As we countdown to 2016, we have been reminiscing about all of the amazing albums that dropped in 2015. This list of the Top 20 Albums of 2015 has been compiled by our Music Supervision team, and includes their favorite albums of the year, spanning all genres. To get things started…here are 20 – 16.
20. Vince Staples – Summertime ‘06
Those who dig the dense, laid-back beats of West Coast hip-hop but also want some brash electronic flares (i.e. El-P/Wu-Tang style grit) should stop what they’re doing and peep this debut full-length release from Long Beach’s newest and illest MC. A one-time associate of the Odd Future collective, Vince Staples has one of 2015’s best hip-hop albums with Summertime ’06, featuring guest appearances from the likes of Jhene Aiko, Snoh Aalegra, Kilo Kish and more.
Song: “Norf Norf”
19. Thundercat – The Beyond/Where The Giants Roam
Thundercat, aka Stephen Bruner, has played bass for the Suicidal Tendencies and Erykah Badu, and he also worked on Kendrick Lamar’s album To Pimp A Butterfly. On the song “Them Changes”, from his recent EP The Beyond/Where Giants Roam, he samples the drum beat from “Footsteps In The Dark” by The Isley Brothers (also sampled on Ice Cube’s hit “Today Was A Good Day”) but he makes it more of his own with some original and funky bass lines along with vocals that are soulful and reminiscent of songs from the late 1970’s. A cool tune to chill out and groove to.
Song: “Them Changes”
18. Martin Gore – MG
Depeche Mode’s primary songwriter goes solo once again. But this time around, instead of covering his favorite songs, these are originals – electronic instrumentals assembled with his vast synthesizer collection. And unlike his 2012 collaboration with Vince Clarke, the songs of MG are dark, atmospheric and moody – the soundtrack to a Sci-Fi movie that hasn’t yet been made.
Song: Europa Hymn
17. Cheerleader – The Sunshine Of Your Youth
This well produced pop anthem has it all – lyrics talk of family photos circa 1995, a search to explain things that need no explanation, and promises to be honest with yourself. Now that you’re older, are you dreaming of the sunshine of your youth? Have your friends all settled down?
16. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly
There’s just no other way to say it – this album lives up to the hype. With so much critical acclaim, and widely hailed as the best hip-hop release of the year, To Pimp A Butterfly hits every level from the socially conscious “The Blacker The Berry” and “I”, to the funk imbued “Wesley’s Theory”. It appears all the praised heaped upon Kendrick’s sophomore album is valid.