A late winter bus ride through the rolling, tree-lined hills of Appalachia not only introduced me to my two favorite albums in 2015 but confronted me with thoughts of pain and healing, injustice and equality while seated next to a stranger for hours on end. One album brought tears as I pondered the mortality of everyone I loved and my complicated feelings about the West Coast. The other brought anger – and a sense of awe – as it tackled racial inequality from a place of undefeated strength and joy.
2015 featured the aforementioned albums from Sufjan Stevens and Kendrick Lamar plus so many more I loved. Here are my Favorite Albums 2015 listed in descending order.
The ultra nostalgic Frank Ocean
I’ve been slow to warm up to 2011’s crop of albums. Maybe it’s because the two that I anticipated the most — Lupe Fiasco’s LASERS and the Strokes’ Angles — turned out to be disappointments. Or maybe it’s because I haven’t spent much time with albums from artists whose work I’ve previously enjoyed (i.e., Toro Y Moi, Lykke Li, Cut Copy, Destroyer, etc.)
Whatever the reason for this year’s slow start, I am hoping 2011 picks up steam in the next few months with the release of Tv On The Radio’s new album, Nine Types of Light, Fleet Foxes’ second album, Helplessness Blues, and Kanye West and Jay-Z’s collaboration Watch The Throne. I’m also intrigued by the new Pains Of Being Pure At Heart album.
Here, listed below, are the albums that grabbed me the most during the first three months of 2011. They are my favorite albums of the year so far. That does not mean they will definitely be on my year end list.