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 Lists
12.09.14 My 64 Favorite Albums Of 2014 12.07.14 My Top EPs/Live Albums/Comps Of 2014
12.06.14 2014 Honorable Mentions10.04.14 Underappreciated Albums
12.07.13 My 50 Favorite Albums Of 2013 02.02.13 Concerts In 2012 (part 2)
12.09.12 My Favorites From 201209.29.12 Concerts In 2012 (part One)
12.14.11 Concerts In 201112.05.11 My Favorites From 2011
10.26.11 15 Albums I (Mistakenly) Overlooked The10.21.11 In Defense Of My Fives
08.20.11 Best Of Outside Lands06.22.11 13 Non-stop Albums
06.01.11 The 24 Most Influential Albums On My Li 02.26.11 My Top 15 Of 2010
12.11.10 Bands I've Seen Live In 201011.23.10 My Top 10 Eps
More »

My 64 Favorite Albums Of 2014

My 50 favorite albums from 2014. Not necessarily the 'best' albums, just the ones I enjoyed rlistening to the most. Recs would be sweet, especially in the genres that don't dominate this list.
64The Antlers
Familiars


Lyrically, its among the best. The entire album has one of the most cohesive atmospheres since Kaputt. However, many of the songs drag; it feels like a much more daunting listen than 9 songs. Still, the things it does right earns it a spot on this list.
63Lana Del Rey
Ultraviolence


I was one of the biggest Lana haters back in the day, but I gotta give credit where it's due- even if the track list reads like list of buzz words curated by urban outfitters. She seems to have found her artistic voice on this album. (My little brother made the mistake of seeing her at ACL and apparently her fans are still awful.)
62Planning for Burial
Desideratum


A bit too lo-fi for its own good ("why did they record it like that" asked a friend when I played him the first track). The songs themselves are absolutely epic.
61Arca
Xen


Very disorienting beat album that sometimes indulges itself a little too much. Really hope he's busy working on Kanye's new album right now.
60 Thom Yorke
Tomorrow's Modern Boxes


Some really creative stuff on this one. Sure its not Radiohead quality, but still a very rewarding listen.
59Chad VanGaalen
Shrink Dust


Super unique folk album. Lots of weird noises while still being very catchy.
58Nocando
Jimmy the Burnout


It has some duds, but overall is one of better hip hop releases in an admittedly weak year. When this album hits it refuses to hold back. The beat on Little Green Monsters is filthy. Those hats doe.
57Ty Segall
Manipulator


I loved it on the first listen, but later realized it contains a ton of filler. Still, the amazing album buried within earns a spot on here.
56Alt-J
This is All Yours


Strong sophomore effort by Alt-J. Their live show was probably the worst of the year (due to a shitty crowd) or else it might place higher.
55 Dads
I'll Be The Tornado


Solid album with great lyrics.
54Lykke Li
I Never Learn


Gorgeous album, but could use a little more variety.
53Schoolboy Q
Oxymoron


I feel that the success of GKMC put a ton of pressure on Schoolboy and he let it get to him. This album had a ton of potential, and while it's still great, it could've been so much more.
52Tweedy
Sukierae


A bit too sprawling, but this album quickly shows it has more to offer than the father/son novelty. It is at its best when it slows down and lets the songs breath.
51The Hotelier
Home, Like Noplace Is There


Very deep, very dense lyrics. This album pays off more and more after each listen.
50Cymbals Eat Guitars
LOSE


Cymbals Eat Guitars made a huge leap with this album. Jackson is one my top songs of the year.
49United Nations
The Next Four Years


Stunningly intense album. Very cool blend of genres/styles.
48Kalle Mattson
Someday, the Moon Will be Gold


Another fantastic album inspired by the death of a loved one. Very strong songwriting and instrumentation. Kinda reminds me of a folky Gaslight Anthem for some reason.
47 Modern Baseball
You're Gonna Miss It All


Very energetic pop punk album that magically deals with breakups without sounding super whiny. Almost every song has a line or two that should extort at least a chuckle.
46Jess Williamson
Native State


My favorite singer/songwriter type album of the year. Although it really feels much more complex than that.
45Alex G
DSU


The best rehash of "There's Nothing Wrong with Love" era indie guitar pop since at least Boat's "Songs That You Might Not Like"
44Azealia Banks
Broke with Expensive Taste


Worth the wait and Twitter drama? Nope. But a very strong release, nonetheless. Much more promising than her mixtapes.
43Joyce Manor
Never Hungover Again


Simple, straight forward pop-punk at its finest. Just don't stage dive while jamming out.
42Cloud Nothings
Here and Nowhere Else


Cloud Nothings find the perfect aesthetic for their music on this album. While there are no songs as incredible as Wasted Days, it is much more consistent than Attack of Memory.
41Chumped
Teenage Retirement


It was a great year for pop-punk, a genre which depends on lyrics that hit the nail on the head, but often produces lyrics that make you wanna hit yourself in the head with a hammer. The Pains of... is one of best songs of the year.
40Isaiah Rashad
Cilvia Demo


Great music from the Black Hippy affiliate. Stands up there with/exceeds all the BH members' early work.
39 Allo Darlin'
We Come From the Same Place


A little more mellow than their last two album, but just as enthralling.
38Pianos Become the Teeth
Keep You


Once you get over the fact that this sounds nothing like anything they've done you can appreciate how amazing this album is. Very emotionally draining listen, but worth it.
37Big Ups
Eighteen Hours of Static


Probably the best straight up punk release of the year. Great lyrics bring it to the next level.
36S
Cool Choices


The lyrics feel a little gimmicky by the time you get the end (c'mon just admit that you're part of the problem), but the songwriting is insanely catchy the whole way through.
35Jenny Lewis
The Voyager


Her lyrics really do make the album. It demands your attention much more than you might expect after an initial listen. The singles are all super catchy as well.
34Milo
A Toothpaste Suburb


A good year for Hellfyre Club (Open Mike Eagle, Nocando, and Busdriver had notable releases as well). This one has more accessible beats than Open Mike Eagle, the lyrics are just as good, but its a bit too long and doesn't flow together as well. The best songs are the ones where he reflects on death. "Then I got these tattoos to prove that I too could last forever" is a nearly flawless line.
33Banks
Goddess


This album had so much more potential. Almost all of the best songs have been released on EPs and singles, but at the end of the day it remains a very strong collection of songs.
32 EMA
The Future's Void


A little more restrained than her breakthrough album, which I think makes it significantly better.
31Paws
Youth Culture Forever


Lo-fi rock at its finest. Super fun album. Listened to it driving the Blue Ridge Parkway.
30Kishi Bashi
Lighght


A stunningly beautiful and unique pop album. The lyrics can be a little too clever for their own good.
29Parquet Courts
Sunbathing Animal


Solid Pavement era rock with some punk flavor thrown in. They get some bonus points for the second release as Parkay Quarts, which is a worthwhile album by its own standards.
28Leonard Cohen
Popular Problems


I'm not a huge Leonard Cohen follower, but I definitely plan to check out some of his older stuff after this.
27Real Estate
Atlas


I have mixed feeling about this one. On some days I love it, but on other it just makes me wanna put on Days. Overall its awesome enough to earn a high spot on my list.
26Alvvays
Alvvays


A perfect snapshot of C86 style pop music. Almost every song here is worth the time.
25Clark
Clark


A very dark electronic album that sometimes somehow manages to sound just as infectious as anything on the radio.
24Woods
With Light and With Love


Another consistent release from Woods. Good mix of pop and psychedelic rock.
23Weezer
Everything Will Be Alright in the End


The first good Weezer album since Pinkerton. While not nearly as unstoppable as Blue or groundbreaking as Pinkerton, this album stands up fine on its own and finally gives =w= fans something to look forward to.
22Open Mike Eagle
Dark Comedy


Unique beat production. Very clever lyrics. Doug Stamper feat Hannibal Buress is straight up hilarious. The album sounds like a highlight reel.
21Freddie Gibbs and Madlib
Pinata


The best old school rap album in a while. No gimmicks, just a simple yet infectious beat and honest storytelling.
20The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Days of Abandon


They toned down the distortion and released one of most chill pop albums of the year.
19Gold-Bears
Dalliance


Very fun and energetic twee-ish/ punk-ish album. Great listen with the windows down from Half Moon Bay to San Fransisco.
18Slow Club
Complete Surrender


Slow Club venture into soul music and (surprisingly) pull it off. The guy takes a back seat on this one; his voice couldn't support the huge energy found on this album's many gems. The girl sometimes sounds forced, but overall the album is incredible.
17Mac Demarco
Salad Days


Mac delivers a super chill album. Perfect for summer days where you wanna space out, lie outside, and watch clouds melt into the skyline. Spliff optional.
16Mick Jenkins
The Water[s]


My favorite 'underground' rap release of the year. I hope this is Mick's equivalent to Section.80. If so, he has a bright future ahead of him. The album is very cohesive. It could use some editing, but overall leaves you "thirsty" for more. (sorry)
15Angel Olsen
Burn Your Fire for No Witness


Captivating record. Olsen made the right call in adding a full band to her sound.
14FKA Twigs
LP1


One of the few standouts from the Post-Rnb scene this year. The atmosphere on these songs is ridiculous.
13St. Vincent
St. Vincent


St. Vincent continues to take it to the next level. Bigger, stranger, catchier than Strange Mercy.
12Perfume Genius
Too Bright


Took me completely by surprise. If his next album makes the same artistic/aesthetic leaps as this one it could easily be one of the best of all time.
11How to Dress Well
What Is This Heart?


A beautiful album that immediately pulls you into its universe. The Repeat Pleasure/Words I Don't Remember combo is epic.
10 Flying Lotus
You're Dead!


FlyLo delivers again. Each track melts to the next and each listen deserves another.
9La Dispute
Rooms of the House


La Dispute tones down the erratic riffs. Amazing story telling held together by a loose concept. Strange how similar this album is to the Sun Kil Moon one. Post-hardcore and Folk are more similar than I'd expect, both tonally and lyrically.
8Sun Kil Moon
Benji


If you can look past his vacuous feud with War on Drugs, you might remember that Sun Kil Moon dropped one of best albums of the year. The album feels like a collection of short stories, which is its greatest strength and weakness; the album has limited replay value.
7Sturgill Simpson
Metamodern Sounds in Country Music


The country equivalent to last year's Deafheaven. Simultaneously defies and adheres to the rules of country. One of the best albums in this genre of all time.
6YG
My Krazy Life


The album Schoolboy Q tried to make (aka "gangster" version of GKMC). Thanks to DJ Mustard almost every track on this album is a huge banger (not to overlook YG's huge input- which was sorely missed on Mustard's mediocre solo release). Its also higher on this list than it should be cause I played the fuck out of it.
5Caribou
Our Love


I'm going to get this out of the way here. This was a weak year for AOTY. The last two years I had to make a very difficult decision and not give a flawless record the top spot. This year I had 5 amazing, yet flawed, albums and had to pick one as being less flawed and therefore the best of the year. I stand by my #1 choice, but any one of albums #2-5 of 2013 would beat out #1 on this list. With that said: Our Love is such an incredible album. Caribou finds the perfect blend of rnb and house. Great for every season too.
4Sharon Van Etten
Are We There


There is something about her voice that gives me chills. Afraid of Nothing and Your Love is Killing Me would easily both be in my top 10 songs of the year. A perfect afternoon road trip album.
3Spoon
They Want My Soul


This might be my new favorite Spoon album. At the very least, its the only one to give Ga Ga Ga Ga etc. an honest run for its money. The synth work fits perfectly into Spoon's minimalist world.
2The War on Drugs
Lost in the Dream


One of those rare albums where the first listen feels like a conversation with a lifelong friend. Listening to this at 3am while driving up the Jersey Turnpike on my way from Houston to Boston was one of the highlights of my summer.
1Run the Jewels
Run the Jewels 2


An unstoppable force; Killer Mike and El-P are pissed and ready to take over. The reason I chose this as my #1 pick is because of its potential longevity. This is album I can see people talking about in 5 or 10 years. I can imagine people telling their kids what they were doing when El-P "leaked" it. Which exam they stopped studying for. Which essay they stopped writing. How tired they were at work the next day... This album made me 30 minutes late to work because my piece of shit computer refused to sync my iphone at 630 in the morning. And when I finally was able press play, I knew it was worth it.
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