Pitchfork's 50 Best Albums of 2015

Pitchfork's 50 Best Albums of 2015

Original Source →

50.

January 15, 2015
Critic Score
82
6 reviews

Blackheart takes it down a peg from the mythology of Goldenheart into a more introspective, earthy realm—that it's wrapped up in inventive production that feels about five years ahead of mainstream radio is just icing on the cake.

49.

January 27, 2015
Critic Score
83
19 reviews
She sounds comfortable and in charge, wielding her massive band like a wizard’s scepter.

48.

May 19, 2015
Critic Score
76
25 reviews

On Ratchet, an honest, earnest pop record, Shamir elaborates on the gutsy melodies of those early demos and singles and makes good on the hype.

47.

June 15, 2015
Critic Score
78
6 reviews

46.

March 17, 2015
Critic Score
79
26 reviews

Jesso has a knack for writing songs that you feel like you’ve heard before, even if you can’t quite pin down a precise antecedent. Which is another way of saying he writes songs that sound "classic" in the best sense of the word.

45.

May 19, 2015
Critic Score
80
10 reviews

O’Rourke is always clever and funny, but the driving force in his music is the art of the arrangement. Many of the greatest pleasures on Simple Songs come from how certain instruments are layered together, how the chords are voiced and the harmonic progressions unfold.

44.

January 13, 2015
Critic Score
81
8 reviews

Sullivan, better than singers and songwriters in almost any genre, creates worlds where relationships take on more complex dynamics, but are immediate in their effect.

43.

August 28, 2015
Critic Score
82
31 reviews

He has never made, and will probably never make, a bad album—he's far too accomplished, intuitive, and literate for that. But on Poison Season, you can occasionally detect the dismaying sound of indie rock's greatest intellect second-guessing itself.

42.

June 9, 2015
Critic Score
80
22 reviews
Like all of her best work, it finds new ways to provoke, and new parts of your brain to light up.

41.

December 4, 2015
Critic Score
76
10 reviews

Late Nights, in its subtle seduction, feels all the more special in an era that increasingly rewards artists who shout the loudest. Jeremih makes you shut everything else out so that you can hear him whisper in your ear. It was worth the wait.

40.

March 24, 2015
Critic Score
81
6 reviews

Throw it onto the list of recent albums, like Heems’ Eat Pray Thug and Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly, that take personal, political and temporal stock of our lives and refuse to be one-dimensional in chronicling these experiences.

39.

May 19, 2015
Critic Score
80
26 reviews

Despite the wide scope of her project, Herndon’s ambitious efforts are appealingly multifaceted and personal, and Platform may turn out to be the most thought-provoking experimental electronic music release of the year.

38.

November 20, 2015
Critic Score
77
22 reviews

Mutant is an album of contrasts, and Ghersi has an uncanny ability to let extremes interact with each other to create something new.

37.

September 11, 2015
Critic Score
79
10 reviews

What makes the first proper album from Empress Of so impressive is that it's not just Rodriguez's most outwardly pop-focused work to date, but also her most restlessly experimental and ... lyrically raw.   

36.

October 2, 2015
Critic Score
72
18 reviews

Unbreakable is a synthesis of ideas Jackson’s collected and tested throughout her career.

35.

October 16, 2015
Critic Score
77
22 reviews

The production values are higher, and there’s even more of Palomo's queasy pitch-shifting, 16-bit synths, and disembodied samples—more of everything. Palomo might have seemed like someone stumbling onto a recipe with Psychic Chasms, but now it's clear that this is Palomo’s foundational music, his blues or funk.

34.

August 21, 2015
Critic Score
78
26 reviews

For all its ironclad hooks and studio precision, Jepsen's third album, like her second, lacks the personality of the most memorable pop records.

33.

December 10, 2015
Critic Score
74
13 reviews

His sound is more three-dimensional, a series of shrouded corners and murmured conversations. This is wandering, grey-skies music, finding pleasure and even sensuality in solitude.

32.

August 7, 2015
Critic Score
79
29 reviews

On his previous classics he showed us that new things were possible, a magic that's available only so many times in one life. Compton doesn't have the same breathtaking power, but it's excellent nonetheless, and more complicated and jarring than we could have known to hope for.

31.

October 9, 2015
Critic Score
78
9 reviews

Her new EP, Hallucinogen, uses the gristle and guts of feeling as a thematic base for exploring new textures in music.

30.

October 16, 2015
Critic Score
79
39 reviews

While Deerhunter's created a number of indelible songs over their career, Fading Frontier may have their first that could conceivably blend into real-deal classic rock radio.

29.

January 6, 2015
Critic Score
76
12 reviews

Though a few songs stretch out an interesting idea too far, SremmLife is a showcase of an electric new talent paired with all the trappings of a bigtime major label debut.

28.

August 28, 2015
Critic Score
80
38 reviews
With every album, someone observes—rightly—that the band has never sounded exactly this full and soaring before.

27.

January 20, 2015
Critic Score
88
39 reviews

Catchy as all-clashing hell, it's Sleater-Kinney's most front-to-back accessible album, amping their omnipresent love of new wave pop with aerodynamic choruses that reel and reel, enormously shouted and gasped and sung with a dead-cool drawl.

26.

October 2, 2015
Critic Score
80
22 reviews

At a moment when guitar-centric music feels less central to the conversation, and great indie-rock bands have retreated into hardy local scenes, Deafheaven play like a beautiful, abstracted dream of guitar music's transportive power.

25.

March 23, 2015
Critic Score
77
27 reviews

With nothing to prove and no longer an upstart, Earl sounds, more than ever, simply like himself.

23.

September 25, 2015
Critic Score
76
32 reviews
That he’s hitting his peak as an artist at a time when rock music of the type he practices is falling out of favor and is becoming just another genre instead of the center of the musical universe only adds to his appeal; this is not an artist concerned with being in step.

22.

January 13, 2015
Critic Score
80
38 reviews

More streamlined than Person Pitch and more rhythmically robust than Tomboy, Grim Reaper is Panda Bear’s toughest, grimiest, and funkiest album to date.

21.

May 29, 2015
Critic Score
82
18 reviews

It's a new sound built on lots of older ones—indie, hip-hop, funk, rock, gospel, various strains of R&B, The Lion King soundtrack—and despite bringing on a large cast and letting each person play their part, the guests all exist on the Social Experiment's terrain.

20.

November 6, 2015
Critic Score
83
21 reviews
It is as warm and fluid an "electronic" album as you will hear all year, and it has a timeless feel: There's no reason it could not have been written and recorded 10, 20, or even 30 years ago.

19.

July 17, 2015
Critic Score
78
19 reviews
This is music for nihilists, for the reckless, for those who embrace darkness because they don’t see another option.

18.

September 25, 2015
Critic Score
88
33 reviews

For an artist who could sometimes seem forbidding or remote, Have You In My Wilderness feels humane,  and with each new release, it seems like a bit more of the personal is teased out of Holter's stately, high-concept approach.

17.

February 12, 2015
Critic Score
77
28 reviews

On If You’re Reading This, all of this chest beating is delivered over the most darkly hypnotic beats Drake’s graced since So Far Gone.

16.

August 13, 2015
Critic Score
86
14 reviews
A glassy-voiced singer refracting melody through diffuse electronic beats, twigs takes the familiar R&B star as her avatar, but her presentation is more complex: her ideas mar beauty and mine power, and exalt sex without exotifying.

15.

January 20, 2015
Critic Score
86
37 reviews

It’s simultaneously her most mature feat of arranging and almost psychosomatically affecting. 

14.

April 16, 2015
Critic Score
70
14 reviews

More than anything, Barter 6 feels like a 50-minute performance of what rap, as a form, can do: rap that need not transcend itself, towards High Art on one hand or commercial art on the other, in order to succeed in 2015.

13.

October 23, 2015
Critic Score
88
39 reviews
Her consummate craft is a given; what surprises every time is her ceaselessly renewing sensitivity for life's vicissitudes and the fantastic ways she finds to express them.

12.

February 10, 2015
Critic Score
87
40 reviews

Fans of the Beatles and Sufjan Stevens will find that songs from Honeybear sit comfortably in their Spotify "Mountain Drive" playlists; fans of stand-up comedy will find the album as thorough, sad and bitterly cathartic as any good hour-long special.

11.

November 13, 2015
Critic Score
78
30 reviews
None of this would matter if the music weren't absolutely gripping—strange, moving, hilarious, sometimes pushing the limits of good taste, but always in a way that makes you want to hear more.

10.

May 5, 2015
Critic Score
86
8 reviews

What The Epic does come to sound like, over the course of its significant running time, is a generational intervention—an educational tool that widens the definition of styles that fall under "jazz classicism."

9.

March 24, 2015
Critic Score
84
39 reviews
Even at their most clever, her songs glide from line to line and thought to thought, a stray observation about cracks in the walls leading to something about the wrinkles in Barnett's own palm, propelled by rock'n'roll that seems to find itself plenty serviceable but nothing to stop and fuss over.

8.

June 30, 2015
Critic Score
80
31 reviews

On Wildheart, Miguel makes good on all of his cross-genre dabbling of the past five years, but unlike the track-based experiments that dotted his two prior LPs and five mixtapes, he extrapolates the heavy funk across an entire album. 

7.

December 15, 2014
Critic Score
92
30 reviews

Black Messiah is a dictionary of soul, but D'Angelo is the rare classicist able to filter the attributes of the greats in the canon into a sound distinctly his own.

6.

March 31, 2015
Critic Score
90
43 reviews

This record is a return to the spare folk of Seven Swans, but with a decade's worth of honing and exploration packed into it. It already feels like his most classic and pure effort.

5.

July 17, 2015
Critic Score
82
43 reviews

Nearly every proper song on Currents is a revelatory statement of Parker’s range and increasing expertise as a producer, arranger, songwriter, and vocalist while maintaining the essence of Tame Impala: Parker is just as irreverent working in soul and R&B as he is with psych-rock.

4.

June 30, 2015
Critic Score
84
22 reviews

Summertime '06 is breathtakingly focused, a marathon that feels like a sprint. The production bangs and clanks throughout with a septic, rusted, retooled-buggy persistence, which Staples matches.

3.

November 6, 2015
Critic Score
83
34 reviews
Here, she closes the gap between the pop she's idolized and the pop she is capable of.

2.

June 1, 2015
Critic Score
84
42 reviews
It’s the dazzling culmination of Jamie xx’s last six years of work, gathering up elements of everything he’s done—moody ballads, floor-filling bangers, expansive and off-kilter collaborations with vocalists—and packing them tightly into a glittering ball that reflects spinning fragments of feeling back at us.

1.

March 16, 2015
Critic Score
95
42 reviews

Underneath the tragedy and adversity, To Pimp a Butterfly is a celebration of the audacity to wake up each morning to try to be better, knowing it could all end in a second, for no reason at all.

Original Source: http://pitchfork.com/features/staff-lists/9764-the-50-best-albums-of-2015/
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