Best Albums of 2015

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2015 was a great year for pop music, especially with female artists. Below the cut, I will expand on the albums that defined the best aspects of the music scene in the past year.

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25 by Adele

With her first release in 4 years, Adele reminded us that she is a force to be reckoned with and, despite the troubles in her personal life, she isn’t going anywhere. She will continue to be the queen of the belting pop ballad and a staple for love songs of this generation.

BEST TRACKS: Hello, When We Were Young, Sweetest Devotion

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Beauty Behind The Madness by The Weeknd

The Weeknd has been on the more underground side of the popular R&B scene, but this album blasted him out of the water and into the ears of music every listener. Having four singles from the album playing on the radio thus far, this album has been career defining and hard-hitting comment on the influence of addiction.

BEST TRACKS: Often, The Hills, Prisoner (feat. Lana Del Rey), Can’t Feel My Face, Losers

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Cry Baby by Melanie Martinez

Martinez’s debut record is arguably the strongest concept album released in the 2010′s. While it tries a little to hard to be a concept at times, the album tells a consistent and interesting story of loss of innocence and finding darkness. Her bold and twisted perspective is a captivating spin on pop music that is often lacking from those played on the radio.

BEST TRACKS: Soap, Pity Party, Alphabet Boy, Training Wheels, Mrs. Potato Head

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Another Eternity by Purity Ring

Purity Ring’s sophomore album is a great take on the indie electro-pop scene that has been growing popular lately, and I believe that this band is sorely underrated. They’re captivating lyrics and production deserve far more attention than they have received.

BEST TRACKS: Bodyache, Stranger Than Earth, Begin Again

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Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz by Miley Cyrus

This outrageous transition into adulthood is living proof that Cyrus is unwilling to be trapped in the “Disney Kid” box forever, and that she is far more artistic and powerful than that label could ever restrain. Once you get past the fweaky titles, this album is truly a great socially conscious piece of performance art.

BEST TRACKS: BB Talk, Space Boots, Slab of Butter (Scorpion), Fweaky

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I Love You, Honeybear by Father John Misty

This record captures the mindset of the disdainful youth that is so prevalent right now. The lyrics emit a sense of unrest for the world around us, how society holds itself, and the relationships between these people. This could be the upfront, unhappy, indie rock album to define this century.

BEST TRACKS: The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apartment, The Ideal Husband, Bored In The USA, I Went To The Store One Day

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How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful by Florene + The Machine

Another woman to end her 4 year silence in a powerful way is Florence + The Machine. FATM has transitioned from sullen laments of love and mental illness to a more hopeful outlook on her situation. While those themes are still clear, she has managed to find beauty in what surrounds her on an album that feels much lighter and the former two.

BEST TRACKS: Ship To Wreck, Delilah, Queen of Peace, St. Jude, Third Eye

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BADLANDS by Halsey

Halsey’s record was certainly the most anticipated record of the year. In just over a year, Halsey has gone from a cult internet star playing small clubs to a pop sensation, selling out Madison Square Garden, collaborating with Justin Bieber, touring with The Weeknd and Imagine Dragons, and breaking 1 million followers on Twitter. Far before the album was released, her super fans knew every word to the majority of the tracks on BADLANDS from low-quality YouTube recordings of her live shows, so it was no wonder that the record would be a smash hit once it was finally released. Halsey has a power and a charisma about her that has served her very while in her music and career, and will carry her very far in the future.

BEST TRACKS: Control, Drive, Roman Holiday, Gasoline, Young God

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The Shape Of Brat Pop To Come by HOLYCHILD

HOLYCHILD can come off as vapid pop, but if you look closely, their record is much more than that. They use pop music and flashy imagery to combat the double standards and wrongs of the media and our societies relationship with money. This is another album that should have received much more attention this year, and I hope that they will get it in 2016.

BEST TRACKS: Happy With Me, Tell Me How It Is, U Make Me Sick, Running Behind, Money All Around

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Honeymoon by Lana Del Rey

While this is Del Rey’s least interesting record from a production and instrumental standpoint, Honeymoon shows off her voice in a beautiful way. This vocal masterpiece also has the same sultry and captivating lyrics, but with a more positive spin than usual.

BEST TRACKS: High By The Beach, Music To Watch Boys To, Freak, Terence Loves You, Honeymoon

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Natural Born Losers by Nicole Dollanganger

Dollanganger certainly gets the crown for darkest album of the year. Her piercing soprano mixed with subtle instrumentation creates an eerie atmosphere that nearly transports you straight into her sinister and disheartening world. Every line sends shivers down my spine.

BEST TRACKS: Angels of Porn II, Mean, Alligator Blood, Swan, White Trashing

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Art Angels by Grimes

Art Angels is definitely Grimes strongest record so far. The songs flow together and have a strong narrative. While it is tamer than her previous records, I think that her reigning it back a bit truly benefited her. The album is artistic weirdness, and it was a great way to close out the year.

BEST TRACKS: Kill V. Maim, California, SCREAM, Realiti, Venus Fly

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Best Albums of 2015