1. Paloma Faith - A perfect Contradiction
“A Perfect contradiction” is Paloma’s best work yet. “Only Love Can hurt like This” is the standout track with heart-breaking emotion. Pharell-produced lead single “Can’t Rely on you” is fresh and funky. Intimate tracks “Take Me” and “Mouth to Mouth” each offer a different sound.
2. Lily Allen - Sheezus
Lily is back with the crown, bitch. Lead single “Hard out Here,” is a sassy female-empowering anthem. “Air Ballon” is an adventure and favorite track “URL Badman” is a rebellion against critics and bloggers. Each track offers variety.
3. Sam Smith - in the Lonely Hour
In a year full of new-comers, Sam Smith rises to the top. The gloomy breakout hit “Stay With Me” is the start of greatness. “I’ve Told You Now” and “I’m not the Only One” both deal with heartbreak. “Latch” and “La La La” offer an up-tempo contrast.
4. Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence
Another solid album, however a step back from “Born to Die.” Again Lana proves that simplicity is successful in today’s pop world. Her easy melodies and genuine lyrics in “Black Beauty,” “Brooklyn Baby,” and “Shades of Cool” are breath-taking. However her hits “West Coast” and “Ultraviolence” have been less-impressive.
5. Jessie J - Sweet Talker
Jessie J’s album hasn’t been released (its out Oct. 14), but its already proved to be one of the year’s best from its 90-second samples. “Bang Bang” is dynamic and powerful while “Burning Up” gives a fun tribal/EDM beat. “Fire” and “Ain’t been Done” both sound promising.