Stuff I've been listening to lately. Nothing's stand-out awesome, but there's definitely some good, solid stuff sandwiched between the mediocre.
If you're into rock, though, just go get Imagine Dragons' latest album; I'm not even all the way through it yet and I know it's way better than anything on this list.
Charli XCX—SUCKER: 5/10
Highs: Gold Coins, Doing It featuring Rita Ora, Die Tonight
Well-produced pop music that would be better with a vocalist who doesn't sound like she really wished she had a punk band.
Marc7—Food Water and Shelter: 3/10
Highs: I Who Have Nothing, Runaway, Inhale
Those are the only good tracks. Marc7 should stick with Jurassic 5. But hey, it's free!
CHVRCHES—The Bones of What You Believe: 6/10
Highs: The Mother We Share, Lungs, Recover
It's the 80s! If you love synth-pop then this is your dream come true.
Amadou and Mariam—Folila: 5/10
Highs: Nebe Miri featuring Theophilus London, Dougou Badia featuring Santigold, C'est Pas Facile Pour Les Aigles featuring Ebony Bones
Lots of guest artists on this album, and they are most definitely the highlight. Not sure who to recommend it to.
Kendrick Lamar—good kid, m.A.A.d city: 3/10
Highs: good kid, Now or Never featuring Mary J. Blige, The Recipe featuring Dr. Dre
Kendrick's a talented rapper but his voice gets on my nerves and the album isn't my style at all.
Sam Smith—Safe With Me: very good, R&B (not to be confused with Stay With Me)
Nappy Roots—Roun' the Globe: very good, upbeat rap ensemble
Niki and the Dove—DJ, Ease My Mind: very good, Euro-dance
Kid Cudi—Man on the Moon: very good, weirdly relaxing rap (bonus track)
MS MR—Dance Yrself Clean: very good, piano pop (cover)
The Cardigans—Erase / Rewind: very good, strangely mysterious pop
Matt Palmer—Only Happy When It Rains: very good, R&B, chorus inspired by the Garbage single
Albums I didn't like:
I gave all of these a good try on Spotify but couldn't bring myself to buy them. Not recommended.
Michael Giacchino—LOST soundtracks
Eric Bellinger—The ReBirth
Mark Ronson—Uptown Special
Nick Jonas—Nick Jonas
Drake—If You're Reading This It's Too Late [Because This Album Will Seriously Give You Ear Cancer]