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Friday, March 24, 2017

20 Best Funk Albums of 2015

Posted by funkatop On January - 12 - 2016
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By popular demand, the 2015’s best funk albums!

It’s GREATLY IMPORTANT that you realize that your favorite album might not be here because a) we only pick 20 and b) we may not have even heard of the one you like. So if we missed yours, PLEASE share it with everyone in the comments area.
The 2014 post from last year had loads of great comments of bands we missed and we don’t expect this year to be any different.

Like last year, we purposely did NOT add numbers in order to make sure that all are created equal in their funkiness. Enjoy this list, complete with links to check the albums on Amazon, iTunes and in some cases even get and listen to the albums for free!

Check out the playlist of these bands on Spotify!


 

lettuceLettuce – Crush (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

This live jam funk band has funked millions of faces for over 20 years and this follow up to 2012’s Fly album, this has been well worth the wait and a MUST to add to your funk collection. Not to mention a feature film focusing on the band is due out soon.

There aren’t many funk bands that have been together longer than Lettuce and when you hear the newest offering from this incredible band, you can hear it loud and clear.


 

Rock Candy Funk Party - Groove Is KingRock Candy Funk PartyGroove Is King (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

Rock Candy Funk Party returns to the list for a 2nd year in a row with another funk masterpiece. This all star band features players like guitar Gods Joe Bonnamassa and Ron DeJesus, superstar drummer Tal Bergman, and bass thumpmaster Mike Merrit.

Outside of their solo work, they’ve also collectively shared the stage with everyone from Prince to Chaka Khan to Stevie Ray Vaughn to BB King. Full Funkatopia review.


Souljazz Orchestra - Resistance

Souljazz OrchestraResistance (Amazon | iTunes | Website)

We could explain it, but they do it best:
Resistance is a fierce, hard-hitting album, influenced in part by the dancefloor sounds of Francophone Africa and the French Caribbean – bringing in fresh elements of Coupé-Décalé, Zouk, and Ndombolo to the band’s heavy mix of Afro, Soul and Jazz styles – as well as powerful lyrics that deliver biting social commentary alongside messages of hope.”


 

Vulfpeck - Thrill of the ArtsVulfpeck – Thrill Of The Arts (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

The always on the cutting edge four piece band had even released a silent album in 2014  called Sleepify. Thrill Of The Arts is far from silent with stabbing bass line riffs, haunting keyboards and bright production work.

Vulfpeck came onto our radar thanks to Funkatopia fans of our 204 list comment area and that got them a spot on our list this year!

 


Freekbass - CincinnatiFreekbassCincinnati (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

Freekbass makes a return to the best of list for two years in a row now with his new album Cincinnati. The outspoken bass player has shared the stage with tons of funk legends like Bernie Worrel, Bootsy Collins and others.

Everytime they go into the studio they get better and better and now 6 albums into it, they churn out another funkafied biscuit.


 

Prince, HitnRun Phase 2Prince HITnRUN Part 1 & 2  (Amazon -Phase One only | iTunes – Phase 2 Only)

Prince went through many iterations over the past few years, but surprised everyone with not one but two albums within a years time. While not full of funk front to back, there was enough funky tunes between the two of them to easily qualify as one bad to the bone collection.

Some of his best stuff in years landed on these two full length gems, the second of which came in completely under the radar to even his most devoted fan sites. Full Phase One Funkatopia review. Phase Two review.


 

Turkuaz - DigitoniumTurkuaz – Digitonium (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream – some songs)

Turkuaz is huge and bright and loud. Teetering on the edge of disco, they are full of contrast and their music is vibrant and happy. An insane collection of 23 tracks that could have split into two albums, but lucky for you, it wasn’t.

If Cameo would have taken their Word Up days and continued the journey, this is what it would have sounded like. Be sure to check the full Funkatopia Review.


 

Analog Son - Stomp and ShoutAnalog SonStomp and Shout (Amazon | Website | Stream)

Another band that revisited the “Best Of” list for a second year in the row is the mighty Analog Son. Easily one of our favorite new funk bands that has tons of jazz influences, but your head won’t stop bouncing during this ten track masterpiece.

Stomp and Shout is a force to be reckoned with and could be one of the best funky releases in a very long time.  You can check our review on their first album here.


 

Polyrhythmics - OctagonPolyrhythmicsOctagon (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

Last year saw Polyrhythmics getting onto the list with their live recording. This year they hit the ground running with a brand new full length album that continues the funk mastery of the first album Libra Stripes.

There aren’t a lot of bands that have this full sound that is filled wth heavy emotion and nuance. Th Seattle based band delivers a heaping helping of what they call afro-psycho-beat, but whatever you call it, it’s funky and delicious.


 

Caboose - CoupeCaboose – Coupe (Amazon | iTunes)

Caboose is a one off album that combines elements of Headhunters and The Meters with true grit. This collection of songs was put together as a memoriam to their keyboardist Jonathan Cooper in order to properly capture the magic that was Caboose.

The end result was a blast of insanely good music that literally puts itself into the category of true funk classic. Be sure to read the full Funkatopia review here.


 

Dam Funk - Invite The LightDam Funk Invite The Light (Amazon | iTunes | Website)

Dam Funk isn’t just a master of Twitter, but also a master of producing some of the funkiest licks on the planet.

While he may be used to being the sideman and working with lots of acts including 2013’s 7 Days of Funk with Snoop Dogg, he finally released his newest solo albums that was about 5 years in the making and it comes out swinging featuring 20 tracks of funky goodness.


 

Orgone - Beyond The SunOrgone – Beyond The Sun  (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream – one song)

Orgone has an amazing penchant from finding some of the most incredible vocalists to fill out their project and it always outperforms the one before it, but still manages to keep its integrity throughout and nearing 15 years since their debut release almost 15 years ago.

2015 was no different with Orgone releasing their new album Beyond The Sun and keeping the funk thick and palpable. It’s undeniably funky. Read the full review on Funkatopia here.


 

TuxedoTuxedo – Tuxedo (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

Mayer Hawthorne and Jake One join forces to put out a funk classic in the true vain of the disco laden 70’s. While this super-duo team had amazing solo careers in full swing, they decided that there was a hole to be filled and they would be the ones to fill it.

In the spirit of Chic, Plush, Shalamar and Zapp, Tuxedo was a welcome surprise that landed in a perfect spot and was the gift that just kept giving.


 

Judith Hill - Back In TimeJudith HillBack in Time (iTunes | Website | Stream – snippets)

Judith Hill blasted onto the scene as part of the TV series The Voice and immediately grabbed the attention of Prince who quickly took her under his wing. The result was the release of her debut album Back In Time which contained some of the most blistering funk this side of Minneapolis.

Prince got sued by her producer when he launched her album for free to Live Nation subscribers for a brief period of time and took it down 24 hours later. While it’s not free anymore, it’s worth every single dime.


 

Main Squeeze - Mind Your HeadThe Main Squeeze – Mind Your Head (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

The Main Squeeze is one of those bands that catches you by surprise and if the first time you see them is live, you certainly will never forget it.

The band was based out of Chicago, but has recently migrated west to California to capture more opportunities and grow beyond their Chi-town home. Fronted by huge powerful vocals, funky grooves with a dash of jam band influences, there’s just nothing like The Main Squeeze.


 

Ohio Players - More Funky Soul PartyOhio Players More Funky Soul Party (Amazon | Website | Stream)

No one saw this compilation coming that was put together by StarPointe as a double album filled with probably the maximum amount of music that you can fit on a collection.

24 tracks pack this wall to wall compilation of Ohio Players tunes from the beginning years, but not touching on their hits in order to show just how formidable this band was even in their early days and it sends a very powerful message.


 

Galactic - Into The DeepGalactic  – Into The Deep (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

Galactic is the ultimate New Orleans style funk jam band that has been a force to be reckoned with for over 20 years. Every album brings new flavor to showcase a new musical boundary for them.

Into The Deep finds Galactic returning to their roots bringing deep heavy grooves with massive hooks and melody lines. It’s an album full of great tracks with some guest spots by Macy Gray, Mavis Staples and many more.


 

Monophonics - Sound Of SinningMonophonics – Sound Of Sinning (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

The Monophonics have been stomping onto the scene with a sweat drenched funk with some fantastic deep soulful swings.

Recently featured last year on America’s Got Talent during a dancing segment gave them an unexpected boost into the national spectrum even though many had already been recognized for their intense brooding funky prowess. It’s deep, growly, funky soul.


 

Pimps of Joytime - Jukestone ParadisePimps of Joytime Jukestone Paradise (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

Pimps of Joytime is the ultimate band that is full of diverse sounds and styles all rooted in funk.

Jukestone Paradise is packed full of dance beats, slick bits of EDM, all roasted and barbecued in a 70’s funk sauce. No two songs sound alike even though their style is haunting and at some times even a bit trippy. But that’s what makes Pimps all that more special.

 


 

The Internet - Ego DeathThe Internet Ego Death (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

The furthest reaching funk flavoring in the list and a perfect ending to a perfect 2015 list. The Internet came to our attention from Funkatopia friend Janelle Monae, The Internet are moody, theatrical, funky and full of sexual charge right out of the gate.

The offshoots of the Odd Future family show no signs of slowing down while continually touring the country in various festivals. The Internet are starting to gain some serious traction and the positive vibes you’re hearing are completely worth it.


THE OVERSIGHT PICK

The oversight pick is an album that we somehow lost our minds and completely missed. Not because we didn’t know it existed, but we just forgot to include it in the list for final consideration and if it had been on the list, it , without a doubt, unquestionably, would have been in the top 20.  And while we could just “let it go”, it literally begins to eat away at our soul every passing day and we toss and turn at night kicking ourselves.

Last year, it was Funkadelic’s release because it came in late, late in December. This year, there was no excuse. We just made a very stupid mistake. Time to fix that oversight right here, right now….

newmastersoundsThe New Mastersounds  Made For Pleasure (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

The New Mastersounds are one of our favorite funk bands of all time and their new album Made For Pleasure is a true funk masterpiece and they deserve to be on this list even over some others that are here. But we’re not kicking anyone off the list and are making good on our oversight.

ALL HAIL THE NEW MASTERSOUNDS!


 

 

Added Bonus!

Moonchild - Please RewindMoonchild Please Rewind (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

Technically not funk and falling more under the dome of neo-soul or whatever you’re calling it nowadays, this act was so incredibly tough not to get on the list.

They are truly undeniable and shockingly, a relatively new band to the scene with only one other album release from 2012. Please take a listen to this album.

 

Check out the playlist of these bands on Spotify!


 

Extra Bonuses from YOU!
Check the suggestions below from you, our readers. We know we missed a bunch, so help us out.

Did we miss some more? Add them to the comments below!  Hook us up and remember, the albums had to have been released in 2015 to qualify for the list.

Check out the playlist of these bands on Spotify!

24 Responses to “20 Best Funk Albums of 2015”

  1. Joe says:

    Nice! Thanks for getting the word out on Caboose, that was definitely one of my favorites. I wouldn’t have heard if it were for your email newsletter.

    My favorite was still Bixiga 70’s III. My list ran more toward the jazzy, soulful, funky world music end of the spectrum…http://funkish.audio/best-albums-of-2015-funky-soulful-eclectic-music-from-around-the-world/ & we still have several common best albums of 2015.

    Thanks for the heads up on all the great music all year long!

  2. Great List, thank you

    How about XL Middleton’s “Tap Water”? http://www.xlmiddleton.com/

  3. funkatop says:

    We were also called out on Mark Ronson’s Uptown Special album and it didn’t make the list because it technically only had two funk songs on it, but we also realize that some of our selections that made the list also have the same problem (like Judith Hill and The Internet).

    Much love for Ronson’s bringing back that full blown Minneapolis sound with Uptown Funk, but the commercialism of it turned us off a little. They still get a huge shout out.

    • zenmonkey says:

      I follow, but if it was a list of top songs for 2015, Mark Ronson’s Feel Right (with mystical) should be on the number one spot. That song is the best James Brown kick in the gut I have ever heard and wasn’t from James Brown’s circle of musicians.
      (on second place in that list would be “the one” from dutch band The Jig. I don’t know if their album is out yet)

  4. jb says:

    Here’s some additions to your list:
    The New Mastersounds – Made for Pleasure
    Nigel Hall – Ladies and Gentlemen… Nigel Hall
    The Word – Soul Food
    Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band – Funk Life
    Haggis Horns – What Comes to Mind

    • funkatop says:

      THOSE ARE HUGE. All fantastic suggestions. We really need to make this a top 30 next year. The New Mastersounds are one of our favorites. No idea why that didn’t hit the list.

    • Joe says:

      I second The New Mastersounds – Made for Pleasure. I think it’s their best record in a few years. I love listening to it!

    • Hey JB
      It’s that time of year and thanks for your extra list last year. Like Bjorn, we assume that you’re heavily entrenched in music 24/7 and may have some great suggestions this year too. Get us the best funk albums for 2016 and email them to us for consideration for the final lust this year!

  5. Bjorn Sonesson says:

    Excellent list!!!
    Some Mentions:
    Isley Brothers – Wild In Woodstock. Fantastic Live set in the studio 1980. Never released before. Ha ha Fight The Power…
    Ishan Cooper – Coop The Ville. P-Funk From Australia. Love this one. Bat Funk Crazy
    Doggmaster – Peace & Phunk. Heavy Zappish funk from France.
    Haggis Horns – What Comes To Mind. Love It. Remember back in 2001 when I saw them Live in London. Backing the New Mastersounds. Good God.
    Mighty Mocambos – Showdown. Rare Groove From Germany
    Sonny Knight And The Lakers – Do It Live. Excellent Live Session from Last years album.
    Mahalia Barnes And The Soul Mates – Ohh Yea. Betty Davis Covers. My Good. So Hard. Bonamassa
    Soul Motivators – Free To Believe. Rare Groove
    The Rebirth – Being Thru The Eyes Of A Child. Good soul/funk album
    Speedometer – No Turning Back. Not the Best but still a good well produced album
    Joey Negro & The Sunburst Band . The Reflex Revisions. Very Chic Remixes
    Byron Miller – Psycho Bass. Jazz Funk Me Like
    Cool Million – Sumethin Like This. Disco Funk. Heavy on the Bass
    And of course the J.B´s album – These Are The JB´s. Vinyl only first but now on Itunes. Funk Heaven.

    Happy Listening
    Best
    Bjorn Sonesson, Sweden

    • Hey Bjorn!
      It’s that time of year and thanks for your extra list last year. Based on your massive list, we assume that you’re heavily entrenched in music 24/7 and may have some great suggestions this year too. Get us the best funk albums for 2016 and email them to us for consideration for the final lust this year!

      • Bjorn Sonesson says:

        Hello Mr. Christopher
        I saw this reply just now. I give u my suggestions för 2017 instead. As always u got an excellent list this year. Great to have suggestions, because u always miss something,
        We have great funk musicians here in Gothenburg. Check out ZeeCho-Rewind and M-Rock- The Cosmic Phunk Saga continues. Contains members from the Stonefunkers.
        Some other mentions: Original P-Funk Force Trauma. The Brooks-Pain & Bliss. PunkPappa-Dance Electric Vol 1. Deep Street Soul-Come Alive. And of course Rasputin Stash – Hidden Stash, the unreleased album from the seventies.
        Have a good one. Take care
        Best Regards
        Bjorn Sonesson

  6. Bjorn Sonesson says:

    Some of the best songs this year
    Judith Hill – Turn Up
    Prince – Stare
    Ishan Cooper – Bat Funk Crazy
    Isley Brothers – Livin In The Life/Go For Your Guns Live
    Haggis Horns – Keep it Tight
    Mahalia Barnes – Step In Her I Miller Shoes
    Soul Motivators – Baby Im Gone
    Lettuce – Get Greazy
    Soul Scratch – Pacified
    Dogg Master – Funk U Betta
    Orgone – When Someones Love Is Real
    Turkuaz – Nightswimming
    Byron Miller – Spoken Funk
    Horndogz – Future Funk
    New Mastersounds – Enough is Enough
    Mad Satta – Break Me Free
    The Get Up – Take You Down
    Joey Negro & Sunburst Band – the Secret Life Of Us (Reflex Revision)
    Breakdown Brass – Mary Jane

  7. […] another year came to a close, it still amazes me how many people love our Best Funk list every year. And every year, it literally eats at the pit of my stomach because I always miss great […]

  8. […] soul stompers of 2015 according to Craig Charles (“Funk & Soul show” on BBC6), in 20 best funk albums of 2015 according to US site funktopia, in top ten albums of 2015 according to US radio show “Hip […]

  9. Jeremiah Shea says:

    I am not sure how these up and comers were missed, but I seriously seriously urge all of you to check out The Heard. They’re out of Chicago and launched their debut album late in 2015 thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign. For a debut album, it has been a whiiiiiile since I’ve seen a band with this much fire out of the gate. Please check them out – I know you’ll enjoy them if you’re reading this comment/list.

    Listen to The Heard here – https://soundcloud.com/theheardfunk/sets/theheard

  10. KC says:

    Please check out the Jaden Carlson Band when you can. Polychromatic

    http://soundcloud.com/jadencarlsonband

  11. Bill says:

    Sure Fire Soul Ensemble should be on the list…

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