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15 copy

 

16. Baroness // Purple

17. FKA twigs // M3LL155X EP

18. Dr. Dre // Compton

19. Drake // If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late

20. Dornik // Dornik

21. Future // Dirty Sprite 2

22. Algiers // Algiers

23. Sufjan Stevens // Carrie & Lowell

24. Janet Jackson // Unbreakable

25. Vince Staples // Summertime ‘06

26. Chelsea Wolfe // Abyss

27. Arca // Mutant

28. Lightning Bolt // Fantasy Empire

29. Adele // 25

30. Disclosure // Caracal

 Honorable Mentions 2015 (In Alphabetical Order):

A$AP Rocky // At.Long.Last.A$AP

Astronauts, Etc. // Mind Out Wandering

BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killa // Sour Soul

The Bad Years (OUR FRIENDS!) // Beautiful Liar EP

Beach House // Depression Cherry
Bell Witch // Four Phantoms
Big Grams // Big Grams EP
BØRNS // Dopamine
D’Angelo and the Vanguard // Black Messiah (Already on 2014’s list! But played many times in 2015)
Glass Animals // ZABA
Jeremiah Jae & L’Orange // The Night Took Us In Like Family
Lana Del Rey // Honeymoon
Leon Bridges // Coming Home
Lianne La Havas // Blood
Lord Huron // Strange Trails
Louis CK // Live at the Comedy Store
Madlib / Trouble Knows Me // Trouble Knows Me EP
Migos // Yung Rich Nation
Natalie Prass // Natalie Prass
Other Lives // Rituals
Oneohtrix Point Never // Garden of Delete
Patrick Watson // Love Songs For Robots
The Radio Department // Occupied EP
Run The Jewels // Meow The Jewels
Ryan Adams // 1989
Sam Dew // Dave Sitek & Sam Dew Present Damn Sue EP
San Fermin // Jackrabbit
Sleater-Kinney // No Cities To Love
Son Lux // Bones
Terry Urban // FKA Biggie
Thundercat // The Beyond / Where Giants Roam
Viet Cong // Viet Cong
White Hinterland // Baby
Zig Zags (OUR FRIENDS TOO!) // Slime EP

Gonna be real with you: 2015 music releases, for me, were generally underwhelming. Ain’t tryna hate.

It’s just that most of the 2015 top albums felt only half-good.

About my list above: I’m cheating and starting with #00 and putting Nicki Minaj’s 2014 release The Pinkprint in that spot, because the album did travel with me through the ups, downs, and different dimensions of 2015. It’s the mainstream hip-hop record of the year, it’s excellent and fun, and we are lucky to have Ms. Minaj as one of the best MCs out and about today.

The #01 spot goes to Kendrick Lamar, and his To Pimp A Butterfly – A lot of people agree on this number-one-status, and I’ll echo those common thoughts that Mr. Lamar put out a unique, experimental album that is both challenging and accessible. The latter description because he implements music styles which we call classic now, though less old than classical: blues, jazz, soul, r&b, rock – notes we all recognize as calls-to-arms, calls-to-lecture, mating calls, all sorts of calls.

The rest of the Top 15 Albums list comprise of albums I really enjoyed this year, albums I respect as artists’ products, albums that will remind me of 2015. However. From #02-15, these are albums that are halved in “good” and “bad” – I’d say most are awesome, really great for a certain half, and the other half of songs on that album are weak or worse. I skipped past a lot of songs in 2015, so there’s that.

I am compelled to shake the pedestals I have myself set up.

So, snot all up in my nose, I’m a snotty snob about 2015 Music. That’s the footnote.

Best Live Music of 2015:

My concert-going game is getting weak, true, but I managed to see a few great shows this year.

Janet Jackson @ The Forum, Inglewood, CA – FINALLY!!! MY QUEEN!
HEALTH @ The Echo, Los Angeles, CA – FINALLY, MY DUDES!
Head Wound City @ The Echoplex, Los Angeles, CA – FINALLY, THE SUPERSTARS!!
Mayhem, Watain @ The Fonda, Hollywood, CA – FINALLY, BLACK METAAAAL!!!
Bonobo, Jon Hopkins @ Ninja Tune Anniversary, The Globe Theatre, DTLA
Jon Hopkins @ FYF Fest, LA Memorial Sports Arena
American Nightmare @ El Rey, Los Angeles, CA

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