best of 2015: albums

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Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

best of 2015: albums

best of 2015: albums

a couple days ago, i kicked off a week’s worth of my best-of-2015 lists. so far, people have responded well and even tipped me off to some songs and artists that i missed this past year. here’s the lineup for the week:

monday: new music discoveries
monday: cover songs
yesterday: songs
today: albums
(thursday: the year’s final two in review)

albums is always my favorite list. i’m a little old school in that i’d still rather sit down and listen to an entire album that just a single here or there. i think the long form tells me much more about an artist and their story than any individual track. so to me, a best albums list gives insight into the most talented and fully-realized artists.

2015 was a particularly strong year for music, but interestingly, there wasn’t a single or couple albums that rose up far above other albums like it’s usually happened in the past. last year, for example, st. vincent’s album was far-and-away the best album of the year. this year, though, i’d say the top 5 or so are right there with each other. they could be interchanged pretty easily. maybe that’s what makes it such a strong list.

without further ado, here’s my top 40 albums of 2015:

    40. alabama shakes: sound & color
    39. david bazan: bazan monthly vol. 2
    38. chvrches: every open eye
    37. josh garrels: home
    36. jon foreman: the wonderlands
    35. autre ne veut: age of transparency
    34. veruca salt: ghost notes
    33. the lone bellow: then came the morning
    32. brandon flowers: the desired effect
    31. ryan adams: 1989
    30. ezra furman: perpetual motion people
    29. kevin max: broken temples
    28. miguel: wildheart
    27. julia nunes: some feelings
    26. foals: what went down
    25. elbow: lost worker bee
    24. grace: memo
    23. sufjan stevens: carrie & lowell
    22. pusha t: king push – darkest before the dawn: the prelude
    21. jr jr: jr jr
    20. best coast: calilfornia nights
    19. guy garvey: courting the squall
    18. ms mr: how does it feel
    17. leon bridges: coming home
    16. dr. dre: compton
    15. noel gallagher’s high flying birds: chasing yesterday
    14. big grams: big grams
    13. matt and kim: new glow
    12. coldplay: a head full of dreams
    11. florence & the machine: how big, how blue, how beautiful

    10. kendrick lamar: to pimp a butterfly

    9. adele: 25

    8. punch brothers: the phosphorescent blues

    7. will butler: policy

    6. kopecky: drug for the modern age

    5. lord huron: strange trails

    4. father john misty: i love you, honeybear

    3. børns: dopamine

    2. mutemath: vitals

    1. brandi carlile: the firewatcher’s daughter

so, what did i miss in 2015? let me know what i should go check out before 2016 gets here.

as a bit of a end-of-the-year gift, you can download a mix with a track from each of the 40 (!) albums.

download the zip