Yesterday, we began our countdown of our 20 Best Albums of 2015. In case you missed it, you can check it out right here!
Today, we continue with Part II of Belleza Moda’s Favourite Albums of 2015:
15. Grimes – Art Angels | 4AD
Art pop simply does not getter than Vancouver-born Claire Boucher’s 2015 futuristic album. In spite of Art Angels being less experimental than her breakout album Visions, we are still treated to a journey which includes nu metal guitars, Taiwanese rapper Aristophanes and reggaetón beats. In light of the industry sexism faced, Boucher silenced her doubters by being the album’s primary singer, songwriter, producer, engineer, illustrator and video director.
If that was not enough to impress the doubters, we’re sure Boucher learning to play the guitar, drums, violin, ukulele and keys to explore new musical directions succeeded in silencing any critic that daftly wished to stand in her way. Simply put, Grimes is nothing short of a genius. Art pop has never felt as provocative and powerful as Art Angels. Thank you Claire; keep doing you!
14. Bryson Tiller – T R A P S O U L | RCA
An aspiring singer-songwriter writes & records a R&B song in his Louisville living room, posts it onto SoundCloud where it amasses over 35 million streams leading to early co-signs with Timbaland and Drake before a deal with RCA Records is signed. The artist: Bryson Tiller. The song: Don’t.
T R A P S O U L is hip-hop and trap influenced R&B which makes for one smooth listen with Tiller’s polished vocals juxtaposed by clever and infectious rap verses. In today’s R&B music scene, Bryson Tiller is a genuine force to reckon with. His rapid rise to fame is epitomized by the fact that Tiller’s upcoming concert in Toronto supposedly sold out in three minutes while tickets are now being sold for no less than $250 by resellers. Working overtime is paying off as Tiller has come a long way from making music in his living room; what a difference a year can make.
Album Highlight: “Don’t” // “Overtime“
13. Drake – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late | Cash Money / OVO Sound
What a year to be Drake. From dropping a surprise mixtape which sold over 1.9 million copies to releasing several songs worthy of inclusions in many Song of the Year lists to opening his own restaurant in “The 6” amidst it all. 2015 was Drake’s year and he didn’t start from the bottom this time around…
IYRITL finds no place for romance or pop hooks. Instead, it’s filled with rap cuts that impressed anyone willing to listen. The mixtape’s first five tracks itself (Legend, Energy, 10 Bands, Know Yourself and No Tellin’) conjured countless rap-along moments throughout the GTA amongst friend circles (a.k.a. squads) of all ages. “Know Yourself” is undoubtedly the mixtape’s high point and has become an unofficial anthem for the entire city of Toronto. Thanks to Drake, listeners worldwide officially know our Toronto as “The 6” and they can’t help but dream of running through the 6 with their woes.
Album Highlight: “Know Yourself“
12. One Direction – Made in the A.M. | Columbia / Syco
Five albums in five years is no easy task by any means. Made in the A.M. marks the band’s first release since the departure of arguably their strongest vocalist in Zayn Malik and surprisingly, his absence is not felt as much as expected. Instead, Zayn’s adlibs and high notes made way for more harmonies and more song-writing credits for the boys; 13 out of 17 songs were penned by the quartet.
The album highlights the organic evolution of the band’s sound moving further away from their early teenage pop-driven sound towards a mature and classic-rock inspired sound in 2015. Similarities can be drawn between “Hey Angel” and The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony”, “Long Way Down” and Train’s “Drops of Jupiter”, “If I Could Fly” and Elton John’s “Your Song” & “Temporary Fix” and King of Leon’s “Sex on Fire” to name a few. Contrary to popular belief, One Direction – more than just your stereotypical “boyband”.
11. Krept & Konan – The Long Way Home |
Play Dirty / Virgin EMI
How does one follow up a Guinness World Record for “Highest-charting UK Album by an unsigned act”? Simple! You follow it up with the Highest-charting UK Rap Album in History à la Krept & Konan.
The British Hip-Hop/Grime duo have not taken the easy route to success by any means. Gangs, deaths, drugs, violence, racism and label issues all played essential roles in bringing out the best from the London duo. The Long Way Home chronicles introspective storytelling amidst dramatic strings and ponderous beats. Driven by clever wordplay rhymes and their MC skills, the album’s appeal is strengthened by Jeremih, Wiz Khalifa, SKEPTA and Rick Ross jumping on party jam features and Brits Ed Sheeran and Emeli Sandé collaborating on their more serious counterparts. Whether it was Krept and Konan onstage with Kanye West at the BRITs for a controversial yet iconic performance or the impeccably-crafted documentary on the duo’s lives (a recommended watch), 2015 was the year Krept & Konan plotted their way to our hearts. Next up: 2016 – Break North America; kaboom!
We would love to hear some of your favourite albums of 2015 so let us know your thoughts! Hope you’ve enjoyed Part II; tune in tomorrow to see Part III which reveals the first five entrants into the Top 10!