Buro 24/7 Malaysia’s top albums of 2015

Sounds of the year


By Buro247

Buro 24/7 Malaysia’s top albums of 2015

Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color

The second studio album from the American rock band, Sound & Color actually debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 charts when it was released in the US last April. With a little bit of rhythm and blues, country, and shoegazine, the album deviated from their debut Boys & Girls (2012), unmistakably marked by frontwoman Brittany Howard’s deep, soulful, raspy voice with a touch of rock n roll. Sound & Color has geared itself up to be one of the biggest albums of the year, as it is up for six Grammy Awards this coming February.

Blur – The Magic Whip

It took a whopping 12 years since 2003’s Think Tank, but Blur came back this year with The Magic Whip – and it was glorious and strange all at the same time. With singles such as ‘Go out’ and ‘There Are Too Many Of Us’ released alongside really dismal videos on YouTube, clearly influenced by their time spent in Hong Kong, The Magic Whip was a contrasting mix of dark melancholy and the bright neon lights of the bustling city. Strange as it is, but this mix makes the Blur we knew 12 years ago.

Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

Australian singer-songwriter-guitarist Courtney Barnett brought rock n’ roll back this year. Accompanied by her punchy lyrics, her deadpan singing style, and a good dose of electric guitar riffs, this album marks Barnett’s debut into the music biz, and it’s been extensively lapped up by the likes of influential music media Rolling Stones and Pitchfork Media. Barnett has been nominated for a Grammy Award for Best New Artist.

D’Angelo and The Vanguard – Black Messiah

D’Angelo is elusive. Throughout the generations he has teased the world with rather impactful bouts of music, and then he disappears. He first emerged in 1995 with Brown Sugar which marked his place in the Neo soul movement. He returned in 2000 with Voodoo which took the music world by a storm, before going on hiatus again. This year he’s back with Black Messiah, and it’s easy to see why it has become one of the most critically acclaimed album of the year: it remains in the realm of soul while appealing to new-age experimentalism, with deep-seeded chunks of funk and rock.

FKA Twigs – M3LL155X

FKA Twigs is one of those artists who cannot be hated. The British multi-talented singer, songwriter, producer and dancer has awed the music world with her hypnotising performances – both on video and stage. M3LL155X is not only her third EP with the most fancy name following her previous releases that were titled EP1, EP2 and LP1, it expands greatly on her deep, sultry signature in five alluring tracks.

Foals – What Went Down

The fourth studio album by English indie rock band Foals, What Went Down is like a satisfying piece to the puzzle that makes up Foals discography. Previously known for their sort-of deconstructed brand of alternative rock mixed with dance-punk, this album instead delves straight into a full, deep, loud rock vibe that makes a lot of sense. And it’s delicious to the ears, to say the least. What Went Down may not be your award-winning pick of the year, but it’s a darn good find.

Grimes – Art Angels

This is another album the music world has been fawning over this year. Perhaps it’s the Canadian singer-songwriter’s intriguing marketing that built the hype, where Grimes (a.k.a. Claire Boucher) created all the artwork for her own album and released the strangest music video to accompany her lead single ‘Flesh without Blood.’ Or perhaps its critical acclaim comes from the art pop artist successfully making experimental sounds accessible. Oh, and she produced the entire album by herself too.

Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly

Kendrick Lamar has been on an amazing run over the past five years, having snagged seven nominations at the 2014 Grammy Awards and another whopping 11 nominations for next year’s awards show. Influenced by the greats – Tupac Shakur, The Notorious Bug and Jay Z, to name a few – Kenrdick Lamar didn’t need to make music centred around female body parts to be hailed as one of the greatest rappers of our time. Dotted with elements of jazz, funk and soul, To Pimp a Butterfly may be unashamedly ambitious, but it remains pure in its own right.

Tame Impala – Currents

If you paid attention to their past two albums Innerspeaker (2010) and Lonerism (2012), Australian psychedelic rock band Tame Impala seemed like the underdog that was caged up amongst lyrics of self doubt, and tunes that could hypnotise you. But this year, they broke out of that cage with Currents as frontman Kevin Parker describes the first track ‘Let It Happen,’ as “finding yourself always,” to put it simply. Currents – laden with luscious arrangements that wake you up from Lonerism‘s daze – is like the musical awakening the world needs.

The Weeknd – Beauty Behind The Madness

The world of pop often becomes saturated with repetitive elements and lyrics, but this year, The Weeknd (a.k.a Abel Tesfaye) added some pizzazz to it with his second album Beauty Behind the Madness. Backed by a sense of punchy disco-esque, dance vibe and Tesfaye’s impressive vocals, the album commercially exploded with catchy singles such as ‘Can’t Feel My Face’ and ‘The Hills,’ and is up for Album of the Year at the 2016 Grammy Awards. 


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