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 2019, 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 2010s, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011]

  1. Kendrick LamarTo Pimp A Butterfly
  2. Lin-Manuel Miranda and the Original Broadway CastHamilton (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, 2016, 2014, 2013, 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, 2017, 2016, 2014, 2013, 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

Les Inrocks: 100 Best Albums of 2015

11 December 2015

Les Inrockuptibles: 100 Best Albums of 2015

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

  1. Tobias Jesso Jr.Goon
  2. Tame ImpalaCurrents
  3. Sufjan StevensCarrie & Lowell
  4. Kendrick LamarTo Pimp A Butterfly
  5. Django DjangoBorn Under Saturn
  6. Girl BandHolding Hands with Jamie
  7. ChassolBig Sun
  8. Courtney BarnettSometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
  9. C DuncanArchitect
  10. Flavien BergerLéviathan
  11. Max RichterFrom Sleep
  12. Young ThugBarter 6
  13. AlgiersAlgiers
  14. Jamie xxIn Colour
  15. FoalsWhat Went Down
  16. Lana Del ReyHoneymoon
  17. Kurt VileB’lieve I’m Goin Down…
  18. Jeanne AddedBe Sensational
  19. The InternetEgo Death
  20. ShamirRatchet
  21. Feu! ChattertonIci le jour
  22. OdezenneDolziger Str. 2
  23. Julia HolterHave You In My Wilderness
  24. Mac DeMarcoAnother One
  25. GrimesArt Angels
  26. Yo La TengoStuff Like That There
  27. IbeyiIbeyi
  28. Mbongwana StarFrom Kinshasa
  29. Natalie PrassNatalie Prass
  30. BlurThe Magic Whip
  31. Father John MistyI Love You, Honeybear
  32. FFSFFS
  33. The ShoesChemicals
  34. LowOnes and Sixes
  35. SokoMy Dreams Dictate My Reality
  36. Benjamin ClementineAt Least For Now
  37. Ghost CultureGhost Culture
  38. Richard HawleyHollow Meadows
  39. J.C. SatànJ.C. Satàn
  40. PNLLe monde Chico
  41. BjörkVulnicura
  42. Panda BearPanda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper
  43. Flo MorrisseyTomorrow Will Be Beautiful
  44. Alabama ShakesSound & Color
  45. Young FathersWhite Men Are Black Men Too
  46. Bertrand BelinCap Waller
  47. Elliot MossHighspeeds
  48. Only RealJerk At the End of the Line
  49. NekfeuFeu
  50. U.S. GirlsHalf Free
  51. DeerhunterFading Frontier
  52. DrakeIf You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
  53. Mikal CroninMCIII
  54. The WeekndBeauty Behind the Madness
  55. The LibertinesAnthems For Doomed Youth
  56. BaioThe Names
  57. Salut C’est CoolSur le thème des grandes découvertes
  58. Beach HouseDepression Cherry
  59. ChvrchesEvery Open Eye
  60. VillagersDarling Arithmetic
  61. BeirutNo No No
  62. Sons of KemetLest We Forget What We Came Here to Do
  63. DamilyVery Aomby
  64. LA PriestInji
  65. Aurélien MerleRemerle
  66. Tiganá SantanaTempo & Magma
  67. Holly HerndonPlatform
  68. TORRESSprinter
  69. PerezSaltos
  70. Jacco GardnerHypnophobia
  71. Mansfield.TYACorpo Inferno
  72. Ballake Sissoko & Vincent SegalMusique de Nuit
  73. Summer FictionHimalaya
  74. Majical CloudzAre You Alone?
  75. GhostpoetShedding Skin
  76. Earl SweatshirtI Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside: An Album
  77. Christopher OwensChrissybaby Forever
  78. Omar SouleymanBahdeni Nami
  79. DisclosureCaracal
  80. The King Khan & BBQ ShowBad News Boys
  81. We Are MatchShores
  82. Sleaford ModsKey Markets
  83. Bill FayWho Is The Sender?
  84. AshKablammo!
  85. Travis ScottRodeo
  86. GengahrA Dream Outside
  87. The Wave PicturesGreat Big Flamingo Burning Moon
  88. Lou DoillonLay Low
  89. Viet CongViet Cong
  90. AlineLa vie électrique
  91. John GrantGrey Tickles, Black Pressure
  92. Martin CourtneyMany Moons
  93. Jim O’RourkeSimple Songs
  94. Son LuxBones
  95. Rhum For PaulineLeaving Florida
  96. Unknown Mortal OrchestraMulti-Love
  97. Alex CalderStrange Dreams
  98. Rozi PlainFriend
  99. BoobaD.U.C.
  100. WandGolem

AllMusic: 55 Best Albums of 2015

10 December 2015

AllMusic: 55 Best Albums of 2015 (roughly alphabetical by artist)

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

Slant: 25 Best Albums of 2015

10 December 2015

Slant Magazine: 25 Best Albums of 2015

[see also 2010s, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2013, 2012, 2011]

  1. Kendrick LamarTo Pimp A Butterfly
  2. Courtney BarnettSometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
  3. GrimesArt Angels
  4. Vince StaplesSummertime ’06
  5. Father John MistyI Love You, Honeybear
  6. MiguelWildheart
  7. ShamirRatchet
  8. Titus AndronicusThe Most Lamentable Tragedy
  9. James McMurtryComplicated Game
  10. Kamasi WashingtonThe Epic
  11. Robyn & La Bagatelle MagiqueLove Is Free
  12. Carly Rae JepsenE•MO•TION
  13. Janet JacksonUnbreakable
  14. Viet CongViet Cong
  15. Erykah BaduBut You Caint Use My Phone
  16. Purity RingAnother Eternity
  17. Young ThugBarter 6
  18. Donnie Trumpet & The Social ExperimentSurf
  19. BjörkVulnicura
  20. Joanna NewsomDivers
  21. Selena GomezRevival
  22. Ashley MonroeThe Blade
  23. Laura MarlingShort Movie
  24. Jason DeruloEverything Is 4
  25. DisclosureCaracal

Entertainment Weekly: 40 Best Albums of 2015

09 December 2015

Entertainment Weekly: 40 Best Albums of 2015

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

  1. Kendrick LamarTo Pimp A Butterfly
  2. Carly Rae JepsenE•MO•TION
  3. Adele25
  4. Jamie xxIn Colour
  5. A$AP RockyAT.LONG.LAST.A$AP
  6. Courtney BarnettSometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
  7. Chris StapletonTraveller
  8. Father John MistyI Love You, Honeybear
  9. WilcoStar Wars
  10. Miley CyrusMiley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz
  11. Janet JacksonUnbreakable
  12. MiguelWildheart
  13. Alabama ShakesSound & Color
  14. Sleater-KinneyNo Cities To Love
  15. Florence + The MachineHow Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
  16. DrakeIf You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
  17. Justin BieberPurpose
  18. Tame ImpalaCurrents
  19. Unknown Mortal OrchestraMulti-Love
  20. Vince StaplesSummertime ’06
  21. Donnie Trumpet & The Social ExperimentSurf
  22. Eric ChurchMr. Misunderstood
  23. Rae SremmurdSremmLife
  24. AlgiersAlgiers
  25. Marina and the DiamondsFroot
  26. ChvrchesEvery Open Eye
  27. METZII
  28. 5 Seconds of SummerSounds Good Feels Good
  29. ColdplayA Head Full of Dreams
  30. Bob MosesDays Gone By
  31. The ArcsYours, Dreamily
  32. Selena GomezRevival
  33. Joanna NewsomDivers
  34. DeerhunterFading Frontier
  35. Hop AlongPainted Shut
  36. Jason IsbellSomething More Than Free
  37. BullyFeels Like
  38. Gary Clark Jr.The Story of Sonny Boy Slim
  39. BjörkVulnicura
  40. Ryan Adams1989

NPR Music: 50 Favorite Albums of 2015

08 December 2015

NPR Music: 50 Favorite Albums of 2015 (roughly alphabetical by artist)

[see also 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2014, 2012, 2011]