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NPR’s Top 50 Albums of 2015

by Andrew Sacher

photo by Morgan Walker, illustration by Claire O’Neill/NPR
NPR

The year-end lists keep coming. Today, NPR Music published their 50 Favorite Albums of 2015 list. As usual, it’s all over the map genre-wise, with classical, jazz, electronic, rap, mainstream pop, lo-fi DIY, indie rock, folk, country, metal and more.

It’s got some of the albums that appear on most of these lists, like Kendrick Lamar, Sufjan Stevens, Courtney Barnett, Jamie xx, Future, Vince Staples, Joanna Newsom and Alabama Shakes, but plenty of surprises too. It’s the first list I’ve seen with the Beauty Pill album, and the first non-rap list I’ve seen with The Game. It’s also got often-underrated albums from Colleen, Jazmine Sullivan and Low. And there’s bound to be something on it you haven’t heard yet.

Read their commentary here and check out the full list below…

NPR’s Top 50 Albums of 2015
Africa Express Presents – Terry Riley’s In C Mali
Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color
Anthony de Mare – Liaisons — Re-imagining Sondheim From The Piano
Ashley Monroe – The Blade
Beauty Pill – Describes Things As They Are
Bomba Estereo – Amanecer
Boston Modern Orchestra – Play (Andrew Norman)
Brandi Carlile – The Firewatcher’s Daughter
Carla Morrison – Amor Suprema
Carly Rae Jepsen – E•MO•TION
Cecile McLorion Salvant – For One To Love
Chris Stapleton – Traveller
Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah – Stretch Music
Colleen – Captain of None
Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit
Dayme Arocena – Nueva Era
Dead To A Dying World – Litany
DJ Sotofett – Drippin’ For A Tripp
Earl Sweatshirt – I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside
Floating Points – Elaenia
Florence + the Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
Four Tet – Morning/Evening
Future – DS2
The Game – The Documentary 2
Girlpool – Before The World Was Big
Ibeyi – Ibeyi
ICE – In the Light of Air (Anna Thorvaldsdottir)
The Internet – Ego Death
Jamie xx – In Colour
Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free
Jazmine Sullivan – Reality Show
Joan Shelley – Over and Even
Joanna Newsom – Divers
Kacey Musgraves – Pageant Material
Kamasi Washington – The Epic
Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly
Low – Ones and Sixes
Mbongwana Star – From Kinshasa
Original Broadway Cast Recording – Hamilton
Patty Griffin – Servant of Love
Rhiannon Giddens – Tomorrow Is My Turn
Sam Lee & Friends – Fade In Time
San Francisco Symphony – Absolute Jest (John Adams)
Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell
Torres – Sprinter
Ty Dolla $ign – Free TC
Vijay Iyer Trio – Break Stuff
Vince Staples – Summertime ’06
Worriers – Imaginary Life
Xaos – Xaos

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