My 2015 In Music: Drew Curran

from the album

Top 10 Albums:

  1. To Pimp A Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar
  2. Currents – Tame Impala
  3. In Colour – Jamie XX
  4. I Love You, Honeybear – Father John Misty
  5. Sound & Color – Alabama Shakes
  6. Depression Cherry – Beach House
  7. Carrie & Lowell – Sufjan Stevens
  8. Summertime ’06 – Vince Staples
  9. Vega Intl. Night School – Neon Indian
  10. Goon – Tobias Jesso Jr.

Honorable Mentions: Compton – Dr. Dre, SremmLife – Rae Sremmurd (#sremmlife), Multi-love – Unknown Mortal Orchestra, The Barter 6 – Young Thug, B4.DA.$$ – Joey Bada$$

Top 25 Songs:

from the album

  1. “Alright” – Kendrick Lamar
  2. “Let it Happen” – Tame Impala
  3. “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times) (ft. Young Thug & Popcaan)” – Jamie XX
  4. “Should Have Known Better” – Sufjan Stevens
  5. “Don’t Wanna Fight” – Alabama Shakes
  6. “Blacker The Berry” – Kendrick Lamar
  7. “The World is Crowded” – Unknown Mortal Orchestra
  8. “Norf Norf” – Vince Staples
  9. “Sparks” – Beach House
  10. “Gosh” – Jamie XX
  11. “This Could be Us” – Rae Sremmurd
  12. “Disciples” – Tame Impala
  13. “Señorita” – Vince Staples
  14. “Multi-Love” – Unknown Mortal Orchestra
  15. “King Kunta” – Kendrick Lamar
  16. “Loud Places (feat. Romy)” – Jamie XX
  17. “Them Changes (ft. Flying Lotus & Kamasi Washington)” – Thundercat
  18. “Run Away with Me” – Carly Rae Jepsen
  19. “I Serve the Bass” – Future
  20. “Used to” – Mutemath
  21. “The Rhythm Changes” – Kamasi Washinton
  22. “Love Yourself” – Justin Bieber
  23. “On GP” – Death Grips
  24. “Constantly Hating” – Young Thug ft. Birdman
  25. “All Day (ft. Theophilus London, Allan Kingdom, Paul McCartney)” – Kanye West

Things I was supposed to review but didn’t fire round:

Hudson Mohawke – Lantern (Strong 7)

This album was the first full length release from one of the kings of bass music Hudson Mohawke.  With his songs with Lunice under the collaboration TNGHT and Apple Commercial-featured “Chimes” in recent memory, Hud Mo dropped a pretty convincing album to keep himself at the top of bass music for a while.  Although the album does not stay compelling throughout, there being a few potholes down the road, the highs on this LP will blast the listener away, with gigantic horns and driving percussion.  Despite the album not exactly living up to the expectations one might have for the Scottish producer, Birchard said the album is truly a compilation of music he and only he wanted to make and it shows.

Listen to: “Scud Books”, “Warriors”, “Kettles”, “Ryderz”, “Very First Breath”

Major Lazer – Peace is the Mission (Weak 6)

If you haven’t heard of any of the songs on this album you’re wrong, as the number 1 streamed song of all time hails from this album.  While “Lean On” was a worldwide hit that really brought Major Lazer to the forefront of popular music, the rest of the album went essentially unnoticed outside of the electronic music world despite some high-profile features in 2 Chainz, Travis Scott, and Ellie Goulding.  Overall, this album seems like a compromise between Major Lazer’s old reggae dancehall style music they originally gained popularity for and a transition into more poppy, accessible electronic music.  In the end, though, this album doesn’t entirely succeed at either, seeming bi-polar at its worst, but in some cases accomplishing a fairly good juxtaposition of the two ideas.

Listen to: “Lean On” (as if you haven’t a million times), “Night Riders”, “Roll the Bass”, “Powerful”

Wavves X Cloud Nothings – No Life for Me (Strong 6)

This collaboration makes perfect sense.  You think one of the artists and the other is not too far in the back of your mind, both serving as one of the other’s top related artists on Spotify, and for good reason.  Both of these bands have critically acclaimed releases in pop/punk field they reside in, leaving one to think that a collaboration would be no different.  The only problem here, is that you’d be wrong.  In many of the songs on this release, the collaboration sounds more like a Frankenstein’s monster of sounds, with different parts (or members) of each band sewed onto another, never really making the full human that was the goal and instead clunking around, a shadow of what it was supposed to be. While the mixture doesn’t reach the success of a well made Arnold Palmer, the collaboration is far from a train wreck, with both of the bands putting forth good work in order to make an album that has music that moves far past mediocrity, but unfortunately falling short of greatness.

Listen to: “How It’s Gonna Go”, “Come Down”, and “Nothing Hurts”

Zedd – True Colors (????)

After a first LP that showed promise in a genre full of the same thing over and over, I really hoped for another solid release in Zedd’s sophomore album, praying that some of his unique musical touches would be cultivated and brought to a new and better light. I was wrong.

Listen to: Don’t listen to any of this album.


My 2015 In Music: Jordan Wold


Favorite Albums of 2015

from the album

5. Sound and Color – Alabama Shakes
4. How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful – Florence and the Machine”
3. The Waterfall – My Morning Jacket
2. To Pimp a Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar
1. I Love You, Honeybear – Father John Misty

Favorite Tracks of 2015

from the album

5. “Big Decisions” My Morning Jacket
4. “Sound and Color” Alabama Shakes
3. “King Kunta” Kendrick Lamar
2. “Somewhere In Paradise” Chance the Rapper
1. “The Night Josh Tillman Came to Our Apt.” Father John Misty


My 2015 In Music: Michael White

Oh man oh man…not again. Another year end list, but it’s gon’ be alright. You’re reading this thinking “that boy’s up to somethin’.” Here are my 10 favorite LP reckids from this year, along with my 10 favorite singles. 2015 was a fantastic year for music and I hope you enjoyed it just as much as I did!


Top 10 Albums

ToPimpAButterfly.010. Prom King – Skylar Spence
9. At.Long.Last.A$ap – A$AP Rocky
8. Charnel Passages – Cruciamentum
7. DS2 – Future
6. Free – Lil B x Chance The Rapper
5. Scar Sighted – Leviathan
4. Beach Music – Alex G
3. Behold.Total.Rejection – Revenge
2. Abyss – Chelsea Wolfe
1. To Pimp A Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar


Top 10 Singles

10. “Salt” Alex GToPimpAButterfly.0
9. “Children Of The Night” Tribulation
8. “Outcast Stomp” G.L.O.S.S.
7. “After The Fall” Chelsea Wolfe
6. “Where Ya At” Future
5. “Maria I’m Drunk” Travis Scott
4. “The Smoke Of Their Torment” Leviathan
3. “Nausea” Jeff Rosenstock
2. “Burdened” Bobby Raps & Corbin
1. “Alright” Kendrick Lamar

Top 5 Musical Moments for Michael

5. Seeing Chelsea Wolfe with my new friends at school.
4. Watching Whirr get obliterated online, weeks after seeing G.L.O.S.S. kill it live.
3. Finally seeing Envy play live.
2. Playing Devourment to unsuspecting ears on my college radio show.
1. This Is Fartcore 2015


My 2015 in Music: Spencer Vilicic

Top 10 Albums:

1500x1500sr10. Kintsugi – Death Cab For Cutie
9. Strangers to Ourselves – Modest Mouse
8. Blurryface – Twenty One Pilots
7. Cherry Bomb – Tyler, The Creator
6. Hyperview – Title Fight
5. To Pimp a Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar
4. Carrie & Lowell – Sufjan Stevens
3. A Head Full of Dreams – Coldplay
2. Kindred  – Passion Pit

  1. In The Cards – Robert DeLong

Honorable Mentions

If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late – Drake

Inanimate Objects – Atlas Genius

Top 10 Songs

10. “Know Yourself” Drakesurf
9. “Angels” Chance The Rapper
8. “All I Want” Passion Pit
7. “Hotline Bling” Drake
6. “Birds” Coldplay
5. “Ride” Twenty One Pilots
4.  “King Kunta” Kendrick Lamar
3. “Can’t Keep Checking My Phone” Unknown Mortal Orchestra
2. “Alright” Kendrick Lamar

    1. “Sunday Candy” Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment


Biggest Letdowns

Every Open Eye – CHVRCHES
Beneath The Skin – Of Monsters and Men
Surf – Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment



My 2015 In Music: Jared Davis


Top 25 Albums of 2015


25. Ratchet – Shamir
24. La Di Da Di – Battles
23. Thumbs – Busdriver
22. Foil Deer – Speedy Ortiz
21. Escape From Evil – Lower Dens
20. DS2 – Future
19. Multi-Love – Unknown Mortal Orchestra
18. Sour Soul – BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah
17. Compton: A Soundtrack – Dr. Dre
16. Choose Your Weapon – Hiatus Kaiyote
15. Panda Bear Meats The Grim Reaper – Panda Bear
14. Black Messiah – D’angelo and The Vanguard
13. White Men Are Black Men Too – Young FathersToPimpAButterfly.0
12. Rodeo – Travi$ Scott
11. No Now – Clarence Clarity
10. Viet Cong– Viet Cong
9. VEGA INTL. Night School – Neon Indian
8. B4.DA.$$. – Joey Bada$$
7. Garden of Delete – Oneohtrix Point Never
6. I Love You, Honeybear – Father John Misty
5. Summertime ’06 – Vince Staples
4. New Bermuda – Deafheaven
3. The Powers That B – Death Grips
2. In Color – Jamie xx
1. To Pimp a Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar

Top 25 Songs of 2015

25. “Antidote” – Travi$ Scott
24. “Bug” – Alex G
23. “Preben Goes To Acupulco” – Todd Terje
22. “Ultimate” – Denzel Curry
21. “The Yabba” – Battles
20. “SMUCKERS (ft. Kanye West & Lil’ Wayne) – Tyler, The Creator
19. “Senorita” – Vince Staples
18. “Vice City (ft. Black Hippy)” – Jay Rock
17. “Sticky Drama” – Oneohtrix Point Never
16. “Boys Latin” – Panda Bear
thundercat15. “Loud Places (ft. Romy)” – Jamie xx
14. “Slumlord” – Neon Indian
13. “Lay-by” – Tennyson
12. “The Blacker The Berry” – Kendrick Lamar
11. “Brought To The Water” – Deafheaven
10. “Christ Conscious” – Joey Bada$$
9. “The Powers That B” – Death Grips
8. “FloriDada” – Animal Collective
7. “Let It Happen” – Tame Impala
6. “Huarache Lights” – Hot Chip
5. “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times) (ft. Young Thug & Popcaan)” – Jamie xx
4. “Those Who Can’t, Cheat” – Clarence Clarity
3. “Wesley’s Theory (ft. George Clinton & Thundercat)” – Kendrick Lamar
2. “Holy Shit” – Father John Misty
1.“Them Changes (ft. Flying Lotus & Kamasi Washington)” -Thundercat

Biggest let-downs of 2015

1. Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven – Kid Cudi

2. Monastic Living EP – Parquet Courts

3. Strangers To Ourselves – Modest Mouse

4. Big Grams EP – Big Grams

Favorite Concerts of 2015

1. Death Grips @ Trees 7/19/15

2. Run The Jewels @ HOB 10/12/15

3. Neon Indian @ The Bomb Factory 10/1/15


My 2015 In Music: Jon Birondo

YO, it’s about that time, to bring forth…the best albums and songs of the year. I listened to a lot of music this year so I wanted to give credit where credit was due. 2015 was an awesome year for music and I hope next year will be just as good. Of course, I recommend all these albums/songs.

My Top 35 Albums


35. Coming Home – Leon Bridges
34. The Waterfall – My Morning Jacket
33. Frozen Niagara Falls – Prurient
32. Compton: A Soundtrack – Dr. Dre
31. If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late – Drake
30. Ratchet – Shamir
29. I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside – Earl Sweatshirt
28. DS2 – Future
27. La Di Da Di – Battles
26. We Cool? – Jeff Rosenstock
25. Gardens of Delete – Oneohtrix Point Never
24. Choose Your Weapon – Hiatus Kaiyote
23. EMOTION – Carly Rae Jepsen
22. New Bermuda – Deafheaven
21. The Epic – Kamasi Washington
20. VEGA INTL. Night School – Neon Indian
19. Multi-Love – Unknown Mortal Orchestra
18. Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit – Courtney Barnett
17. The Most Lamentable Tragedy – Titus Andronicus
16. Abyss – Chelsea Wolfe
15. Art Angels – Grimes
14. Salome – Marriages
13. Pageant Material – Kacey Musgraves
12. Black Messiah – D’Angelo & The Vanguard
11. Meliora – GHOST B.C
10. SremmLife – Rae Sremmurd
9. Carrie & Lowell – Sufjan Stevens
8. Sound & Color – Alabama Shakes
7. Currents – Tame Impala
6. The Powers That B – Death Grips
5. Algiers – Algiers
4. In Colour – Jamie xx
3. To Pimp A Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar
2. Goon -Tobias Jesso Jr.
1. I Love You, Honeybear – Father John Misty

My Top 35 Songsba4b63db

35.”Shaolin Monk Motherfunk” Hiatus Kaiyote
34. “Nausea” Jeff Rosenstock
33. “Loud Places (ft. Romy)” – Jamie xx
32. “Thought It Was A Drought” Future
31. “Multi-Love” Unknown Mortal Orchestra
30 “In Parallax” Algiers
29. “Fired Up” Titus Andronicus
28. “Coming Home” Leon Bridges
27. “Don’t Wanna Fight” Alabama Shakes
26. “Beyond Alive” Death Grips
25. “Really Love” D’Angelo & The Vanguard
24. “On The Regular” Shamir
23. “Legend” Drake
22. “The Glitzy Hive” Neon Indian
21. “FUCKING YOUNG/PERFECT” Tyler, The Creator
20. “From The Pinnacle To The Pit” GHOST B.C
19. “Again” Fetty Wap
18. “Fatal Flaw” Titus Andronicus
17. “Norf Norf” Vince Staples
16. How Could You Babe” Tobias Jesso Jr.
15. “Nothing Good Ever Happens At The Goddamn Thirsty Crow” Father John Misty
14. “Complexion (A Zulu Love) (feat. Rapsody)” Kendrick Lamar
13. “Run Away With Me” Carly Rae Jepsen
12. “FloriDaDa” Animal Collective
11. “Them Changes (feat. Flying Lotus and Kamasi Washington)” Thundercat
10. “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)” Jamie xx
9. “The Less I Know The Better” Tame Impala
8. “Brought To The Water” Deafheaven
7. “Chateau Lobby #4 (In C For Two Virgins)” Father John Misty
6. “On GP” Death Grips
5. “These Walls (feat. Bilal, Anna Wise, Thundercat)” Kendrick Lamar
4. “Hotline Bling” Drake
3. “Sorry” Justin Bieber
2. “Dimed Out” Titus Andronicus
1. “Can’t Keep Checking My Phone” Unknown Mortal Orchestra


Summertime ’06 –Vince Staples
Rodeo – Travi$ Scott
Poison Season – Destroyer
Unborn – Glasir
The Agent Intellect – Protomartyr
Purple – Baroness (just because it was released so late in the year)
Another One – Mac Demarco
Scar Sighted – Leviathan
Hyperview – Title Fight



Fetty Wap

Rae Sremmurd






Badlands – Halsey

Kindred – Passion Pit

Revival – Selena Gomez

another eternity – Purity Ring

Poopyface – Twenty One Pilots

Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven – Kid Cudi

 Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz – Miley Cyrus

Surf – Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment



The battle between Dr. DOOM and Iron Man is here!!! In a recent interview with Lets Link Radio, legendary Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah (who also sometimes refers to himself as Tony Stark) revealed that his long-awaited and rumored collab project with fellow wordsmith MF DOOM is finally happening. Over the past few years these legends of rap have dropped a handful of promising DOOMSTARKS singles together, but never resulting in a full-length release. The DOOMSTARKS album is set to drop in February; but for now, check out the single they released earlier this year through the Adult Swim Singles program.




Here it is: The Top 35 Albums of 2015. It’s been a great a busy year and we just want to say thank you for the support these past 2 1/2 years with this site. Enjoy the following list and hang tight for another great year of music awaits us!

*Note: All images belong to their respective owners. We do not own them and are used for entertainment/informative purposes*

35. Unbreakable Smile – Tori Kelly


Review By Dustin Bagayna

YouTube sensation Tori Kelly dropped her debut record in 2015, expertly honing her fusion of soul and pop and creating accessible yet enjoyable tracks that fans old and new can come to enjoy, even while under more control when compared to her free-spirited reign prior – a pop record with pomp and artistic control.

34. Fashion Week – Death Grips


Review By Jon Birondo

One of the noisiest and visceral bands alive teased their last record with an instrumental album that proved that they can still enthrall and deliver even without lead vocalist MC Ride’s rambunctious and gritty vocals.

33. Short Movie – Laura Marling


Review By Anna Kucher

“In Short Movie Marling is intense while being gentle; soft while being strong and confident. She is, as I like to put it, perfectly quirky. Regardless of what direction Marling takes there seems to always be a familiar eccentricity to her work, something that is surely present in Short Movie.”

32. another eternity – Purity Ring


Review By Dustin Bagayna

Stripping away the ghoulishness and darkness that made their debut Shrines such a hit, Purity Ring’s another eternity found the pop duo experimenting with hip hop and EDM flavored beats, further advancing their self-proclaimed brand of “future pop”.

31. Asunder, Sweet, and Other Distress – Godspeed You! Black Emperor


Review By Jordan Wold

Asunder is not a huge shift in form for Godspeed. It is, for the most part, what we’ve come to expect. This is not to say that the album feels like Godspeed is stagnant, not at all. No, the band is simply evolving naturally. There are several moments where Godspeed allows themselves to meander, which is highly refreshing. Certainly there are dramatic climaxes, but each one feels natural and earned.”

30. The Magic Whip – Blur


Review By Jordan Wold

“This is an album that simply works. Few of the tracks are complete standouts, and I likely won’t consider this a favorite at the end of the year, but it is plainly good. And that’s fine, isn’t it? So often we’re disappointed when not every album, song, book, movie, or television program is anything less than amazing, which is ridiculous. We should appreciate things that are good for just not sucking.”

29. What Went Down – Foals


Review By Jordan Wold

“Philiapkis has called What Went Down the band’s loudest and heaviest record and while this is true, it’s more than a little misleading; What Went Down is by far Foals’ most varied album. Sure, it’s the loudest, but it’s also the quietest. This variance usually works.”

28. Pageant Material – Kacey Musgraves


Review By Jon Birondo

“Pageant Material is best described as a musical self-portrait. Much like herself, Musgraves rejects the norms of Southern culture and cliche Country music tropes to craft something that is from the heart and flawlessly held high on music that beckons back to the days of Que Sera Sera; and bare but uplifting melodies, with the simplest of instrumentation. Musgraves proves to be one of the best songwriters of her time with her cleverly constructed and poignantly rendered phrases on everyday life. Yes, there’s less to latch onto musically this time around but every artist in their lifetime should have an album that is all substance over style, and is best enjoyed with repeated listens. For a country album, Pageant Material can stand strongly on its own with Musgraves’ masterful story telling power steering this album to well-deserved praise. Non-country fans look to Musgraves as an exception to the genre -which is fine- but its Musgraves’ ability to break expectations of herself that proves to be the most remarkable trait here.”

27.  Salome – Marriages


Review By Jon Birondo

“Despite being the band’s most musically diverse album, it’s also their least accessible one. The hazy atmosphere, distant vocals, and layers upon layers of sounds, instruments, and reverb will no doubt make this album a challenging yet intriguing listen. I praise this album for its cohesiveness as each track effortlessly segues into the next one, stylistically not literally, providing an experience that feels like one long dark journey charged with brilliance. Salome is gorgeous yet dark, distant yet honest, and all together foreboding.”

26. Strangers To Ourselves – Modest Mouse


Review By Will Butler

“But following the announcement of this record I re-assessed. Modest Mouse are a band founded on imbalance. Not in terms of creativity or cohesiveness but rather by the way they compose themselves – the nature of their existence. I’m guilty as anyone for trying to stitch together patterns and identify tenuous links across Modest Mouse’s discography but that comes with the territory of having become a cult band. Strangers to Ourselves, for all it’s obvious shortcomings and familiarity, is a testament to this imbalance. A new chapter for Modest Mouse, for better or worse I suppose.”

25. Sometimes I Sit And Think, Sometimes I Just Sit – Courtney Barnett


Review By Anna Kucher

“The moment in which I finally fell in love with Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit was on my way home to New York, driving through Ohio. I was going 80 miles an hour, staring out at the never ending road in front of me, and in that moment Barnett’s lyrics almost seeming to be propelling my car forward down the road. Although many other things, this album is without a doubt the epitome of good traveling music. Roll down the windows, turn up the stereo, and listen as many times as it takes for you to fall in love with Courtney Barnett. For me, this love came in the realization that the brilliance of her work is its ability to be bold and simple at the same time. She isn’t trying to create something that is bold because of its intricacy or pushing of edges, and in doing so she finds her own sense of originality.”

24. The Most Lamentable Tragedy – Titus Andronicus

from the album

Review By Jon Birondo

“I will repeat: THIS ALBUM IS A LOT TO TAKE IN. It’s wordy, massive, and requires patience, time, and careful listening. For sure this  an album that will be analyzed and looked into for years to come. This may be the band’s wordiest and least specific album, but it is also their most universal, a sense of broadness that not many bands have fully reached yet. It’s amazing that it’s only taken them four albums to reach this point; and that, for any band, is an achievement in its own. Despite some clarity or lack of a straightforward message, Titus Anndronicus have given us an album that should be read as a text, as a manifesto, rather than listened. And yet, here we are at 2015 with a monstrous album that’s basically a long metaphorical  speech that begs the question: who’s more insane? To this day, we don’t know. But discussion – talking about it amongst each other, debating what each song is about, pondering the lyrics – will be sure to clarify any doubts that The Most Lamentable Tragedy has put forward.”

23. VEGA INTL. Night School – Neon Indian

from the album

Review By Jon Birondo

“Armed with an appreciation for funk, disco, and the psychedelic wonders of LSD drenched rain forest ambiance, the Denton pop group have crafted an album that makes you dance, think, and wonder how these sounds are all on one album. Not only have they made a solid record, one of the best for 2015, but they’ve also managed to take their music in a new, interesting and infectious direction. A direction that continues to show the growing strengths in this young and ever rising band. Out with the old, and in with the new!”

22.E•MO•TION – Carly Rae Jepsen

from the album

Review By Jon Birondo

“It’s unfair to criticize a pop album for being shallow, since the point of pop music is to write catchy songs that can connect with the listener while reaching a broad audience. But a lot of these smart and well-arranged tracks fall victim to a lack of personality with the lyrics. Jepsen’s songs here still follow the same mistake that she made on her second debut: lack of personality. I’ll give this album credit for making some of the best pop songs I’ve heard this year, and proving that Jepsen can write smart and intellectual pop songs brimming with nostalgia and maturity. However, Jepsen doesn’t let herself bleed through these tracks; an unshakable vagueness runs underneath each song as you can tell she knows and understands the meaning behind each song, but can’t personally identify with it. Although Jepsen hasn’t fully realized her vision, the album isn’t a total wreck. There are strong pop dynamics, infectious hooks, and interesting production – enough to make this album incredibly enjoyable. It’s hard to see if Jepsen will have any staying power as a pop star, but this album proves that she’s one of the brightest stars out there, doing something useful with a genre so wrought with shitty flubs.”

21. Beach Music – Alex G

from the album

Review By Michael White

“Behold, the cutest album of 2015; I mean this in the most Zooey Deschanel way possible. Alex G has always made odd DIY bedroom-recorded jams for the angst-ridden, but he’s nearly perfected the art of the quirk on his Domino debut, Beach Music. The Philadelphian wonderboy will appease fans and entrance newcomers with ease on his most cohesive project yet. Shortcomings don’t stop Beach Music being an essential for any indie rock fan this year. Alex G has come and he’s taking the indiesphere by storm, whether you like it or not.”


20. Compton: A Soundtrack – Dr. Dre


Review By Jon Birondo

“Although we weren’t given Detox, one of the most anticipated albums of ALL TIME, there isn’t really much to complain about; Compton is an album that showcases Dre’s talents, impressively bills an all-star guest list, and celebrates a city that formed a movement, a wave of artists, and a voice. Compton is a dangerous place, but it has also produced some of the best messages that have, and will, endure the tests of time. Hip-hop fan or not, this is an album that has something we can all learn from, and taking that into consideration is the first step to what Dre has been striving for. Compton is gritty, theatrical, fresh, NEW, relevant, unique, and above all, powerful. I’ll shut up now…just listen.

19. How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful – Florence & The Machine


Review By Jordan Wold

“In April 2012, Florence and the Machine released their second live album as a part of the MTV Unplugged series. It was a good album: emotionally sound, more than technically competent, full of heart, etc. Still, it was understandable when, following the album’s release, Florence and the Machine lead singer Florence Welch announced that she’d be taking a break. Had the band released a record a year or so after MTV Unplugged, they’d have run the risk of sounding exhausted or bored. Thankfully, this hiatus was used wisely. Florence and the Machine’s newest album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, is worth the wait we endured. Welch and company are back with a set of songs that work not only as fun, easy to listen to indie pop, but as powerful and often profound cinematic music. Instead of writing a longer closing paragraph here, I’ll just say one thing. How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful is a powerful, kickass album and you will like it.”

18. Algiers – Algiers

from the album

Review By Jon Birondo

Algiers’ music is one of 2015’s postmodern gems – a rare amalgamation of influences twisted and manipulated into a new form of music, never been done before. Fusing gothic rock, post-punk, darkwave, dance music, gospel, soul, and noise rock Algiers craft one of the most life-affirming records of the year, with a message delivered so powerfully with confidence, bravado, and power. Algiers is an industrial and noisy nightmare that is filled with more soul than you think, and will completely take you by surprise in the best way.

17. Goon – Tobias Jesso Jr.


Review By Jon Birondo

It’s easy to categorize Jesso’s music and lyricism as wimpy, cheesy, and “too emotional”, and it falls victim to being so vulnerable. But look past the weaknesses, and you’ll find one of the most confident musicians processing the thoughts we all hold so dearly close to us, the thoughts that we demand answers from. Who will I end up with? Where will I end up? Why isn’t life working out for me? Why won’t she love me back? These are the questions that we ask ourselves (sans the latter, that’s for guys) on a daily basis in the midst of growing up. And while we may not know the answers as of now, it doesn’t hurt to talk about it. So sit back, and listen to Tobias Jesso Jr.; he may not have the answers, but he has the guts to confront the adversity and power through the pain. After all, we’re only human. What we have here is an incredibly personal, intimate, and accessible album. But above all, relatable. As Jesso says in “Tell The Truth”:  “Don’t hesitate to tell me straight/Oh, I want you to”. No gimmicks, no metaphors, and no hangups. Goon may not be a revelation – and it may not break any musical boundaries – but it’s surprisingly human to its core. An album that can speak to us so efficiently and effectively is something special to behold.”

16. What For? –Toro Y Moi


Review By Jordan Wold

“One could then try to call Toro Y Moi derivative and unoriginal, but this would miss the entire point of what Toro Y Moi is about. His music is calm, relaxed; it makes the listener chill out. What For?, the artist’s newest album, is no different. It’s a fun and funky collection of songs that may not be flawless, but are what they strive to be. I sincerely hope What For? gains the popularity it deserves, but if it doesn’t, there’s no indication that Chaz Bundick will be all too upset. All of Toro Y Moi, but especially this album, assert that Bundick is solely looking to grow as an artist, to contribute more and more. Sure, What For? isn’t revolutionary for the state of music, but for Toro Y Moi, it’s definitely evolutionary.”

15. Meliora – GHOST


Review By Jon Birondo

“Although the question everyone is asking is: what is Ghost trying to be? A more gentrified King Diamond? A Blue Oyster Cult tribute band? Provide a commercial presence in metal today? Either of these question, and then some, could be the right answer, and who knows? Perhaps Ghost has another agenda on their minds. For now, Ghost aren’t a commanding force in metal music. They are however a noteworthy group, and with Meliora, it seems that they’re taking their music and artistic perspectives in the right direction. Agenda or not, that’s incredible for a band these days. Meliora is a fun, fresh, devilish, poetic, and enjoyable listen that everyone should give a try. It feels like they have fully realized who they are; and for a band like Ghost, self discovery is key to delivering great record after great record.”

14. Art Angels – Grimes

from the album

Review By Jon Birondo

“Amidst the WIDE array of styles, sounds, and songs on Art Angels, Grimes’ quirky and idiosyncratic persona pulls everything together, making her the center of it all as the record overflows with personality at almost every turn. It’s a commanding and fully realized approach, and the result is a sharp, sleek, and polished pop record – one that proves to be a trippy oddball of an experience.”

13. The Waterfall – My Morning Jacket


Review By Jordan Wold

“There are few things more frustrating in the world of music consumption than an album that’s about nothing; an album that’s just a series of slapped-together, individually produced songs. I don’t demand the records I hear to tell a continuing, coherent story by any means, but it’s important that I get the definite sense that the band I’m listening to has something to say. With The Waterfall, the seventh studio album by My Morning Jacket, there is never an inkling of doubt that frontman Jim James and company feel anything less than passionately that they needed to produce this collection of songs. The Waterfall is not only an enjoyable listen, but it’s seriously important, and reflective on the nature of relationships but never anything less than optimistic.”

12. Carrie & Lowell – Sufjan Stevens

from the album

Review By Anna Kucher

“The experience of listening to Carrie & Lowell is like the telling of a well kept secret; something to hold closely in silence, to keep between you and the artist, to reflect upon, and to connect to your own personal stories of loss and love. As Sufjan himself stated, this album is not one of his many art projects or explorations into sound, this album is his life. It has been one step in his personal process of bereavement. So when you get a chance, make some tea, reserve a Sunday morning, and sit down to listen Carrie & Lowell by yourself. Let the multitude of emotions present remind you of your own past and present experiences with loss and love. This album is a testament to the human experience, the circle of life, and learning to continue on in the face of death. It is a love note to those who have left us, and a reminder to hold those who are still here closer than ever.”

11. Behold.Total. Rejection – Revenge

Courtesy of Metal Archives

Review By Michael White

“The fury of Revenge is relentless, but since this album is only 10 tracks long, clocking in at about 40 minutes, the assault is well-paced. It is impossible to be bored by the calculated chaos on Behold.Total.Rejection. The production, although vicious, is slightly bothersome as I’d like to be as assaulted by the string section as I am by the drums and vocals. The echoing growls also don’t echo to the beat of the song, which sounds like it was done on purpose, but it throws off the flow of the songs. The guitar solos happen at the perfect time in each song, lasting just long enough for the stereotypical headbangers in everyone to frantically wave their fingers in the air before quickly returning to thrashing maniacally around the room.

This album is not fun. It’s not enjoyable. It’s disgusting and inhumane. It’s an amazing experience. Behold, the greatest challenge in Pretty Neat Grooves history.”

10. Currents – Tame Imapla

from the album

Review By Jon Birondo

Currents isn’t a bad album, it’s actually a great one. The production is some of Parker’s best work; the drums are crisp, the bass is funky, the synths shine with power, and the melodies are infectious as hell. I don’t mind the more pop direction because its interesting to see Tame Impala change things up a bit. But what’s missing is variety, vocal depth, and spontaneity. Currents is clearly a transitional album, but it’s also a personal one. A statement saying that it’s easy to perfect things in the studio, but nicer to know that outside of the studio, progress works as perfection. Things are changing for Parker, and Tame Impala along with him are changing too.”

9. SremmLife – Rae Sremmurd

from the album

Review By Jon Birondo

“Almost every single track on this debut, in their own way, is pure unadulterated enjoyment. From near-meme ubiquity (“This Could Be Us”) to cultural references (“Up Like Trump”) to memorable and catchy hooks (“Throw Sum Mo”, “No Type”, “Unlock The Swag”), SremmLife is an exercise in having a good time. No intellectual experience needed, leave your snobby preferences at the door; just turn up and have fun. There’s absolutely nothing admirable about the songwriting, it’s amateurish and ignorant at best, but I dare you to listen to this record and not tell me you had a great time. Because for once in my life, there’s a record that can only be described as catchy, and therefore it’s good.”

8. B4.DA.$$– Joey Bada$$


Review By Michael White

“Let’s just get this out of the way: this is good. This is really good. This is rapper Joey Bada$$’s most consistent release to date, and represents the young spitter’s ability to grow exponentially skill-wise in the future. All previous mixtapes and singles aside, Joey Bada$$ drops one of the most impressive rap debuts of the nascent year. This is solid, consistent and fiery hip-hop. And you know what’s crazy? This is just the debut; this is just the beginning.”

7. Black Messiah – D’Angelo & The Vanguard


Review By Jon Birondo (Although released in 2014, it was dropped right after The Best Albums of 2014 list was published, therefore making it a 2015 release)

Black Messiah is a spectacular record and one hell of a comeback. Timing is everything, and if D’Angelo took a decade to put out this record, in its full, collective majesty, then I won’t be dissapointed in another decade or so for the follow up. I won’t enjoy the wait, but I entrust that D’Angelo knows what he’s doing. For my generation, Black Messiah will allow my age demographic to become exposed an R&B innovator and legend. For those who have been dutifully listening, it will be the return of the “R&B Jesus”. The return of THE Black Messiah.”

6. Sound & Color – Alabama Shakes

from the album

Review By Jordan Wold

“Hold On” in all of its rustic shimmer and blues rock glory, is nothing innovative or new. It was Alabama Shakes’ best song for it hit the right marks in terms of blues rock- and damn did it work. Yet, this stagnant approach kept Alabama Shakes’ debut Boys & Girls disappointingly, for lack of a better word, basic. Enter Sound & Color, an album that changed everything we had come to know about the band. Where Boys & Girls was straightforward and average, Sound & Colour is kaleidoscopic and a big improvement on all fronts. From the crisp production, complex and sharp guitar leads, infectious melodies, and improved songwriting Alabama Shakes made the biggest improvement in their music, and by any band, this year by crafting a record we never thought could ever come from this band. But it did, and in 2015 it mattered much more than everyone thought.

5. The Powers That B – Death Grips

from the album

Review By Shawn Reidy

Opposites, in all of its differences and contradictions, is at its core complementary. But there’s more to that than you think. To say that Death Grips supposedly final double LP The Powers That B complement each other is a minimal description at best. Jenny Death rough, abrasive, and rock-influenced perfectly complements the glitchy and electronic N*ggas On The Moon in the best possible way by showcasing the spectrum of what Death Grips are capable of. What results is a broad, expansive, and fully realized double album that fulfilled more wishes for Death Grips fans than you can count and was much more than just “another Death Grips record”. Again, there’s more to The Powers That B, than you think – a comprehensive, bold, and absolutely insane record that only MC Ride, Zach Hill, and Flatlander can accomplish. Stay noided 2015, there’s more to come.

4. Abyss – Chelsea Wolfe

from the album

Review By Michael White

“When I first started Abyss, the newest output from Californian folk innovator Chelsea Wolfe, I thought it was going to be a power electronics project. “Carrion Flowers” was the hardest opening kick in the pants I’ve ever gotten listening to folk/singer-songwriter/whatever. Possibly what made it hit so hard was the fact that this is my first time listening to Chelsea Wolfe. I never knew that anything folky could ever be this heavy and tortured. Although Abyss is a kick in the pants to the fans of the Bob Dylan-side of folk, Chelsea Wolfe delivers a kick in the pants that is refreshing. The risks taken with the instrumentation yield high reward, although some may be spooked out by some of the 80s horror movie soundtrack-esque noises. This is a refreshing and dark record that anyone who dares venture into the Abyss should listen to.”

3. In Colour – Jamie xx

from the album

Review By Jon Birondo

“At this point it’s evident how wonderfully strange this album is as it shows different colors, textures, vibes, emotions, and personalities all under an hour. From trip hop to UK garage to R&B to electronica to ballads to on-the-floor bangers, In Colour has it all. The album may seem unapproachable and, at times it can seem a bit high brow, but In Colour succeeds in what it spends a majority of its time doing: converging different tastes. In the deep recesses of the abysmal atmosphere on these tracks, Jamie xx seeks shelter in the loud spaces, filling the gaps with samples, synths, and reverb formulating an album that truly shines on a pedestal six years in the making. There are moments of strength, but also moments of vulnerability; moments of excitement, and moments of sadness; moments of opportunity, and moments of regret. Imagine reevaluating your entire life in the middle of a rave: being in the moment physically, but mentally up in the air.

Doubling as a party album, In Colour focuses on what happens afterwards: when the ringing is still in your ears, when the mind is coming down from the high, when the chills come toward your arms, and when your mind is reminiscing on every moment with that “special someone you met”. The triumphant closer “Girl” can attest to this: “I want your love”; after forty-five minutes the message still echoes and throbs. When the feeling hits, get ready – this is a record that latches on, and never lets go.”

2. I Love You, Honeybear – Father John Misty

from the album

Review By Jon Birondo

“I Love You, Honeybear is a beautiful piece of work, artfully blending Tillman’s life with his alter ego, the enigmatic Father John Misty. Everything in the album is beautifully developed; from the lyrics, the structures, the concept, and the instrumentation – Tillman’s full life is on display and for the whole world to see. The album’s idiosyncrasies are well thought out, giving us a compelling and interesting personality to listen to. Tillman preaches and preaches: Love people. Be open. Get out there. Live life. Without it, Tillman wouldn’t have delivered the following line, a line that made this whole album possible: “Seen you around. What’s your name?” – which were the first words he spoke to his wife. When looking at where they are now, taking the risk and jumping in with two feet doesn’t sound too stupid to begin with. [If anything, I Love You, Honeybear is a comprehensive yet brutally honest view of love told in a grand and funny way; love in the end is ugly, beautiful, poignant, and important – an “institution based on human frailty.]”


Last year, we crowned Piñata the best album of 2014. Now the torch must be passed…
















Here it is…


















Pretty Neat Grooves’ 2015 Album Of The Year























1. To Pimp A Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar


Review By Michael White

This shouldn’t be any surprise; To Pimp A Butterfly is the defining album of 2015 if we’re being real here. No amount of words or thought can encapsulate the political, racial, personal, and thematic depths that this album put forward. Kendrick Lamar pushes himself to the very limits and gave 2015 a record that will stand the tests of time and just may be the defining hip-hop concept record of the 2010s. Amidst the racial tensions in the U.S, To Pimp A Butterfly was a pure and guiding light – an album that told it like it is without any gimmicks or filters; TPAB is Kendrick Lamar at hist most confident, personal, heartfelt, and inquisitive.

To Pimp A Butterfly is a combination of a love story, a racially charged biography and drama. The love story comes through when Lamar describes his love for his craft, as well as his troubled relationship with “Lucy,” a character that appears throughout this album that represents the evil in the world (Lucy = Lucifer.) Kendrick also goes IN on political issues, calling out bigots, especially politicians on the song “Hood Politics.” He compares Democrats and Republicans to Crips and Bloods, which is a line that, I assure you, will be often quoted on Twitter for the next few months. He ties in the issue of race, saying politicians “give us guns and drugs, call us thugs,” reminding everyone of one of the sources of struggle for black people in America. This paragraph isn’t even scratching the surface of all the topics he covers, not to mention the depth to which he explores these topics.”

To Pimp A Butterfly is dense, dark, complex, and poetic – a poem bookends multiple track here and once the album is over you finally hear the entire bulk of prose. Lamar’s social commentary on the political, racial, and social affairs of this country speak volumes on a maximal level; from the extremely angry and political “The Blacker The Berry” to the erotic and silky smooth “These Walls” Lamar ensures that he packs an auteur’s perspective into this comprehensive record. Above all, To Pimp A Butterfly is a work of art – an expression of response to the world. It captures the fury, the emotional, the ethereal, and the mundane; the injustice, the prejudice, the hostility, the tension, and the passion that has surrounded Lamar and has been so ubiquitous in America in 2015. To Pimp A Butterfly not only captures the essence of 2015, it defines it. To Pimp A Butterfly might as well be dubbed a mirror – a reflection of what some Americans, and Lamar, are going through and witnessing. Just like the album cover, it’s a bleak and chaotic depiction – and it was Lamar’s ambition, passion, and skillful rhymes that put everything we hold dear into perspective and usher in a chance to change. To Pimp A Butterfly? More like The Ugly Truth; when art imitates life, that’s when art becomes transcendent, enigmatic, and profound; and damn does it resonate.



Head Editor’s Note:

That’s a wrap! Again, thanks for another great year loyal PNG readers! It’s been a wild 2 1/2 years since starting this blog turned website with Michael and I can’t thank you all enough for supporting us through Facebook shares, comments, likes ,retweets, views, etc. We merely started this because of the thoughts and feelings that music had been cooking up inside of use and since then it’s amazing and surreal to see how big this project has grown. Alas, we wouldn’t be here without Jimmy Merkel who so generously is paying for our domain; to Spencer Vilicic for transforming our website with a new logo and PNG merch; as well as our ever-growing staff of writers, photographers, and music lovers.

However, running a website isn’t cheap; I wouldn’t ask this if I didn’t need to but if you could, a donation would help us out a lot with domain and festival costs. $1 or $1000, anything helps; donate some money or pick up some fresh merch including shirts, stickers, phone cases, and much more!  So if you have the kindness in your heart to donate even a little bit of cash, it’d make a big difference and would help keep us online. No donation is too small. Help keep the love alive!

Donate Here!

If a donation just isn’t enough, try looking at apparel with the Pretty Neat Grooves logo, designed by writer/photographer/artist Spencer Vilicic.


It’s been a great year, and 2016 will only offer better things to come! Below is the staff list, and in bold and highlighted are the new members of the Pretty Neat Grooves team; we’ll return in January 2016 keeping you informed with the best music out there!


Jon Birondo

Co-Founder/Head Editor/Writer/Photographer

    • Co-Founders/Head Writers (We Founded and Do Most of the Work)
      Jon Birondo (@jonman410)
      Michael White
  • CFO (He pays for the domain)
    Jimmy Merkel
    Senior Editors (We proofread everything before it gets published)
    Jon Birondo
    Michael White
  • EDM Correspondent (reads/proofreads electronic reviews)
    Drew Curran
    Creative Director (I recruit photographers, artists, etc.)
    Jon Birondo
  • Photographers/Media (Taking Pictures, Making Videos, and Making Art)
    Jon Birondo
    Michael Bonfante
    James Butterfield
    Joseph Nguyen
    Spencer Vilicic
  • ADVERTISING (Spreading The Word)
    Jon Birondo
    Jimmy Merkel
    Michael White
  • CONTRIBUTING WRITERS (We Help Write For The Site)
    Henry Ainsworth
    Chris Ayres
    Dustin Bagayna
    Jonathan Beltran
    Enrique Berrios
    Bruno Brenes
    Will Butler
    Jared Davis
    Nick Eastep
    Madeline Flores
    Martin Flores
    Noah Frey
    Alex Hernandez
    Corey Herndon
    Alistair Keggen
    Anna Kucher
    Shawn Reidy
    Alec Shea
    Matt Spadoni
    Spencer Vilicic
    Jordan Wold


Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year from the Pretty Neat Grooves Staff 2014-2015!



2015, another great year for music. Here are the tracks we believe defined 2015 as a whole, in no particular order.

*At the bottom of the list you will find a Spotify playlist of the songs. For those songs that aren’t on Spotify, simply click the picture. Enjoy!*

“Can’t Feel My Face” The Weeknd

from the album

from the album “Beauty Behind The Madness”

 “Chlorine & Wine” Baroness

from the album

from the album “Purple”

“Legend” Drake

from the album

from the album “If You’re Reading this It’s Too Late”

“In Parallax” Algiers

from the album

from the album “Algiers”

  “FUCKING YOUNG/PERFECT” Tyler, The Creator

from the album

from the album “Cherry Bomb”

“Kill V. Maim” Grimes

from the album

from the album “Art Angels”

  “Again” Fetty Wap

from the album

from the album “Fetty Wap”

“Fourth Of July” Sufjan Stevens

from the album

from the album “Carrie & Lowell”

“Norf Norf” Vince Staples

from the album

from the album “Summertime ’06”

  “Hollywood”” Tobias Jesso Jr.

packshot2from the album “Goon”

“Nothing Good Ever Happens At The Goddamn Thirsty Crow” Father John Misty

from the album

from the album “I Love You, Honeybear”

  “FloriDaDa” Animal Collective


from the single “FloriDaDa” and the upcoming album “Painting With…”

“Run Away With Me” Carly Rae Jepsen

from the album

from the album “EMOTION”

  “Change Of Guard” Kamasi Washington

from the album

from the album “The Epic”

“Them Changes (feat. Flying Lotus and Kamasi Washington)” Thundercat

from the album

from the album “The Beyond/Where Giants Roam”

  “This Could Be Us” Rae Sremmurd

from the album

from the album “Sremmlife

  “Let It Happen” Tame Impala

from the album

from the album “Currents”

  “Loud Places [feat. Romy]” Jamie xx

from the album

from the album “In Colour”

  “Annie” Neon Indian

from the album

from the album “Vega Intl. Night School”

  “On GP” Death Grips

from the album

from the album “The Powers That B”

  “Dream Lover” Destroyer

from the album

from the album “Poison Season”

  “Hotline Bling” Drake

“Sorry” Justin Bieber

from the album

from the album “Purpose”

“Dimed Out” Titus Andronicus

from the album

from the album “The Most Lamentable Tragedy”

“Can’t Keep Checking My Phone” Unknown Mortal Orchestra


from the album

from the album “Multi-Love”

“Jumpman” Drake & Future

from the album “What A Time To Be Alive”

“I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)” Jamie xx ft. Young Thug, Popcaan

from the album

from the album “In Colour”

“Best Friend” Young Thug

from the mixtape

from the mixtape “Slime Season”

“Flexin Maury Povich” Lil B

from the upcoming mixtape

Single from the upcoming mixtape “Thugged Out Pissed Off”

“Don’t Wanna Fight” Alabama Shakes

from the album

from the album “Sound & Color”

“Brought To The Water” Deafheaven

from the album

from the album “New Bermuda”

“Check” Young Thug

from the album

from the album “The Barter 6”

“Blue Moonlight” Envy

from the album

from the album “Atheist’s Cornea”

“Opposite Lanes” Lil Ugly Mane


from the album “Oblivion Access”

“To Ü” Jack Ü ft. AlunaGeorge

from the self-titled album

from Skrillex and Diplo present Jack Ü

“Sorry Not Sorry” Bryson Tiller

from the album

from the album “TRAPSOUL”

“Hoover” Yung Lean


from the single “Hoover”

“Canal St.” A$AP Rocky ft. Bones

from the album

from the album “At.Long.Last.ASAP

“Baby Blue” Action Bronson ft. Chance The Rapper

from the album

from the album “Mr. Wonderful”

“Do You Wanna Get High?” Weezer


“Salt” Alex G

from the album

from the album “Beach Music”

“Strange Gateways Beckon” Tribulation


from “The Children of the Night”

“Outcast Stomp” G.L.O.S.S.

from their 2015 demo.

from their 2015 demo.

“After The Fall” Chelsea Wolfe

from the album

from the album “Abyss”

“Where Ya At” Future

from the album

from the album “DS2”

“Maria I’m Drunk” Travis Scott

from the album

from the album “Rodeo”

“The Smoke Of Their Torment” Leviathan

from the album

from the album “Scar Sighted”

“Nausea” Jeff Rosenstock

from the album

from the album “We Cool”

“Burdened” Bobby Raps & Corbin

from the EP

from the “Couch Potato” EP

“Alright” Kendrick Lamar

from the album

from the album “To Pimp A Butterfly”