From Jazz To Latin To R&B, NPR Music’s Favorite Albums Of 2015 So Far (via NPR)

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Let’s talk about music. Do you remember the last time you bought a full album – actually sat down and stuck with something for the entire track list? If you’re a fan of the full album experience, you might feel like you’re in a shrinking minority. It is the age of streaming singles and one-off YouTube links. But you album fans have some friends. NPR Music has spent the last month listening to, arguing about and voting on a list of their 25 favorite albums from the first half of 2015.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “DON’T WANNA FIGHT”)

ALABAMA SHAKES: (Singing) My life, your life. Don’t cross them lines.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “DIME STORE COWGIRL”)

SINGER KACEY MUSGRAVES: (Singing) Because I’m just a dime store cowgirl.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Singing in foreign language).

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MARTIN: From Kamasi Washington saxophone to the Alabama Shakes, NPR music editor Jacob Ganz is here to talk through some of these selection. Hey, Jacob.

JACOB GANZ, BYLINE: Howdy, Rachel.

MARTIN: OK, so aside from Taylor Swift or Beyonce, album sales have fallen steadily since 2000. And there have been a whole lot of think pieces by music critics eulogizing the album. I happen to know you disagree. Tell me why the album is not dead.

GANZ: The album is definitely not dead, if only because it makes an absolute coherent statement. It’s the quickest way to deeply understand where a musician is coming from. A single might give you a burst of energy or a really quick hit of something that you need in a specific moment. But when you commit to an album, it’s really a deeper understanding, a longer soak in what they’re doing. That’s sort of what we try to do with this list.

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