So here we are: the year's finest album.
We've been counting down what are (in our opinion) the 50 finest album releases of 2015, a list that spans hip-hop, electronics, indie, folk and more.
In short: it's been a helluva year. But in true Highlander style there can be only one…
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5. Sufjan Stevens – 'Carrie & Lowell'
"'Carrie & Lowell' is an album of memories and stories. It's covered in the decades-old dust of a turbulent family life and how one man, one child, learned to deal with it all. It may well be our first insight into the real Sufjan. It's heavy, but so very beautiful."
4. Bjork – 'Vulnicura'
"Her voice is hers alone – and it shall always remain so, unequivocally unique. If you somehow consider it a stumbling block, you know what to do. ‘Human Behaviour’ was a lifetime ago, yet the singer of that phenomenal song continues to fascinate, to wrap the willing listener up in velvet vociferousness, even when the floor’s fallen away beneath her feet."
3. Grimes – 'Art Angels'
"This is the truest representation of Grimes we’ve heard yet: 'Art Angels' is boundary pushing, it’s listenable and it’s Boucher’s most ambitious and most consistent work to date."
2. Tame Impala – 'Currents'
"It's too early to say if 'Currents' will be the masterpiece that Kevin Parker is remembered for, but not too early to state that this is his best LP yet, a near-perfect album in a body of already remarkably impressive works. "
1. Kendrick Lamar – 'To Pimp A Butterfly'
In truth, very little separates the albums in the upper echelons in this list. 2015 has been a year dominated by excellence, by the return of wonderful artists and the establishment of vivid, new careers. It's one of those years that dwells in possibility, embracing a state of creative flux that can veer from psychedelia to grime in a heartbeat.
One figure, though, has defined 2015 more than any other. Kendrick Lamar's album 'To Pimp A Butterfly' feels like something quite different, something seismic. Arriving at a time when youth culture one against moves to the fulcrum of black America, Kendrick steps aside from braggadocio to focus on hip-hop's astonishing fluidity – free to define his own barriers and then cross them as he pleases, 'To Pimp A Butterfly' is perhaps 2015's most singular document.
Simply put: it could only be made by one artist, at one point in time. A masterpiece by a figure rapidly flowering into something we haven't seen before, 'To Pimp A Butterfly' is our Album Of The Year.
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Check out Clash Albums Of The Year: 50 – 41
Check out Clash Albums Of The Year: 40 – 31
Check out Clash Albums Of The Year: 30 – 21
Check out Clash Albums Of The Year: 20 – 11
Check out Clash Albums Of The Year: 10 – 6