Year-End Lists

Notable, browsable lists of the year's best music, movies, books, and TV shows. Year-end lists are fingerprints; aggregate statistics are smudges. Therefore, we make no tallies. Follow the link for each list to see essential commentary from its authors, at the source.

2015 Albums

Sasha Frere-Jones: 89 Favorite Albums of 2015

15 December 2015

Sasha Frere-Jones: 89 Favorite Albums of 2015 (listed chronologically within three tiers)

[see also 2018, 2017, 2016, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011]

Wire: Top 50 Releases of 2015

15 December 2015

The Wire: Top 50 Releases of 2015

[see also 2018, 2017, 2016, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011]

  1. JlinDark Energy
  2. Matana RobertsCoin Coin Chapter Three: River Run Thee
  3. Joshua AbramsMagnetoception
  4. Julia HolterHave You In My Wilderness
  5. Heather LeighI Abused Animal
  6. Holly HerndonPlatform
  7. Jim O’RourkeSimple Songs
  8. Kamasi WashingtonThe Epic
  9. Kendrick LamarTo Pimp A Butterfly
  10. The NecksVertigo
  11. Hieroglyphic BeingWe Are Not the First
  12. Vince StaplesSummertime ’06
  13. BjörkVulnicura
  14. Joanna NewsomDivers
  15. Graham Lambkin / Michael PisaroSchwarze Riesenfalter
  16. Raphael RogińskiPlays John Coltrane And Langston Hughes African Mystic Music
  17. Laura CannellBeneath Swooping Talons
  18. Oneohtrix Point NeverGarden of Delete
  19. FutureDS2
  20. HelmOlympic Mess
  21. Sleaford ModsKey Markets
  22. Hour HouseChiltern
  23. Mbongwana StarFrom Kinshasa
  24. Golden TeacherSauchiehall Enthrall
  25. Richard ThompsonStill
  26. Domenique DumontComme ça
  27. VisionistSafe
  28. Six Organs of AdmittanceHexadic
  29. Aphex TwinComputer Controlled Acoustic Instruments pt2
  30. Nidia MinajDanger
  31. King Midas Sound & FenneszEdition 1
  32. Philip JeckCardinal
  33. DJ Esco & Future56 Nights
  34. GnodInfinity Machines
  35. Seymour WrightSeymour Writes Back
  36. LNRDCROYMuch Less Normal
  37. Jürg FreyGrizzana and other pieces 2009-2014
  38. GuttersnipeDemo
  39. Jerusalem in My HeartIf He Dies, If If If If If If
  40. ContactAllison Cameron: A Gossamer Bit
  41. Carter Tutti VoidF (X)
  42. Radu MalfattiOne man and a fly
  43. ThundercatThe Beyond / Where the Giants Roam
  44. Uwe ObergWork
  45. Micachu & The ShapesGood Sad Happy Bad
  46. Floating PointsElaenia
  47. Keith Rowe / John TilburyEnough still not to know
  48. Jam CityDream a Garden
  49. Flying Saucer AttackInstrumentals 2015
  50. William BasinskiThe Deluge

Billboard: 25 Best Albums of 2015

15 December 2015

Billboard: 25 Best Albums of 2015 (as voted by Billboard staff)

[see also 2019, 2018, 2017, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011]

  1. Kendrick LamarTo Pimp A Butterfly
  2. various artists — Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
  3. GrimesArt Angels
  4. Vince StaplesSummertime ’06
  5. Adele25
  6. Jamie xxIn Colour
  7. Alabama ShakesSound & Color
  8. D’Angelo and The VanguardBlack Messiah
  9. Father John MistyI Love You, Honeybear
  10. Jason IsbellSomething More Than Free
  11. FutureDS2
  12. DrakeIf You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
  13. Chris StapletonTraveller
  14. Sleater-KinneyNo Cities To Love
  15. Big SeanDark Sky Paradise
  16. Courtney BarnettSometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
  17. Florence + The MachineHow Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
  18. The WeekndBeauty Behind the Madness
  19. Bomba EstéreoAmanecer
  20. Bob MosesDays Gone By
  21. Lana Del ReyHoneymoon
  22. Donnie Trumpet & The Social ExperimentSurf
  23. Skrillex & DiploSkrillex and Diplo Present Jack Ü
  24. Carly Rae JepsenE•MO•TION
  25. Natalia LafourcadeHasta la Raíz

Greg Kot: Top 20 Albums of 2015

14 December 2015

Greg Kot: Top 20 Albums of 2015, as published by The Chicago Tribune and aired on Sound Opinions

[see also 2019, 2018, 2017, 2014, 2012, 2011]

Jim DeRogatis: 40 Favorite Albums of 2015

14 December 2015

Jim DeRogatis: 40 Favorite Albums of 2015, as published by WBEZ and aired on Sound Opinions

[see also 2019, 2018, 2014, 2012, 2011]

  1. Courtney BarnettSometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
  2. Low Cut ConnieHi Honey
  3. Kendrick LamarTo Pimp A Butterfly
  4. BullyFeels Like
  5. Titus AndronicusThe Most Lamentable Tragedy
  6. Le ButcherettesA Raw Youth
  7. WireWire
  8. Yo La TengoStuff Like That There
  9. TORRESSprinter
  10. GrimesVisions
  11. WilcoStar Wars
  12. Alabama ShakesSound & Color
  13. ShamirRatchet
  14. LowOnes and Sixes
  15. Donnie Trumpet & The Social ExperimentSurf
  16. ProtomartyrThe Agent Intellect
  17. The Dead WeatherDodge and Burn
  18. Screaming FemalesRose Mountain
  19. Snooty GarbagemenSnooty Garbagemen
  20. Richard ThompsonStill
  21. MiguelWildheart
  22. Vince StaplesSummertime ’06
  23. Black RainbowsHawkdope
  24. Flying Saucer AttackInstrumentals 2015
  25. Tame ImpalaCurrents
  26. The SandwitchesOur Toast
  27. Van HuntThe Fun Rises, the Fun Sets
  28. Local HHey, Killer
  29. Summer CannibalsShow Us Your Mind
  30. Lupe FiascoTetsuo & Youth
  31. Glenn MercerIncidental Hum
  32. The DecemberistsWhat a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World
  33. The ChillsSilver Bullets
  34. BlackaliciousImani, Vol. 1
  35. Los LobosGates of Gold
  36. Robin Guthrie & Mark GardenerUniversal Road
  37. Viet CongViet Cong
  38. BlurThe Magic Whip
  39. Passion PitKindred
  40. Fraser A. GormanSlow Gum