Sam Jackson

My Favorite Albums of 2015

An A- year

In which I, you guessed it, rank my favorite albums of the year. All around I'd say A- year.

1. Young Thug - Barter 6

Some people don't like Young Thug -- I'm not one of those people. I highly recommend every song on this album, but if you want to get the best intro to wtf is going on with Young Thug and the insanity that is Barter 6, check out the "Constantly Hating" video. It's also worth reading up on the naming controversy surrounding the album. Crazy stuff.

2. Drake - If You're Reading This It's Too Late

It took me a couple listens to get my head around this one, but once I got it I GOT IT. While I wish Drake hadn't cut up the song with skits, "Know Yourself" has the best hook of the year and one of the best verses.

3. Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color

While I didn't like Sound & Color quite as much as Boys & Girls, it's still pretty damn good. It's also incredibly even throughout, and hard to pick a stand out song since they're all rock solid. If I had to choose, I'd recommend "Dunes" since it's fairly representative of the album and highlights Brittany Howard's vocals.

4. Jeremih - Late Nights

I recently recommended this album to somebody, and made the mistake of mentioning "Birthday Sex". They made a face and then missed out on a great album. If you know "Birthday Sex" and know this album and are confused, it's same guy. Yeah, I know.

I'd skip "Don't Tell 'Em", the winner here is "oui".

5. Panda Bear - Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper

I've always appreciated Animal Collective and Panda Bear for their general weirdness, as well as the incredible number of references to Baltimore (my hometown) that they fit into their albums. Grim Reaper delivers on both counts. Listen to "Boys Latin," titled after a local all boys school that literally invented the lax bro, for an oddly great off kilter synth thing.

6. Tame Impala - Currents

Currents is an album album, by which I mean it's best listened to on vinyl, or at least in order, straight through. It's also a pretty epic breakup album -- see "Eventually".

7. Miguel - Wildheart

I LOVE "Adorn", which, prior to this album, was about the extent of my Miguel exposure. Then this bombshell came along. Unlike "Adorn" and some of his earlier stuff, Wildheart is significantly more rock oriented. But fortunately for all of us, it still sounds a lot like sex. Check out "Hollywood Dreams" and "the valley."

8. Kurt Vile - b'lieve i'm goin down...

I'll be honest, I didn't like this album at first, other than "Pretty Pimpin'", which is awesome. Then I saw him live, ended up buying the vinyl, and had it on continously for a week. Great thing to put on if you are in the mood to chill out.

9. Jamie xx - In Colour

If I'd made this earlier last year, this album would be a lot higher in the list. For whatever reason it hasn't held up especially well, but I can still get down with "Good Times" (featuring Young Thug!!) and "Gosh" (dat synth solo tho!).

10. Future - DS2

OK this one doesn't really belong on the list, but Future deserves some recognition and I like "Thought It Was a Drought" enough to put it on the list. Listen to the hook and tell me you can't feel Future's gradual post-Ciara descent into nihilism slapping you in the face:

I just fucked your bitch in some gucci flip flops
I just had some bitches and made em lip lock
I just took a piss and seen codeine coming out
We got purple Actavis, I thought it was a drought

Sorry Drake, I take back what I said earlier. Future wins best hook, better luck on Views.
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