Best of 2015: Music

best-of-2015_-music
2015 was another rock solid year for music across genres. While it may have proven short on delivering albums that years from now will be ranked among the classics (To Pimp a Butterfly is the only shoo-in there, Carrie & Lowell perhaps the next closest), most anticipated releases more or less at least came close to hitting their intended marks.

There were a few disappointments, of course, with Coldplay’s rumored final effort leading the pack, but it was a largely satisfying year overall, and in spite of several major albums left unfinished. Women, led by Taylor Swift and Adele, dominated the charts, and there was plenty of flesh blood (James Bay, Vince Staples, Tori Kelly, X Ambassadors) and career step-ups (Tame Impala, Carly Rae Jepsen, CHVRCHES) to keep things interesting. Here are my personal music picks of 2015…

ALBUMS
1. Dustin Kensrue – Carry the Fire
2. Miguel – Wildheart
3. Fall Out Boy – American Beauty/American Psycho
4. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly
5. Jon Foreman – The Wonderlands
6. Sara Bareilles – What’s Inside: Songs from Waitress
7. Brandon Flowers – The Desired Effect
8. MUTEMATH – Vitals
9. Death Cab for Cutie – Kintsugi
10. Florence + the Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
11. Carly Rae Jepsen – E•MO•TION
12. Good Old War – Broken Into Better Shape
13. Tame Impala – Currents
14. James Bay – Chaos and the Calm
15. Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell
16. Ryan Adams – 1989
17. Adele – 25
18. Joywave – How Do You Feel Now?
19. Vince Staples – Summertime ‘06
20. CHVRCHES – Every Open Eye
21. Tori Kelly – Unbreakable Smile
22. Gary Clark Jr. – The Story of Sonny Boy Slim
23. Nothing But Thieves – Nothing But Thieves
24. Mat Kearney – Just Kids
25. Silversun Pickups – Better Nature
26. Coldplay – A Head Full of Dreams
27. Mumford & Sons – Wilder Mind
28. Third Eye Blind – Dopamine
29. mewithoutYou – Pale Horses
30. X Ambassadors – VHS
31. Muse – Drones
32. Nate Ruess – Grand Romantic
33. Atlas Genius – Inanimate Objects
34. The Dead Weather – Dodge and Burn
35. Foals – What Went Down
36. Pusha T – King Push – Darkness Before Dawn: The Prelude
37. Wolf Alice – My Love Is Cool
38. City and Colour – If I Should Go Before You
39. Mark Ronson – Uptown Special
40. Of Monsters and Men – Beneath the Skin
41. Eric Church – Mr. Misunderstood
42. Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color
43. Motion City Soundtrack – Panic Stations
44. Lovedrug – Notions
45. Chris Cornell – Higher Truth
46. Imagine Dragons – Smoke + Mirrors
47. The Decemberists – What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World
48. Doomtree – All Hands
49. Robert DeLong – In the Cards
50. Glen Hansard – Didn’t He Ramble

HONORABLE MENTION
Alien Ant Farm – Always and Forever
All Time Low – Future Hearts
The Arcs – Yours, Dreamily,
Baio – The Names
Big Data – 2.0
Breaking Benjamin – Dark Before Dawn
Leon Bridges – Coming Home
Cage the Elephant – Tell Me I’m Pretty
Cayucas – Dancing at the Blue Lagoon
Coheed and Cambria – The Color Before the Sun
Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment – Surf
Drake – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
Dr. Dre – Compton
The Early November – Imbue
EL VY – Return to the Moon
Lupe Fiasco – Tetsuo & Youth
Four Year Strong – Four Year Strong
Dave Gahan & Soulsavers – Angels & Ghosts
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Chasing Yesterday
Grimes – Art Angels
Hit the Lights – Summer Bones
Lianne La Havas – Blood
Lifehouse – Out of the Wasteland
The Maine – American Candy
Marianas Trench – Astoria
Metric – Pagans in Vegas
Andy Mineo – Uncomfortable
Modest Mouse – Strangers to Ourselves
Matt Nathanson – Show Me Your Fangs
Night Terrors of 1927 – Everything’s Coming Up Roses
No Devotion – Permanence
One Direction – Made in the A.M.
Passion Pit – Kindred
P.O.D. – The Awakening
Joshua Radin – Onward and Sideways
Josh Ritter – Sermon on the Rocks
Shinedown – Threat to Survival
Chris Stapleton – Traveller
Rob Thomas – The Great Unknown
Tremonti – Cauterize
Tuxedo – Tuxedo
Twenty One Pilots – Blurryface
Butch Walker – Afraid of Ghosts
Ryn Weaver – The Fool
The Wombats – Glitterbug

EPs
1. Foo Fighters – Saint Cecilia
2. Incubus – Trust Fall (Side A)
3. Jim Adkins – I Will Go
4. Augustana – Side A
5. Tinashe – Amethyst
6. Cold War Kids – Five Quick Cuts
7. The Decemberists – Florasongs

BILLBOARD HOT 100 SINGLE OF THE YEAR
Mark Ronson – Uptown Funk (feat. Bruno Mars)

HONORABLE MENTION
Adele – Hello
Coldplay – Adventure of a Lifetime
Drake – Hotline Bling
Fall Out Boy – Uma Thurman
Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness – Cecilia and the Satellite
Miguel – Coffee
Tori Kelly – Should’ve Been Us
Kendrick Lamar – Alright
Taylor Swift – Blank Space
Walk the Moon – Shut Up and Dance

MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Kendrick Lamar – Alright

HONORABLE MENTION
Childish Gambino – Sober
Drake – Hotline Bling/Energy
Fort Minor – Welcome
Kendrick Lamar – God Is Gangsta
Run the Jewels – Close Your Eyes (and Count to Fuck) (feat. Zack De La Rocha)
Vince Staples – Señorita/Norf Norf

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