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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It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

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