There’s a saying in the music industry that critics create the ‘hype’ but it’s the fans that create the ‘buzz’ – and a slow and steady buzz is what former indie artists like The Weeknd and Alabama Shakes revere the most. Hello! has rounded up the 10 buzziest albums of 2015, straight from the most steadfast and loyal music fans.
Adele - 25
She had us at “ Hello…” and Adele may be single-handedly saving the music industry. 25 holds the record for bestselling album of 2015 (having only been released on November 20th!) and is the first album to sell a million copies in two different weeks. Like Hannah from GIRLS, Adele is the voice of a generation. Pass the tissues?
Alabama Shakes - Sound and Color
If Adele is the quintessential voice, than Brittany Howard — lead singer of Alabama Shakes — is the loudspeaker. Affectionately known by their discerning fan base as ‘The Shakes,’ the group returned with a genre-agnostic album nominated for four GRAMMY awards, flawlessly executed with the soulful ferocity of Brittany’s raspy bellow.
Weeknd - Beauty Behind the Madness
An SNL performance stint, a record-breaking slew of back-to-back #1 singles, a Rolling Stone cover, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and seven GRAMMY nominations—2015 has unequivocally been a good year for The Weeknd. Beauty Behind the Madness was the most streamed album of 2015, and rightfully takes its place in the history books.
Grimes - Art Angels
Considered by many a critic to be the best release of the year, Grimes puts out her most accessible dance-pop album yet with Art Angels. Claire Boucher, the Canadian behind the Grimes persona, is a self-produced DIY experimental supernova who learned both guitar and violin for this album.
Bieber - Purpose
If you weren’t a staunch Belieber already, Purpose just may convert you! The album is an unquestionable hit factory, showing Justin Bieber in a more mature, accountable light. He bears his soul and cashmere vocals on tracks like “Purpose” and “Love Yourself” plus dance-ready hit “What Do You Mean” and the GRAMMY-nominated “Where Are You Now,” which has an authentic old-school house music feel.
Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly
With both commercial and critical success, Kendrick Lamar’s opus To Pimp a Butterfly is the jewel in 2015’s crown. Kendrick’s album, a hip-hop tour de force, is up for a staggering eleven GRAMMY awards, just shy of Michael Jackson’s record 12. The album Butterfly begs to be listened to as a complete concept album, so no track skipping!
Lana Del Rey - Honeymoon
Lana Del Rey returned with her familiar recipe of dreamy maudlin orchestrations on Honeymoon. While it can feel at times dark, haunting and morose, her voice is like a lovely, lush harpsichord that provides levity throughout. Standout tracks include “Art Deco,” “Terrence Loves You,” and the Nina Simone remake “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.”
Back with a sexually charged sophomore album, Miguel’s Wildheart has received two GRAMMY nominations. Intricately produced and utterly original in scope, the compilation features gorgeous songs like “Leaves” and “Coffee,” high-register funk in “NWA” and the Latin-flavoured highly danceable track “Waves.” Talk about having the multiple plays factor!
Florence and the Machine - How Big How Blue How Beautiful
That unmistakable voice and celestial, warrior-like sound makes Florence and the Machine's third album, How Big How Blue How Beautiful, one of the year's most striking. Garnering four GRAMMY nominations, every song on this stunning album will be music to your ears, whether you’re a long-time fan or newly initiated.
Coldplay - Head Full of Dreams
While critics are labelling Coldplay’s late-to-the-gate December offering with monikers like ‘predictable’ and ‘boring,’ fans couldn’t be happier — especially since this may be the band's last album. Happy, clappy danceable tracks like “Head Full of Dreams” and “Adventure of One” are new fan faves, while “Up & Up” is sure to give all the stadium feels come Super Bowl halftime.