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10. Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues

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Stream: “Transgender Dysphoria Blues” (3:16)

From the opening punch of the track of the same name, Transgender Dysphoria Blues is a haymaker of unapologetic transgender perspective made to come across in one of the few avenues of emotion we humans actually comprehend and respect: music. If Laura Jane Grace simply wrote a press release, or an essay, or spoke at a convention, it wouldn’t mean a damn thing, but the thousand pound hammer of “You want them to notice the ragged ends of your summer dress / You want them to see you like they see any other girl / They just see a faggot” set to a marching, military snare beat is a statement that will wake people up and make them take notice.

Transgender Dysphoria Blues isn’t comfortable, but I’ve got to imagine it’s nowhere near as frightening and downright dangerous as it must be to actually live as a transgendered individual in our modern society. But the short life of punk has always been about questioning the status quo and getting you out of your comfort zone, and Against Me!’s eye-opening rally against an injustice swept under the rug only screams out as the loudest voice in the room on a topic everyone’s afraid to whisper about. From the abrasive and anger-driven “Drinking with the Jocks” to the vaguely hopeful “FUCKMYLIFE666,” Transgender Dysphoria Blues is an earnest journey that slams the door open and shut on the journey through trans depression.

But, hands down, the best thing about Transgender Dysphoria Blues is that its catchy, uptempo rock will keep you coming back to that subject you’re afraid to confront – that transgender singer in your ear – whether you like it or not. Will you see the faggot, or the ragged ends of her summer dress? –Thompson Gerhart

9. Caribou – Our Love

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Stream: “Back Home” (3:33)

I have to admit, it took me a while to get into Swim. At the time of that album’s release, I hadn’t quite acquired the love for electronic music that I have today, so when it came to Dan Snaith’s music, I tended to be more drawn to the totally immersing haze-pop of Up in Flames and the equally psychedelic (but in a totally different way) Andorra. Aside from immediately loving the irresistibly hooky melodicism in standouts like “Odessa” and “Leave House”, the rest of Swim’s menu took a while to woo my sonic taste buds. But once my music taste matured, I finally began to appreciate the sonic beauty and danceable grooves of Swim.

Given Dan Snaith’s reputation as a genre-hopping songsmith, it was surprising to hear Our Love fashioned from a sonic palette similar to its predecessor’s, but the resemblance between the two is purely superficial. Caribou’s newest batch of cerebral dance tunes have a refined sound to them here, emanating a more pitch-perfect balance of art, emotion, and appeal. Tracks like “Our Love” continue to show Caribou’s acumen for dancefloor dynamics, with steadfast beats and swooningly blissful melodies luring you into the song before taking you through a sonic roller-coaster of mind-warping brilliance. Although as top-rate as Caribou’s feel for sound and structure may be, what I found most compelling about Our Love‘s music is the voice behind the beats. The mournful undercurrent that flows throughout the lyrics in Our Love makes it one of the most relatable listens of the year. Tracks like “Your Love Will Set You Free” and “Back Home” especially exhibit such unexpected emotional depth, that they play like the perfect comfort songs after a terrible break-up. Caribou’s music has never felt this nakedly emotional before, and the unbridled sincerity in his narratives of love’s euphoric ups and gut-wrenching lows is simply moving. –Hernan M. Campbell

8. Kishi Bashi – Lighght

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Stream: “Once Upon a Lucid Dream (in Afrikaans)” (4:06)

Kaoru Ishisbashi (K. Ishibashi, or, finally, Kishi Bashi) proved on Lighght that he has the same je ne sais quoi as contemporary musical Illuminati and indie pop icon Sufjan Stevens. Blending orchestral finesse and pop brilliance into an easily digestible, low calorie package that keeps consumers coming back must be a part of it, but there’s also some manner of magic involved. Does it happen when you mix the high male vocals with non-traditional instrumentation and hand claps? When you drum up a core of electronic groove a la Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavillion? When you shove a bunch of violins and cellos together, toss some squeaky noises on top of everything (oh, so carefully) and “philosophize in it”?

Whatever it is, Lighght has it in spades. With dynamics out the wazoo and layers upon layers of intricate and perfectly interlaced instruments from every corner you can imagine, it’s an album that caters to classical elements, folk stomp ‘n’ clap rhythms, glitchy twinkles and grooves, and so much more. Success on Lighght is built on tons of tiny little gears all working towards the same end result of a sound loosely rooted in our most known musical traditions and our most loved pop music ambitions. Through their combined power, the album transcends both the classical and the modern with a sense of childlike wonder that makes you feel that such joy is inherent to the sense of deliberate play that must have caused an album like this to take root and bloom into the miraculous indie pop flower that it is. Sharing that joy with the composer through a listen merely completes the magic of the experience by allowing his wonder to become yours. –Thompson Gerhart

7. Morbus Chron – Sweven

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Stream: “It Stretches in the Hollow” (5:10)

Death metal critics seem to have some sort of predisposition to name-dropping and comparing records to genre classics or describing a new act’s sound by way of allusion to a venerable band in the scene. There’s hardly any true originality left in the genre because of its obsessive fixation on paying homage to the albums of yesteryear, and in more ways than one that is causing the scene to become so inbred it no longer likes to look outside the now-accepted realm of what is defined as “true death metal”. Morbus Chron have no such barriers, and indeed have little ties to anything traditional or old school. Sweven is, in part, a defining album because of this ability to think so far outside the death metal box, but it is also so well composed and so flawlessly executed that it commands respect simply because its songwriting and instrumental talent is so far above and beyond typical death metal simplicity.

There is little rhyme or reason for why Sweven constantly cycles between spastic, shooting riffs, and even less of an explanation as to how the band manages to create coherence between the album’s 10 distinctly different pieces. How Sweven manages to find its way from black metal tremolo riffing in “Towards a Dark Sky” to a progressive metal instrumental epic in “Terminus” defies logic, but somehow these Swedes do so in a way that makes any other path seem illogical, when in reality it is they who are being the illogical ones. It is this renegade approach to songwriting that makes Sweven what it is, because unlike other more chained-down, traditionalist death metal that simply goes through the motions, Morbus Chron instead buck the trend and give us near-constant ear candy by way of every instrumental offering possible. Not only do the vitriolic yelps serve as more than adept vocals, but the bombastic and utterly incomprehensible drum patterns tear the guitars away from the chugging, deeply heavy filth that defines most other death metal records. Instead we are offered a wider palate of sounds, and Sweven is sure to highlight each and every one of the available choices.

No two songs are the same on Sweven, and no two listens to the album are the same either. There is the constant sense of wonder each time the record spins; wonder that comes with the discovery of something new that went unnoticed before. Morbus Chron have crafted an album that is instrumentally deeper than almost any other death metal band’s entire discography, and have done so on an album that is under an hour in length. Not only that, but they have made all of these divergent sounds seem complementary, and that is where the real victory comes into play. Not only are Morbus Chron masters of their instruments, they have the songwriting talent to control whatever twisted music spews from them. Sinister and mental as it may be, Sweven is the kind of record most death metal bands dream of having the talent and vision to create. –Kyle Ward

6. Dead Congregation – Promulgation of the Fall

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Stream: “Immaculate Poison” (5:07)

Dead Congregation are essentially Immolation if they had continued to make albums as good as Close to a World Below. This isn’t to say that the Greek death metallers don’t have their own sound, but they continue to perfectly implement everything that makes a wholly gratifying work in the genre. Like its predecessor, Graves of the Archangels, Promulgation of the Fall makes exemplary use of exceptional riffs, solos, and overall musicianship in songs that exhibit near mastery in utilizing dynamics and tempo changes throughout. Forgone, however, are some of the more theatrical elements and long buildups that make Graves so special, leaving only an unrelenting, adversarial assault of guitars and drums that crushes thoroughly at a breakneck pace or a lumbering chug. Promulgation‘s one outright improvement over the band’s freshman release is a richer production for the percussion to further highlight the outstanding work of Vagelis Voyiantzis behind the kit and really provide a strong benchmark for how a cleanly-produced, modern death metal album should sound. Now the Grecians can claim to have not one, but two of the best albums in the genre in the last decade and perhaps the best death metal release of the year in a year that’s been one of the strongest for the style since the ’90s. –Angel

5. The War on Drugs – Lost in the Dream

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Stream: “An Ocean In Between the Waves” (7:11)

Lost in the Dream was the product of a year-long spiritual odyssey. As frontman Adam Granduciel has revealed in interviews surrounding the album’s release, he struggled to keep his sanity from crumbling under the pressure of emotional angst and creative perfectionism. But like various artists plagued by spiritual anguish, darkness would go on to inspire Granduciel into constructing a plaintively confessional tour-de-force, that while melancholic in nature, is more about a man’s journey in conquering depression than readily wallowing in sadness. In other words, it’s soulful, not dark.

Revered as one of the most deeply emotive albums of the year by most, and beer-commercial guitar shit by one disgruntled folk-singer, The War on Drugs’ Lost in the Dream‘s batch of slow-burning, “gazey” roots-rock provides some of rock’s most compelling performances of the year. While a lot of the emotional gravity of the album is at its most profound within a wistful, dreary calm, particularly in tracks like “Disappearing,” but the album’s centerpiece “An Ocean In Between the Waves” really stands out as an epic mood-shifter. There’s an innumerable amount of brilliant moments throughout Lost in the Dream, but I love “An Ocean In Between the Waves” because it captures the album’s theme perfectly. It’s just as pensive as the slower tracks, but rather than just sitting still in mellow moodiness, it takes the listener through an emotional roller-coaster before building up to a cathartic climax. “An Ocean In Between the Waves” shares the signature crystalline and echoey guitar sound of the other tracks, but it’s driven by an upbeat ’80s-inspired rhythm which really gives it its emphatic groove. This is a really catchy song, and pretty much universal in terms of accessibility, but what I admire most about it is the idea behind its orchestration. The instrumental members of the band jam out this pulsing music filled with energy, and yet, there’s so much angst in Granduciel’s words. Even his voice expresses this feeling of defeat at the start. You can really feel the tension of the narrator, and it kind of replicates that feeling of wanting to rise above all thoughts of darkness and confusion, but yet feeling anchored by the weight of your own self-doubt that you end up sinking anyway. As the song gains more momentum, when the guitars start building up to an anthemic roar and Granduciel starts to get obscured by the volume of it all, you can hear him mumbling, “I’ve got to rise up against it! Holding strong!” with such optimism. It’s like he’s motivating all of us that are drowning in our own depression, as if he’s saying, “You’ll be alright too. Just hang in there.” –Hernan M. Campbell

4. Trophy Scars – Holy Vacants

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Stream: “Everything Disappearing” (6:31)

New Jersey quintet Trophy Scars pride themselves on a do-it-yourself existence that lends them complete artistic freedom and the ability to alter their style whenever they feel the need to do it. Their post-hardcore days are long gone, and the band’s gradual shift in style towards traditional blues rock has been equally surprising and desirable. They have never stopped to craft the music that wallows in darkness and raw emotion, yet the means of expressing themselves have significantly evolved. Expanding on two critically acclaimed EPs, Holy Vacants explores the band’s unique darkly-tinged brand of blues rock to the full, integrating paranoia and unease into sharply written, soulful songs that never fail to entice.

It’s a quintessential blues record that pulls absolutely no punches, being as visceral, genuine and deeply-felt as the genre conventions imply. The mythology-based lyrics only make it more eccentric and intriguing to decipher. Tales of ill-fated love and dissolution are as old as time itself, and Jerry Jones delivers them with fervent conviction, leaving a haunting impression on the listener. Add mesmerizing musicianship to that, and you’re left with one of the most memorable albums of the year. Holy Vacants was initially supposed to be the quintet’s swansong. Instead it may very well go down as a new beginning for a band that have always been eager to transcend their own limitations. –Greg Fisher

3. Sharon Van Etten – Are We There

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Stream: “Taking Chances” (3:51)

If someone had told me that Sharon Van Etten would release a follow-up album even more taxing than 2012’s superbTramp, I would have been seriously concerned for Ms. Van Etten’s health. Tramp was a singular case study in a singer-songwriter’s unrivaled control of tone and texture, the announcement of a talent arrived, fully formed and emotionally bare. Where Tramp outlined what Van Etten could do, Are We There is the realization of all her wonderful talent, a bloodletting that refuses to give its subject any hint of a respite. It’s a draining, exhausting listen, but it’s a fulfilling one, as well; facing one’s demons like Van Etten does here is as cathartic a therapy as it comes.

It’s clear that Van Etten’s time with Aaron Dessner of the National (who produced Tramp) was invaluable in defining her sound. Are We There is an incredibly nuanced listen, a production style that could best be likened to a majestic low roar, one that shapes itself around Van Etten’s sinewy vocals and light shadings of keys, spartan beats, and aching guitar. Yet the focus remains, as it should, on Van Etten’s own vocal prowess and lyrical switchblade, one that runs the gamut from the barely controlled rage of “Tarifa” to the numbing grief on “I Love You But I’m Lost”; and that’s just one stunning back-to-back sequence among many, many others. That she sounds just at home on the spindly, musically sparse “I Know”, picking splinters out of her heart, as she does on the grand, rollicking thunderstorm of “Your Love Is Killing Me”, is a testament to the breadth of her vision and the depth of her songwriting.

This is a statement record, to be sure, but it’s no mistake that the album ends with “Every Time The Sun Comes Up”. It’s a knowing wink in the direction of the audience, made explicit by its stellar, tragicomic music video and perhaps the record’s most indelible lyric: “People say I’m a one-hit wonder / but what happens when I have two? / I washed your dishes, but I shit in your bathroom”. That the song ends with Van Etten goofing off in the studio and laughing tells you all you need to know about what Are We There and the act of so bravely opening herself up to the world means to Van Etten. Here, the journey is just as much a part of the healing process as the destination. –Rudy K.

2. The Hotelier – Home, Like NoPlace Is There

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Stream: “An Introduction to the Album” (4:32)

Before The Hotelier played “Housebroken” during their pitch-perfect set at Fest 13 earlier this year, Christian Holden said by way of introduction, “This is a song about a dog.” In a way, that description sells the song short. Home is a record teeming with metaphor, so descriptive and rich in its language that you can dig deep into any of the tracks and find whole ecosystems under the surface. “Housebroken” is about domestic abuse, yes, and if you believe the band’s record label site, it’s also about the government’s systematic abuse of its citizens (some of the lyrics in the last verse lends itself to that interpretation). But sometimes a song is so much more effective when you don’t read into it, when you let the lyrics connect only the dots that are apparent. Because when I hear “Housebroken,” it’s the dog I’m thinking about.

That’s not to say that the album as a whole is just a collection of sad songs, or that it isn’t conceptually deep. But Holden’s voice is so clear and strong, and the music is so captivating, that sometimes it’s more rewarding to simply occupy the memories present in the songs than to worry about some overarching message. The songs speak of regret and pain and they flow into each other like a single feverish recollection, from the time Holden starts singing “An Introduction To An Album” as if he just stepped onto a Broadway stage to the final, wild stabbing of chords at the end of “Dendron.” Individual songs and moments stand out – the absolutely huge chorus of “Your Deep Rest,” the “oh whoa ohs” before the final section of “Among the Wildflowers,” the heights that Holden is able to reach with his voice in “Housebroken” – but you’ll get the most out of Home by listening to all of it with each sitting.

The Hotelier made something special with this record, and it’s tough to write about. By the time “Dendron” ends, I can’t help but think that the record can only be adequately described through glimpses at the lyrical content – the bits of conversation and the reflections and most of all the pleas that make Home such a draining listen. Even with the countless number of albums out there dealing with relationships and break-ups and betrayal, it’s very rare for a band to cut to the bone in song after song after song. The truth of Home is that eventually your pride wears out and you stop being afraid to beg: Tell me again that it’s all in my head. I’m desperate here, a couple steps from the edge. Help me down, hold me up, wake me up…

Open the curtain. –Channing Freeman

1. Flying Lotus – You’re Dead!

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Stream: “Turtles” (2:06)

The thing about death is that we can’t even begin to understand its profundity ourselves. We can witness it through others, perhaps through the heart-breaking disintegration of those we love, but that still doesn’t paint an accurate enough picture into what the everafter’s really like. Every person tends to have his own take on it, and some people – like producer Stephen Ellison – have been around death enough to begin cultivating their own specific images of it in their mind. Ellison has experienced the passing of numerous loved ones over the years, and in witnessing the experiences of those close to him, he’s spent enough time thinking about what follows life to channel those thoughts into his music pretty naturally. Ellison is, after all, the musician who recorded the sound of his mother’s respirator and vital sign operators onto his defining album, 2010’s Cosmogramma– he’s explained that he found the sounds to be hypnotic, that he used them in his music so he wouldn’t ever forget what he heard while spending his final moments with his mother.

It goes without saying that Flying Lotus’ music has done even more for him than it has for us. Ellison has often mentioned that Cosmogramma helped him work through his grief over his mother’s passing, so it’s not too surprising that the producer would eventually write an album that attempts to directly challenge the concept of death itself. Ellison has claimed that the opening of You’re Dead!, immense and weighty in nature, is meant to represent the instant life ends. And so with that realization in mind, his newest album is a full-fledged excursion into the afterlife – it’s an experience so surreal it could’ve easily been imagined in a grandiose lucid dream. And part of this experience is the colossal shift in style Flying Lotus has enacted on You’re Dead!. The fact that the album plays out like one huge nu-jazz acid trip makes it that much more busy, even though it is technically Ellison’s shortest release yet under the FlyLo pseudonym. Each moment has a kinetic and natural energy, with musicians like Herbie Hancock and Thundercat, as well as countless others, playing their instruments in real time.

You’re Dead! has an inherently interactive spirit that makes it feel immediately alive, and more so than anything Flying Lotus has made in quite some time. But maybe it’s because this album covers a topic with which we’re all familiar, or even that it seems to bring death down a peg, with song titles like “Fk’n Dead”. There’s no fear on this record – there’s only an understanding of what is to come. And nothing else here acknowledges the inevitable more than Kendrick Lamar’s opening line on lead single “Never Catch Me”:

I can see the darkness in me and it’s quite amazing
Life and death is no mystery and I wanna taste it

–Jacob Royal

PreviousNext





Willie
12.17.14
Ta Da!


Sniff
12.17.14
Been waiting all day!!!

Relinquished
12.17.14
cool - 6 & 7

iSkane
12.17.14
No Smit Street or Ben Howard. Oh well, there's still the user list. I never expected Hotelier to be so high.

SpiritCrusher2
12.17.14
Sweven is seventh, cute :)

Tyrael
12.17.14
If 10 hadn't been here this would have been the perfect list

Oh well, great list regardless

laughingman22
12.17.14
not bad

Underflow
12.17.14
Great list this year.

Cygnatti
12.17.14
"Sweven is seventh, cute :) "

hehe. a bit disappointing but good enough nonetheless !


Insurrection
12.17.14
fuck yes 1 and 6. great year

danielito19
12.17.14
I would love to whine and complain about how my aoty wasn't on this but

I'm not 14 anymore

Pangea
12.17.14
No casualties of cool :(

But still a good list. I expected The War on Drugs at 1. Didn't expect to see 2 and 8 that high as well.

I'm also glad that Trophy Scars got a high position

SkaCali
12.17.14
Disgusting

Crysis
12.17.14
Two DM albums in the top 10 so proud of all of you

zakalwe
12.17.14
Benji

kris.
12.17.14
no smith street band?

[url]http://i.imgur.com/FMYuXfw.gif[/url]



AnimalsAsSummit
12.17.14
coffins on io should b 1

smh ..... war on drugs... lel

kris.
12.17.14
THE SITES CODING IS BROKEN TOO???

http://i.imgur.com/FMYuXfw.gif

nice to see hotelier at 2 tho :3

Voivod
12.17.14
This list does not fit in any mold, I mean Dead Congregation and Morbus Chron in the top 10.

Toondude10
12.17.14
Trophy Scars at 4? BLASPHEMY!!!!

jk, I'm glad it made it high on this list anyways. Surprised there's no Casualties of Cool on here though.

Judio!
12.17.14
1 is still growing on me, has been ever since I first listened to it. Anyway good list Staffers. Been one hell of a year.

deathschool
12.17.14
10 and 4 are too high. Still, good effort stayyff.

Judio!
12.17.14
4 is not high enough tbh

ResidentNihilist
12.17.14
wow actually a good list, well done guys.

iswimfast
12.17.14
KISHI BASHI

BOOM

AmericanFlagAsh
12.17.14
Awe no Benji? Why not?

PistolPete
12.17.14
This might be the most unconventional and (I guess?) "hipster-ish" year-end list I've seen on this site yet. I don't even know what to say to #1. Didn't that album result in polarized opinions among staff? I'm probably not remembering right, but I guess it must've grown on people since then.

Alastor
12.17.14
7>6

TronaldDump
12.17.14
How did Casualties of Cool, the user top rated album of the year (of albums that have 500+ votes), not even make the top 50? Explanation?

drewkar
12.17.14
Because this is a staff list, not a user list

kris.
12.17.14
staff doesn't give a shit about what users think, get over it pls!

Flugmorph
12.17.14
didn't expected 1 to be 1

TronaldDump
12.17.14
no shit it's a staff list, still baffling considering it got a staff review with a perfect rating

Wadlez
12.17.14
No shock trophyscars.com would be top 10. I guess Casualties of Cool appropriately being outside the top 50 makes up for it..

Personal omissions that I thought would be top 50 were Contortionist and Kayo Dot

Jamper
12.17.14
eww. these are the lists that make me love sputnik users...

Flugmorph
12.17.14
yeah casualties seem to be forgotten here. im sad

and
go
to
bed

fallenbird
12.17.14
4 is 1 obv. Great list though.

trackbytrackreviews
12.17.14
No Taylor Swift yes!

klap
12.17.14
never even heard of casualties of cool but that name sucks

GreyShadow
12.17.14
Kayo Dot is not on here? Am I still on sputnik?

trackbytrackreviews
12.17.14
do you dare to offend our lord and savior devin townsend

Flugmorph
12.17.14
he dares. INFIDEL

but what im really sad about is that there is no triptykon in this list

BMDrummer
12.17.14
lol hotelier 2

DikkoZinner
12.17.14
Dead Congregation, good stuff.

ChoccyPhilly
12.17.14
Yes, good choice for 1

Artuma
12.17.14
no casualties of cool damn that's a bold move guys. list is shweet

hogan900
12.17.14
I don't know if anyone predicted 1 to be 1.

Faraudo
12.17.14
No Circa, no Interpol :(

RadicalEd
12.17.14
Not having casualties of cool on this list is pretty wack shit. Otherwise great. Although I don't know about 3 being the third best album of the year.

klap
12.17.14
i'll see you in the pit Ed

RadicalEd
12.17.14
Circa survives album is to late i think. List is hardlocked since the beginning of december afair, the album came out just a few days before that... also it's not that good.

RadicalEd
12.17.14
C'mon rudy, i'd say it's top 20 for sure.

klap
12.17.14
i know i'm messing. although i did have it on #3 of my actual list

Funeralopolis
12.17.14
lol 1 and 2

RadicalEd
12.17.14
Actually "your love is killing me" is easily one of top 3 songs of the year.

PappyMason
12.17.14
I can definitely vibe with this.

Snake.
12.17.14
No Casualties of Cool? Holy fuck.

SeaAnemone
12.17.14
I'm not sure why people staff to love Casualties of Cool lol

cool list though guys
definitely one of my favorites that you've put together in a long while, it turned out nicely

SeaAnemone
12.17.14
*expected staff to love Casualties of Cool lol

impoppy
12.17.14
Casualties of Cool plz

Zantera
12.17.14
The top10 was pretty darn underwhelming IMO, most of the best albums appeared 50-10

Faraudo
12.17.14
^^This person understands me. I really think that the only album here that belongs to a top 10 is Home, Like NoPlace Is There, and maybe Sweven.

RoundOnEndHiInMiddle
12.17.14
At the end of the description for FlyLo it says the song is "Don't Catch Me" instead of "Never Catch Me".

GnarlyShillelagh
12.17.14
all you people complaining about casualties of cool need to wise up only like 2 staffers listened to that album why would you expect it to be on here/please shut up

RomoCosmo14
12.17.14
Lead single on #1 is "Never Catch Me" -- yay for #5,3, and 1!

scottpilgrim10
12.17.14
wtf

hamid95
12.17.14
Pretty good list. Love the write-ups on these last ones.

trackbytrackreviews
12.17.14
Basically every album that comes out in December is screwed?

Veldin
12.17.14
No different than a Pitchfork list.

ComeToDaddy
12.17.14
This was pretty unexpected, and great. Even if I'm disappointed by the lack of SSB and CoC like everyone else, seeing 2 dm albums and Caribou up this high is great. Fantastic writeups by everyone

argonaut
12.17.14
Solid list. Happy both Kishi Bashi and the War On Drugs made the top 10.

TalonsOfFire
12.17.14
7 and 5 are my favorites on here, solid list

Shuyin
12.17.14
no lantlos :[

Lambda
12.17.14
Why was CoC not on here. Glad to see Holy Vacants though.

scottpilgrim10
12.17.14
Benji :'{

2,3,7,8,and 10 rule

Athom
12.17.14
We're all casualties of Devin Townsend's lame ass career

Rowan5215
12.17.14
" the absolutely huge chorus of “Your Final Rest,”"
that should be Your Deep Rest

sweet list, nice choices, omg no CoC, I'm leaving the site, this is bullshit etc. great to see 2-5 here though :D

tommygun
12.17.14
blurb for 4 is shite otherwise great work fellas

ConsumerOfNut
12.17.14
Damn after not seeing 2 on the 50-11 lists I figured it wouldn't be there at all. One of my favorites but I feel like it's real inconsistent. Also surprised/kinda sad at no Smith Street, album killed.

SowingSeason
12.17.14
Nice list, very diverse. I think it's one of our best ones yet.

Also, many thanks to those who ate up my "Taylor Swift is #4" story.

tommygun
12.17.14
sowing you betrayed all of us :[

JokineAugustus
12.17.14
No Casualties of Cool no list [999]

Ryus
12.17.14
No Casualties of Cool list [1]

FearThyEvil
12.17.14
Kind of disappointed with the staff list but more so of the placement of the albums, not the picks. Anyway, it's still great and as always the write-ups are phenomenal.

Torii
12.17.14
Needs more Gridlink

cryptside
12.17.14
Awesome list for sure; after all the stuff I've heard this year, I will still have a ton to listen to from 2014 based on this list.

StrizzMatik
12.17.14
Needs more D'Angelo

Lord(e)Po)))ts
12.17.14
what a surprisingly not shitty staff list, wow, this is one of the most decent ive seen

IAMLEGION
12.17.14
Jesus. It's like you polled a bunch of hipsters at Starbucks and then made this list.

indigonowhere
12.17.14
That is an original and comedic take on an overall appreciation of indie and electronic music in 2014

IAMLEGION
12.18.14
doesn't make it not true

ShadowRemains
12.18.14
dead congregation and morbus chron in the top 10 good work folks

Judio!
12.18.14
Genuinely surprised the new Saor LP didn't make the cut

XfingTheSullen
12.18.14
I know Sweven, and it indeed is a wonderful album.

Thibs
12.18.14
surprised the new Saor LP didn't make the cut [2]

Keyblade
12.18.14
7 and 6 damn o.o . Great list

Deviant.
12.18.14
"no shit it's a staff list, still baffling considering it got a staff review with a perfect rating"

One staffer's opinion isn't a reflection of our overall opinion. Case in point: I reviewed FlyLo at a 3.8 and here it's #1. Calm your tits people: just because it's not on here doesn't mean you still don't like it

Keyblade
12.18.14
But that would make sense

Deviant.
12.18.14
Good point, I retract all logic

Relinquished
12.18.14
about time, let's get fucked up

MO
12.18.14
closer to a world below...come on angel

zaruyache
12.18.14
Yeah what gives, people.

trackbytrackreviews
12.18.14
other people usually

ShadowRemains
12.18.14
"closer to a world below...come on angel"

this

wtf

JWT155
12.18.14
Haven't checked out most of the top 50. I know what will keep me busy at work now.

BigSimo
12.18.14
holy vacants is lacking compared to their EPs and is certainly not best album of the year, or top 10. shame about the war on drugs being on every fucking 2014 list, but a very interesting top 50 as usual from sputnik staff. nice to see flylo @ no 1

JWT155
12.18.14
Shame? The War on Drugs new album is great.

tempest--
12.18.14
Dang, I was totally expecting T.Swift on here lol

Surprised Dead Congregation made it actually. I think that's a solid as hell record, but staff top 10 was unexpected. You're Dead is a good #1 I reckon. Never heard anything like it... like jazzy electro hip-hop? Rad.

RadicalEd
12.18.14
Shame about "The War on Drugs" on every list. Crying shame that one of the best albums of the year is universally loved by music fans...

Cygnatti
12.18.14
i'm not, but i am disappointed in so ._.

Pajolero
12.18.14
Could've sworn I'd see Benji at the top.

RadicalEd
12.18.14
Happy to see that Benji didn't even make the list tbh.

Flugmorph
12.18.14
Still shocked that melana chasmata isn't on here

greg84
12.18.14
Only I voted for it so it makes sense it didn't make it :(

ChoccyPhilly
12.18.14
I'm more shocked that Casualties of Cool isn't anywhere to be seen

SamiK951
12.18.14
Thanks for the list staffers, really great write ups. As usual, I haven't even heard of at least 30 of the top 50, but finding new music is exactly why I use this site. Cheers!

alpherbethegamow
12.18.14
No.... vader, scar symmetry, Haken, Opeth

Keyblade
12.18.14
lol

tommygun
12.18.14
haken was boring af and opeth was straight up awful sup key bb :]

Keyblade
12.18.14
sup tom, you actually checked haken? didnt think they were ur thing

Rowan5215
12.18.14
sup

Bajumeru
12.18.14
Kinda surprised ETID wasn't even in the top 50. Whaddup wit dat?

Toondude10
12.18.14
Also surprised Animals as Leaders didn't make the list.

tempest--
12.18.14
Why is that? You do know the Staff actually have good taste, right?

Skoop
12.18.14
Also surprised not to see etid, but i dont think ex lives made it either.

Toondude10
12.18.14
well apparently someone hates prog metal

Athom
12.18.14
Yeah, people with good taste.

Athom
12.18.14
*smile kitty cat emoji*

AmericanFlagAsh
12.18.14
Benji > Lost In The Dream

someguest
12.18.14
"Kinda surprised ETID wasn't even in the top 50."

The only thing staff got right this year. Fuck that band.

This is the worst top 10 yet I'd say.

theacademy
12.18.14
i voted for ETID, Secret Band, and Cheap Girls



theacademy
12.18.14
:(

someguest
12.18.14
"Why is that? You do know the Staff actually have good taste, right?"

since when

tempest--
12.18.14
since they stopped listening to etid and animals as leaders! ha ha

Tunaboy45
12.18.14
no surprises

Thibs
12.18.14
not sure why anyone would stop listening to etid.. aas, sure

DyingAtheist
12.18.14
Hotelier and Trophy Scars, all I needed to see.

kris.
12.18.14
casualties of cool sucked anyways

wacknizzle
12.18.14
Glad to see 6 and 7 on here

JokineAugustus
12.18.14
Ya casualties sucked in that it was only a 4.5 and not a 5 like many claimed it to be.

SeaAnemone
12.18.14
I didn't listen to it but I've made fun of Devin Townsend and his shitty prog enough to know that there is no way it was better than average.

Dylan620
12.18.14
Glad to see 7 as high as it is, especially considering it's the only album I got around to checking out from this year lol.

Time to play catch-up!

RadicalEd
12.18.14
"Benji > Lost In The Dream"

nope.

Cygnatti
12.18.14
"I didn't listen to it but I've made fun of Devin Townsend and his shitty prog enough to know that there is no way it was better than average."

but casualties of cool is ambient pop/folk/country bullshit ! haven't listened to it but idk those tags sound pretty nice. well at least much better than the usual prog metal/metalcore/phxc bullshit that gets hyped on this site.

SeaAnemone
12.18.14
I did not know that but I still don't trust anyone repping that album in the slightest : )

RadicalEd
12.18.14
The album is nothing like the stuff he did before, it has basically no elements of his prog-metal stuff(which I don't like at all)

TychoBrahe
12.18.14
Another predictable list and likely one that reeks of American Spirits. Bravo. For real though, Casualties should have been up there. You did Devin and Ché dirty with that one.

xenocide.
12.18.14
Only two albums from the whole top 50 are my 4's. And I've rated about 25 albums from this year 4.0 or higher!

Impervious
12.18.14
It's upsetting that Every Time I Die didn't make the list (like Ex-Lives in 2012, wtff) but no Casualties Of Cool? Forget about making the Top 10 (which it completely deserved), but not making the list at all? Get the fuck out of here with that weak shit.

Haven't listened to Swans which seemed to be one of the most talked about albums on the forums so I'm surprised I didn't see it up in the top 10 as well.

AngryNeighbor
12.18.14
crap list


CursedBell
12.18.14
Well this sucks

Masthews
12.18.14
Transgender Dysphoria Blues as an album really wasn't/isn't that great. Yeah, the social statement is big, but it doesn't really stand out musically. I'm surprised Sun Kil Moon, Every Time I Die, and Pallbearer are all absent from this list. Good choice with The Hotelier being as high as it is though.

Trebor.
12.18.14
HOTELIER

AmericanFlagAsh
12.18.14
"Transgender Dysphoria Blues as an album really wasn't/isn't that great. Yeah, the social statement is big, but it doesn't really stand out musically." [2]
Love the message. Didn't care for the sound.

beefshoes
12.18.14
I've not heard a single record from the top ten of this list.

mortifierftw
12.18.14
No Benji
No Casualties of Cool
No Throw Me In The River

Are you feking kidding me

micpattern
12.18.14
I get the impression sometimes that these end of year lists don't reflect the year that was, especially if you consider that Casualties of Cool didn't make the top 50 but was clearly an AOTY contender for much of the year. Granted, this is a staff list but how on earth Kimbra beat out so many other worthy records blows me away...and i'm a Kiwi but that Kimbra record lost it's novelty the minute I heard "90's music".
Also where was Fallujah "The Flesh Prevails"? I'll be damned if I heard a better death metal album this year

SpiritCrusher2
12.18.14
"Also where was Fallujah "The Flesh Prevails"? I'll be damned if I heard a better death metal album this year"

then listen to 6 and 7

Titan
12.18.14
most of the music on this list is utter shit

EyesWideShut
12.19.14
Glad for Dead Congregation... Sad for Benji

VinVal
12.19.14
No young thug!?

Irving
12.19.14
"I didn't listen to it but I've made fun of Devin Townsend and his shitty prog enough to know that there is no way it was better than average."

[2]

Greyvy
12.19.14
YASS my girl sharon got top 5 : )))

Deviant.
12.19.14
"I get the impression sometimes that these end of year lists don't reflect the year that was, especially if you consider that Casualties of Cool didn't make the top 50 but was clearly an AOTY contender for much of the year. "

Clearly

theacademy
12.19.14
X(

-dead

Dryden
12.19.14
mehhhhhhh

Toondude10
12.19.14
Geez, I knew a few people were going to complain about COC not being on the list, but I didn't expect it to be this bad.

someguest
12.19.14
"Transgender Dysphoria Blues as an album really wasn't/isn't that great. Yeah, the social statement is big, but it doesn't really stand out musically."

Welcome to Sputnik Staff logic where concept and idea outweighs skill and execution.

Willie
12.19.14
Fuck concept, idea, skill and execution. The only thing that matters to me is if I like it or not.

SowingSeason
12.19.14
Trying to objectify something that is inherently subjective? I think I'll stick with my staff logic.

someguest
12.19.14
"Trying to objectify something that is inherently subjective? I think I'll stick with my staff logic."

Oh just Shake It Off, Sowing.

Masthews
12.19.14
I can't wait for that dude who's from/is Sun Kil Moon to write a song called "Sputnikmusic Suck My Cock" because you guys featured The War On Drugs on your top 50 but not him.

SowingSeason
12.19.14
I always do =)

To me breaking music down and trying to rate it without bias is not only borderline impossible, but it takes all the joy out of listening to music. It'd be like matching someone's face up to that symmetry thing online that's supposed to determine exactly how attractive you are. You think I don't know that Taylor Swift isn't perfect? I just find her attractive. In the same vein, I'm entitled to rate a pop punk album a 4.5 even if it requires no real talent. TL;DR version: what Willie said.

someguest
12.19.14
Okay, but the banner on the front page says "the best albums of 2014". It's hardly a title that should be used if that's the way you guys are throwing these lists together.

SowingSeason
12.19.14
Shall we fill it with all classical music, and only the driest, most technically correct music?

Relinquished
12.19.14
a lot of it is not dry actually, you gotta stop listening to so much pop bro

SowingSeason
12.19.14
Lol oh my goodness people. Lighten up and learn to enjoy music. I'm sure whatever ya'll listen to requires a ton of precision and skill, and probably should have taken up the top 10 spots on this list.

someguest
12.19.14
"Shall we fill it with all classical music, and only the driest, most technically correct music?"

I'd be happy with some middle ground. Sure, these might make you feel good. The question is if it will be lasting. You won't remember half of the picks on this list halfway through 2015.

Keyblade
12.19.14
"It's upsetting that Every Time I Die didn't make the list (like Ex-Lives in 2012, wtff) but no Casualties Of Cool? Forget about making the Top 10 (which it completely deserved), but not making the list at all? Get the fuck out of here with that weak shit. "

lol

i was wondering who'd be this year's thejon93

Relinquished
12.19.14
I said lot of classical music isn't dry and you responded with lighten up and enjoy music

someguest
12.19.14
ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZiKAskjPF8

SowingSeason
12.19.14
I wouldn't remember all of them anyway because it's a collective list. I'm not going to remember Deviant's favorite album halfway through 2015 any more than you'll remember JohnnyOnTheSpot's.

someguest
12.19.14
So in that case what's the point at all?

JohnnyOnTheSpot
12.19.14
pretty sure no one cares about my favourite album tbh ;(((

treeqt.
12.19.14
more than this trash tbh no offense to anyone

treeqt.
12.19.14
what is technically correct music

treeqt.
12.19.14
"Fuck concept, idea, skill and execution. The only thing that matters to me is if I like it or not. "
ya boy willie out here keepin it 100 'ppreciate it fam

treeqt.
12.19.14
got the same amount of good albums as last year's tbh (one)

treeqt.
12.19.14
fuckign hell i confused last year's user and staff lists i'm terribly sorry last year's list staff list actually had 2 legit bangers

tcat84
12.19.14
i'm gonna listen to all the albums I haven't heard yet... but i'm not gonna like it!

Willie
12.19.14
It's the best of 2014 based on the collective,staff tastes. It's not supposed to be encompassing of all music that is out there or representative of all genres or even feature the most off the wall original shit out there. All it shows is what we as a group liked the most. Take it, read it, maybe find something new, maybe not. Move on. My personal picks don't even have to have any staying power, as long as I loved the shit out of it in 2014. Music is supposed to be enjoyable first. Some of you guys want to use it as a status symbol.

TronaldDump
12.19.14
At least have the decency to include an Honorable Mentions segment that consists of 20? 50? hell 100 other albums released this year.

Asdfp277
12.19.14
"It's the best of 2014 based on the collective,staff tastes. It's not supposed to be encompassing of all music that is out there or representative of all genres"

yeah but that's the problem! well, not a problem exactly, but i think that's what someguest and relinquished are complaining about; they *know* this isn't "supposed to be encompassing of all music that is out there or representative of all genres", but that's what they want ! because being honest this list feels disjointed (probably because not all staff listened to the same records, yeah) and it's lacking a lot of cool records from this year imo

but you guys just wait for the users' best of 2014, that list definitely will include the albums you think are missing from this. or as an alternative, just deal with the fact that not all your favorite albums will be featured in those, maybe even none of them! e.g. treeqt.'s favs. maybe you can make a list of your own, make it pretty so it will be featured, and everyone can be happy that way yay

treeqt.
12.19.14
users list still to come btw y'all probably sleepin on this fact tbh

Asdfp277
12.19.14
sometimes i feel like the staff's best of 2014 list is made so that it includes records the user's list will definitely leave out / forget about

also, "Some of you guys want to use it as a status symbol." that comment was really out of place. is it really that surprising that other users might listen to stuff that's not tween pop *and* actually enjoy it? rude.

MikeNew
12.19.14
No love for Blue Swan family?
Stolas
Secret Band
Hail the Sun
???

Asdfp277
12.19.14
did u even read my comment

klap
12.19.14
what is tween pop

Asdfp277
12.19.14
^oh god staff is so petty damn

SowingSeason
12.19.14
"or as an alternative, just deal with the fact that not all your favorite albums will be featured in those, maybe even none of them! e.g. treeqt.'s favs. maybe you can make a list of your own, make it pretty so it will be featured, and everyone can be happy that way yay"

This, basically.

Deviant.
12.19.14
"also, "Some of you guys want to use it as a status symbol." that comment was really out of place. is it really that surprising that other users might listen to stuff that's not tween pop *and* actually enjoy it? rude."

I don't think you understand the sentiments behind Willie's comment if that's your response to it

Asdfp277
12.19.14
ok then, i don't get willie's sentiments behind his comment. what did he meant when he said this?:

"My personal picks don't even have to have any staying power, as long as I loved the shit out of it in 2014. Music is supposed to be enjoyable first. Some of you guys want to use it as a status symbol."

for real tho, i don't know. people were complaining about some artists missing from here, some people like relinquished complained about the lack of entire genres, and willie's response seemed to mimic sowingseasons' attitude of "lol do u even enjoy music". that's how i read his comment then.

note: this is all about willie's comment. i already specified in an earlier comment what i believe of the whole complaint and how u guys just gotta live and believe in the user's list or maybe even make your own list (and make it pretty)

Keyblade
12.19.14
His point was some people here use these end of year lists as some sort of status symbol, instead of just focusing on enjoying the music

bubbahotep92
12.19.14
I'm a bit surprised at the lack of Casualties of Cool and La Dispute, but good stuff otherwise.

MrMatt767
12.19.14
Sooo happy to see the Hotelier at no. 2. Surprised at no FKA twigs, La Dispute or ETID but still a really nice list nonetheless, good job guys.

SaneTBP
12.19.14
Happy to see Flying Lotus getting so much staff approval even though the album hasn't really clicked me as much as his previous releases.. Gotta check out Sweven and Lost in the Dream I guess

Toondude10
12.19.14
I regret posting on here, too many stupid people

Cygnatti
12.19.14
"sometimes i feel like the staff's best of 2014 list is made so that it includes records the user's list will definitely leave out / forget about"

um well staff =/= every other user in the site, so fucking duh

tempest--
12.19.14
do people seriously think Casualties of Cool and ETID are that good omg WHY is it those two in particular that everyone keeps mentioning LOL btw if anyone knew what the staff were into they wouldn't even be asking about them in the first place wow people are dumb

Keyblade
12.19.14
like, which staffer actually dug ETID? I can't even think of one, so how tf would they end up on the list let alone in the top 5 or whatever lmao

Keyblade
12.19.14
*apart from Omaha

theacademy
12.19.14
*clears throat loudly*

Jom
12.19.14
>> At least have the decency to include an Honorable Mentions segment that consists of 20? 50? hell 100 other albums released this year.

Why?

Deviant.
12.19.14
Because it's the decent thing to do. We gotta think of the children here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh2sWSVRrmo

Jom
12.19.14
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYAuR5bkIlQ

Keyblade
12.19.14
always forget you're staff now acad damn

AtomicWaste
12.19.14
List is shit, lolbutts

Toondude10
12.19.14
Atomic is mad that Ubikyst and AAL didn't make it :-P

AtomicWaste
12.19.14
Nah, though I'll post my individual list soon enough. You'll see I more agreed than dissented about anything, though I obviously had some picks that other staffers didn't listen to/didn't enjoy, which is cool. That's how stuff works. I'm more than pleased with the way this list came out and the end of the year always offers me the opportunity to listen to a bunch of records a group of people I respect enjoyed and were passionate about.

I had a big semi-angry rant typed up for a moment (because that's how the internet works), but I want some of the users complaining about technicality and such here to understand that technicality doesn't make a release "objectively good"; there's no such thing. All music is subjective and if you enjoy it, there's a large population out there that doesn't. It's simply a fact. But to me, an album survives and thrives on 1) emotion 2) inventiveness 3) impressiveness. Something doesn't necessarily need to be technical to have any of those things because, to be honest, if it's catchy enough and can make your spine tingle, it's done its job.

But I digress: lolbutts.

SeaAnemone
12.19.14
the most mind-boggling thing is that all of the users trying to inject "technicality" and objectivity into the argument (while they totally have their place in critiquing music, because it's 100% stupid to argue that music is either 100% objective or 100% subjective, this is a fucking year-end list where the staff picked their collective favorites from the year... how dare they transgress a duty or sense of decency to the users by not picking Shitty Prog Album #4) is that they're all whining for albums that are far less objectively good in the context of 2014 than the albums on here lol

wtferrothorn
12.19.14
"You're Dead!" Is a damn good album. I totally agree with it being 1. Wish Kimbra made top 10 though...oh well. Great list!

Willie
12.19.14
To clarify my "Music is supposed to be enjoyable first. Some of you guys want to use it as a status symbol," comment. It seems like a lot of the complainers lack a firm grasp on reality. They can't seem to understand how people like different music for different reasons. They lack the ability to even fathom how a best of list isn't just ripped straight from their own mind. The worst one's seem to try to use the bands they listen to as a status symbol. Like something that makes them better than anyone else. This despite the fact that they had nothing to do with any part of the music that was created and most likely didn't even pay for it. Listening to it doesn't make you anything more than the same dude with an obvious lack of social skills. If your life was a little more fulfilling you wouldn't need to latch onto other people's work in an effort to define yourself, and you wouldn't have any kind of emotional response to those whose opinions differ.

treeqt.
12.19.14
"e.g. treeqt.'s favs. maybe you can make a list of your own, make it pretty so it will be featured"

don't you worry 😏

ChoccyPhilly
12.19.14
It's sad that that needs to even be said, Willie

Athom
12.19.14
Their complaining isn't about music! It's about ethics in video game journalism!

Asdfp277
12.19.14
you guys are gettin really stupid tbh

klap
12.19.14
"people were complaining about some artists missing from here, some people like relinquished complained about the lack of entire genres,"

i can't believe this even needs to be said but it is not the staff's prerogative to put an artist on here or an "entire genre" just because users think it should be on here

Asdfp277
12.19.14
^i did say that it wasn't the staff's obligation to do it, so really it didn't need to be said

Willie
12.19.14
--Their complaining isn't about music! It's about ethics in video game journalism! --

I love it. Those bitches make music bitches look like upstanding citizens.

Jom
12.19.14
>> this list feels disjointed . . . and it's lacking a lot of cool records from this year imo

"Yeah, but that's just like, uh, your opinion, man."

Repeat x forever; cue acceptance.

deathschool
12.19.14
Staff is gonna get impeached

treeqt.
12.19.14
hey did you guys know there's six degrees to everything in life

Deadwing42
12.19.14
Terrible list for a terrible year

deathschool
12.19.14
Everything is horrible. I hate music. Fuck. [2]

treeqt.
12.19.14
relatable

Confucius
12.19.14
I've been around Sputnik for a while now and this is the best year list I've seen so far, congrats

ShadowRemains
12.19.14
thread is going into a black hole

DatBeefPudding
12.19.14
honestly pretty disappointed in this list.

Diglett
12.20.14
salty mofuckaz
"why do these people like different things than i do"

KeepTheChange
12.20.14
Shocked to see Interpol isn't in this list

Froot
12.20.14
Ctrl+F "casualties"
"1 of 29"

keep fighting the good fight guys

Keyblade
12.20.14
why do the staff not like the same music i do???

MrHigh
12.20.14
really disappointed to not see ETID or Casualties Of Cool...

Arave
12.21.14
Looking Top 50 lists everywhere there is one thing that stays consistent: The War on Drugs "Lost in the dream" being in the top 10. Happy to see that album getting the love it deserves. My personal #1 of 2014

However... I must admit "Black Messiah" is making a strong push in just a weeks time...

Crimsh0t
12.22.14
The Hotelier

someguest
12.24.14
"i can't believe this even needs to be said but it is not the staff's prerogative to put an artist on here or an "entire genre" just because users think it should be on here"

but it does show that the staff isn't as well rounded and as qualified for the position as they think they are

someguest
12.24.14
Also Willie you talk as if the Staff doesn't have it's own personal objective to get the rest of us into poppy songwriters and underground post-hardcore/emo infusion.

But here's the thing: they do it every fucking year. And for the past six years, at least. But whatever man.

deathschool
12.24.14
someguest is the self proclaimed leader of the Sputnik revolution. Stop rating albums in 2015!

someguest
12.24.14
Here's the thing deathschool if you don't appreciate artists who write about pubic hair slowly reaching across all part of your body and how it feels to wear an American Football t-shirt 5 days out of every week then you can never be staff here.

deathschool
12.24.14
Fuck. I was this close. Guess I better go to college or sum shit.

klap
12.24.14
doesn't listen to metal


.....not qualified

someguest
12.24.14
That's exactly what I said, klap.

Don't be a sucker.

Jom
12.24.14
>> Also Willie you talk as if the Staff doesn't have it's (sic) own personal objective to get the rest of us into poppy songwriters and underground post-hardcore/emo

I don't know what you mean by this -- it's not like this is the military or a video game of some sort. For every person who learns about a new artist (which could serve as a catalyst to allow him/her to branch out to new artists from there), there's going to be a salty, holier-than-thou person who is going to act like he's above perceived influence: http://i.imgur.com/akUOxRL.gif

>> But here's the thing: they do it every fucking year. And for the past six years, at least. But whatever man.

See you in Year 7 for another rousing edition of this, then?

JS19
12.24.14
someguest shut up

iswimfast
12.24.14
maybe the best writers on the site tend to be the ones who listen to THIS kind of music.

gonna sound anti-metal (genreist?) here but the average metal listener on the street isn't the one I'd typically peg for a brilliant writer. this is not even close to a 100% fact, of course, as the metal-listening staff here is quite great at what they do, but top to bottom id put my money on the indie listener to be the more eloquent one. ESPECIALLY on this website.

metal is just the punching bag here, other genres fit too. this is an entirely crowd sourced group of people, you're only as good as what that crowd can present for you.

JohnnyOnTheSpot
12.24.14
there's plenty of metal writers on staff, they just might not write as often as guys like Sowing or Rudy

theacademy
12.24.14
"someguest is the self proclaimed leader of the Sputnik revolution. Stop rating albums in 2015!"

*CLEARS THROAT LOUDLY*

"Here's the thing deathschool if you don't appreciate artists who write about pubic hair slowly reaching across all part of your body and how it feels to wear an American Football t-shirt 5 days out of every week then you can never be staff here."

*CLEARS THROAT EXTREMELY LOUDLY, AS IF THROAT DOESNT NEED TO BE CLEARED, AS IF ONLY TO ATTRACT ATTENTION TO HIMSELF*



dimsim3478
12.24.14
"id put my money on the indie listener to be the more eloquent one."

nahhhh I'm gonna oppose this, although I won't punch you verbally in the nuts as people do over the internet when they think someone else is wrong. i find metal writers everywhere to be on par with writers for other genres, and the general population of metal listeners everywhere to be about as intelligent or "eloquent" as the avid patrons of the rest of the music world. metalheads =/= meatheads. i'd just say that metal is a more inaccessible type of music--especially extreme metal which seems to be most of the good metal these days--so there's naturally less people who feel as passionate about it as they do about indie or pop or hip hop or whatever because it has so little presence in the mainstream world. just my theory, feel free to respond. :)

iswimfast
12.24.14
"i find metal writers everywhere to be on par with writers for other genres"

absolutely. 0 arguments. and while i respectfully disagree with the rest of your statement, it only reinforces the main point i'd like to get across. there are LESS overall people on this website to write about what someguest/others are claiming to be overlooked, and with less people overall you get less cream-of-the-crop writers rising above the rest to be apart of the staff.

casualties of cool specifically is another thing, which is just a disconnect between the staff and userbase, which is going to happen every year like clockwork. then again, it's not their job to represent US, it's their job to represent the STAFF in this list.

dimsim3478
12.24.14
^based on a look at your ratings, you may want to take a stab at some less popular metal bands. you might find that the genre is more intellectually demanding genre than you'd think. Darkspace (#22 on this list) is a good example; it's not only a demanding listen in terms of its breadth, but also its density and complexity. it's a good representation of the more challenging and potentially more interesting side of metal.

it's not their job to represent US, it's their job to represent the STAFF in this list. [2] that's what the user list is for. sure, that means the bands they write about get more exposure, but i think the staff have earned the right to publish whatever they want.

EaglesBecomeVultures
12.24.14
kishiii

someguest
12.25.14
"there's plenty of metal writers on staff, they just might not write as often as guys like Sowing or Rudy"

This is definitely part of the problem.

"gonna sound anti-metal (genreist?) here but the average metal listener on the street isn't the one I'd typically peg for a brilliant writer."

No, this just makes you sound like a generalizing douche. Now, if you're saying that those who write this type of material (the type of material being post-hardcore, emo, anything similar to those) are more self expressive and able to publicly form an opinion compared to someone who writes metal - I may agree with that. There are usually reasons we connect with media, whether it be upbringing, current struggles, worldview, you name it. But there are still a lot of people who enjoy all forms of music because they like music as a general medium of entertainment. I think that's the case for most of the staff here; the problem is they only write along the same lines most of the time i.e. their favorites and they always find their way to these lackluster end of year lists.

Cygnatti
12.25.14
Illuminaudio

Keyblade
12.25.14
"the problem is they only write along the same lines most of the time i.e. their favorites and they always find their way to these lackluster end of year lists."

They find their way onto these lists because end of year lists are for listing um...your favorites? I don't even think this list gravitates towards any specific genre which is why it's so refreshing. I mean look at the top 10, it's got 2 death metal albums, a couple of electronic albums, a punk album etc etc.

someguest
12.25.14
then let's change the title to "our favorite albums from 2014" because using 'best' in this case is complete bollocks

Keyblade
12.25.14
Except, this is titled "Staff's top 50". Which is kinda implicit that it means "Staff's 50 Favorite Albums" instead of "The Definitive Best 50 Albums"

someguest
12.25.14
Have you seen the banner on the front page?

I'm sure you have.

Keyblade
12.25.14
Oh yeah. I guess it might be confusing for someone who doesn't use the site, but come on man we all know this list is an aggregation of the staff's favorite albums, just like the user list will be the same for the users

someguest
12.25.14
And you know I'm just playing Devil's advocate. It's what I do.

This is probably just the digital manifestation of my internal conflict created by not being included herein.

tempest--
12.25.14
someguest are you getting all riled up simply because it says "best" and not "favourite?"

you do know all music is subjective right? like, there can never and will never be any definitive "best" music, it's inherently going to be based on opinion... you understand what I'm saying?

someguest
12.25.14
to a point I agree with that sentiment but I do think for example at an objective level must users' music taste here would be superior to someone who listens to nothing but top 40 or something else along those lines

here's where everyone will chime in with subjectivity almost the same way they probably do when white knighting someone in reality with mental challenges, claiming that we're all the same while in the back of their mind being fully aware that they're superior to the ones they're defending. it may be the only reason they're defending them at all.

someguest
12.25.14
And that's most not must. I blame the mustiness emitted from this list.

theacademy
12.25.14
Illuminaudio [2]

klap
12.25.14
someguest literally every end of year list on the internet says "best albums of 2014"

someguest
12.26.14
I don't comment on any other Internet year-end list.

Crysis
12.26.14
yeah metal writers suck

Slut
12.26.14
Fuck Devin townsend

someguest
12.26.14
"guest what war are you fighting right now?

These things do not matter lol"

stirring the pot trying to get some brain functionality to surface

KevinKC
12.26.14
How can I take the whole list seriously when the description of the best album develops so many irrelevant points, is so overly simplistic and so deeply naive ?

VheissuCrisis
12.26.14
"How can I take the whole list seriously when the description of the best album develops so many irrelevant points, is so overly simplistic and so deeply naive ?"

Assuming you're aiming this at #1 and not your opinion of the best album on the list, you'll have to elaborate. There's absolutely nothing irrelevant about death having a strong correlation with your musical output, and I'd be interested to see why you consider what he's written to be simplistic and naive. It's a synopsis, not a review.

Keyblade
12.26.14
^ Was just gonna say. It's easy to throw a bunch of buzzwords around without substantiating them

KevinKC
12.26.14
@VheissuCrisis: I haven't listened to the album so my post had nothing to do with the relevancy of its being considered best album of the year. Plus, I feel depressed at the moment and I realize my comment was a bit harsh and peremptory. But, what I meant was that things like 1-"The thing about death is that we can’t even begin to understand its profundity ourselves" or 2-"Ellison [...] recorded the sound of his mother’s respirator and vital sign operators onto his defining album, [...] he’s explained that he found the sounds to be hypnotic, that he used them in his music so he wouldn’t ever forget what he heard while spending his final moments with his mother" or 3-the closing quote don't help me take the opinion developed very seriously. 1-Death is not a particularly profound topic, we wish it were incredibly mysterious and deep, it's not. 2-This feels like a very complacent pose from the artist 3-I understand that being scared of death is disagreeable, but thinking that someone is talented or deep because he seems to be embracing it is... well it doesn't work.
I mean, the whole text reads like "the artist says that death, the greatest mystery of all time, is no mystery to him and that death, the scariest thing to mankind, is not scary, therefore, he's great." And thus, it doesn't feel very convincing to me, even more so as we're talking about music. And the whole album could be bad and still be described like that.

KevinKC
12.26.14
But then again, I just had an argument with my girlfriend and I feel like ranting about something. :p

VheissuCrisis
12.26.14
You make a decent point about death not being as profound as we make it out to be, I'm actually on board with that school of thought too. But because it's such an unknown entity I've got no issue with people dealing with the issue/writing about it in whichever way they feel is relevant to them. I'd say that what's been written is solid, its just contrary to how you or I perceive the topic or how we might write about it. It's an interesting enough area to allow creative flair too.

Voivod
12.26.14
I've been reading the comments of this thread for quite a while now and all I have to say is as follows.

The content of this site is a DIY affair.

If there's not a band listed in here, add it yourself.

If there's not a review written for an album, write it yourself.

If there's not an album listed in the year's end list, make your own year's end list with the best releases of the year, and it will be appreciated accordingly by Sputnik residents.

Sputnik staff balances between site and real life obligations, whereas the only reward is the conviction that something of value is left behind for other to check out, and if any of you sees that there is a gap between what's been done and what needs to be done, feel free to fill the voids.

That's all there's to it.

deathschool
12.26.14
True enough, but you left out an important detail. Logic and rationality will not be tolerated.

Voivod
12.26.14
"Logic and rationality will not be tolerated."

Please elaborate on that.

JohnnyOnTheSpot
12.26.14
@voivod - he means you're using logic and level-headedness, which is a no-no. sarcasm.

Voivod
12.26.14
Oh I get it now, I was in the middle of something, and I didn't catch the spirit of the comment.

KevinKC
12.26.14
I don't if it was like that last year but I'm appreciating the possibility to listen to one song while reading the comments made about the albums. It's cool.

indigonowhere
12.26.14
KevinKC I want you to know I appreciate your honest feedback, but I honestly do not see myself having done the following in my piece:

"I mean, the whole text reads like "the artist says that death, the greatest mystery of all time, is no mystery to him and that death, the scariest thing to mankind, is not scary, therefore, he's great.""

I never did say that Ellison's music is great because of the themes in which it deals. My argument was rather that the album's theme gave it importance to me, because it's something I think about quite a bit. We like to find meaning in things we consider important, and so in turn, the album became essential to me. If there's another point within my write-up that you feel I could address better, one that you perhaps did not express in the earlier comments, then I would be all ears.

KevinKC
12.26.14
@Omaha: well, I didn't say that you said that ect... I said the "text reads like." I'm not pretending to express anything but my own subjective point of view. I was annoyed at reading it as the description of the best album of the year and I expressed my annoyance. But as VheissuCrisis said what's been written is solid, and is just contrary to how I perceive the topic.

ProjectFreak
12.28.14
Surprised that Hotelier didn't get #1, honestly. But this year was so crazy for me, I missed out on so much great music. Don't even know where to begin catching up.

JamieCTA
12.29.14
flying lotus at #1? meh. It's an HM to my top 10. Top 15ish. It has cool moments and ideas and I definitely enjoyed it but is disjointed as a whole album to me.

bigguytoo9
12.30.14
You're Dead is pretty solid, cool to see it at #1.

ExcentrifugalForz
12.30.14
no goatwhore

no list

ciregno
12.30.14
I DON'T GIVE A DAMN IF THIS LIST WAS COMPILED BEFORE DECEMBER BUT D'ANGELO IS #1. F THAT ISH.

LilLioness
12.31.14
Not surprised a certain album didn't make the list, but the staff has shown they don't care for that particular artist. Still, glad to see Against Me! so high.

Impervious
01.12.15
When does the user's list come out?

Jom
01.12.15
When the contributors complete writing their blurbs, we copyedit them, and we arrange them in the feature.

Deviant.
01.13.15
Or to be more specific, this weekend

AmericanFlagAsh
01.13.15
Wooooo

RadicalEd
01.13.15
hype.

jmh886
01.15.15
whens the user list coming out?

Deviant.
01.15.15
Literally 3 comments above yours is the answer

someguest
01.15.15
looks like jmh886 is next line for staff

jmh886
01.16.15
haha. there's an awful lot of comments on here. good news.

FearThyEvil
01.25.15
Where's thejon23rd's comment from last year when you need it. That thing makes me laugh all the time.

ThePrince1993
02.04.15
Where is Benji, I mean it was only THE BEST DAMN ALBUM OF THE YEAR!!

barcafan21
02.08.16
2-5 on this list are phenomenal

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