Let me preface this by saying the following are my personal favorite albums of 2015. In no way am I claiming that I listened to every single album that came out this year… because let’s face it, ain’t nobody got time for that…
With 2015 coming to and end and the holidays in full swing, I thought a fun recap of this year in music would be fun and educational for those looking for some last minute holiday gifts.
The following 10 albums made it onto my list of 2015 favorites:
Release Date: May 5, 2015
We all saw that moment either on live TV or the next day on Facebook when Chris Stapleton and Justin Timberlake performed their Whisky medley on the Country Music Awards. This was probably the most epic live television music performance of the year.
Stapleton swept the floor that night winning award after award yet a lot of people had never even heard of him, including myself. The next morning though, Chris Stapleton became a household name. Without a doubt, I started paying attention and fell in love with his most recent work, Traveller.
Favorite Songs: Tennessee Whiskey and Parachute
Release Date: March 23, 2015
Three Grammy nominations on his debut album, James Bay took 2015 by storm. I was lucky to see James Bay in concert about 2 weeks ago, and I can say with the utmost sincerity that these Grammy nominations are well deserved. Mr. Bay… more like Mr. Bae, gets lost in his own world on stage with his guitar, intriguing lyrics and trademark hat. It’s refreshing to hear artists that sound even better live than they sound recorded. Still just a youngin at 24 years-old, James has a long music career ahead.
*The packaging and photography on the vinyl for this album is beautiful. Major props to the artistic director.
Favorite Songs: If You Ever Want to Be in Love and Let It Go
Release Date: November 13, 2015
A lot of people may dislike me for putting Biebs on here, but I don’t care. This album is crazyyyy good. Collaborations with Skrillex and Diplo and the braiding of Justin’s vocals with some EDM bass made for some smash hits like Sorry and What Do You Mean?
It seems like Justin has gotten his life together again and I’m happy to see success on this album with his newly changed ways. Good for you Biebs. Keep yourself surrounded with good people and keep making great music.
Some may call me a Belieber now…
Favorite Songs: Children and Sorry
Release Date: April 21, 2015
Lead singer, Brittany Howard is from another world. I swear the talent this girl possesses is unreal. She has a way of making you feel her words… like really experience them in a deep soulful exchange rather than just being grazed by mainstream car tunes on the radio. Soul, blues, funk, jazz, Sound & Color is the perfect fusion.
I can’t say enough good things about this group and seeing them live is definitely a bucket list item for me.
Favorite Songs: Don’t Wanna Fight and Gimme All Your Love
Release Date: June 22, 2015
Communion was the debut album from British trio, Years & Years. This album took my mind by storm. It’s clever, catchy, and makes you want to dance through life. The group is touring with Ellie Goulding in 2016 in the United States which will hopefully shed some light on their talents for U.S. fans. Obviously just starting their careers, I’m excited to see what comes of this band.
Favorite Songs: King and Shine
Release Date: May 29, 2015
Not only does Florence Welch claim a spot in the top 5 of my favorite albums of the year, but she also claims the number one spot as my favorite live performer of 2015. Headlining major summer festivals like Bonnaroo and Coachella, Welch gave exhilarating performances, running around and through the crowd testing her security team and their ability to keep up with the twenty-nine year-old. Not to mention stripping down to her undergarments and breaking her foot during her Coachella performance when she jumped off the stage. 2015 was an exciting year for Florence, and I hope 2016 brings more touring and more awesome live performances.
HBHBHB is the singer’s third studio album and exhibits tales of heartbreak, struggle, and triumph. One of my favorite things about this album is the music videos Welch developed to tell her story, artistically provoking and worth the watch.
Favorite Songs: Ship To Wreck and What Kind Of Man
Release Date: December 4, 2015
With talk that this is Coldplay’s final album, the group sure goes out with a bang. There is a lot more electronic music infused on this album than the group’s earlier work and I can’t get enough. The album art and music on this record are so colorful and fun, I can’t wait to see what a concert will be like. Coldplay has announced the first legs of their Latin American and European tour, while the United States is waiting with anticipation on tour updates.
Favorite Songs: Adventure of a Lifetime and Birds.
3. 25- Adele
Release Date: November 20, 2015
This album is a favorite for obvious reasons. November 2015 was a month of pure gold for Adele, breaking first-week record sales and selling out her North America tour in just minutes. Fans waited four years for Adele’s return, and this album made it completely worth it. 25 is complete with hit ballads like Hello, and a side of pop with tracks like Send My Love (To Your New Lover).
*If you are still waiting to pick up your copy of 25, I highly suggest getting the Target store version with the three bonus tracks. I really wish they made the record because they really are fantastic.
Favorite Songs: When We Were Young and Million Years Ago.
Release Date: May 4, 2015
My favorite band. Marcus, Ben, Ted, and Winston released their third album this year, but this record came with a bit of a twist from their earlier albums. No banjo this time around. The group got a lot crap from outraged fans claiming that they changed their sound too much and that they weren’t the folky english blokes music fans fell in love with.
What people don’t seem to understand is that people in bands are fans of music too. Just like you and me, our taste changes. Artists experiment and grow with their art and that’s exactly what Mumford & Sons did on this beautifully crafted album. More electric guitars, less banjo, and a whole lot of rock n roll.
Catch them on tour in 2016.
Favorite Songs: Ditmas and The Wolf
Release Date: June 23, 2015
I’ve been a huge fan of Tori Kelly for a while now, first discovering her on YouTube a few years back. So obviously I went completely bonkers when her debut album came out in June. 2015 was Kelly’s career launching year. Causing a stir with her raw acoustic performance at the Billboard Music Awards and touring throughout the country, Tori has ended her year receiving a Breakthrough Artist award from Billboard’s Women In Music and received a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist.
If you’re a regular on my blog, you know how much I gush about this talented beauty. She has some of the best vocals and lyrics in the industry today and I can’t wait to see what 2016 brings for her.
Favorite songs: Unbreakable Smile and I Was Made For Loving You
Other great albums that came out this year but didn’t quite make the cut. Still worthy of a listen:
Find all the albums in one place on the Reverberate Music Spotify- ‘2015 Favorite Albums’ playlist.
Think I missed a great album or have cool music to share? Let me know in the comments below.