|Top 25 2014|
Top 25 2014-w/ honorable mentions
|26|| ||Honorable Mentions|
Alessandro Cortini, Death Grips, Hildur Guonadottir, i built the sky, Kausemus, Leyland Kirby, Matter, The Roots, Semantic, SOHN, Struggle City, Swans, Vittoria Fleet, Wye Oak, A Winged Victory For The Sullen, this song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybcNSoh8vI4
Prog Metal: Skyharbor drops some of their derivative groove metal cliches and opt for a more textural, cohesive album.
|24||Freddie Gibbs and Madlib|
Hip-Hop: Gangsta $h!t. Also the "this is too low on your list" album Part I.
Indie Pop/Folk/Experimental: A fellow acquaintance of mine put out an amazing EP that combines the peppiness of Vampire Weekend with the electronic/orchestral flourishes of Sufjan Stevens. NNNNN is as head twisting as it is good catchy fun. http://music.nnnnn.name/album/plates
R&B/Experimental/Pop: The "this is too low on your list" album Part II. The production and reincarnation of Aaliyah through Twigs is the next evolution of modern R&B.
Hip-Hop: TDE's newest member resembles Kendrick Lamar in many aspects. Though this is hardly a problem considering his unique voice and the spacey production that supports him.
Ambient/Folk: Grouper adds Piano to her repertoire, some of these buried lyrics start to become exposed. Her not showing up for a show in Brooklyn was a bummer though.
Hip-Hop: The Alchemy Index Water EP gets a Explicit Hip-Hop Mixtape Makeover. The atmospheric/reverb soaked production allows Mick Jenkins bass to flow smoothly and effortlessly.
Ambient: A collection of peaceful piano tracks, mixed with some rhodes. This album was basically an alternative to my number one album when I wanted something with slightly different tonalities.
Indie Pop/Alternative/Experimental: Annie Clark finds her pocket, and makes a career defining album. I mean look at that cover, she demands yo respect!
Hip-Hop: Sadistik removes his annoying nasally whine from the last album and focuses on a giving a darker, sinister, and more focused album.
Electronic/Metal: The Algorithm improves on his debut by creating one of the best recent OST for a video game that never existed.
|14||Casualties of Cool|
Casualties of Cool
Prog Rock/Folk/"Space Country": There is an interesting reverb-y air with the drums that gives this album a very unique flavor. The duo vocals play off each other beautifully.
|13||Animals As Leaders|
The Joy Of Motion
Prog Metal/Instrumental: AAL most colorful and arguably best album to date. Sure the band is exploring different styles and even toning down on some of the heaviness. But don't be fooled, this still has enough kick to substitute your morning cup of coffee.
measureless oceans of space
Ambient: This is probably more a sleep aid, but the dark atmosphere's are absolutely engulfing, both simultaneously beautiful and creepy.
|11||Run The Jewels|
Run The Jewels 2
Hip-Hop: If you even remotely consider yourself a fan of Hip-Hop, you are doing yourself a disservice by not listening to this album. Where most rappers start to plateau in ability towards middle age. Jaime and Mike are both nearing 40 and continue to write some of their best music yet.
Intensive Collectivity Known As City
Ambient/Electornic/IDM: A 50 minute listening experience with monolithic drones, bass glitches, and a variety of ear tingling textures that accompany you on the silent train ride home.
Prog Metal: Here we are in the 2010's: The Deftones era of Metal. There are numerous metal acts that now combined heavy textured guitars with soft vocals. The Contortionist's Language is largely influenced from this school of thought, but the album provides a distinct personality that allows this sextet to stand out. Michael Lessard vocals gently glide over these instrumentals with a distinct meditative mind set, which are also exhibited in the lyrics. Meanwhile, The Contortionist improve instrumentally by balancing out their proggy tendencies with parts that actually flow together.
|8|| ||Flying Lotus|
Hip-Hop/Jazz/Electronic: FlyLo bounces back from his subtle last album and creates a Bombastic-Jazz Influenced-Thundercat Bass Crushing Experience. Songs flow quickly in and out of each other, capitalizing on their frantic nature of the album's concept. Arguably his most straight-forward and best work to date.
A Parallel Life
Electronic/IDM/Ambient: A year later, Ocoeur releases an album that is more focused, gripping, and improved all around.
Jazz/Hip-Hop/Trap/Instrumental: III Albums in, BBNG remain consistent in delivering exciting and original new jazz/post-bop for a millennial generation. Although a much more mellow experience, III is arguably
their best work yet thanks to the trio pushing into different genres seamlessly (swing,
electronica, and ambient on top of their hip-hop based roots). Thus suggesting the trio
desire to remove the genre tags altogether. Easily will be a forerunner for best Jazz-based albums of 2014.
Metal/Alternative: Alaya takes the tech-y/groove elements of bands like Cloudkicker/Periphery and the melodic accessibility of Killswitch Engage/Chevelle (esp. here on the latter, with taking that punchy yet somewhat intimate sound) into a tight knit cohesive sound. It is excellent to listen to while for doing chest presses or pretending you rule the world with your 94' Camry by driving slightly above the speed limit. Not trying to insult the album, it's damn good.
|4||Sun Kil Moon|
Folk/Singer-Songwriter: Major Troll-y Douche: Incredible Songwriter. The narrative lyrics of Benji are on another level. Also that War On Drugs song is hilarious.
|3||Jefferson Friedman / Craig Wedren / ACME|
On In Love
Classical/Baroque Pop/Post-Hardcore: Usually when rock bands utilize the orchestral family in their songs, it is a decorative element, giving songs a more dramatic flourish. On In Love takes that concept and switches guitars out for a full blazing orchestra (courtesy of the ACME). It's almost surprising how ground-breaking this sounds, coming of as a crossover between Baraque Pop, Cabaret, Broadway, and Post-hardcore. Vocalist of Shudder To Think Craig Wedren vocals sway around these strings with his raw yet beautiful tenor-croon. A seriously underrated album of 2014.
Shiny Eyed Babies
Prog/Baroque Pop/Alternative: Bent Knee Shiny Eyed Babies is the definition of insanity, but is also the exact type of progression that is required in 2014 where an over-saturated music scene makes originally a more limited component. You can tell each of the members bring their respective influences into a unique sound, interestingly blending elements of psychedelia, baroque pop, ambient, and even a dose of progressive rock. A lot of this music ends up sounding like an insane crossover between Fiona Apple, Radiohead, Devin Townsend, and Imogen Heap all morphed into one blast. Excellent in it's melodies and intricately placed with it's instrumentation, Shiny Eyed Babies is a bold album on all fronts, daring you to sink in it's soft lush atmospheres only to pull the carpet from under you, exposing your tears and gritting teeth smile.
|1||Otto A Totland|
Ambient: Pino is one of those records that you can listen to wherever you go, and completely sink into it's piano abyss. The compositions here are simple and minimal, but hit a striking balance that is both melancholy yet relaxing. I could attempt to pull apart different aspects of the album, however the minimally recorded 18-tracks runs together under 44 minutes like one long piano track that hardly breaks beyond its piano-soft dynamics (even the slightly bouncy Jonas remains submerged in it's quiet acoustics and reverb). Instead, Pino is better described from how you personally experience it. For myself, it's an album that allows you to enter it's world, and it doesn't judge you for who are. It's a record that will keep you company wherever you go, provide you comfort in it's warmth, expressing itself through it's soft-clicking keys as if it were saying "relax, sit down, and breathe."