Methodology: So, for some reason I am unsure of, I spent 6 hours compiling this list of the "Best Albums of 2015 So Far."
It should be noted, this is not necessarily what we at the Mobtown Shank think are the best albums. Sure, there are a number of records on this list that would have made our list too, like Courtney Barnett, Sleater-Kinney, Father John Misty, etc. But had this been our list, you also would have seen Courtney Green, The Sonics, and Wild Honey (all of which showed up on other lists but not enough to qualify).
It should also be pointed out that most the lists we used were posted in June or July - meaning anything coming out after that wouldn't be included.
Okay as for sourcing. I surveyed approximately 25 sites/magazines, including Complex, Entertainment Weekly, Flavorwire, Fuse, Guardian, Mojo, Newsday, NME, NPR (just cuz), OnionAV Club, Paste, RollingStone, Spin, Stereogum, Telegraph, Time, Uncut, Time Out, VICE, Vulture, and more.
I then compiled a master list of everything included from these sources and then applied a point every time the same album got mentioned (as not every site bothered to rank their entries so much as list them.)
For the sake of length (I was trying to get the top 30-40 albums), any album getting fewer than 3 mentions were knocked off the list. The list was then ranked 1 through whatever based on this initial scoring. As this resulted in a number of ties, I then averaged the rankings from the sites that bothered to rank the albums. The better scoring records resulted in the higher ranking.
And so based on all that, we have this list. What's it mean? Who the fuck knows, but here it is. (The Spotify playlist above is in countdown form, with a song from each of the albums (with Bob Dylan and Jessica Pratt's records not being available from the service).
The Best Albums of 2015 So Far (according to critics):
1. Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly
2. Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I it And Think, Sometimes I Just Sit
3. Sleater-Kinney - No Cities To Love
4. Bjork- Vulnicura
5. Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell
6. Father John Misty - I Love You Honeybear
7. Jamie XX - In Colour
8. Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color
9. Panda Bear - Meets The Grim Reaper
10. Laura Marling - Short Movie
11. Speedy Ortiz - Foil Deer
12. Blur: The Magic Whip
13. Waxahatchee: Ivy Tripp
14. Shamir: Ratchet
15. Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment: Surf
16. Tobias Jesso Jr.: Goon
17. Mark Ronson: Uptown Special
18. Earl Sweatshirt: I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside
19. Hop Along: Painted Shut
20. Florence & The Machine: How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
21. A$AP Rocky: At.Long.Last.A$AP
22. Bob Dylan: Shadows In The Night
23. Drake: If You're Reading This It's Too Late
24. Natalie Prass: self-titled
25. Rae Sremmurd: SremmLife
26. Metz: II
27. Matthew E. White: Fresh Blood
28. Jessica Pratt: On Your Own Love Again
29. Girlpool: Before The World Was Big
30. Chris Stapleton: Traveller
31. Screaming Females: Rose Mountain
32. Viet Cong: self-titled
33. Action Bronson: Mr. Wonderful
34. Miguel: Wildheart
35. Ryley Walker: Primrose Green
36. Desaparecidos: Payola
37. Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds: Chasing Yesterday
We'll be counting these down and discussing them at Atomic Music Club tonight (8/4/15) at 7PM at Eightbar in Atomic Books.