Baby reviews: a quick year in the sound of 2015

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Tatiana Rodriguez, Arts & Trends Editor

Looking back on the year, 2015 was certainly a great time for music. Across various genres, artists honed their skills and produced some beautiful works. Here’s some of the most influential albums that came out and got hearts racing this year. 


i dont like shit
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Earl Sweatshirt

I Don’t Like S–t, I Don’t Go Outside 


Slow and simple


Harsh and gritty

Honest and upfront




to pimp a butterfly
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Kendrick Lamar

To Pimp a Butterfly 

Equal parts of chaotic and smooth

Spoken word (at times)


Inspirational and empowering

Intermixing of rap sub genres

Remains cohesive despite pandemonium- thematically and production-wise


Dramatic and bold

Smart features

Tragically beautiful


cherry bomb
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Tyler, the Creator

Cherry Bomb 

Brief change-up from usual sound

Carefully constructed

Immaturely produced and defiant nature to bars

Fast-paced, wild ride

Delicate tracks provide a break from the madness

Jabs of creativity

Showcases Tyler’s internal struggle between raps and production

Ignorant flare more refined than usual

Sharp turn in direction of the album yet continues to make sense

Impressive features


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Alabama Shakes

Sound & Color

Punches you in the face

Hauntingly groovy production

Fresh without being too unexpected

Vocals layer over and crawl around each other

Builds on top of the genre boxes they’ve been placed in rather than fitting a mold

Inventive arrangements

Seductively and enticingly experimental

Playfully mature


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A$AP Rocky


An elegy with vibe

Not as hype as usual; more mature

More complex themes (death, religion, loss, social justice, etc.)

Shiny- not flashy

More craft dedicated to substance than production

A few awkward/unnecessary features

Fantastic Schoolboy Q collaboration

“Fine Whine” is severely underrated

Clever wordplay sprinkled throughout; hidden gems


ego death
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The Internet

Ego Death 

Low-key and casual funk

Diary-like without the angst-y baggage

Sincere, feel good music

Simple jazz with drilling, pumping bass lines

Noticeable vocal growth

Relatable and soft

Effective storytelling

Lovely flow and cohesive track order

“Palace/Curse” manages to be juvenile, primal, elegant, and ethereal all at the same time


in colour
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Jamie xx

In Colour

Sparkly and special; xx’s perceptive production evokes sweet, sensitive memories

Overwhelmingly emotional

The amount of perimeter-breaking done for this album practically drips off of the record; you can almost smell the music’s sweat

The light yet syrupy spirit creates a carefree ambiance

In Colour essentially is a self-made flower bouquet of xx’s abilities

The sampling is extraordinary; a calm pulse is created and a journey is created



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Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment


Golden example of what a collaborative project should be

Seemingly sporadic but overall reminiscent of blissful summers

Lighthearted yet opinionated

Full of love and freedom

Carefree core built on the base of simply having fun





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Tame Impala


Carefully constructed arrangements and strong vocalization

Growth from catchy pop-rock to pop with a pulse, pop with guts and feelings, feelings more easily expressed through melancholy guitar riffs and foggy synths

The album wears a heart on its sleeve, expressing more than simply sadness and longing, but more complex ideas such as emotional “selfishness” and embarrassing truths

Power in even the softest tracks; showcases the complications in being satisfied with either wants or needs



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Dirty Sprite 2 

Incredibly advanced in production; provides a steady, cohesive flow for the album

Dark and daring

Unapologetic on the surface but emotionally complex on the interior; Future makes it clear that his actions are not admirable or exemplary of his character, yet he’s able to deliver his bars in cursive, disguising his soul’s demise






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Mac Demarco

Another One

Heartfelt and relaxed, true to character

Compact LP produces a fountain of lazy memories, sewn together with a sense of warm company, comfortable expression, and inhaling and exhaling on your back

Calming sunset vibes even when things may not be going as planned

Float to this music. Walk into a body of water, and float.





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Beach House

Thank Your Lucky Stars 

Vastly underrated; overshadowed by the release of Depression Cherry in August

Dreamy and truly evocative of a starry night

Warped production; reminiscent of Beach House’s earlier releases

Slow and steady; paced for easy relaxed, listening

Highly emotional and ghostly





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Art Angels 

Truly angelic; fearless and graceful

D.I.Y. substance pop

“Freaks-come-out-at-night” dance music

Showcases an untouchable, untamed production style

Unexpectedly twinkles among the rest of Grimes’ discography

Intensely polished

Destroys pop genre perimeters and carries a strong, feminist vibe throughout the entire record