2015 has - without any debate - been a titanic year for music.
The return of iconic artists - such as Sufjan Stevens or Bjork - producing career re-defining records has been coupled with an astonishing upsurge of new talent. In the United States, hip-hop is enjoying a wonderful creative blossom, while in the UK grime's continuing ability to morph into fresh shapes on a weekly basis seems to have lain down a creative challenge to other genres.
Piecing together a list of the Top 50 albums to be released in 2015 has been nigh on impossible, but - after no small amount of debate - we reckon we're there.
All this week, Clash will be unveiling our favourite records of the past 12 months - keep checking back for the full list, and join in the discussion on social media.
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50. Justin Bieber - 'Purpose'
"For his first album in over three years, it's difficult to see how this could have gone any better for Bieber – it looks to be a strong move in his transition to adulthood and proves there's far more to him than being a pretty face for schoolgirls to swoon over. Not many people would've seen that coming."
49. Fatima Yamaha - 'Imaginary Lines'
"Fatima Yamaha has always had this album in his locker. From a pretty dormant back catalogue reawakened by 'What's a Girl to Do' catching a second wind this year, the Dutchman's lot is quite the synth mixture of aggressive and regressive New Romanticism, Chromeo's knowledge of tongue in cheek funk that's shamelessly good for a groove, a modern bright young thing with a conversely pasty outlook, and fixing Rockwell's surveillance camera to his synth bank."
48. Jamie xx - 'In Colour'
"So often the phrase ‘greater than the sum of its parts’ is used to describe a band and yet, on ‘In Colour’, Smith marks himself out as the part greater than the sum. Whether the forthcoming third album by The xx is similarly invigorated remains to be seen, but for the time being we have an emotive, emphatic and often joyous collection of music that plays equally for the head and the heart. A glorious, technicolour triumph."
47. Letta - 'Testimony'
"I feel like every track relates to a specific moment in time, with a specific person, in a specific place. This is just me channelling stuff - it's not beat making, it's not grime or hip hop or whatever, it's just me."
46. Romare - 'Projections'
"Cerebral juke house..."
45. Jessica Pratt - 'On Your Own Love Again'
"For this second outing, now signed to Drag City, Pratt recorded entirely in analogue to a four-track, and the background hiss is once again part of the sound. A few dabs of colour are added, such as the distant clavinet of ‘Moon Dude’, which only adds to its woozy, lilting charm, and a light touch of electric organ on the opener ‘Wrong Hand’, but the focus remains on Pratt’s unique voice. The lyrics tell wry stories, but their delivery is magical."
44. Jay Rock - '90059'
Jay Rock said:
"I'm basically just re-building, that's all I'm doing, coming with something new."
43. Girl Band - 'Holding Hands With Jamie'
Girl Band said: "It was way more challenging to stay focused – tricky to find a balance between keeping a distance from the songs for perspective but also to fully concentrate on them."
42. Jeremih - 'Late Nights'
"I stopped caring about being Jeremih over the last few months. A lot of people don't know I have a two-year-old son. His mom wasn't allowing me to see him, and it was messing with me. I was internally unbalanced. But I just got out of that trial and I won."
41. Courtney Barnett - 'Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit'
"Half of the time Barnett, sounds like she isn't even trying, shrugging out moments of brilliance with ease and nonchalance. Whether she sits and thinks or sits and does nothing, it would appear the results are still golden."
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Stayed tuned for album countdown 40 - 31 tomorrow (December 15th).