Hey everyone! For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Adit Ahmed. I’ve been on staff for the better part of a year, and it has been a great time writing for Mind Equals Blown. This has a been a pretty solid year for music. With great records coming left and right, putting together my top records for the year was a tall order. I’ve found myself opening up to new horizons, and listening to albums of all sorts and kinds. Being one of the more eventful years that I’ve had in my short life, having music by my side is something that pushed me through the tough times, good days, and all of the things that graduating high school and starting college brought along the way. For those of you who have been a part of my life in the past year, thank you. If you’ve been reading my reviews, thank you. 2016 will be another great year, so it’s time let 2015 settle in before we move forward.
10. Dr. Dre – Compton
9. The Wonder Years – No Closer To Heaven
8. The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die – Harmlessness
7. Miguel – Wildheart
6. Deerhunter – Fading Frontier
I find it common for the records we consider great to tread the lines of challenging and complex like nothing else. Courtney Barnett challenges that convention so hard, it makes her debut record that much better. Her matter-of-fact style and infectious vibes can engross you from all sides if you aren’t careful. It’s tough to really put a finger on it, because it’s almost as if Barnett isn’t even trying to be as good as she is. She makes it all look so easy, and the result is something truly intoxicating.
There are only few records that have the ability to be listened to on repeat for an indefinite period of time. While this is certainly an exaggeration of my experience with American Candy, it comes pretty close to that designation. While not as technically excellent as some of the other records that came out this year, there’s just so much sugar here that your teeth will rot. Pop greatness oozes like crazy, with an indie-ish/80s-ish feel that is just so infectious, you can’t help but love every second of it.
When reviewing this record in January, it was tough to really illustrate just how floored I was with it. Sure, I had heard Sleater-Kinney’s old stuff, and had a sense of why their comeback was such a big deal, but if I wasn’t sold then, one listen to this album sold it all to me. This band and everything that they represent made sense. The way these three women can make punk their own finally made sense. All of it seemed so natural, and it still holds true after the many, many listens I’ve had of this one.
Just when I thought he had done it all, Sufjan came through for me once more. Something miraculous radiated from this record every time I listened to it. It manages to move listeners without begging to move them, requesting nothing more than commitment to every word that comes out, every note. Even though it’s just a guy with nothing more than a guitar and a hat, we want to listen intently. While Stevens’s other work is very capable of this passion, this record does it in a way that just makes you want to cry.
There isn’t really any other answer that could apply when thinking about my number one album of 2015. One of the sharpest, densest and most thought-provoking records that we have seen since the last time King Kendrick graced the mic, this album will be remembered as a hallmark of our time, While my words are no different than those given by hundreds of other critics, they hold true. Lamar’s ability to take hip-hop to the level that he does is a rare gift, and one that makes this record the triumph that it is.
11. Carly Rae Jepsen – Emotion
12. Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment – Surf
13. mewithoutYou – Pale Horses
14. CHVRCHES – Every Open Eye
15. Adele – 25
16. Kacey Musgraves – Pageant Material
17. All Time Low – Future Hearts
18. Destroyer – Poison Season
19. Earl Sweatshirt – I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside
20. Future – DS2
Most Anticipated: Kanye West