Lana del Rey - Born To Die. This is a mess of an album, but it's an impressive one, especially with hindsight - there's a lot of ideas and it doesn't all work, but it's ambitious and doesn't really sound like anything else that I know of.
Liz Phair - Girlysound Tapes. Very inconsistent, but the best 45 minutes or so of material are a worthy addition to her official catalogue. "Ant in Alaska" is the standout for me. A lot of the tracks are early versions of songs that went on to her official albums, and they make you appreciate her craftsmanship, since they're all changed substantially, generally for the better.
Laura Nyro - Eli and the Thirteenth Confession. So goddam good.
Taylor Swift - Reputation. Decided to give it another try. It's not good. Torn between trying to play to her melodic and rhythmic strengths and being sonically ambitious, it doesn't really do either. "Getaway Car" might be the only keeper.
Janelle Monae - Dirty Computer. Can put her aside Lana del Rey as another artist with a messy but great debut, a second album that was a little less interesting but honed her strengths, and a third album that was fairly dull. I get she wanted to make something message-oriented but did the music have to be so boring?
Dawn Richard - Goldenheart. Not a great album - too much mediocre orchestration - but at its best it points toward her next, much better, albums.
Kate Nash - all of her albums. I'm not sure there's another artist with at least three good albums and no good songs, i.e. no songs I'd put on a mixtape. Her new one, Yesterday Is Forever, is probably her best, in that there's no cringeworthy stuff. It now occurs to me that the Mekons are a good comparison for her work - sort of punk, sort of folk, very willing to jettison traditional musical direction in favor of a stream-of-consciousness type approach.
Hannah Peel - Awake But Always Dreaming/The Broken Wave. These are both good - "synthpop" would be a misleading term, it's more synth-heavy instrumentals with some spacey but melodic vocals tacked on top.