Here is the final catch up of 2014; The Overlooks, a list of albums I'd meant to listen to but never got around to, as well as some late 2014 releases. With the completion of this, the construction of the top 100 tracks and top 50 albums of the year lists will begin. See you all in 2015.
Swans - To Be Kind (May 12th):
One of the most powerful, nosiest, and longest
records of 2014. Swans create yet another solid
album with To Be Kind.
8.6 [MUST LISTEN]
Lykke Li - I Never Learn (May 2nd):
Lykke's devastating lyrics and melancholy
sound bring I Never Learn to life. You can
hear the pain and vulnerability in her voice
and that allows the listener to connect to and
understand the music even better; something
you don't get a lot in music anymore.
8.8 [MUST LISTEN]
Todd Terje - It's Album Time (April 8th):
The title says it all. The Norwegian dance
producer finally makes an album, and damn,
was it worth the wait!
J. Cole - 2014 Forest Hills Drive (Dec. 9th):
A featureless and more "personal" album. Just
a year removed form his lackluster 2013 album
Born Sinner, J. Cole releases, probably, the most
boring rap record in recent years.
She & Him - Classics (Dec. 2nd):
An album I think we all knew would happen
eventually. Classics is a collection of covers of,
well, classics. Zooey and M. Ward put their soft
touch on some of our favorite songs and they do
Christopher Owens - A New Testament (Sept. 30th):
The former Girls front man continues to struggle
to find his footing as a solo artist.
9.2 [MUST LISTEN]
Panda Bear - Mr. Noah EP (Oct. 22nd):
Panda Bear of Animal Collective is back and better
than ever. The production on this EP is just outstanding,
some of the best work he's ever done, and the lyrics are
so whacky, I swear I was listening to an Animal Collective
record. If the Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper LP is
anything like this, I think I may already have my favorite
record of 2015.
SBTRKT - Wonder Where We Land (Oct. 7th):
The 2nd record from British producer Aaron Foulds
contains several great tracks (the best one features my
boy Ezra Koenig), but its lack of cohesiveness proves
to be its biggest downfall.
The Ting Tings - Super Critical (Oct. 24th):
A very under the radar record that was quietly
released by the very popular British pop group
features one of the best dance tracks of the year
in the title track Super Critical.
From Indian Lakes - Absent Sounds (Oct. 4th):
The short but sweet record from the rockers out of
California is further proof that more people should
be talking about From Indian Lakes.
Mr Twin Sister - Mr Twin Sister (Sept. 23rd):
The second studio album (first under the name Mr
Twin Sister) from the New York band blends the funk
and melodic-electronic genre's nicely but seems to lose
focus just as the album starts to get interesting.
Charlie XCX - Sucker (Dec. 15th):
A record filled with hit-or-miss tracks that are mostly
Nicki Minaj - The Pink Print (Dec. 12th):
With the exception of a few tracks, almost all of the
songs start out extremely well, but just can't seem to
find their footing making the album one big missed
8.7 [MUST LISTEN]
D'Angelo and the Vanguard - Black Messiah (Dec. 15th):
Black Messiah comes out 14 years after D'Angelo's
triumphant 2000 album Voodoo, its cohesiveness and
self awareness really shows it. This is a product that was
payed close attention to over the entirety of its creation
and it certainly paid off.