The Best Non-Jazz Albums of 2014

Initial draft collected on Oct. 10, 2015. The file will be updated as additional worthy records are found (although updating may lag behind the official 2015 list). Last year's list was frozen on Jan. 31, 2015. There also exists a parallel list of The Best Jazz of 2015.

For A-list only: [*] indicates that I reviewed this on the basis of an advance, often a CDR copy (a good thing, I might add, for vinyl-only releases). [**] identifies a record that I've only heard via download or through a streaming service like Rhapsody.

For all lists, I've included 2014 (and in rare cases earlier) records that I discovered after last year's freeze date, but I've only included such records if they were so little known that they received less than five points in the 2014 metacritic file. These are marked, e.g., '14, after the label.

New Music: Non-Jazz

1. Lyrics Born: Real People (Mobile Home)
Tokyo-born rapper Tsutomu ("Tom") Shimura, came up through the Berkeley underground in the duo Latyrx and a handful of his own albums. This one rocks out on the title cut, then busts several of the hottest raps I've heard this year. Catchiest too.

2. Sleaford Mods: Key Markets (Harbinger Sound)
Brit post-punks play minimal beats that are to hip-hop as punk is to Springsteen, only less frenzied because Jason Williamson wants his raps to be heard and understood. He has what my mother would have described as "a mouth on him."

3. Blackalicious: Imani, Vol. 1 (OGM)
Hip-hop group from the Bay Area (actually Sacramento), first album in 10 years and now projected to come out in three volumes. Like fellow traveler Lyrics Born's first in five years, their comeback leaps over and often stomps on the the state of the art, which has gone pretty slack.

4. James McMurtry: Complicated Game (Complicated Game)
Son of a famous novelist, slowly establishing himself as a serious storyteller in his own right. Nothing here has the instant political cred or (more importantly) musical punch of "We Can't Make It Here" (from Childish Things) or "Cheney's Toy" (from Just Us Kids) but he's smart enough not to blame his hard luck songs on Obama. Several sneak up on you, especially the one about fishing out of season.

5. Laurie Anderson: Heart of a Dog (Nonesuch)
Christgau pegs this as her best ever, a comparison which bumps up against United States Live and Home of the Brave and Strange Angels, just to pick two albums I have at full A and a third at A+. Compared to them (especially the latter) this strikes me as short on music -- most is spoken word over some very minimally ambient electronics. Still, fascinating wordplay, on death and love and spying and a fox terrier, ending with a bit of the late Lou Reed, unplugged.

6. Courtney Barnett: Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit (Mom + Pop Music)
Australian singer-songwriter, got some attention last year when she combined two EPs into a debut calling card, but initially struck me as a folkie troubadour, a wordy one at that. This has a wordy title too, but the first thing you notice is the guitar.

7. Paris: Pistol Politics (2015, Guerrilla Funk, 2CD)
Oscar Jackson Jr., rapper from San Francisco, dropped his first album in 1990 and has always worn politics on his sleeve. I should make a point of checking out his early albums when he had major label deals, but the first I heard was 2003's Sonic Jihad on his own label, then even better his "featuring" role on Public Enemy's Rebirth of a Nation (2006). This is his first album in six years, and he's got a lot to talk about, with a natural flow meant to make his words clear, and perfunctory beats to keep it moving.

8. Heems: Eat Pray Thug (Megaforce)
Himanshu Suri, born and raised in Flushing, Queens, New York -- all-American, as shocked as any of us by 9/11, yet when the kneejerk reaction set in he's out buying American flags not because his knee is jerking but as camouflage, for his name and less-assimilated Punjabi family. That story appears often enough here to amount to a theme, at one point breaking out in a chant of "USA" that I could do without. "Suicide by cop" is another line repeated too often. At points the rawness becomes unpleasant. On the other hand, it's all remarkably different and humane.

9. Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts: Manhattan (Rough Trade)
Comic book artist, folksinger too, although a dozen albums in he rocks harder, still crams a lot of words in, with more than a few in Yiddish. [**]

10. Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp a Butterfly (Top Dawg/Aftermath/Interscope)
Los Angeles (or should I say Compton?) rapper spins another long (75:17) album, the uneasy path of another good kid in the mad city. Pumped up early on with rejuvenated P-Funk, fades out at the end with what seems like an interview. More here than I'll ever manage to sort out.

11. Ezra Furman: Perpetual Motion People (Bella Union)
A singer-songwriter who's able to accent his writerly preoccupations -- whatever they may be, one line being "lose yourself completely, but stay alive" -- by reviving ancient rock archetypes, some doo-wop here, some glam rock there, some honking sax. [**]

12. Daveed Diggs: Small Things to a Giant (Deathbomb Arc)
Rapper from Oakland, came up in the underground group Clipping; first album on his own, a real tour de force, smart and snappy with rapidfire raps, the speed and dexterity which won him a Grammy for the roles of Thomas Jefferson and Marquis de Lafayette in Hamilton, but even more impressive as himself. [**]

13. Low Cut Connie: Hi Honey (Ardent Music/Contender)
From Philadelphia, third album, AMG classifies them as "retro-rock" but I don't see them as going back so much as plundering the past with postmodernist glee. Basically a guitar band until you notice the Jerry Lee piano -- where most groups are advised to find their own distinct sound, this one revels in all of them. [**]

14. Gwenno: Y Dydd Olaf (Heavenly)
Gwenno Saunders, from Wales, first solo album after the demise of her girl group, the Pipettes. Father was a noted Cornish poet and she grew up speaking Welsh and Cornish, so title and lyrics are probably in one or the other. But the incomprehensible words are enveloped in down right gorgeous synths, and the flow is impeccable. Album was first released on Peski Records, but her new label couldn't resist. [**]

15. Craig Finn: Faith in the Future (2015, Partisan)
The unmistakable singer/songwriter behind two of the better rock groups of the last two decades -- Lifter Puller and Hold Steady -- files his second album under his own name. The music is lighter, a bit less compelling, but that just lets the songs come through clearer. He's good enough to do that. [**]

16. Ashley Monroe: The Blade (Warner Music)
Country singer-songwriter, one-third of Pistol Annies, had an album before she started hanging out with the other thirds, then a breakthrough last year -- admittedly, it felt small, almost too easy. This one is less consistent, but takes more risks, and they often pay off. [**]

17. New Order: Music Complete (Mute)
First real album in a decade -- seems to be a lot of that going on recently -- the lapse taking one casualty: bassist Peter Hook is gone (but how hard is it to replace a bassist?), original keyboardist Gillian Gilbert has returned, and they've added some guests and strings, none of which makes much difference: long-term fans will instantly recognize the band, and newbies will be, well, amazed. [**]

18. Nozinja: Nozinja Lodge (Warp)
Alias for Richard Hlungwani, a South African producer/performer who was most prominent on Honest Jon's 2010 compilation, Shangaan Electro: New Wave Dance Music From South Africa. Pitches this toward the worldwide electronic dance market, but the drums and vocal harmonies come out of Zulu traditions, as potent as ever. [**]

19. Carly Rae Jepsen: E-MO-TION (Interscope/Schoolboy/Silent)
Gave this another shot after it finished 3rd in P&J, the poll's big surprise although the album had gained steadily in my EOY Aggregate, moving up to 18th. Not as flamboyant as Grimes or as clever as Lily Allen, it takes some time to adjust to her ambivalence. Clearly I filed this too soon. [**]

20. The Yawpers: American Man (Bloodshot)
Alt band from Colorado led by Nate Cook, who may thank God he's an American man but doesn't feel too blessed -- more like ashamed. Took a third play to get past the first two songs and see everything else fall into place. Reminds me of the Drive-By Truckers, minus the cornbread and molasses. [**]

21. Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba: Ba Power (Glitterbeat)
Ngoni player from Mali, his group featuring his wife, powerful singer Amy Sacko. Broke out a bit with 2013's Jama Ko, and this is comparably intense. [**]

22. Dr. Yen Lo: Days With Dr. Yen Lo (Pavlov Institute)
Rapper Ka and producer Preservation styled this concept album after the notorious Chinese doctor-hypnotist in The Manchurian Candidate, which also provides occasional snatches of dialog. The story strays but the music is hypnotic, with or without the monotone raps.
23. Ursula 1000: Voyeur (Insect Queen)
EDM project of Alex Gimeno, a Brooklyn producer with nine albums plus EPs and singles and remixes since 1999, spanning glam rock and cha cha and exotica, though this one mostly pushes my disco buttons, the beats sometimes reminding me of DJ Shadow. Ends with a change of pace, a movie theme called "The Shadow of Your Smile" tarted up like in a James Bond film. [**]

24. Hieroglyphic Being & J.I.T.U. Ahn-Sahm-Buhl: We Are Not the First (RVNG Intl)
Chicago DJ Jamal Moss uses the former name (among others). As far as I can tell, the latter is the band (the initials stand for Journey Into The Unexpected) and the rest sort of resembles Ensemble. The musicians have more or less jazz cred -- saxophonist Marshall Allen has the most, and drummer Greg Fox (Liturgy, Zs) could sub anywhere he wants. Even without Allen, it's hard to hear this and not wonder what Sun Ra would sound like today if he'd really been born on Saturn. [**]

25. Boz Scaggs: A Fool to Care (429 Records)
In his 70s now, started out in blue-eyed soul occasionally descending into ordinary white pap, but as he's aged the logical progression is into blues, which he's taken at the same langourous pace he's always had. His Memphis was easily overrated, but this more unassuming effort hits the spot: a collage of covers that takes you back without tempting you to play your own oldies. [**]

26. Mdou Moctar: Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai [Original Soundtrack Recording] (Sahel Sounds)
English title of the film is Rain the Color of Blue With a Little Red in It, about a Tuareg musician, which is exactly what Moctar is. None of the usual soundtrack pitfalls, just lots of guitar, some chant vocals, and that Saharan beat that's as accessible as the blues. [**]

27. Halsey: Badlands (Astralwerks)
Ashley Frangipane, b. 1994 in New Jersey, finds herself growing up on meaner streets than Springsteen imagined forty years ago, unable to afford college until she hustled some internet buzz into a contract and a hit record. Electropop, I wouldn't call it dark but it's far from frothy and I don't hear words well enough to dismiss the reputed anger and dismay. Actually, seems about right, given how the world is headed. [**]

28. ˇMayday!: Future/Vintage (Strange Music)
Miami hip-hop crew, had a record with Murs last year that I liked a lot (ˇMursday!) and produce the same underground vibe here without a domineering front man. [**]

29. The Mountain Goats: Beat the Champ (Merge)
Looking back, comparing Robert Christgau's and my own grades for eight or so albums by John Darnielle's singer/songwriter vehicle, I see no real pattern: sometimes I'm up (The Sunset Tree, Heretic Pride), sometimes I'm down (All Eternals Deck, Transcendental Youth), and the splits seem arbitrary. So I can't tell you why I rate this one with the former two, above the latter two. Fact is I never follow lyrics closely enough to make fine distinctions. Also that Darnielle always sounds more coherent than whatever other singer/songwriters I'm listening to at the time. [**]

30. Peaceable Solutions: Barter 7 (self-released)
Kool A.D. (originally of Das Racist) and Kassa Overall (originally a jazz drummer), aka Kool & Kass, now dba the title of their first album together. The title is presumably a play on Young Thug's Barter 6, itself a play on the still-unreleased Tha Carter V. Obviously, "the world's greatest rapper" (these days "the real one") doesn't spend a lot of time on titles. Nor on rhymes, although he lands a few anyway, and the beats render even the groaners amusing. [**]

31. Bully: Feels Like (Startime International/Columbia)
Nashville group, as straightahead as '90s grunge, not just fronted but led by Alicia Bognanno, "who earned a degree from Middle Tennessee State University in audio recording before getting an internship at Steve Albini's Electrical Audio studios in Chicago." Ten short songs, two with as many as two words in the title, but doesn't feel like she's slighting us. [**]

32. Tuxedo: Tuxedo (Stones Throw)
Retro-disco group formed by Mayer Hawthorne (aka DJ Haircut) and Jake One. Seems like a logical progression from Hawthorne's 1960s Motown shtick, gaining traction with each play. [**]

33. Eszter Balint: Airless Midnight (Red Herring)
Born in Hungary, not sure when or when she came to the US, but she made her acting debut in 1984 (a Jim Jarmusch movie). She's recorded intermittently, this her third album since 1999. A remarkable set of songs. Also remarkable that no one noticed it until Christgau wrote it up. [**]

34. Asleep at the Wheel: Still the King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys (Bismeaux)
Ray Benson's group has tried this several times before -- most successful was 1999's star-studded Ride With Bob, and the guest list is even longer (and younger) this time -- well, except for Willie, Merle, and missing link Leon Rausch. Some of my favorite music, enough so that everyone sounds great. Wish I had the whole package. [**]

35. 79rs Gang: Fire on the Bayou (Sinking City/Urban Unrest)
Big Chief Romeo Bougere of the 9th Ward Hunters and Big Chief Jermaine Bossier of the 7th Ward Creole Hunters team up to form the Soixante Dix Neufleurs Bande, aka 79rs Gang. A throwback to the great New Orleans Indian bands of the 1970s, though the beats are sharper and tenser, the jungle denser, the struggle harder. [**]

36. Ray Wylie Hubbard: The Ruffian's Misfortune (Bordello)
Long past his Cowboy Twinkies days, also retirement age, his songwriting has sharpened -- in one song he concludes he'd be "better off with the blues" than with a certain woman -- and the music has gotten tougher and harder. Cuts out the flab too, doing ten songs in 33:40. [**]

37. Beans on Toast: The Grand Scheme of Things (Xtra Mile)
English folk singer Jay McAllister, much like American folk singers in that he's low tech with simple songs marked by humor and humanity. At some point I should check out the back catalog -- most with the same cover design -- but this one starts with three memorable songs -- his craft ("Folk Singer"), his manifesto ("The War on War"), and more craft ("Fuck You Nashville"), then follows it up with three more memorable ones ("Lizzy's Cooking" is a favorite), or maybe eight. Inspirational lyrics abound, my favorite: "I believe that everyone should just chill the fuck out." [**]

38. BadBadNotGood & Ghostface Killah: Sour Soul (Lex)
Cover isn't clear, but most sources credit the Canadian jazz trio (keyboards, bass guitar, drums) first, ahead of the much more famous rapper. I'll note that three (of twelve) cuts are short instrumentals. I've never been much impressed by BBNG but their tight, noir-ish flow makes this short (32:55) album work -- not that they would hold up half as well without the rhymes. [**]

39. Tinariwen: Live in Paris (Anti-)
Probably the best known group from the vast expanses of the Sahara Desert, specifically from the Tuaregs of northern Mali, they have a half dozen records since 2002, most highly recommended, and this is one more. Features guest singer/drummer Lalla Badi, the "grand dame of Tamashek culture." [**]

40. The Chills: Silver Bullets (Fire)
New Zealand group, had two great albums 1990-92, and not much since, with this their first studio album since 1996 (2013's Somewhere Beautiful was a live album). This gets the sound back, maybe even pumps it up a bit (maybe too much). [**]

41. The Ragpicker String Band: The Ragpicker String Band (Yellow Dog)
If this was a jazz album, I'd credit it to the three named musicians on the cover: Rich Del Grosso (mandolin), Mary Flower (guitar), and Martin Grosswendt (multi-instrumentalist, which makes him the fiddle player). All sing, one of the guys with credible blues chops, especially when reprising old classics, or bemoaning Google. [**]

42. The Mowgli's: Kids in Love (Republic)
L.A. pop group, named after a dog named after a Kipling Jungle Book character, with a gratuitous apostrophe noted on Wikipedia as "sic." Seven players, boy and girl lead singers and everyone joining in the crowd choruses. When I was growing up irony provided a refuge for art, but these days you're more likely to hear that irony is dead, so maybe it's time someone made something out of such earnestness. I might have hated them forty years ago -- indeed, I recall groups like them then -- but they're one of the few things that make me feel good about kids today. Wonder if they know Kipling's a notorious racist? I'm sure they'd be appalled. [**]

43. Laura Marling: Short Movie (Ribbon Music)
Brit singer-songwriter, fifth album, has a folkie rep for framing her songs with guitar, but so did Dylan, and Ani DiFranco. I'm reluctant to put her at that level, but every album has something substantial and this has more than a few things. [**]

44. Radical Dads: Universal Coolers (Old Flame)
Alt/indie band from Brooklyn, a trio with two very hot guitarists -- singer Lindsay Baker and her husband Chris Diken -- and a drummer from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Robbie Guerlin (evidently the other singer), enveloping smart songs with cyclonic sound. [**]

45. Omar Souleyman: Bahdeni Nami (Monkeytown)
Syria's famed wedding singer, who "transformed traditional dabke music into a hyperactive electronic stomp" [Guardian]. With his home turf turned into a battleground between ISIS and the Kurds (and the US and/or Bashar Assad), he's turned west, picking up Kieran Hebden as a producer, who in turn decided to leave well enough alone. [**]

46. Murs: Have a Nice Day (Strange Music)
Underground rapper Nick Carter, ninth album since 1997, although lately he's been most impressive on side projects, like White Mandingos' The Ghetto Is Tryna Kill Me and ˇMursday! (with ˇMayday!). Rapid-fire raps run rings around the ups and downs of ghetto life, the usual topics but not the usual take. [**]

47. Mbongwana Star: From Kinshasa (World Circuit)
From Congo, led by two musicians (Coco Ngambali, Theo Nsituruidi) from Staff Benda Bilili, at first seem to fall short of the classic soukous romps, but a ballad (of all things) convinced me they are for real, and they pick up the pace when Konono No. 1 drop in to resuscitate the beat, a bit of thumb piano that sweetens the guitar. [**]

48. Grimes: Art Angels (2015, 4AD)
Canadian singer-songwriter Clare Boucher, music mostly synths with lots of upbeat pop hooks. Christgau and Tatum reviewed this within a day or two of each other and disagreed (A vs. B-). I played this almost two months ago, the week it came out (Nov. 6), and my one spin split the difference between their grades. Another spin tells me that I hear more of what Tatum describes (K-pop morphing into anime porn) than what Christgau claims ("hyperfeminist individualism for a post-rock mindset"), but find that nudging the grade up. [**]

49. Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment: Surf (self-released)
The leader is actually named Nico Segal, but does at least play trumpet. Still, this counts as a rap album for the vocalists, the main one being Chance the Rapper (although I suppose featured artists like Big Sean and Erykah Badu are better known). Underground, flows soulfully, grows on you. [**]

50. Protoje: Ancient Future (Indiggnation Collective/Overstand)
A young reggae artist, gets something of the traditional sound with a more contemporary sheen. Interesting how something so basic still sounds so compelling. [**]

51. Have Moicy 2: The Hoodoo Bash ( Red Newt)
In 1976 Rounder Records advertised their "dream come true: the Rounders on Rounder": they were referring back to the Holy Modal Rounders, a primitivist and rather bent folk group with Peter Stampfel and Steve Weber (originally) that recorded a pair of 1964 classics, then got corrupted by the Fugs and others such that by 1976 they had become Unholy. They were the scratchy heart and soul of Have Moicy!, an album as dear to me as The Velvet Underground or Pet Sounds or A Love Supreme, but it wasn't just the irrascible Stampfel that made the album work. It was headlined by Michael Hurley, who never again wrote such sly and funny songs, and Jeffrey Fredericks & the Clamtones added cornball filler. But most of all, both sides were capped by Antonia songs, one prophesying: "When we have kids, we will tell them the story/'Bout the night we got the spirit at the Hoodoo Bash." Now, Hurley's a recluse and Fredericks is dead, leaving Stampfel, with grandkids and protégés (but evidently no Antonia), to regale us with the glories of his youth -- except, of course, he can't quite pull it off. So instead of a three-headliner supergroup, we get an unsigned ("various artists") mish-mash, where the inspirational lyric comes from Robin Remailly: "the songs are idiotic/and that's the point/just to lighten up the freakin' joint." Often enough they do.

52. Veruca Salt: Ghost Notes (El Camino)
Postpunk band from the 1990s (only second album since), quartet fronted by singer-guitarists Nina Gordon and Louise Post, named after a character in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ("a spoiled child who demands every single thing she wants"). The closer "Alternica" gets a bit heavy-handed, but everything else is sharp and chipper. [**]

53. Shamir: Ratchet (XL)
First name, last name Bailey, twenty years old, dropped an EP last year that lots of critics liked, returns with debut LP this year. Sings like a girl without overdoing it, beats are understated, the whole finish leans toward matte so nothing blows you away, but it's still sneaky catchy. [**]

54. Alaska Thunderfuck: Anus (Sidecar)
Alias for drag queen Justin Honard, "best known for appearing on the fifth season of RuPaul's Drag Race. Music is EDM, with he/she talk-singing through many tales of makeup and nails -- not to mention pussy, can't forget that. Not really my thing, but I'm more bemused than anything else. [**]

55. Downtown Boys: Full Communism (Don Giovanni)
Punk band from Rhode Island, with two saxes and a female singer (Victoria Ruiz) skewing them a bit toward ska, promising "leftist activist anthems you can pogo to," and delivering 12 in 25:46 (closing with a delirious cover of "Dancing in the Dark" -- cue Emma Goldman). [**]

56. Songhoy Blues: Music in Exile (Atlantic)
The group members fled war-torn north Mali for Bamako, and have kept on moving, finding a welcome for their desert blues/Saharan rock in the west. Produced by a guitarist in the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, this seems a bit slowed down and bulked up compared to their numerous competitors. On the other hand, that may make them a bit more accessible. [**]

57. Amy LaVere and Will Sexton: Hallelujah I'm a Dreamer (Archer)
A country singer who prefers Memphis, and one of those singer-songwriter who having established her own career decided to give her husband some billing -- Amy Rigby, Kelly Chambers, and Kelly Willis are others (although the latter's mate is probably as well known). This was cut cheap, minimal arrangements, recycling some old songs which stand on their own. Still very much her album, although he sings one and does a nice job. [**]

58. Desaparecidos: Payola (Saddle Creek)
Conor Oberst side project, first album appeared in 2002, now this one 13 years later, but lineup seems to be the same, and they come on strong as a band -- in fact, given their political stance and how much they have to critique (or rant about), they come on as the closest any American band has come to the Clash. I'm alternately amused and agitated, which isn't a bad combination. Inspirational song title: "Left Is Right." [**]

59. Giorgio Moroder: Deja-Vu (RCA)
Best known as Donna Summer's producer (1975-80), Moroder lent his disco touch to dozens of artists in the early 1980s. His own albums start with a 1969 collection of bubble gum covers, proceed through disco versions of the Moody Blues and the soundtrack for Midnight Express, but end in 1985. He's done hack work since then (TV, video games), but this is his first album in 30 years. His disco shtick hasn't evolved much but still gleams -- at one point his disembodied voice tells us "74 is the new 24," but he usually leaves the words to still young pop stars like Sia, Charli XCX, Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears, and Kelis. And he shows us that "Tom's Diner" gets even better with more remix.

60. John Moreland: High on Tulsa Heat (Old Omens)
Singer-songwriter based in Tulsa, plays with a band but wouldn't lose much with just his guitar, his songs mostly slow, sober, reflective. Wish he had a sense of humor, but he's not unaware of irony, and he can straddle his right-wing Baptist father's world and reality. American Songwriter picked this as the record of the year. [**]

61. Leonard Cohen: Can't Forget: A Souvenir of the Grand Tour (Columbia)
Outtakes from the tours that produced Live in Dublin, the more video-friendly sequel to the magnificent Live in London -- left out for their relative obscurity, but I'm such a sucker for his "golden voice" (and not-quite-angelic choir) I'm surprised I didn't fall for this when it came out. As I recall, the problem was technological. This is almost like discovering a fresh batch of unknown songs. [**]

62. Alan Jackson: Angels and Alcohol (Capitol Nashville)
Sixteen albums in, the neo-traditionalist sounds most like himself. If this seems easier than most of his albums, like he's aging comfortably, that's probably because he knows he's got a good bunch of songs. [**]

63. Robyn & La Bagatelle Magique: Love Is Free (Konichiwa/Cherrytree/Interscope, EP)
The Swedish pop-disco diva, keyboardist Markus Jägerstedt, and the late Christian Falk (1962-2014, best known as a producer). Four originals, an Arthur Russell cover, total 20:50. One terrific dance piece after another. Wish there were more. [**]

64. Battles: La Di Da Di (Warp)
Third album for this trio, which sort of bridges the gap between alt-rock -- basically a guitar-bass-drums band -- and electronica (dabbling with keyboards, but mostly after the beats. This time they lost the vocals and doubled down on the beats. [**]

65. Willie Nelson/Merle Haggard: Django and Jimmie (Legacy)
Reinhardt and Rodgers on the tribute, adapted but not penned by the leaders, and not exactly proven here or elsewhere, though they're not the sort of fools not to be fans. Another tune written for them is "It's All Going to Pot," which starts like a Haggard rant but winds up in Nelsonland. Haggard does claim four credits, including a "Swinging Doors" remake and a yarn about Johnny Cash, while Nelson shares four with Buddy Cannon, including a plug for "Alice in Hulaland." The other cover you know is from Bob Dylan, but don't give it a second thought. [**]

66. Steve Hauschildt: Where All Is Fled (Kranky)
From Cleveland, formerly of Emeralds, plays synths, aims for ambient and fails only in the sense that what he produces is too interesting and too catchy to just fade into the woodwork. [**]

67. Aesop Rock & Homeboy Sandman: Lice (Stones Throw, EP)
Two rappers usually strong enough on their own, double down for a 5-track (17:34) freebie which starts with head lice and ends with "Get a Dog." Still, doesn't feel short. [**]

68. Max Richter: From Sleep (Deutsche Grammophon)
German-born British "post-minimalist" composer, put together an 8-hour cycle called Sleep. This is a one-hour extract, a sampler if you like, short enough that it's not guaranteed to put you to sleep, although it will certainly calm and soothe. [**]

69. Future: DS2 (Epic)
I caught so little of this the first time around I wound up writing as close to a nothing review as ever. Then it did respectably on subconscious beats, which get sharper with each play. And while I don't approve of his junkiedom, I find it more admirable, not to mention poignant, than the usual gangsta mack. [**]

70. Skylar Spence: Prom King (Carpark)
Aka Ryan DeRoberts, b. 1993 on Long Island, originally planned to perform as Saint Pepsi but the lawyers nixed that. Disco, in much the same sense as Mayer Hawthorne plays Motown, which these days is good enough for me. [**]

71. Erykah Badu: But You Caint Use My Phone (Control Freaq)
First album in five years, not a huge gap by the standards of this year's great many long-term comebacks, but it rather seems like it -- maybe because styling this as a mixtape eases the re-entry. Repeated riffs on phones keep on coming, leading up to a cover of Todd Rundgren's "Hello, It's Me" featuring Andre 3000. [**]

72. Archy Marshall: A New Place 2 Drown (True Panther Sounds)
British singer-songwriter, first appeared as Zoo Kid, then more notably as King Krule, matures into using his given name (or something close to it). Most resembles trip hop with its blunted beats and submerged colors, scant cover for vocals that seem determined to lurk rather than appear. Still, rather remarkable when you bother to pay attention, which isn't a given. [**]

73. Tribu Baharú: Pa'l Más Exigente Bailador (self-released)
Colombian afro-champeta, from the Caribbean coast (a champeta is a knife used by fishermen to descale fish), marked by sweet soukous guitar, upbeat percussion, and whoops and shouts with more affinity to zouk and soca than to salsa or cumbia. Some rough spots, but they muscle through them. [**]

74. John Kruth: The Drunken Wind of Life: The Poem/Songs of Tin Ujevic (Smiling Fez)
Ujevic (1891-1955) was a Croatian poet and essayist; he studied in Split, lived mostly in Belgrade (after some time in France) but died in Zagreb. Wikipedia tells us that "in 2008, a total of 122 streets in Croatia were named after Ujevic, making him the ninth most common person for whom streets were named in Croatia." Nine (of thirteen) songs here are built around Ujevic lyrics, three others Kruth originals "inspired by Ujevic and Croatia," plus a trad folk dance for local flavor. Actually, the music doesn't sound that Balkan, and the lyrics are all standard English translations, accorded the sort of veneration that comes naturally to folkies. [**]

75. Arca: Mutant (Mute)
Alejandro Ghersi, born in Venezuela, raised in Brooklyn, second album plus a couple EPs. Many short pieces, doesn't settle neatly into a groove, restless I'd say, but more method than frenzy. [**]

76. Hieroglyphic Being: The Acid Documents (Soul Jazz)
Considered a reissue but only if you could a run of 100 CDRs available through one record store as a release. Even this is "a one-off edition of 1000 copies on coloured double vinyl," but I doubt that the CD and digital variants are so constrained. The music is fairly minimal, pretty much all beats until a little synth noodle at the end. Not as interesting as his jazz record, but still pretty irresistible. [**]

77. Shopping: Why Choose (FatCat)
Second album, Christgau regards the two as "pretty much interchangeable," and that's probably true, but this one struck me as a bit cleaner and clearer, and minus a minor stumble in the middle. [**]

78. Metric: Pagans in Vegas (Metric)
Synth-pop group from Toronto, lead singer Emily Haynes, been around since the turn of the century but took a big step forward with 2009's Fantasies. This is about as good, mature songs built on solid melodies, nothing too chirpy or flashy. [**]

79. Lil Dicky: Professional Rapper (self-released, 2CD)
David Burd, name actually on the cover which presents a professional-looking resume touting his BSBA and summa cum laude 3.93 GPA. From Cheltenham Township, a suburb of Philadelphia, first album, crowdsourced after mixtapes called So Hard and Hump Days. Two long, and not as funny as most similar artist MC Barman, but maybe one shouldn't be so picky. [**]

80. The Drive-By Truckers: It's Great to Be Alive! (ATO, 3CD)
I put this off on the theory that 3:16:13 of anything is too much to pay attention to streaming -- which didn't keep my ears from perking up for the line that goes, "and all them politicians, they all lyin' sacks of shit" (I was writing about Donald Trump at the moment, although it could just as easily have been Marco Rubio, or Hillary Clinton). A couple decades worth of songs, redundant if you've followed them, but terrific as background noise, nicely unified by the live sound and occasional patter. On separate discs I imagine the length will only become more tolerable. [**]

81. Elysia Crampton: American Drift (Blueberry)
Born in Bolivia, grew up in Southern California and Northern Mexico, based in Virginia (which inspires some historiography here), previously known as E+E. Four pieces, thick with synth layered like geological strata (another interest), topped with a smatter of voices, as peripheral as people crawling on the surface of the earth. [**]

82. Fabiano Do Nascimento: Dança Dos Tempos (Now-Again)
Debut from Brazilian guitarist, based in Los Angeles, backed by Airto Moreira on percussion and Ricardo Pasillas on drums, with occasional vocals from Nascimento and Kana Shimanuki. This never settles into pleasantries, even at its most intimate. [**]

83. Plastician: All the Right Moves (self-released)
British DJ Chris Reed, formerly Plasticman (a name he gave up when threatened with legal action by Plastikman). Has a reputation for grime and dubstep, but this is a continuous dance mix pieced together from more or less familiar samples -- "My Prerogative" and "Raspberry Beret" were two I recognized. This topped Michaelangelo Matos' P&J ballot, but I have a hard time judging: is this a real album if it only floats around the internet? Artwork says CD. And there's certainly more to it than just stitching together hits. [**]

Also added the following 2014 albums after freezing the year-end file:

  1. Nancy Ajram: Nancy 8 (In2musica) **
  2. Asylum Street Spankers: The Last Laugh (Yellow Dog) **
  3. The Close Readers: The Lines Are Open (Austin) **
  4. Ladysmith Black Mambazo: Always With Us (self-released) **
  5. Kassem Mosse: Workshop 19 (Workshop) **
  6. Nots: We Are Nots (Goner) **
  7. Wormburner: Pleasant Living in Planned Communities (Dive) **

Honorable Mention

Additional non-jazz rated B+(***), listed alphabetically.

  1. 75 Dollar Bill: Wooden Bag (Other Music) **
  2. Gregg Allman: Gregg Allman Live: Back to Macon, GA (Rounder) **
  3. Babyface: Return of the Tender Lover (Def Jam) **
  4. Joey Bada$$: B4.DA.$$ (Cinematic Music Group) **
  5. Bobby Bare Jr.: Don't Follow Me (I'm Lost) [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] (Bloodshot) **
  6. Beach House: Thank Your Lucky Stars (Sub Pop) **
  7. Debashish Bhattacharya: Slide Guitar Ragas From Dusk Till Dawn (Riverboat) **
  8. Blanck Mass: Dumb Flesh (Sacred Bones) **
  9. Bomba Estéreo: Amanecer (Sony Music Latin) **
  10. The Bottle Rockets: South Broadway Athletic Club (Bloodshot) **
  11. Action Bronson: Mr. Wonderful (Atlantic/Vice) **
  12. Cannibal Ox: Blade of the Ronin (iHipHop) **
  13. Brandi Carlile: The Firewatcher's Daughter (ATO) **
  14. Carter Tutti Void: f(x) (Industrial) **
  15. Childbirth: Women's Rights (Suicide Squeeze) **
  16. Ciara: Jackie (Epic) **
  17. Leonard Cohen: Can't Forget: A Souvenir of the Grand Tour (Columbia) **
  18. The Coneheads: L.P. 1 (Erste Theke Tonträger, EP) **
  19. Damily: Very Aomby (Helico) **
  20. Deerhunter: Fading Frontier (4AD) **
  21. Lana Del Rey: Honeymoon (Interscope) **
  22. DJ Sandji: 100% Balani Show (Sahel Sounds) **
  23. DMX Krew: There Is No Enduring Self (Breakin) **
  24. Disappears: Irreal (Kranky) **
  25. Doomtree: All Hands (Doomtree) **
  26. DRKWAV: The Purge (Royal Potato Family) **
  27. Anderson East: Delilah (Low Country Sound/Elektra) **
  28. The Fall: Sub-Lingual Tablet (Cherry Red) **
  29. Floating Points: Elaenia (Luaka Bop) **
  30. The Foxymorons: Fake Yoga (Foxyphoton) **
  31. Abba Gargando: Abba Gargando (Sahel Sounds) **
  32. GLOSS: Demo (self-released, EP) **
  33. Michael Monroe Goodman: The Flag, the Bible, and Bill Monroe (MammerJam) **
  34. Nigel Hall: Ladies & Gentlemen . . . Nigel Hall (Feel Music) **
  35. Helena Hauff: Discreet Desires (Ninja Tune/Werkdiscs) **
  36. Angel Haze: Back to the Woods (self-released) **
  37. Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott: Wisdom, Laughter and Lines (Virgin EMI) **
  38. Jason James: Jason James (New West) **
  39. Jlin: Dark Energy (Planet Mu) **
  40. JME: Integrity (Boy Better Know) **
  41. Kammerflimmer Kollektief: Désarroi (Staubgold) **
  42. Kyle: Smyle (Indie Pop) **
  43. Lifted: 1 (PAN) **
  44. Lnrdcroy: Much Less Normal (Firecracker) **
  45. LoneLady: Hinterland (Warp) **
  46. Old Man Luedecke: Domestic Eccentric (True North) **
  47. Madonna: Rebel Heart (Interscope) **
  48. Melanie Martinez: Cry Baby (Atlantic) **
  49. Michete: Cool Tricks (self-released, EP) **
  50. Miguel: Wildheart (RCA) **
  51. Whitey Morgan & the 78s: Sonic Ranch (Whitey Morgan Music) **
  52. Kacey Musgraves: Pageant Material (Mercury Nashville) **
  53. Niyaz: Fourth Light (Six Degrees) **
  54. No Fun: How I Spent My Bummer Vacation (Concrete Jungle) **
  55. Noonday Underground: Body Parts for Modern Art (Stubbie) **
  56. Dawn Oberg: Bring (Blossom Theory) **
  57. Lindi Ortega: Faded Gloryville (Last Gang) **
  58. The Paranoid Style: Rock and Roll Just Can't Recall (Worldwide Battle, EP) **
  59. Rod Picott: Fortune (Welding Rod) **
  60. A Place to Bury Strangers: Transfixiation (Dead Oceans) **
  61. Plus Sized Dan: Plus Sized Dan With Marshall Ruffin (Plus Sized Dan, EP) **
  62. Pusha T: King Push Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude (Def Jam) **
  63. Rae Sremmurd: Sremm Life (Eardrum/Interscope) **
  64. RJD2/STS: STS X RJD2 (RJ's Electrical Connections) **
  65. Randy Rogers & Wade Bowen: Hold My Beer, Vol. 1 (Lil' Buddy Toons) **
  66. Jill Scott: Woman (Atlantic) **
  67. Shopping: Consumer Complaints (FatCat) **
  68. Skrillex/Diplo: Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack Ü (Mad Decent/OWSLA) **
  69. The Sonics: This Is the Sonics (Revox) **
  70. Mavis Staples: Your Good Fortune (Anti, EP) **
  71. Vince Staples: Summertime '06 (Def Jam, 2CD) **
  72. Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty) **
  73. Jazmine Sullivan: Reality Show (RCA) **
  74. Sun Kil Moon: Universal Themes (Caldo Verde) **
  75. Tanya Tagaq: Animism (Six Shooter) **
  76. Tal National: Zoy Zoy (Fat Cat) **
  77. Terakaft: Alone (Ténéré) (Out Here) **
  78. Pat Thomas: Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band (Strut) **
  79. Richard Thompson: Still (Fantasy) **
  80. Meghan Trainor: Title (Epic) **
  81. Leo Welch: I Don't Prefer No Blues (Big Legal Mess) **
  82. White Reaper: White Reaper Does It Again (Polyvinyl) **
  83. Wilco: Star Wars (dBpm) **
  84. X__X: Albert Ayler's Ghosts Live at the Yellow Ghetto (Smog Veil, EP) **
  85. Jamie XX: In Colour (XL/Young Turks) **
  86. Yo La Tengo: Stuff Like That There (Matador) **
  87. Young Guv: Ripe 4 Luv (Slumberland) **

Also added the following 2014 albums after freezing the year-end file:

  1. Big Lazy: Don't Cross Myrtle (Tasankee) **
  2. Blu: Good to Be Home (Nature Sounds, 2CD) **
  3. Cracker: Berkeley to Bakersfield (429, 2CD) **
  4. The Cunninlynguists: Strange Journey, Volume Three (Bad Taste) **
  5. Jeffrey Lewis: Jeffrey Lewis & the Jrams (self-released) **
  6. Machinedrum: Vapor City Archives (Ninja Tune) **
  7. Ahmet Özhan: Gülmira (Esen Musik) **
  8. Pere Ubu: Carnival of Souls (Fire) **
  9. Richard Thompson: Acoustic Classics (Beeswing) **

Reissues/Historic Music

The standard for historic music is a record where everything was recorded 10+ years ago, regardless of whether it's ever been in print before. Some past lists may have treated previously unreleased music as new (regardless of actual age), but I've never been able to manage that distinction consistently. This category also includes compilations of previously released music, including straight reissues, although my selection is very erratic.

1. Ata Kak: Obaa Sima (1994, Awesome Tapes From Africa)
Ghanian musician Yaw Atta-Owusu recorded this in Toronto, then released it in a cassette-only run of 50 copies. Brian Shimkovitz picked up one of those copies in 2002 and liked it enough to feature it in his first Awesome Tapes From Africa blog post in 2006, which in turn led to his label, and finally this reissue. Seven tracks, 35:06, vocals tend toward rap, beats run on -- struck me as overly simplistic at first but grew on me. [**]

2. Savant: Artificial Dance (1981-83, RVNG Intl)
This combines a 1981 EP and a 1983 album, The Neo-Realist (At Risk), the collected works of Kerry Leimer's early band, and it really was a band -- guitar-bass-drums beneath the synths and vocal samples and tape effects, giving it a metallic edge. Must have seemed like an avant curiosity at the time, partly because the pieces spin off in divers directions, but they break new ground so assuredly this sounds like accomplished innovation. [**]

3. Bob Marley & the Wailers: Easy Skanking in Boston '78 (Island/Tuff Gong)
Possibly the beginning of a flood of live Marley on top of the two live albums released in his lifetime -- the magnificent Live (1976) and the tedious Babylon by Bus (1978) -- this at least delivers greatest hits with a little extra heat, and reminds me that while they yearned for peace they didn't expect it to come easy. Probably packaged with a DVD, which I haven't seen (and probably never will). [**]

4. Punk 45: Extermination Nights in the Sixth City: Cleveland, Ohio: Punk and the Decline of the Mid-West 1975-82 (Soul Jazz)
My recollection was that Cleveland was always a bit less populous than Baltimore, and by 1975 Houston (and possibly others) were larger, but Cleveland's bona fides were such that they built a Rock & Roll Museum there. The obscure punk bands archived here were sharp as tacks, and Pere Ubu was brilliant (for some reason Rhapsody omits two Pere Ubu cuts plus one from the related Rocket From the Tombs -- songs I know so well I can fill them in from memory; beware they're also missing from the MP3 release). [**]

5. Dead Moon: Live at Satyricon (1993, Voodoo Doughnut)
Guitarist-singer Fred Cole drifted through close to a dozen bands from 1965 until he formed this DIY punk trio, which lasted two decades, with wife Toody on bass and Andrew Loomis on drums. They subsisted on self-released records and touring, cutting corners by limiting their album covers to black ink only. AMG lists this as Tales From the Grease Trap, Vol. 1: evidently we can expect a series of old live tapes. As someone who hasn't heard any of their previous albums -- 10 studio, 4 live, the 2-CD retrospective Echoes From the Past -- I can't really say this is their best or the one you should have, but it could be. [**]

6. Lost in Mali: Off the Beaten Track From Bamako to Timbuktu (Riverboat)
Could be I should treat this compilation of "13 previously uncollected Malian artists" as new -- the odds I can track down sources for records by 13 artists I've never heard of are slim to none. Eschewing hits, you get atmosphere. I remember that in grade school I was asked to imagine an African safari. The animals were easy enough to conjure up, but I couldn't have had a clue to the people. Still an air of mystery here. [**]

7. Patrick Cowley: Muscle Up (1973-81, Dark Entries)
Regarded as one of the pioneers of electronic dance music, Cowley (1950-82) plays synths for Sylvester and composed tracks for gay porn films -- evidently that's the source of this compilation. Several scattered styles here, an early stretch of more ambient material that sneaks up on you, and some upbeat tracks (like "Pigfoot" and "5oz of Funk") that just jump you. [**]

8. Youssou N'Dour Et Le Super Etoile De Dakar: Fatteliku: Live in Athens 1987 (1987, Real World)
> Actually, a Peter Gabriel concert, with five cuts from his "warm up act" and a 10:43 "In Your Eyes" with N'Dour and the band joining in, the audience (and probably you) elevated by recognition, even though the band from Senegal was far more astonishing. [**]

9. Rastafari: The Dreads Enter Babylon 1955-83 (Soul Jazz)
Rastafarianism emerged in Jamaica in the 1930s in response to Marcus Garvey's "back to Africa" movement, offering a glorious picture of the Conquering Lion in lieu of a cheap ticket to a foreign country, but the music came later, and this tries to capture it at the roots with little regard to the stars. The main figure here is Count Ossie, whose primitivist nyahbinghi recalled African drums and promised mystic revelation, and most of the rest stick to the program -- the two obvious exceptions are ska star Laurel Aitken and Calypsonian Lord Labby, who made the cut with clear anthems of Haile Selassie and Ethiopia. But I doubt clarity was ever the point. [**]

10. Joi: Joi Sound System (1999-2007 RealWorld, 2CD): Originally two British brothers, Farook and Haroon Shamsher (mother from India, father from Bangladesh), mixed strong electronic dance beats with occasional Bengali spices on their 1999 debut album, released the year Haroon died. A second album in 2001 started with field recordings Haroon had made before his death, and a third album appeared in 2007. This compilation is a "best-of," although at this length they couldn't have left much out.

11. The Rough Guide to the Blues Songsters: Reborn and Remastered (1926-35, World Music Network)
Before they all got slotted as blues, many early black musicians considered themselves "songsters" -- entertainers with a broad command of the pop hits of the day (or decades). Good sampler here, many oft-repeated stories like "John Henry" and "Stackalee" and "Frankie," many less well known. [**]

12. Bobby Rush: Chicken Heads: A 50-Year History of Bobby Rush (1964-2014, Omnivore, 4CD)
Blues journeyman, arrived late (some sources list 1940 as his birthdate but more likely ones say 1933), only a couple isolated singles from the 1960s, first album 1979 (only one on Philadelphia International), then a steady stream on obscure labels until he founded his own. Toured the chitlin circuit relentlessly, and is still working at 82. I doubt if any of his albums are outstanding, but this long compilation of his life's work is rich and varied and keeps coming at you, the only missteps songs you know done better elsewhere, but even there you have to give him credit (cf. "Take Me to the River"). This can happen when a minor artist sticks to it. [**]

13. Next Stop Soweto, Vol. 4: Zulu Rock, Afro-Disco and Mbaqanga 1975-1985 (Strut)
This series has generally tried to stay off the beaten path that produced such classic compilations as The Indestructible Beat of Soweto (five volumes), The Kings and Queens of Township Jive, and Soweto Never Sleeps, the result being second-rate trivia. Same here, but the rock and disco here is deliriously derivative, transposing familiar riffs into an alternate universe where they become iconic. Fun, too. [**]

Also added the following 2014 albums after freezing the year-end file:

  1. James Booker: Gonzo: Live 1976 (Rockbeat, 2CD) **
  2. Willi Williams: Unification: From Channel One to King Tubby's (1979, Shanachie) **

Honorable Mention

Additional non-jazz rated B+(***), listed alphabetically.

  1. David Borden: Music for Amplified Keyboard Instruments (1981, Spectrum Spools) **
  2. Highlife on the Move: Selected Nigerian & Ghanaian Recordings From London & Lagos 1954-66 (Soundway, 2CD) **
  3. Kenny Knight: Crossroads (1980, Paradise of Bachelors) **
  4. Nu Yorica! Culture Clash in New York City: Experiments in Latin Music 1970-77 (1970-77 [2015], Soul Jazz, 2CD) **
  5. Punk 45: Burn Rubber City, Burn! Akron, Ohio: Punk and the Decline of the Mid-West 1975-80 (Soul Jazz) **
  6. The Rough Guide to Psychedelic Cumbia (1969-2014, World Music Network) **
  7. The Rough Guide to Psychedelic Samba (2009-14, World Music Network) **
  8. Idrissa Soumaoro: Djitoumou (2010, Lusafrica) **
  9. Amara Touré: 1973-1980 (1973-80, Analog Africa) **
  10. The Velvet Underground: The Complete Matrix Tapes (1969, Polydor, 4CD) **
  11. Dale Watson: Truckin' Sessions, Vol. 3 (Red River) **
  12. Yabby You: Dread Prophecy: The Strange and Wonderful Story of Yabby You (1972-85, Shanachie, 3CD) **

Also added the following 2014 albums after freezing the year-end file:

  1. Aby Ngana Diop: Liital (1994, Awesome Tapes From Africa) **
  2. Diplo: Random White Dude Be Everywhere (2012-14, Mad Decent) **
  3. Mamman Sani: Taaritt (1985-88, Sahel Sounds) **


Additional new non-jazz records rated B+(**) or below (listed alphabetically by artist).

  1. John Adams/San Francisco Symphony/Michael Tilson Thomas: Absolute Jest/Grand Pianola Music (SFS) ** [B+(**)]
  2. Africans With Mainframes: Commission Number 3 (Bio Rhythm, EP) ** [B+(*)]
  3. Alabama Shakes: Sound & Color (ATO) ** [B+(*)]
  4. The Alchemist and Oh No: Welcome to Los Santos (Mass Appeal) ** [B+(*)]
  5. Algiers: Algiers (Matador) ** [B]
  6. Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin: Lost Time (Yep Roc) ** [B+(*)]
  7. American Wrestlers (Fat Possum) ** [B]
  8. Ancient Methods: Turn Ice Realities Into Fire Dreams (Hands, EP) ** [B+(*)]
  9. Annie Girl and the Flight: Bodies (United for Opportunity, EP) ** [B+(**)]
  10. Aphex Twin: Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments, Pt. 2 (Warp, EP) ** [B+(**)]
  11. ASAP Rocky: At.Long.Last.ASAP (Polo Grounds/RCA) ** [B+(**)]
  12. Julien Baker: Sprained Ankle (6131 Records) ** [B}(*)]
  13. Beach House: Depression Cherry (Sub Pop) ** [B]
  14. Beach Slang: The Things We Do to Find People Who Feel Like Us (Polyvinyl) ** [B]
  15. Beauty Pill: Beauty Pill Describes Things as They Are (Butterscotch) ** [B]
  16. Belle and Sebastian: Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance (Matador) ** [B+(*)]
  17. Best Coast: California Nights (Harvest) ** [B+(*)]
  18. Justin Bieber: Purpose (Def Jam) ** [B]
  19. Big Boi + Phantogram: Big Grams (Epic, EP) ** [B+(*)]
  20. Big K.R.I.T.: It's Better This Way (self-released) ** [B+(*)]
  21. Bilal: In Another Life (E1) ** [B+(**)]
  22. Björk: Vulnicura (One Little Indian) ** [B-]
  23. Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers: Loved Wild Lost (Little Sur) ** [B+(**)]
  24. Blur: The Magic Whip (Parlophone) ** [B+(**)]
  25. Breakfast in Fur: Flyaway Garden (Bar/None) ** [B+(*)]
  26. Leon Bridges: Coming Home (Columbia) ** [B+(*)]
  27. Built to Spill: Untethered Moon (Warner Brothers) ** [B+(*)]
  28. Will Butler: Policy (Merge) ** [B+(**)]
  29. Cam: Welcome to Cam Country (Arista Nashville, EP) ** [B]
  30. Cam: Untamed (Arista Nashville) ** [B+(**)]
  31. Car Seat Headrest: Teens of Style (Matador) ** [B]
  32. Kasey Chambers: Bittersweet (Sugar Hill) ** [B]
  33. Chastity Belt: Time to Go Home (Hardly Art) ** [B+(*)]
  34. The Chemical Brothers: Born in the Echoes (Virgin EMI) ** [B+(**)]
  35. Christine and the Queens: Saint Claude (Neon Gold, EP) ** [B+(**)]
  36. Eric Church: Mr. Misunderstood (EMI Nashville) ** [B+(**)]
  37. Chvrches: Every Open Eye (Glassnote) ** [B+(**)]
  38. The Claudettes: No Hotel (Yellow Dog) ** [B]
  39. Clem Snide: Girls Come First (Zaphwee) ** [B+(**)]
  40. Benjamin Clementine: At Least for Now (Virgin EMI) ** [B+(**)]
  41. Jonah Considine: Golden Flu (Nein, EP) ** [B+(*)]
  42. Container: LP (Spectrum Spools) ** [B+(**)]
  43. Gaz Coombes: Matador (Hot Fruit) ** [B+(*)]
  44. Easton Corbin: About to Get Real (Mercury Nashville) ** [B]
  45. Cornershop: Hold On It's Easy (Ample Play) ** [B]
  46. Crack Ignaz: Kirsch (Melting Pot) ** [B+(*)]
  47. Czarface: Every Hero Needs a Villain (Brick) ** [B+(**)]
  48. Guy Davis: Kokomo Kidd (M.C.) ** [B+(*)]
  49. Dâm-Funk: Invite the Light (Stones Throw) ** [B]
  50. Dan Deacon: Gliss Rifter (Domino) ** [B+(*)]
  51. Dead Sara: Pleasure to Meet You (Pocket Kid) ** [B+(*)]
  52. Death Grips: The Powers That B (Electro Magnetic/Harvest, 2CD) ** [B+(*)]
  53. Dej Loaf: #AndSeeThatsTheThing (Columbia, EP) ** [B]
  54. Deradoorian: The Expanding Flower Planet (Anticon) ** [B]
  55. Jason Derulo: Everything Is 4 (Warner Brothers) ** [B+(*)]
  56. The Deslondes: The Deslondes (New West) ** [B]
  57. Destroyer: Poison Season (Merge) ** [B+(*)]
  58. Kristin Diable: Create Your Own Mythology (Speakeasy) ** [B]
  59. Dilly Dally: Sore (Partisan) ** [B+(**)]
  60. DJ Paypal: Sold Out (Brainfeeder) ** [B+(**)]
  61. Dog Party: Vol. 4 (Asian Man) ** [B+(**)]
  62. Lila Downs: Balas y Chocolate (RCA) ** [B+(*)]
  63. Dr. Dre: Compton (Aftermath/Interscope) ** [B-]
  64. Drake: If You're Reading This It's Too Late (Cash Money/Motown) ** [B]
  65. Drake/Future: What a Time to Be Alive (Cash Money) ** [B+(*)]
  66. C Duncan: Architect (Fat Cat) ** [B-]
  67. Dungen: Allas Sak (Mexican Summer) ** [B]
  68. Bob Dylan: Shadows in the Night (Columbia) ** [C]
  69. Open Mike Eagle: A Special Episode Of (Mello Music Group, EP) ** [B+(**)]
  70. Justin Townes Earle: Absent Fathers (Vagrant) ** [B+(*)]
  71. Steve Earle & the Dukes: Terraplane (New West) ** [B+(**)]
  72. Joe Ely: Panhandle Rambler (Rack 'Em) ** [B+(**)]
  73. Emika: Klavirni (Emika) ** [B+(*)]
  74. Empress Of: Me (Terrible/XL) ** [B+(*)]
  75. Eskmo: SOL (Apollo) ** [B+(**)]
  76. The Eye: The Future Will Be Repeated (Ba Da Bing) ** [B+(**)]
  77. EZTV: Calling Out (Captured Tracks) ** [B]
  78. Father: Who's Gonna Get F***** First? (Awful) ** [B+(**)]
  79. Father John Misty: I Love You, Honeybear (Sub Pop) ** [B]
  80. Field Music: Music for Drifters (Memphis Industries) ** [B+(**)]
  81. The Fireworks: Switch Me On (Shelflife) ** [B+(**)]
  82. FKA Twigs: M3LL155X (Young Turks, EP) ** [C+]
  83. Flako: Natureboy (Five Easy Pieces) ** [B+(**)]
  84. Florence + the Machine: How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (Island/Republic) ** [B]
  85. Brandon Flowers: The Desired Effect (Virgin EMI) ** [B+(**)]
  86. Föllakzoid: III (Sacred Bones) ** [B+(**)]
  87. Foals: What Went Down (Warner Brothers) ** [B]
  88. Four Tet: Morning/Evening (Text) ** [B+(*)]
  89. Robert Forster: Songs to Play (Tapete) ** [B+(**)]
  90. Nils Frahm: Solo (Erased Tapes) ** [B+(**)]
  91. Kinky Friedman: The Loneliest Man I Ever Met (Avenue A) ** [B+(**)]
  92. Romulo Fróes: Por Elas Sem Elas (YB Music, EP) ** [B+(*)]
  93. Future: 56 Nights (Freebandz, EP) ** [B+(*)]
  94. Gang of Four: What Happens Next (Metropolis) ** [B+(*)]
  95. Georgia: Georgia (Domino) ** [B+(**)]
  96. Ghostface Killah/Adrian Younge: Twelve Reasons to Die II (Linear Labs) ** [B+(**)]
  97. Giant Sand: Heartbreak Pass (New West) ** [B+(*)]
  98. Rhiannon Giddens: Tomorrow Is My Turn (Nonesuch) ** [B+(**)]
  99. Girl Band: Holding Hands With Jamie (Rough Trade) ** [B+(**)]
  100. Girlpool: Before the World Was Big (Wichita) ** [B+(**)]
  101. The Go! Team: The Scene Between (Memphis Industries) ** [B]
  102. Godspeed You! Black Emperor: Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress (Constellation) ** [B-]
  103. Grandpa's Cough Medicine: 180 Proof (self-released) ** [B+(*)]
  104. John Grant: Grey Tickles, Black Pressure (Partisan) ** [B+(*)]
  105. Cee Lo Green: Heart Blanche (Atlantic) ** [B+(*)]
  106. Colleen Green: I Want to Grow Up (Hardly Art) ** [B]
  107. William Clark Green: Ringling Road (Bill Grease) ** [B+(*)]
  108. Patty Griffin: Servant of Love (PGM) ** [B+(**)]
  109. Haiku Salut: Etch and Etch Deep (How Does It Feel to Be Loved) ** [B+(**)]
  110. Hamilton [Original Broadway Cast Recording] (Atlantic, 2CD) *(* [B+(**)]
  111. Brian Harnetty: Rawhead & Bloodybones (Dust-to-Digital) ** [B+(**)]
  112. Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell: The Traveling Kind (Nonesuch) ** [B+(*)]
  113. Anna von Hausswolff: The Miraculous (Other Music) ** [B]
  114. Ted Hearne: The Source (New Amsterdam) ** [B+(*)]
  115. Health: Death Magic (Loma Vista) ** [B+(*)]
  116. Helen: The Original Faces (Kranky) ** [B+(*)]
  117. Amy Helm: Didn't It Rain (E1) ** [B+(**)]
  118. Don Henley: Cass County (Capitol) ** [B+(*)]
  119. Holly Herndon: Platform (4AD) ** [B+(**)]
  120. Hiatus Kaiyote: Choose Your Weapon (Flying Buddha) ** [B-]
  121. Julia Holter: Have You in My Wilderness (Domino) ** [B]
  122. Holychild: The Shape of Brat Pop to Come (Glassnote) ** [B+(**)]
  123. Hop Along: Painted Shut (Saddle Creek) ** [B+(*)]
  124. Sam Hunt: Between the Pines: Acoustic Mixtape (MCA Nashville) ** [B]
  125. Jenny Hval: Apocalypse, Girl (Sacred Bones) ** [B+(*)]
  126. I Love Makonnen: Drink More Water 5 (OVO Sound) ** [B+(**)]
  127. I Love Makonnen: I Love Makonnen 2 (OVO Sound, EP) ** [B+(*)]
  128. Ibeyi (XL) ** [B]
  129. The Internet: Ego Death (Odd Future/Columbia) ** [B+(**)]
  130. Inventions: Maze of Woods (Temporary Residence) ** [B+(*)]
  131. Jason Isbell: Something More Than Free (Southeastern) ** [B+(*)]
  132. Ivan & Alyosha: It's All Just Pretend (Dualtone) ** [B]
  133. Janet Jackson: Unbreakable (Rhythm Nation) ** [B+(*)]
  134. Tobias Jesso, Jr.: Goon (True Panther Sounds) ** [B+(**)]
  135. Joanna Gruesome: Peanut Butter (Slumberland) ** [B+(*)]
  136. Kanaku y El Tigre: Quema Quema Quema (Strut/Tigers Milk) ** [B+(*)]
  137. Kehlani: You Should Be Here (self-released) ** [B-]
  138. Toby Keith: 35 MPH Town (Show Dog Nashville) ** [B]
  139. Elle King: Love Stuff (RCA) ** [B+(*)]
  140. Knife Pleats: Hat Bark Beach (Jigsaw) ** [B+(*)]
  141. Knxwledge: Hud Dreams (Stones Throw) ** [B+(*)]
  142. The Kropotkins: Portents of Love (Mulatta) ** [B+(**)]
  143. Lame Drivers: Chosen Era (Jigsaw) ** [B+(*)]
  144. Sam Lee & Friends: The Fade in Time (The Nest Collective) ** [B+(*)]
  145. Left Lane Cruiser: Dirty Spliff Blues (Alive Naturalsound) ** [B+(*)]
  146. Linda Gail Lewis: Hard Rockin\' Woman! (Lanark) ** [B+(**)]
  147. The Libertines: Anthems for Doomed Youth (Virgin EMI) ** [B+(*)]
  148. Lightning Bolt: Fantasy Empire (Thrill Jockey) ** [B+(**)]
  149. Lil Wayne: The Free Weezy Album (Young Money/Republic) ** [B+(*)]
  150. Liturgy: The Ark Work (Thrill Jockey) ** [C-]
  151. Lizzo: Big Grrrl Small World (BGSW) ** [B+(*)]
  152. Lord Huron: Strange Trails (Iamsound) ** [B+(**)]
  153. Los Lobos: Gates of Gold (429/Savoy Jazz) ** [B+(**)]
  154. Low: Ones and Sixes (Sub Pop) ** [B]
  155. Lupe Fiasco: Tetsuo & Youth (Atlantic) ** [B+(*)]
  156. Mark Lyken/Emma Dove: Mirror Lands (Time Released Sound) ** [B]
  157. Shelby Lynne: I Can't Imagine (New Rounder) ** [B]
  158. Maddie & Tae: Start Here (Dot) ** [B+(*)]
  159. The Magic Words: The Day We Ran Away (Magic Words Demos) (self-released) [B+(*)]
  160. Major Lazer: Peace Is the Mission (Mad Decent) ** [B+(*)]
  161. The Mavericks: Mono (Valory) ** [B+(**)]
  162. J.D. McPherson: Let the Good Times Roll (New Rounder) ** [B+(**)]
  163. Meek Mill: Dreams Worth More Than Money (Atlantic/MMG) ** [B+(*)]
  164. Meridian Brothers: Los Suicidas (Soundway, EP) ** [B+(**)]
  165. Mika: No Place in Heaven (Casablanca)** [B+(**)]
  166. Rhett Miller: The Traveler (ATO) ** [B+(**)]
  167. Modest Mouse: Strangers to Ourselves (Columbia) ** [B+(**)]
  168. Hudson Mohawke: Lantern (Warp) ** [B]
  169. Monster Rally & Jay Stone: Foreign Pedestrians (Gold Robot) ** [B+(*)]
  170. Allison Moorer: Down to Believing (E1) ** [B+(**)]
  171. Gurf Morlix: Eatin' at Me (Rootball) ** [B+(**)]
  172. Van Morrison: Duets: Re-Working the Catalogue (RCA) ** [B+(*)]
  173. Gilligan Moss: Ceremonial (EMI, EP) ** [B+(*)]
  174. Mount Eerie: Sauna (PW Elverum & Sun) ** [B-]
  175. Róisin Murphy: Hairless Toys (PIAS) ** [B+(**)]
  176. Neon Indian: Vega Intl. Night School (Mom + Pop Music) ** [B+(*)]
  177. Nero: Between II Worlds (Cherrytree/Interscope) ** [B]
  178. New York Gypsy All Stars: Dromomania (self-released) ** [B+(**)]
  179. The Nightingales: Mind Over Matter (Louder Than War) ** [B+(*)]
  180. Novelist x Mumdance: 1 Sec EP (XL, EP) ** [B+(*)]
  181. Obnox: Know America (Ever/Never) ** [B+(*)]
  182. Oddisee: The Good Fight (Mello Music Group) ** [B+(*)]
  183. Oneohtrix Point Never: Garden of Delete (Warp) ** [B+(**)]
  184. Ought: Sun Coming Down (Constellation) ** [B+(*)]
  185. Panda Bear: Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper (Domino) ** [B]
  186. Tess Parks and Anton Newcombe: I Declare Nothing ('a' Records) ** [B+(**)]
  187. Parquet Courts: Monastic Living (Rough Trade, EP) ** [B+(**)]
  188. Charlie Parr: Stumpjumper (Red House) ** [B+(**)]
  189. Gretchen Peters: Blackbirds (Scarlet Letter) ** [B+(*)]
  190. Physical Therapy: Hit the Breaks (Liberation Technologies, EP) ** [B+(**)]
  191. Kate Pierson: Guitars and Microphones (Lazy Meadow Music) ** [B+(**)]
  192. The Pop Group: Citizen Zombie (Freaks R Us) [B+(*)]
  193. Natalie Prass (Spacebomb) ** [B+(*)]
  194. Protomartyr: The Agent Intellect (Hardly Art) ** [B+(**)]
  195. Quantic: The Western Transient: A New Constellation (Tru Thoughts) ** [B]
  196. Quttinirpaaq: Dead September (Rural Isolation Project) ** [C+]
  197. R5: Sometime Last Night (Hollywood) ** [B+(*)]
  198. Rabit: Communion (Tri Angle) ** [B+(**)]
  199. Nathaniel Rateliff: Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats (Fantasy) ** [B+(*)]
  200. Raury: All We Need (Columbia) ** [B+(*)]
  201. Dave Rawlings Machine: Nashville Obsolete (Acony) ** [B+(*)]
  202. Dawn Richard: Blackheart (Our Dawn) ** [B]
  203. Keith Richards: Crosseyed Heart (Mindless/Virgin) ** [B]
  204. Rival Consoles: Howl (Erased Tapes) ** [B+(**)]
  205. RMaster: New Anime Nation, Vol. 10 (Anime) ** [B+(*)]
  206. Pete Rock: PeteStrumentals 2 (Mello Music Group) ** [B+(**)]
  207. Rocket From the Tombs: Black Record (Fire) ** [B+(*)]
  208. Daniel Romano: If I've Only One Time Askin' (New West) ** [B+(*)]
  209. Roots Manuva: Bleeds (Big Dada) ** [B]
  210. Royal Headache: High (What's Your Rupture?) ** [B+(*)]
  211. Todd Rundgren/Emil Nikolaisen/Hans-Peter Lindstrřm: Runddans (Smalltown Supersound) ** [B-]
  212. Walter Salas-Humara: Work: Part One (Sonic Pyramid) ** [B+(**)]
  213. Alejandro Sanz: Sirope (Universal) ** [B+(*)]
  214. Travis Scott: Rodeo (Grand Hustle/Epic) ** [B]
  215. Seinabo Sey: Pretend (Virgin) ** [B+(*)]
  216. Sheer Mag: II 7" (Wilsuns RC/Katorga Works, EP) ** [B]
  217. Shlohmo: Dark Red (True Panther Sounds) ** [B+(**)]
  218. Shopping: Urge Surfing (self-released) ** [B+(*)]
  219. Shopping: Gizzard Shingles (self-released) ** [B]
  220. Sleater-Kinney: No Cities to Love (Sub Pop) ** [B+(*)]
  221. Slutever: Almost Famous (self-released, EP) ** [B+(**)]
  222. Troye Sivan: Blue Neighbourhood (Capitol) ** [B+(*)]
  223. Skyzoo: Music for My Friends (First Generation Rich) ** [B+(**)]
  224. Sophie: Product (Numbers, EP) ** [B+(**)]
  225. Spanglish Fly: New York Boogaloo (Caco World Music) ** [B+(*)]
  226. Speedy Ortiz: Foil Deer (Carpark) ** [B+(*)]
  227. The Spook School: Try to Be Hopeful (Fortuna Pop) ** [B+(**)]
  228. Pops Staples: Don't Lose This (1999, dBpm) ** [B+(**)]
  229. Chris Stapleton: Traveller (Mercury Nashville) ** [B+(*)]
  230. Statik Selektah: Lucky 7 (Showoff/Duck Down Music) ** [B+(**)]
  231. Dexter Story: Wondem (Soundway) ** [B+(*)]
  232. Nora Jane Struthers & the Party Line: Wake (Blue Pig Music) ** [B]
  233. Susanne Sundfřr: Ten Love Songs (Sonnet Sound) ** [B+(*)]
  234. Swamp Dogg: The White Man Made Me Do It (SDEG) ** [B+(*)]
  235. Earl Sweatshirt: I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside (Columbia/Tan Cressida) ** [B+(*)]
  236. Swervedriver: I Wasn't Born to Lose You (Cobraside) ** [B]
  237. Tame Impala: Currents (Caroline) ** [B+(*)]
  238. Tamikrest: Taksera (Glitterbeat) ** [B+(**)]
  239. Taraf de Haďdouks: Of Lovers, Gamblers and Parachute Skirts (Crammed Discs) ** [B+(**)]
  240. James Taylor: Before This World (Concord) ** [C+]
  241. Tenement: Predatory Headlights (Don Giovanni) ** [B+(*)]
  242. They Might Be Giants: Glean (Idlewild) ** [B+(*)]
  243. Thundercat: The Beyond/Where the Giants Roam (Brainfeeder, EP) ** [B]
  244. Titus Andronicus: The Most Lamentable Tragedy (Merge) ** [B]
  245. Toro y Moi: What For? (Carpark) ** [B+(*)]
  246. Torres: Sprinter (Partisan) ** [B+(*)]
  247. Total Babes: Heydays (Wichita) ** [B+(*)]
  248. Boubacar Traoré: Mbalimaou (Lusafrica) ** [B+(**)]
  249. Turnpike Troubadours: Turnpike Troubadours (Bossier City) ** [B]
  250. Two Fresh: Torch (self-released, EP) ** [B+(*)]
  251. Tyla Gang: Stereo Tactics (Cherry Red) ** [B+(*)]
  252. Tyler, the Creator: Cherry Bomb (Odd Future) ** [B+(*)]
  253. Carrie Underwood: Storyteller (19/Arista Nashville) ** [B-]
  254. Unknown Mortal Orchestra: Multi-Love (Jagjaguwar) ** [B-]
  255. U.S. Girls: Half Free (4AD) ** [B]
  256. Viet Cong (Jagjaguwar) ** [B+(**)]
  257. Kurt Vile: B'lieve I'm Goin Down . . . (Matador) ** [B]
  258. Waco Brothers: Cabaret Showtime (Bloodshot) ** [B+(**)]
  259. Ryley Walker: Primrose Green (Dead Oceans) ** [B+(**)]
  260. Fetty Wap: Fetty Wap (RGF 300/Atlantic) ** [B-]
  261. Ward Thomas: From Where We Stand (WTW Music) ** [B+(*)]
  262. Dale Watson: Call Me Insane (Red House) ** [B+(**)]
  263. Waxahatchee: Ivy Tripp (Wichita) ** [B+(**)]
  264. The Weeknd: Beauty Behind the Madness (Republic) ** [B+(*)]
  265. Barrence Whitfield & the Savages: Under the Savage Sky (Bloodshot) ** [B+(*)]
  266. Webb Wilder: Mississippi Moderne (Landslide) ** [B+(*)]
  267. Wildhoney: Sleep Through It (Deranged) ** [B+(*)]
  268. Wildhoney: Your Face Sideways (Topshelf, EP) ** [B+(*)]
  269. Brian Wilson: No Pier Pressure (Capitol) ** [B+(*)]
  270. Wolf Alice: My Love Is Cool (Dirty Hit/RCA) ** [B+(*)]
  271. Chelsea Wolfe: Abyss (Sargent House) ** [B+(*)]
  272. Worriers: Imaginary Life (Don Giovanni) ** [B+(**)]
  273. Wussy: Public Domain, Volume 1 (Shake It, EP) ** [B+(**)]
  274. Yelawolf: Love Story (Shady) ** [B+(**)]
  275. Dwight Yoakam: Second Hand Heart (Warner Brothers) [B]
  276. Young Fathers: White Men Are Black Men Too (Big Dada) ** [B+(**)]
  277. Young Thug: Barter 6 (300/Atlantic) ** [B+(**)]
  278. Zomba Prison Project: I Have No Everything Here (Six Degrees) ** [B+(**)]
  279. Zun Zun Egui: Shackles' Gift (Bella Union) ** [B+(*)]
  280. Zs: XE (Northern Spy) ** [B+(**)]

Additional reissued/archival jazz records rated B+(**) or below (listed alphabetically by artist).

  1. Alex Chilton: Ocean Club '77 (Norton) ** [B+(**)]
  2. Buena Vista Social Club: Lost and Found (1996-2000, World Circuit) ** [B]
  3. Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen: Live in San Francisco 1971 (1971, Sundazed) ** [B+(**)]
  4. The Continental Drifters: Drifted: In the Beginning & Beyond (1992-2001 [2015], Omnivore, 2CD) ** [B+(*)]
  5. Dance Mania: Ghetto Madness (1989-98, Strut) ** [B+(**)]
  6. Dion: Recorded Live at the Bitter End August 1971 (Omnivore) ** [B]
  7. Trevor Jackson Presents: Science Fiction Dancehall Classics (1981-87, On-U Sound, 2CD) ** [B+(**)]
  8. Keith Jarrett: Barber/Bartók (1984-85, ECM New Series) ** [B-]
  9. The Kingbees (1980, Omnivore) ** [B+(**)]
  10. Mariah: Utakata No Hibi (1983, Shan-Shan) ** [B+(**)]
  11. Nouakchott Wedding Songs (Sahel Sounds) ** [B+(**)]
  12. PC Music Volume 1 (2013-15, PC Music) ** [B+(**)]
  13. Percussions: 2011 Until 2014 (2011-14, Text) ** [B+(**)]
  14. The Red Line Comp: A DCHC Compilation (self-released) ** [B+(*)]
  15. LeAnn Rimes: All-Time Greatest Hits (1996-2007, Curb) ** [C+]
  16. The Rough Guide to African Rare Groove: Volume 1 (World Music Network) ** [B+(**)]
  17. The Rough Guide to Latin Disco (World Music Network) ** [B+(*)]
  18. The Rough Guide to Psychedelic Salsa (World Music Network) ** [B+(**)]
  19. The Rough Guide to the Best Arabic Music You've Never Heard (World Music Network) ** [B]
  20. Sherwood at the Controls, Volume 1: 1979-1984 (On-U Sound) ** [B+(**)]
  21. J.B. Smith: No More Good Time in the World for Me (1965-66, Dust-to-Digital, 2CD) ** [B+(**)]
  22. Soft Machine: Switzerland 1974 (1974, Cuneiform) ** [B+(*)]
  23. The Staple Singers: Freedom Highway Complete: Recorded Live at Chicago's New Nazareth Church (1965, Epic/Legacy) ** [B+(*)]

New non-jazz records I haven't heard estimated to have a 2% (or better) chance of making the A-list if/when I finally hear them:

  1. Adele: 25 (XL)
  2. American Aquarium: Wolves (Last Chance)
  3. Ryan Bingham: Fear and Saturday Night (Azater Bingham)
  4. Houndmouth: Little Neon Limelight (Rough Trade)
  5. Joanna Newsom: Divers (Drag City)
  6. Jim O'Rourke: Simple Songs (Drag City)
  7. Jessica Pratt: On Your Own Love Again (Drag City)
  8. Levon Vincent: Levon Vincent (Novel Sound)
  9. William Elliott Whitmore: Radium Death (Anti)
  10. Steven Wilson: Hand. Cannot. Erase. (Kscope)

Reissued/historical non-jazz records I haven't heard estimated to have a 2% (or better) chance of making the A-list if/when I finally hear them:

  1. The Ex + Guests: The Ex at Bimhuis (1991-2015) (Ex)
  2. Thomas Mapfumo: Lion Songs: Essential Tracks in the Making of Zimbabwe (Lion Songs)
  3. ET Mensah & the Tempos: King of Highlife (RetroAfric, 4CD)