Cameron LP: Top Albums of 2015

Manhattan, KS

Overall, I think a pretty good year for music, with lots of strong albums. On the other hand, a lot of it felt merely good, rather than great, so not sure what will end up being the classics from this year, other than To Pimp a Butterfly, which will gain that designation partially from its relationship to external context (and from being really good).

top ten albums

10Dr. Dre: Compton

Kendrick Lamar is just on fire right now, so his tracks are standouts. But this has some of the best work from all the key guys emerging from West Coast rap over the past couple decades, even Xzibit.

Standout Track(s): Genocide, Deep Water

09Alabama Shakes: Sound and Color

Didn’t love their first one, but this feels like a lost early 70s gem from a less interesting mid 60s band that most people had forgotten. I mean that in a good way.

Standout Track(s): Sound and Color, Gemini

08Tame Impala: Currents

Record that I think is really really good, but which just never quite grabbed me all the way like it did others.

Standout Track(s): Let it Happen

07Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell

Quiet and Moving.

Standout Track(s): Should Have Known Better

06Courtney Barnett: Sometimes I Sit and Think

Interested to see if the album moves up my list in subsequent years as I listen more.

Standout Track(s): Depreston

05Jamie xx: In Colour

Standout Track(s): I Know There’s Gonna Be

04Vince Staples: Summertime ’06

Double album without any stray tracks, just awesome.

Standout Track(s): Lift Me Up, Norf Norf, Might Be Wrong

03Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment: Surf

Feels rare to find albums so full of sincerity and joy.

Standout Track(s): Sunday Candy

02Grimes: Art Angels

Late contender for album I listened to most this year.

Standout Track(s): Kill v. Maim, Realiti, Flesh Without Blood

01Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp a Butterfly

I wrote a whole article about it, so it seems like I have to think its the album of the year. Not quite at good kid’s level, but more adventurous and willing to push what a modern hip hop album can look like.

Standout Track(s): Alright

honorable mentions

The Weeknd, Beauty Through the Madness–This was my work album for a full two months, so I probably listened to it more than almost any other album. Not on the original spreadsheet, but ones that I really liked: Joanna Newsom, Divers; Buffy Sainte-Marie, Power in the Blood; Jason Isbell, Something More than Free

Really strong year for good albums. I will be interested to see what ends up sticking in my mind over the years.

similarity to overall top ten: 48.83%, 7 matches

top songs

10Kurt Vile, “Pretty Pimpin'”Great in the car

09Grimes, “REALITi”

08Vince Staples, “Norf Norf”

07Kanye West, “All Day”/Rihanna, Kanye West, Paul McCartney, “FourFiveSeconds”I even love the weird Paul McCartney sample at the end.

06Jamie xx, “I Know There’s Gonna Be Good Times”

05Drake, “Hotline Bling”Undeniably Catchy

04Kendrick Lamar, “King Kunta”

03Sufjan Stevens, “Should Have Known Better”

02Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment, “Sunday Candy”Especially the SNL live performance.

01Kendrick Lamar, “Alright”

Others in contention: Thundercat, “Them Changes”; Erykah Badu, “Cel U Lar Device”; Missy Elliott, “WTF”; Grimes, “Flesh Without Blood”; The Weeknd, “Can’t Feel My Face”; Buffy Sainte-Marie, “Generation”

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