Sorry, Adele: These Are 2015’s 10 Best Albums

Or so says our house music critic.

Shutterstock/Cristi Kerekes

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Each year, Mother Jones‘ house critic browses through hundreds of new albums and pulls out maybe a couple hundred to review for the magazine and website. But only a few can make the final cut. Below, in no particular order save alphabetical, are Jon Young’s abbreviated write-ups of his 10 favorite albums in 2015. Feel free to heartily disagree and share your own faves in the comments.

1. Mose Allison, American Legend Live in California (Ibis): Sly, wry piano blues and jazz from a now-retired giant.

2. Courtney Barnett, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit (Mom+Pop): Ramshackle, catchy Australian guitar pop capturing the absorbing minutiae of everyday life. (Extended review)

3. The Bottle Rockets, South Broadway Athletic Club (Bloodshot): Brian Henneman’s loose-jointed, empathetic roots-rock ages well. (Extended review)

4. D’Angelo, Black Messiah (RCA): Hazy, mind-bending funk of a long-lost maverick. (This one actually dropped in mid-December 2014, too late to make last year’s list, so we’re giving it rollover privileges.)

5. Bob Dylan, The Cutting Edge 1965-1966 (Columbia Legacy): The fascinating rough drafts of a genius at work. (Extended review)

6. Julia Holter, Have You in My Wilderness (Domino): Soothing and gently unsettling chamber pop, like a puzzling dream. (Extended review)

7. Noveller, Fantastic Planet (Fire): Pulsing, multicolored ambient soundscapes built from guitars and synths. (Extended review)

8. Speedy Ortiz, Foil Deer (Carpark): No sophomore slump for Sadie Dupuis’ loquacious, brainy guitar rock. (Extended review)

9. The Staple Singers, Faith & Grace: A Family Journey 1953-1976 (Stax): The monumental gospel legacy of Roebuck “Pops” Staples, daughter Mavis, and family.

10. Barrence Whitfield & the Savages, Under the Savage Sky (Bloodshot): Floor-shaking, lease-breaking R&B. Modern yet retro.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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