[tps_title]Joey Daniewicz’ Top Midyear Picks in Music[/tps_title]
- Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp a Butterfly
Kendrick Lamar made a mistake. He set out to make the album people asked him to make and created a document contemplating the long history of race through the lens of his short life. Somehow he succeeded, coming at the issue from every possible angle while staying rooted in the long history of black excellence in popular music, from Sly Stone to Ornette Coleman to George Clinton to André 3000 and on and on.
- Heems: Eat Pray Thug
It’s less focused than Kendrick’s outing, but when Heems is turning directly toward the way his brown skin shaped his world and how his family and friends were treated with scorn and suspicion in New York City after 9/11, it’s this year’s most impacting art.
- Jamie xx: In Colour
I’ve been waiting for this album since “Far Nearer” came out in 2011, and we finally have Jamie’s defining document of his approach to electronic music. Surprisingly, its crown jewel is a pop song with Young Thug and maybe the sickest sample ever.
- Shamir: Ratchet
A genderfluid black ex-country singer drifts between Hot Chip and mc chris, and it’s freaking awesome.
- Kacey Musgraves: Pageant Material
Some say this is remarkable because of the country tropes it avoids, but Pageant Material is defined by the country tropes it embraces. Don’t let the return of her “HEY” “YUP” choir from “Follow Your Arrow” fool you; she cares way more about people who already listen to country than city-slickers she might win over.
What are YOUR favorite songs or albums in 2015 so far?
Let us know in the comments!