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Friday, January 1, 2016

As I was writing 2014's year end review I talked about the lackluster sales drought everyone was experiencing, that is, until America's Sweetheart Taylor Swift stopped the RIAA from committing musical suicide. I mean, what's the point of having an association to pass out certifications if no album has been worthy of certifying? Hence the changing of the rules and counting streams and records shipped versus just records sold which I said was a cop out and my opinion still stands. Artists are providing us with sub par albums which garner less than remarkable sales and yet they're earning certifications due to loopholes and not merit. Clearly it was deemed possible when SLAYlord Swift accomplished it in just one week. And even MORE so when ADELESUS came in and took over thee entire WORLD. Like, THE WORLD. But sure. Go ahead. Celebrate the mediocre...which is what the bulk of the releases this year were at best. 2013, sales aside, it was sooo hard for me to narrow it down to just a top 5 that I had to throw in Honorable Mentions. This year, much like 2014, I struggled with even choosing a top 5...I'm looking for the good albums like
Without a doubt, topping my list is Adele with "25" [read: review; purchase: iTunes]. I have been listening to that album at home, in the car, and at work ad nauseam. My poor co-workers. I sing along too, loud and proud, like I'm home alone in the shower. Oh well. Just know that "25" has to be the best album I have heard in a long time. I'm expecting her to take home the Grammy for Best Album in the Universe. What were we doing before The Grand High Supreme Empress of Soul returned??? I'm literally trying to think of what or whom I was listening to. I even welcome the silent despair that I experience each and every time the tracks dredge up the sweetest pain that I've ever known. That's that type of masochistic 'Twilight' love. 
And yet I can't stop, make that WON'T STOP, listening to this album. No matter how much it hurts. My fave tracks have to be "All I Ask", "Remedy", "Hello", "When We Were Young", "Love In The Dark", and "Million Years Ago". Plus every other track on the album. *wails*
I definitely fell in love with Skye Townsend's EP "Rocking Chairs" [read: review; purchase: iTunes] from the very first listen. Let's face it, she's gorgeous, hilarious, down to earth, and her voice is AMAZING! I mean, what else can you ask for in an artist? She has the makings of a star. You read it here first. This EP may only be 5 tracks but they're so amazing I just listen to them on a loop and pretend like it's longer than it is. My fave songs are "Always""Red Wine", and "Are You Sure"SKYE PLEASE MAKE A FULL ALBUM!!! I'm over here so pressed.
It took me a minute to get into Dawn Richard's album but it wasn't for naught and not to say that it isn't absolutely GREAT because it is. It just started out so slow but I am so glad that I finally sought it out and listened after having reviewed it [review; purchase: iTunes]. "Blackheart" is definitely at the top of my albums list for 2015. Her intro rivaled that of Ariana Grande's from "My Everything" and that is saying A LOT because Queen Ari topped my top albums list two years in a row! Her videos are always FIRE and she be dancing her ass off!
My fave tracks are "Phoenix"Blow"Noir", and "The Deep". I've loved Dawn since her Danity Kane days so she better work! I wish her all the best in her solo career. Blessings, beloved. I don't think this album got all of the pomp and circumstance that it deserved and still does. It definitely deserved a Grammy nod but c'est la vie.
There can be no mention of the greatest albums of 2015 without speaking on Ms. Jackson If You're Nasty aka Janet. "Unbreakable" [read: review; purchase: iTunes] came for everybody this year. She said "Y'all think these young broads got something on Ms. Jackson? Let me nip this shit in the bud right now." And then she went on a full fledged tour and danced her ass off. She hit us with the 
I'm always here for Janet. She whispers in the way that Jhene Aiko wishes that she could. No shade, just facts (no printer). I love "BURNITUP", "Shoulda Known Better", "No Sleeep", and "Unbreakable". Don't think because she married a billionaire and acts here and there that she's lost her touch. Ms. Jackson is an icon and if you disagree
Kendrick Lamar has me on the fence. His album? It was everything. Yet, his consciousness makes me want to believe that he is woke but then he says stupid shit like "Black on Black crime" and I want to smack the shit out of him and never listen to his music again. It pisses me off and I'm just like 
But I won't take his accomplishments away from him. He says that he's gonna go out and pick up all the Grammys for the Black hip hop community? Well have at it. I'm sure "To Pimp A Butterfly" [read: review; purchase: iTunes] will most certainly win at least one. It'll save us the tragedy of Macklemore and company winning and being forced to do this
I, of course, have to round out my top albums list with a select few honorable mentions. In no particular order: Monica's "Code Red" [purchase: iTunes], Erykah Badu's "But You Caint Use My Phone" [read: review; purchase: iTunes],  Justin Bieber's "Purpose" [purchase: iTunes], Dr. Dre's "Compton" [purchase: iTunes], and, UNEQUIVOCALLY, Mariah Carey's "#1s To Infinity" [read: review; purchase: iTunes]. I highly doubt I left anything off. This list, in and of itself, was already a stretch. However, everything on this list is definitely worth a listen and if you love them, by all means purchase them! ESPECIALLY my, female dominated, top 5! The men took over last year and I was shocked. Now I'm like "WHO RUN THE WORLD?!?"
What were your fave albums of the year that didn't make my list?

Natasha Marie

Natasha Marie
Written by Natasha Marie

Don't misplace your hate, help your fave. Tweet shade-free opinions to @iamnatashamarie.