A Fan's NotesI really wrestled with this. I wasn’t sure I wanted to create a list. After all, you can pretty much hear any record that you want to hear on-demand. Why do you need me to tell you what I like? I suppose my hope is that there’s an album here that you’re not familiar with, or that you haven’t heard yet, and perhaps its inclusion will get you to listen. It’s pretty diverse list, musically. There are jazz, hip-hop, rock, soul, and Americana artists, so hopefully there is something for everyone.

As I say each time I create one of these lists, these are not necessarily the best albums of last year. They are the albums that I liked most, but there are many albums that I never got to hear. If you don’t see your favorite, there is no slight intended. With no further adieu, here are my favorite albums of 2015.

Top 5

The Top 10

Kamasi WashingtonThe Epic
Father John Misty I Love You, Honeybear 
Leon BridgesComing Home 
Tobias Jesso JrGoon 
Bettye LavetteWorthy 
John MorelandHigh on Tulsa Heat 
Kendrick LamarTo Pimp a Butterfly 
Brian WilsonNo Pier Pressure 
Beth HartBetter Than Home 
Matt Pond PAThe State of Gold 



Second five



Other Notables


James TaylorBefore This World
Rudresh MahanthappaBird Calls 
Allison MoorerDown To Believing
DeerhunterFading Frontier
Shelby LynneI Can’t Imagine 
William AlexanderStrangest Things 

About the Author

Ken Shane

Ken Shane lives in Narragansett, R.I. He is a freelance writer and far and away the oldest Popdose writer. In fact, he may be the oldest writer, period. He wants you to know that he generally does not share his colleagues' love for the music of the '80s, and he does not forgive them for loving it. (Ken passed away in November 2022. R.I.P. —Ed.)

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