As February 2015 becomes March, more albums have been released and you know what that means: my analytical ears get busy and my pen (keyboard) begins publishing my thoughts. Ultimately, 2015 has been a solid year for music as of yet and all of the albums that grace this early ‘best of’ list are worth the listen. As for albums released the final week of February – specifically February 24th – well, they’ll have to wait for the March update for consideration (“Ain’t nobody got time for that!”).
1) Father John Misty, I Love You, Honeybear
“Holy S**t” it’s so good! It’s even better “When You’re Smiling and Astride,” particularly since “I’ve got nothing to hid from you / kissing my brother in my dreams or finding God knows what in my jeans.” Just know though, that “Nothing Good Ever Happens at the Goddamn Thirsty Crow” and that “I Went to the Store One Day.”
2) Björk, Vulnicura
Is there much more epic than “Black Lake” where Björk goes in on Matthew Barney – ten minutes worth to be exact? The main reason it sits at number two is that we expect eccentric genius from Björk and while she outdoes herself, Father John Misty might outdo himself even more on I Love You, Honeybear.
3) Lupe Fiasco, Tetsuo & Youth
Sales have been dismal, but that doesn’t change the fact that Lupe Fiasco recorded his best album in years that arguably gives his debut Food & Liquor a run for its money. Whether he’s rapping about “Choppers,” “Madonna,” or “Adoration of the Magi,” Lupe is ON (if you know what I mean).
4) Drake, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
Has much changed about Drake’s flow on his surprise fourth album? Arguably not, but when Drake drops an album, it’s “not kind of a big deal” it’s “definitely a big deal.” Drizzy definitely reps for Toronto, proclaiming himself to be the “6 God.” Like Lupe, Drake is always ON.
5) Jazmine Sullivan, Reality Show
Is there a more commanding contralto in R&B music right now? “Forever Don’t Last” may be a true statement, but Sullivan’s voice is definitely timeless and classic. The album’s not too shabby itself!
6) George Ezra, Wanted On Voyage
Is there anything much more fun out than “Listen To The Man” peeps? Of course there isn’t. That superb record is joined by hits the likes of “Budapest,” “Cassy O’,” and “Did You Hear The Rain.” Oh, and how cool is it that Ezra has a legit baritone voice?
7) Mark Ronson, Uptown Special
Of course it “Feel Right” that Mark Ronson’s Uptown Special makes the top ten. What’s any funkier than “Uptown Funk” featuring Bruno Mars? Throw Mystikal and Kevin Parker into the mix and Uptown Special truly is ‘special.’
8) Marilyn Manson, The Pale Emperor
Marilyn Manson is definitely less shocking at this point in his career, but that doesn’t mean he still isn’t hellish. The Pale Emperor was hellishly good, particularly opener “Killing Strangers.”
9) Raheem DeVaughn, Love Sex Passion
This could’ve been Charlie Wilson’s spot too (arguably), but Raheem DeVaughn is equally consistent and arguably even more underrated. Love Sex Passion isn’t an album that’ll “knock your socks off” per se, but it is sound from start to finish.
10) TIE: Fall Out Boy, American Beauty / American Psycho & Imagine Dragons, Smoke and Mirrors
“Pick your poison” as they say. Both Fall Out Boy and Imagine Dragons dropped solid, enjoyable albums that are both imperfect at times, but are jam packed with hits. You decide if you enjoy “Shots” or “Uma Thurman” more. Personally, I liked both albums about the same.