Posted in Best of 2015, Top Tens


bestalbumsof2015As 2015 is wrapping up and we take a break from the GRAMMYs until January (when new predictions come out). It is time to look at what this year gave us in music.
I am not a professional musician nor a music critic. I am just a fan. Therefore, I define a great album as one that captivates you from the very first song and makes you want to listen to it multiple times.
Ranging from synthpop to hip-hop to psychedelic rock. Here are the albums I considered the best of the year:

Natalia Lafourcade - Hasta la raiz#10 Natalia LaFourcade — Hasta la Raíz

LaFourcade’s sixth studio album Hasta la Raiz (‘Down to the Root’) ratifies the Mexican singer-songwriter’s place in the high court of the alternative music scene of Latin America. In this record, LaFourcade blends her unique indie rock sounds with traditional Latin American rhythms. There are both love and break-up songs.

Best tracks: “Hasta la Raíz”, “Mi Lugar Favorito”, “Ya No Te Puedo Querer”

Ryan Adams 1989 cover#9 Ryan Adams — 1989

Perhaps, Ryan Adam’s rendition to the Taylor Swift’s blockbuster hit 1989 might not be as good as the original. But the great thing is how Adams managed to bring out the sadness that hidden behind all the cheerful pop sounds of the original. For example, Adams turned the empowering anthem “Shake it Off” into a sad cry from a troubled artist that resembles Nirvana’s “Pennyroyal Tea”.

Best tracks: “Welcome to New York”, “All You Had to Do Was Stay”, “Wildest Dreams”

Sufjan_Stevens_-_Carrie_&_Lowell#8 Sufjan Stevens — Carrie & Lowell

All of Sufjan Stevens’ albums have been acclaimed. I personally like the beautiful imagery present in his lyrics. Most of the songs in Carrie & Lowell center around the death of Stevens’ mother, Carrie and his step-father, Lowell. The melody is charming and the lyrics are deeply emotional.

Best tracks: “Should Have Known Better”, “Fourth of July”, “The Only Thing”

The Arcs Yours, dreamily#7 The Arcs — Yours, Dreamily,

The first album from Dan Auerbach’s (The Black Keys) side-project, The Arcs. And as the title suggests, the album is a dreamy and psychedelic trip that is characteristic of Auerbach’s music. Perfect listen for a rendez-vous involving hallucinogens.
Best tracks: “Outta My Mind”, “Put a Flower in Your Pocket”, “Chains of Love”

Kurt Vile Blieve im goin down#6 Kurt Vile — B’lieve I’m Goin’ Down…

The War on Drugs’ founding member, Kurt Vile, strikes back after mesmerizing us with his 2013 LP, Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze . Vile continues with his hypnotic guitars, soulful voice, and his cross-country storytelling.

Best tracks: “Pretty Pimpin”, “Bad Omens”, “Wild Imagination”

Kendrick_Lamar_-_To_Pimp_a_Butterfly#5 Kendrick Lamar — To Pimp A Butterfly

You’ve probably already read about how great To Pimp A Butterfly is. Even if you’re not a hip-hop music fan, this album is a must-listen. The thing I particularly love about this record, is its cinematographic feeling. Lamar addresses Black Lives Matter, the extravaganza of the hip-hop music scene while revisiting his own demons, and childhood memories.

Best tracks: “Welsey’s Theory”, “King Kunta”, “Alright”

Muse Drones cover#4 Muse — Drones

In Drones, British progressive rock band Muse continues with the Orwellian themes of their predecessor The 2nd Law. This time, the story takes place in a dystopian world controlled by machines, exploring themes present in our modern society such as mind control. The album is determined to be a classic of rock. ‘The drones are watching you’.

Best tracks: “Mercy”, “Reapers”, “Revolt”

Tame Impala Currents#3 Tame Impala — Currents

Tame Impala is the ‘millennials’ version of Pink Floyd. Why? Because who doesn’t trip while listening to a song or watching a video by the Australian psychedelic band, Tame Impala. In Currents, Kevin Parker (the mastermind behind the band) incorporates new sounds such as disco, funk, and R&B. I don’t consider this album better than their previous two. But it is yet another masterpiece and it sure is Tame Impala’s most versatile record to date.
Best tracks: “Let It Happen”, “The Moment”, “The Less I Know the Better”

Courtney-Barnett Sometimes I Sit...#2 Courtney Barnett — Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

Barnett’s debut album has made it to the Top 10 on most ‘best albums’ lists this year. The reason behind this is Barnett’s ability to write songs, with a joyful tone about everyday issues. Her lo-fi sound closely resembles that of Liz Phair’s Exile in Guyville. As I have a great admiration for women in rock music. I’d name Barnett “Woman of the Year”.
Best tracks: “Elevator Operator”, “Pedestrian at Best”, “Depreston”

Car Seat Headrest Teens of style#1 Car Seat Headrest — Teens of Style

Rolling stone called Car Seat Headrest’s teens of the style “the best classic-rock record anyone under 50 is likely to make this year.” I’d called the best classic rock album recorded in years. Teens of Style is definitely a journey back to the old-fashioned rock sounds from the 60s and 70s. In an era dominated by processed vocals and drum programming. Car Seat Headrest gives us hope that rock music can still come to life in its original format.
Best tracks: “Sunburned Shirts”, “Something Soon”, “Maud Gone”

Honourable mentions (Top 20)

Alabama Shakes — Sound & Color

Björk — Vulnicura

CHRVCH≡S — Every Open Eye

City and Colour — If I Should Go Before You

Death Cab for Cutie — Kintsugi

Lana del Rey — Honeymoon

Florence + The Machine — How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful

Grimes — Art Angels

Panda Bear — Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper

Wilco — Star Wars

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