Drake – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
Back in June of 2014, Drake released “0 to 100/The Catch Up,” where he promised, “We already got spring 2015 poppin’.” The season hasn’t even arrived yet, but it is hard to deny that Drake and his OVO crew are living up to their bravado. Without prior announcement, Drake shared If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late in the middle of February, where the mixtape debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. Though it was released for free, the record is currently the second best-selling album of the year in the States. All this from a guy who talks about Toronto in pretty much every song, even having “6 Man” inspired by the Toronto Raptors basketball player, Lou Williams. In my opinion, this is the best full body of work that Drake has released as of yet, so lets see what the spring holds for October’s Very Own.
Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear
Josh Tillman has had the misfortune of being in a popular band. Any review you read of the artist will usually explain that he was once the drummer of the Fleet Foxes, when in fact he has released more solo material in which he has obviously had far bigger input. Originally releasing music as J. Tillman and now Father John Misty, Tillman has finally earned a reputation for himself. On I Love You, Honeybear, the American musician pokes fun at his home (“Bored in the USA”), marriage (“The Ideal Husband”), sex (“Chateau Lobby #4 (In C For Two Virgins)”), and society as a whole (“I Went to the Store Today”). Tillman adds laugh tracks, jokes and self-defacing lyrics that make the album enjoyable while also important. 2015 has started to look like the year of the conscious artist, and that is something we need more of.
Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly
Probably the most anticipated record of the year, Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly did not disappoint. Using jazz, funk and soul, Lamar continued the story he started on good kid, m.A.A.d. city by looking at a character who made it out of the ghetto and now is trying to survive in the real world. Lamar deals with issues like taxes, police brutality, the music industry and politics. To list the topics simplifies them though, as Butterfly is more a work of art than it is a simple album. Each track has layers, unexpected turns and different sounds. A few weeks into listening and I am still finding new things each time I put the record on, proving that this is one will stand the test of time.