Exclaim!'s Top 27 Albums of 2015 So Far

20. Young Fathers
White Men Are Black Men Too
(Big Dada)

To follow their Mercury Prize-winning Dead LP, Young Fathers concocted a bold and vital work that makes a strong argument for the return of the "alternative" tag. From the album's provocatively inclusive title to the Scottish trio's adamant refusal to limit or corral their influences under any recognizable banner, every aspect of their presentation seems designed to act in opposition to compartmentalized thinking. Their melting pot of sound is deeper than TV On the Radio's at their Cookie Mountain best, repurposing tools and re-contextualizing sonic tricks from classic pop, soul, dub, hip-hop and blues as comfortably as they do from punk, metal, experimental, electronic, a myriad global folk sounds and anything else that has crossed their internet-age ears.

What they draw and form from that vast soup of flavours is remarkably harmonious, even in its moments of starkest contrast. Kendrick Lamar may have dropped the year's most masterful genre statement, but no other album is as fiercely dedicated to carving its own path in the contemporary music landscape as White Men Are Black Men Too.
Scott Gray