entire worlds.

32.

January 13, 2015
Critic Score
81
8 reviews

31.

June 23, 2015
Critic Score
75
19 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.

30.

October 30, 2015
Critic Score
75
14 reviews
It's the best classic-rock record anyone under 50 is likely to make this year.

29.

October 23, 2015
Critic Score
88
38 reviews

A concept album about history, memory, movement, loss and love, the emotional tone here — a wry, wistful melancholy — is pretty straightforward, a function of Newsom's tightened focus.

28.

June 30, 2015
Critic Score
80
30 reviews
It's a necessary record that should generate plenty of thought, and more than a few babies, too.

27.

November 6, 2015
Critic Score
76
5 reviews

It's no big shock to hear him big-upping Wilco's Jeff Tweedy (and even nicking one of his tunes) on this album, where he cleverly juggles genres and often leans on his somber singer-songwriter side.

26.

July 17, 2015
Critic Score
78
19 reviews

It has little of the far-reaching ambition of Honest, but what it lacks in bold strokes, it more than makes up for in consistency.

25.

Darlene Love - Introducing Darlene Love
September 18, 2015
Critic Score
63
4 reviews

24.

May 29, 2015
Critic Score
81
17 reviews

Chance the Rapper's 2013 mixtape Acid Rap marked him as one of the brightest new voices in hip-hop. For his next move, he's swerved left, collaborating with a crew of Chicago pals led by Nico Segal (a.k.a. Donnie Trumpet) on a warm, evocative pop-soul-jazz album that comes straight from the heart.

23.

Mark Knopfler - Tracker
March 16, 2015
Critic Score
69
10 reviews
Knopfler's quicksilver guitar is understated, and he delivers stories of stoic ache like an old watchmaker on a pub stool — quietly riveting.

22.

June 2, 2015
Critic Score
77
33 reviews
Finally, Welch is leaning hard into the classic rock and soul sounds her vocals always flirted with, like Ophelia in a Mondrian miniskirt.

20.

Don Henley - Cass County
September 25, 2015
Critic Score
76
7 reviews

19.

September 25, 2015
Critic Score
76
31 reviews
Kurt Vile's most introspective LP is the sound of a guitar hero plumbing existential doubt without wanting to wake the kids.

17.

September 18, 2015
Critic Score
75
17 reviews

His most eccentric and best-ever solo set. Crosseyed Heart is the sound of Richards following his pleasure wherever it leads.

16.

February 27, 2015
Critic Score
66
8 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.

15.

February 10, 2015
Critic Score
87
39 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.

14.

July 16, 2015
Critic Score
79
24 reviews
It's their most concise, catchy, naturally songful album in at least a decade — the sound of a band reconnecting with the fun of rocking out together in a room.

13.

July 17, 2015
Critic Score
82
42 reviews

The guitar rides in the back, the keyboards up front. The beats have a synthesized snap even when they're live drums, and even the dreamiest tracks pack a pop bounce.

12.

September 18, 2015
Critic Score
75
33 reviews

Whatever her intentions, they've led to her most genuinely thrilling music ever.

11.

January 20, 2015
Critic Score
88
38 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.

10.

April 27, 2015
Critic Score
78
40 reviews

Blur have returned with inspiration to spare.

9.

September 4, 2015
Critic Score
69
15 reviews

Yours, Dreamily, takes what Auerbach does at his best, in and out of the Keys — confessional, texturally enriched blues propelled with garage-rock force — and adds a riveting jump in eccentricity.

7.

July 17, 2015
Critic Score
83
24 reviews
It's a master class in songwriting from an artist who's never sounded more confident.

6.

March 24, 2015
Critic Score
84
38 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!"

5.

August 28, 2015
Critic Score
71
25 reviews

If the sound has widened and even brightened in spots, the Weeknd still rocks a serious Eeyore vibe for much of Beauty Behind the Madness.

4.

December 15, 2014
Critic Score
92
28 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.

3.

February 12, 2015
Critic Score
77
27 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.

2.

November 20, 2015
Critic Score
73
37 reviews

Whether she's holding notes with the strength of a suspension bridge or enjoying a rare lighthearted "whoo-hoo!" on "Sweetest Devotion," her incredible phrasing – the way she can infuse any line with nuance and power – is more proof that she's among the greatest interpreters of romantic lyrics.

1.

March 16, 2015
Critic Score
95
41 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.

Original Source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/50-best-albums-of-2015-20151201
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