Monday, January 5, 2015

The Talent's Top 50 Albums Of 2014

2014 was one hell of a year for music, we heard incredible collaborations like RTJ2, Black Messiah and Tyranny, a dreamy-disco journey with It's Album Time, and art-pop perfection with St. Vincent, but there can only be one top album. Now, I obviously couldn't listen to every single record that was released in 2014, but I did listen to quite the amount and a wide variety, these were my favorites.

50.  Oxymoron - Schoolboy Q
 
 Black Hippie's Schoolboy Q delivers another solid record.

*

49.  Underneath The Rainbow - Black Lips
 Just as crazy, sloppy and drugged up as all of their other records.
What is there not to love about that?

*

48.  1989 - Taylor Swift
 Taylor has certainly come into her own as a pop artist with
1989, but not forgetting the importance of the album. An
overall very enjoyable record

*

47.  Brill Bruisers - The New Pornographers
 The super groups sixth studio album is not their best effort, but
still succeeds in being one of the best pop-rock records of the
year.

*

46.  Classics - She & Him
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 it beautifully.

*

45.  My Everything - Ariana Grande
 2014's biggest breakout star's second LP delivers the perfect blend of pop
and R&B hits. Several of My Everything's tracks have climbed the charts
to number one, and for good reason.

*

44.  In Conflict - Owen Pallett
A very intimate and unique album from a widely respected singer/songwriter.

*

43.  Talking Is Hard - Walk The Moon
Walk The Moon's third record (second on their current contract
with RCA) is a solid 12 track album, with only a few stinkers,
and is one of the more fun dance LP's of the year.

*

42.  Ocean Death EP - Baths
The amazing production and dark  lyrics make for yet another great piece
of work from Will Wiesenfeld.

*

41.  In The Lonely Hour - Sam Smith
 Lyrically, he's no James Mercer or Ezra Koenig, but, damn it, does he
have a great voice. Smith's vocals and the solid production come together
for a sadly short, but enjoyable record.

*

40.  Mind Over Matter - Young The Giant
A very powerful and impressive sophomore effort from the California
rockers.

*

39.  Girl - Pharrell
A very consistently enjoyable records, and c'mon guys, Happy is pretty
fucking catchy.

*

38.  Under Pressure - Logic
 Logic is someone I wouldn't usually go out of my way to listen to, but after
constant recommendations of this record I finally gave it a chance and was
pleasantly surprised. His flow is almost paralleled to that of Kendrick
Lamar, and the album is very well structured.

*

37.  Super Critical - The Ting Tings
 A very under the radar and underrated record that was quietly released
by the very popular British dance-pop group.

*

36.  After The Disco - Broken Bells
James Murphy and Danger Mouse's follow up to their self titled debut
trumps it's predecessor in just about every way.

*

35.  Absent Sounds - From Indian Lakes
 The short but sweet record from the rockers out of California is further
proof that more people should be talking about From Indian Lakes.

*

34.  Sun Structures - Temples
 An outstanding debut from the English psych-rockers. The Tame Impala
comparisons may haunt them for a while but they are certainly giving them
a run for their money.

*

33.  Singles - Future Islands
 Clearly the bands best record to date, with several solid tracks, or, Singles,
if you will. Future Islands' fourth effort is sure to catch your liking.

*

32.  Forcefield - Tokyo Police Club
One of the catchiest albums of the year. Tokyo Police Club continue to
shake things up with each new record they put out.

*

31.  To Be Kind - Swans
One of the most powerful, nosiest, and longest records of 2014. Swans
create yet another captivating album with To Be Kind.

*

30.  Hell Can Wait EP - Vince Staples
Vince Staples debut EP was just a few tracks away from being one of the
years best rap LP's, easy. At just a mere six tracks, the Hell Can Wait
EP manages to do what very few rap albums have been able to do
this year; make a difference.

*

29.  Turn Blue - The Black Keys
 Probably the most personal album the band has written. Documenting the
emotions of Dan Auerbach in the wake of his divorce, Turn Blue shows a
new side of the Keys.

*

28.  Tyranny - Julian Casablancas + The Voidz
 What do you get when you mix the man behind, arguably, the best
rock band of the 2000's and an extremely experimental rock group
like the Voidz? You get Tyranny, a fuzzy, disgustingly magical LP.

*

27.  Ruins - Grouper
Low-fi piano tunes straight out of Portland? Sign me up! Elizabeth Harris'
latest record Ruins is sure to leave its mark on your heart.

*

26.  Burn Your Fire For No Witness - Angel Olsen
Angel Olsen is probably the most interesting singer/songwriter in music
right now. Her ominous lyrics and lo-fi/dark/folk sound compliment
each other magnificently.

*

25.  Satellite Flight: The Journey To Mother Moon - Kid Cudi
  Some of the best production I've ever heard on a rap/hip-hop record. Cudi
bounces back nicely from last years disappointing Indicud.

*

24.  Pom Pom - Ariel Pink
 Melancholy rock melodies, lo-fi vocals and superb lyrics bring Ariel
Pink's first album without his band, the Haunted Graffiti, to life.

*

23.  I Never Learn - Lykke Li
 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.

*

22.  Encyclopedia - The Drums
With half the band now gone, Jonathan Pierce and Jacob Graham have
somehow come together to create the groups best record yet. Encyclopedia
takes a more electronic rout to things this time around, but is still
accompanied by Pierce's ominous lyrics and Morrissey -esque

vocals.

*

21.  Lullaby... And The Ceaseless Roar -
Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters
Led Zeppelin who? Robert Plant, somehow, compiles yet another
masterful record full of that crazy Brit's insane lyrics, magical
riffs and melodies.

*

20.  What Is This Heart? - How To Dress Well
Tom Krell's beautiful vocals paired with some wonderful musical
arrangements make What Is This Heart? his best record to date.

*

19.  LP1 - FKA Twigs
What can I say about FKA Twigs that hasn't already been said? She truly
came out of left field and won the hearts of everyone. LP1 is a
phenomenal debut from a very unique and talented artists I look
forward to what the young Tahliah Barnett has for us next.

*

18.  Black Messiah - D'Angelo and The Vanguard
 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.

*

17.  White Women - Chromeo
 One of the grooviest record of 2014, with out a doubt. White Women is the
perfect record for when you wanna shake ya damn ass.

*

16.  Sylvan Esso - Sylvan Esso
Electronic indie pop mixed with folk-rock? That's a hell of a genre bend,
but North Carolina duo Sylvan Esso was able to pull it off (and pretty
fantastically so, if you ask me) with their debut LP.


*

15.  It's Album Time - Todd Terje
 The title says it all. The Norwegian dance producer finally makes an
album, and damn, was it worth the wait!

*

14.  Too Bright - Perfume Genius
One of the most pleasant surprises of the year, Mike Hadreas' Perfume
Genius project creates one of the most beautiful and unique records
of the year.

*

13.  They Want My Soul - Spoon
 Led by the crunchy, rock 'n roll voice of lead singer Britt Daniel, Spoon
creates yet another monumental record, helping them continue
to prove why they are one of the best rock bands around.

*

12.  Atlas - Real Estate
Real Estate never fails to bring the mellow, surf vibes that we've come to
love, Atlas not only gives us that but also incredible, heartbreaking lyrics
like we've never heard from the band before.

*

11.  Benji - Sun Kil Moon
Track number seven I Love My Dad presents the simple concept of the
narrators love for his father, but it goes so much further than that with
six full minutes of stories and memories. Much like the rest of the

album, it is full of fantastic stories pieced perfectly into the
magnificent arrangements.

*

10.  So Long, See You Tomorrow - Bombay Bicycle Club
 Bombay Bicycle Club just continues to get better and better with each
album. With even better production and, somehow, more lyrical
depth, So Long, See You Tomorrow becomes their best effort yet.

*

9.  Mr Noah EP - Panda Bear
 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.

*

 8.  St. Vincent - St. Vincent
From start to finish, this album kicks so much ass. I really want to make
this review sound more sophisticated, but, DAMN! The diversity on
this record is a thing of beauty. Just, GOD DAMN. Annie Clark
just gets it.

*

7.  Salad Days - Mac DeMarco
Everyone's favorite goofball, Mac DeMarco, does it again. His laid back
sound takes a more serious and mature turn as he focuses more on life
relationships and morality.

*

6.  Nikki Nack - Tune-Yards
 Merrill Garbus is doing things that everyone else in the music industry can
only dream of doing. Nikki Nack's production is flawless, the lyrics are
mind-bending, and Merrill's vocals are as jaw dropping as ever.
A two pound chicken tastes better with friends, kids. Don't you
ever forget that.

*

5.  Mended With Gold - The Rural Alberta Advantage
 The Toronto trio's third LP steps up its production and even steps up
its power jams with tracks like 45/33 and Our Love... The RAA
adds yet another wonderful record to their already outstanding
discography.


*

4.  Plowing Into The Field Of Love - Iceage
Denmark's finest post-punk band, Iceage, plowed (pun intended) back into
our lives just a short year after their decent 2013 LP, You're Nothing. Not
being incredibly impressed by that last record, I didn't have the
highest of expectations for this one, but, damn, I should have
believe the hype, cause this record is amaz-balls.

*

3.  Are We There - Sharon Van Etten
A heart breaking and breath taking record. Sharon Van Etten's 4th studio
album proves to be her best effort, and easily, one of the best albums of
the year.

*

2.  Under The Pressure - The War On Drugs
 One of the most beautiful and intimate records of the year. Lost In
The Dream features some of the most personal and beautiful lyrics from
front man Adam Granduciel.

*


1.  Run The Jewels 2 - Run The Jewels
Where do I even start? Look, I knew this was the best shit of 2014 the second
the record ended. Run The Jewels 2 just absolutely knocked me on my ass.
First of all, Killer Mike starts the record off by screaming, "I'm
finna bang this bitch the fuck out" and that's exactly what they do.

El-P and Mike just don't hold back. Every track is masterful and
"fuckin' brutal."

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