Jake’s Take: Best Albums of 2015-Part Three

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

If you missed part two, click here: http://jakes-take.com/2015/12/jakes-take-best-albums-of-2015-part-two/

This is it!

Here are the five best albums of 2015!

 

Piece By Piece Kelly Clarkson

(Album cover property of 19 Records & RCA Records)

5. Piece by Piece by Kelly Clarkson

I am so glad that the Grammys showed Kelly Clarkson love for this impeccable pop album. Her seventh studio album is up for the Best Pop Vocal Album Grammy, while her lead single, “Heartbeat Song,” is nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance.  Piece by Piece is not only Kelly’s best work, but this might have the potential of being an instant classic. Piece by Piece showcased Ms. Clarkson’s mastery of several musical genres including pop, R&B/Soul and rock. While Ms. Clarkson soared as a vocalist, she left a fantastic group of collaborators such as Kara DioGuardi, Sia, Greg Kurstin, John Legend, Jesse Shatkin and Justin Tranter to craft superb, quality tracks. In addition, both “Invincible” and Ms. Clarkson’s duet with John Legend: “Run Run Run” should have top spots on both the best songs of 2015 and collaborations of 2015 respectfully.

Tracks to Download: “Invincible,” “Heartbeat Song,” “Take You High,” “Run Run Run,” “Let Your Tears Fall” & “Dance With Me”

 

 

The Weeknd Beauty Behind the Madness

(Album cover property of XO Records & Republic Records)

 4. Beauty Behind the Madness by The Weeknd

The best R&B album of 2015 is Beauty Beneath the Madness! In addition to acquiring seven Grammy nominations for his sophomore album, the Canadian singer-songwriter also became one of the hottest artists in the Top 40 music market after recording a red hot song that was featured on the 50 Shades of Grey soundtrack (“Earned It”) and collaborations with pop queens Ariana Grande and Sia. Beauty Behind the Madness showcased the Weeknd as a versatile composer and producer as he co-wrote and co-produced a majority of his second album.  Production heavyweights Max Martin, Savan Kotecha, Ali Payami, Mike Dean and Danny Boy Styles were among the producers and songwriters that assisted the Weeknd with the recording efforts, while Labrinth, Ed Sheeran and Lana Del Rey provided vocal support. All I have to say is that the Weeknd is killed 2015 and he is definitely an inspiration for his fellow millennial artists, music industry employees and bloggers. I have a strong feeling that he might steal some Grammys from Taylor Swift at the 2016 Grammy Awards.

Tracks to Download: “The Hills,” “Can’t Feel My Face,” “Shameless,” “Dark Times,” “Prisoner” & “In the Night

 

Pentatonix album

(Album cover property of RCA Records)

3. Pentatonix by Pentatonix

If there was an award for Best Group of 2015, it would not go to One Direction, The Band Perry or Straight No Chaser, it would go to Pentatonix! I have been following this group for two years and I am so proud of their growth.  Their self-titled, full-length studio album was probably the one of the most anticipated albums of 2015 and the group did not disappoint. The quintet charted off into new territory as a bulk of their album contained original material. It was a big risk that paid off BIG TIME! The group showcased that they were not only talented arrangers, but impeccable songwriters as well.  Well done, Pentatonix! I cannot wait to see you when you perform in Kansas City next week!

Tracks to Download: “Na Na Na,” “Can’t Sleep Love,” “Sing,” “If I Ever Fall in Love,” “Ref” & “Take Me Home”

(Album cover property of Republic Records)

(Album cover property of Republic Records)

2. Finding Neverland: The Album (Songs From the Broadway Musical) by Various Artists

One album that I could not stop listening to this year was from a Broadway musical! Finding Neverland: The Album (Songs From the Broadway Musical) was the brainchild of former X Factor UK judge Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy, who helped adapt the 2004 hit film Finding Neverland to the Broadway stage. Before the original cast released their album, both Barlow and Kennedy turned to a diverse group of A-list recording artists to give their interpretations of the tunes. As Kiesza turned “Stronger” into a club hit, both Bon Jovi and Pentatonix raised the listeners’ spirits with “Beautiful Day” and “Stars.” Meanwhile, Christina Aguilera, John Legend, Jennifer Lopez and Trey Songz tugged at the listeners’ heart strings and goose bumps with their beautiful interpretations of “Anywhere but Here,” “My Imagination” and “What You Mean to Me” respectively. In my humble opinion, this concept album is at the same level of excellence that Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida is in. If anyone wants to create a Broadway musical and wants to do a concept album, I hope that they use Finding Neverland: The Album (Songs From the Broadway Musical) as a guide.

Tracks to Download: “Stronger,” “What You Mean to Me,” “Beautiful Day,” “Stars,” “My Imagination” & “Something About This Night”

Before we get to number one, here are some albums that I enjoyed listening to but missed the list:

Harry Connick, Jr.: That Would Be Me

David Foster & Various Artists-We Love Disney

Don Henley: Cass County

Janet Jackson: Unbreakable

Nate Ruess: Grand Romantic

Now, the number one album of 2015 is….

 

Adele 25 Hello

(Album cover property of XL)

 25 by Adele

Congratulations, Adele! 25 is the Best Album of 2015! It has been four years since the 10-time Grammy and Oscar-winning singer-songwriter released the recording phenomenon 21. There were astronomical expectations for her third album and boy did she not disappoint! While many listeners might be shocked with up-tempo tracks such as the Max Martin and Shellback produced “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” and the Greg Kurstin co-written “Water Under the Bridge,” there are still goose bump inducing tracks such as the potential 2015 Song of the Year: “Hello,” the Ryan Tedder-penned “Remedy” and “All I Ask,” a tune that Adele co-penned with Bruno Mars and the Smeezingtons. I hope that Adele returns to the United States and tour with this album, because the 25 tour could have the potential to be one of the best tours of all-time.

Tracks to Download: “Hello,” “Water Under the Bridge,” “River Lea,” “Send My Love (To Your New Lover),” “Remedy,” “All I Ask” & “When We Were Young”

I do not own any of the clips that were featured in this article. They belong to the artists and their respective record labels. Adele’s performance of “Water Under the Bridge” belongs to NBC, Universal Television and Broadway Video.

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Copyright 2015 Jacob Elyachar