Kimber: Top 10 Albums of 2015


Maggie Kimber, Entertainment Editor

2015 was a year filled with many new releases in the music industry. As someone who listens to a wide variety of music, this past year in particular was filled with many breakthrough albums in every genre, the best of which I have compiled into a top 10 list.

10. Wilder Man — I’ve always appreciated Mumford and Sons for their ability to channel that folksy rock sound so well; Wildest Man, however, highlights other strengths of the band, successfully leaning more toward a heavier rock influenced sound — a refreshing and welcome change.

9. Carrie and Lowell — Sufjan Steven’s latest album named for his parents Carrie and Lowell, stays true to his unique fusion of acoustic instruments and electronic sounds. This record overall takes a more gentle approach to this genre and is filled with narrative-inspired lyrics bound to bring to tears to its listener’s eyes.

8. Tell Me I’m Pretty — I didn’t think that any release from Cage the Elephant could top Melophobia, but Tell Me I’m Pretty made me change my mind. Their newest album travels through the entire spectrum of alternative rock music, from calmer, quieter songs like “Cold Cold Cold” to louder, punk sounding songs like “Cry Baby”.

7. Jekyll + Hyde — As an individual who typically cringes at the sound of country music, it was hard for me to admit that I didn’t hate Zac Brown Band’s newest album. Much like the title suggests, its tracks boast a wide variety of tunes that introduce a whole different side of the band — even featuring a jazz duet between lead singer Zac Brown and singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles entitled “Mango Tree”. Other songs stay true to the country genre; however, catchy, well-written choruses found in songs like “Loving You is Easy” and “Homegrown” present an element of timelessness that make this particular record enjoyable.

6. Love Stuff — Singer Elle King became prominent this past year with her sassy single “Ex’s and Oh’s”, and the remainder of the album Love Stuff follows a similar pattern. Her songs range from rock-influenced pop hits to bluegrass-inspired ballads. Her lyrics are relatable and promote ideas of self-confidence and originality, making it the type of music that makes me want to sing along at the top of my lungs and dance around like nobody is watching.

5. Dopamine — Thanks to Spotify’s Discover Weekly Playlist, I was lucky to become well acquainted with several of BØRNS’ singles including “10,000 Emerald Pools” and “Electric Love”, the latter gaining immediate popularity and setting the stage for rest of the album. It’s impossible for me to not tap my feet and nod my head to the beat of the record’s whimsical, electro-pop tunes while maintaining an appealing level of musical complexity; every track is undeniably catchy.

4. Blurryface — Musical duo Twenty One Pilots released its best album to date in 2015. While showcasing everything from upbeat ukulele tracks to alternative hip hop songs, Blurryface stands as a testament to the band’s versatility. Despite this variety in their music, the team still manages to implement expressive lyrics into every song.

3. 25 19, 21, and four years later, with 25, Adele has reminded us of exactly why she has won ten Grammy awards. “Hello” immediately took the world by storm, and the rest of the album has had a similar effect, showing significant growth from her prior releases. From the angst-filled ballads for which she is so renowned, to catchier pop beats like “Send My Love”, 25 just further proves Adele’s vocal perfection.

2. Purpose — It is so easy to hate on Justin Beiber, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t completely obsessed with all the songs on Purpose. With a wide variety of tracks and impressive vocals throughout, this album has made it easy to forget the days when he was singing “Baby” and “One Time” and displayed his seamless transition into a respectable musician.

1. Badlands — After countless recommendations from friends and a repetitive Spotify commercial, I decided to give Halsey a chance. I had never heard of her before, but keeping an open mind, I decided to check out her debut album. This was honestly one of the best decisions I have ever made. Each of her songs tells a different story both lyrically and musically, making me unsure about whether I should dance or cry. A mixture of the two would prove to be fitting. Her voice is flawless, and her music explores an entirely different side of pop music. From start to finish, Badlands was a work of art, making it the best album of 2015.