Best Albums of 2015
You might think that the best albums of 2015 list would be a replica of the best singles of 2015 but that’s not the case. One artist might have a masterpiece of a record but lack catchy singles and another artist might have endless hits but not a cohesive record. Some of the artists on here are repeats but for the most part, it’s a good mix. Some of the artists featured here are musicians that I’ve showcased one time or another on Violet Roots. In the interest of not being too repetitive, I’ve opted to link back to any of the previous posts that they were in instead of showing the same videos.
When putting the best albums of 2015 post together I had to be a bit ruthless. It’s so easy to just have an endless list of all the things you liked during a particular year but, in this case, I wanted to be more critical. Unlike last week’s post, the musicians I picked had to have more than just a catchy tune or two.
All of the artists here told a story in some way shape or form. Some stories were literal, others were metaphorical and a few were purely taking it’s listeners on a sonic journey. I don’t have a preference for any given style of story telling but I do like there to be some kind of continuous thread.
I want to feel like the artist is having a dialogue with us where we listen to what they have to say and then reflect on it within the context of our own lives. Their original intent may get lost in translation but in the end, every good album means something different to each pair of ears that hears it. For example, we might all agree that Kendrick Lamar was speaking about pretty heavy subject matters like race, and identity but the way in which we understand it varies from person to person.
Speaking of Kendrick Lamar, he’s one artist that I have great respect for but have yet to feature on Violet Roots. When I first started to think of which albums would make my best albums of 2015 list his name immediately popped up. Still, I noticed that I’ve included a lot less hip-hop in my weekly playlists than some of the other genres that I listen to and I just wanted to take a moment to address that.
Hip-hop and the vast majority of its sub-genres has been and will always be one of my favorites. However on Violet Roots, I want to be able to reach a lot of people and as much as I may love bopping along to Kanye and Travi$ Scott on my own time I can’t deny that the language and sometimes the content can be divisive.
I don’t mind hearing curses in a record, especially when its use makes sense, but gratuitous n-words and f-bombs can be off-putting and I want this blog to be as inclusive as possible. The same can be said for other genres that aren’t shy about their words or the amount of violence or skin they show. I’ll include some of their jams but for this space, I’ll aim to present you with the cleaner records.
For this list, I’ve included any album with a corresponding video that I felt warranted a slot in the best albums of 2015 list regardless of its subject matter. The videos that might be a bit controversial for some will be marked with an asterisk (*). Feel free to skip any videos you feel uncomfortable with. No judgement!
This week scroll on down and give your ears a bit of bliss in the form of Florence + The Machine, Melanie Martinez, Years & Years, Zella Day, Disclosure, Grimes, The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar, Troye Sivan, Lianne La Havas, Marina and the Diamonds, Travi$ Scott, Zedd, Foals, Adele, Ellie Goulding. You can also listen to all featured artists on Spotify!
Florence + The Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful || Song Starts @ 1:07
Zella Day – Kicker || See Live @ Mercury Lounge
Adele – 25 || Song Starts @ 0:45
Troye Sivan – Blue Neighbourhood (live)
Lianne La Havas – Blood
Travi$ Scott – Rodeo (*)
Disclosure – Caracal || Song Starts @ 0:25
Years & Years – Communion || See Live @ Terminal 5 & Live @ LPR
Zedd – True Colors
Grimes – Art Angels (*)
The Weeknd – Beauty Behind The Madness (*)
Foals – What Went Down (*)
Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly (*) || Song Starts @ 2:40
Melanie Martinez – Cry Baby || Song Starts @ 0:50 (live)
Marina and the Diamonds – Froot
Ellie Goulding – Delirium
James Bay – Choas and the Calm
Halsey – BADLANDS
Lana Del Rey – Honeymoon
Brandon Flowers – The Desired Effect
Big Sean – Dark Sky Paradise
What album made your best albums of 2015 list? Share any you think I missed!
NOTE: Keep up with my #VRxMusic Instagram series for daily music picks through the end of the year!