Favourite albums/music of 2014

Other music and recommendations.

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Miki
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Favourite albums/music of 2014

Post by Miki » 20 Nov 2014, 12:45

2014 is almost over -6 weeks to go - and for me it's been an especially good year for music, with a number of great records, including new releases from some of my favourites. Here are the records I enjoyed the most:

Damon Albarn, EVERYDAY ROBOTS
Beck, MORNING PHASE
Bombay Bicycle Club, SO LONG, SEE YOU TOMORROW
East India Youth, TOTAL STRIFE FOREVER
Eels, THE CAUTIONARY TALES OF MARK OLIVER EVERETT
First Aid Kit, STAY GOLD
Future Island, SINGLES
Hollie Cook, TWICE
Nick Mulvey, FIRST MIND
Gruff Rhys, AMERICAN INTERIOR
Ryan Adams, RYAN ADAMS
St Vincent, ST VINCENT
Temples, SUN STRUCTURES
The Black Keys, TURN BLUE
The Horrors, LUMINOUS
The War on Drugs, LOST IN A DREAM
Thurston Moore, THE BEST DAY
Warpaint, WARPAINT
Jack White, LAZARETTO

What were your highlights/favourites in the past 12 months?
I've been drifting along in the same stale old shoes
Loose ends tyin' a noose in the back of my mind...

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mr_spenalzo
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Re: Favourite albums/music of 2014

Post by mr_spenalzo » 20 Nov 2014, 18:17

I'm still letting this year's records sink in, and will likely spend most of my music time on 2014 albums. I don't know what my top 10 or 20 will look like. But my two favourite albums are pretty much decided:

Marissa Nadler - July
The War On Drugs - Lost In The Dream

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Miki
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Re: Favourite albums/music of 2014

Post by Miki » 20 Nov 2014, 19:39

Yes, The War on Drugs is at the top for me too. Though the winner is Beck's Morning Phase, I have been listening to that album almost daily for 9 months!
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davidsutter
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Re: Favourite albums/music of 2014

Post by davidsutter » 20 Nov 2014, 23:54

OK Go's new one had some good synthpop. I've only listened to it a couple times, though.
Everyday Robots had a lot of great tunes but the production was shit.
I don't remember much from the new Beck, kind of spaced out on it.
The new Black Keys had some cool grooves on it. Think I need a few more listens to form an opinion on it.
I've been listening to Primus and the Chocolate Factory a lot lately, it's really cool.
I liked most of the new Weird Al but the Fancy parody kind of sucked. 'Jackson Park Express' is probably one of his best ever.
Gerard Way's new album was a bold move. I didn't like the abundance of reverb in the production but still.
I couldn't get half way through A Little Help From My Fwends. It's just too fucked up and not in a good way.
The Weezer album surprised me big time but it's still not as good as the Rentals one.

And I think that's all the new shit I've listened to this year.
I've been buying a ton of old stuff so I haven't had a lot of time for the new.

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Miki
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Re: Favourite albums/music of 2014

Post by Miki » 21 Nov 2014, 15:58

Here's Mojo's top 50. Pleased to see so many of my favourites included. And my top two... are the top two :mrgreen:

http://www.mojo4music.com/17483/50-best ... nal-score/
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Re: Favourite albums/music of 2014

Post by TripleJay97 » 21 Nov 2014, 17:51

I'm pleased Indie Cindy made the list, actually. That album has really grown on me since it came out. Some of the stuff on there is really melodically impressive. Silver Snail and Greens and Blues are personal highlights for me.

I think, nearer the end of the year, I'll do a top ten.
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Miki
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Re: Favourite albums/music of 2014

Post by Miki » 26 Nov 2014, 14:37

My humble piece on my favourite music of the year

http://words-in-a-jar.blogspot.co.uk/20 ... -2014.html
I've been drifting along in the same stale old shoes
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mr_spenalzo
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Re: Favourite albums/music of 2014

Post by mr_spenalzo » 26 Nov 2014, 19:07

Great read Miki, and based on this I'll give First Aid Kit a go.

Two points have to be made though:

You forgot the one bad thing about the War On Drugs album: the fact that An Ocean In Between The Waves" ends after 7 minutes, while it should continue for at least another 7. What a phenomenal track that is.

Also, the best song on The Horrors record is "First Day Of Spring". No buts.

:P

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Miki
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Re: Favourite albums/music of 2014

Post by Miki » 26 Nov 2014, 22:15

Thanks, glad you enjoyed it :)
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rich
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Re: Favourite albums/music of 2014

Post by rich » 27 Nov 2014, 19:22

Miki wrote:My humble piece on my favourite music of the year
http://words-in-a-jar.blogspot.co.uk/20 ... -2014.html
fab review Miki - great to have a proper writer on the team! :)

It has been a good year for new music - think I've bought more new stuff this year than I have for a long time - Metronomy, War on Drugs, Temples, Alt-J, Damon, Beck, FKA Twiglet etc...

who said the album was dead ;)

rich 8-)

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Miki
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Re: Favourite albums/music of 2014

Post by Miki » 28 Nov 2014, 01:38

rich wrote:
Miki wrote:My humble piece on my favourite music of the year
http://words-in-a-jar.blogspot.co.uk/20 ... -2014.html
fab review Miki - great to have a proper writer on the team! :)

It has been a good year for new music - think I've bought more new stuff this year than I have for a long time - Metronomy, War on Drugs, Temples, Alt-J, Damon, Beck, FKA Twiglet etc...

who said the album was dead ;)

rich 8-)
Thank you! And yes, I agree: I haven't spent so much on new music as I did this year. It's been very exciting.
I've been drifting along in the same stale old shoes
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Caitlin
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Re: Favourite albums/music of 2014

Post by Caitlin » 28 Nov 2014, 02:25

The new Taylor Swift album is my favourite pop release of the year.
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mr_spenalzo
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Re: Favourite albums/music of 2014

Post by mr_spenalzo » 30 Nov 2014, 19:57

I'm working on my top 10, almost there. But first...

MY BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENTS OF 2014

Nicole Atkins - Slow Phaser
Nicole's 2007 or 2008 debut Neptune City was fantastic, and I was getting ready for (finally!) a female Springsteen. Alas, its follow-up Mondo Amore was crap and the new one's only marginally better. "It's Only Chemistry" is a kick-ass song, but a rather lonely one, surrounded as it is by mediocrity.

Blondie - Ghosts Of Download
I was hardly expecting another Parallel Lines, but this is actually not even The Hunter. Bland bland bland, from start to end.

Future Islands - Singles
It's not bad, but after reading all the extremely positive reviews I was expecting a masterpiece, not a routine excercise of eighties nostalgia, sung in an irritating voice. And the sleeve is just ugly.

Kylie Minogue - Kiss Me Once
I'm always hoping for a good Kylie record, just like I always pray for the next Madonna record to be great. Alas, here Kylie offers us dance pop without even the slightest hint of personality. What's happened with her? She used to be great when she didn't worry about fans' expectations.

Morrissey - World Peace Is None Of Your Business
Reviews suggested this would be Morrissey's best since Vauxhall And I. Well, it's not. There's one or two good songs (I like "The Bullfighter Dies" in particular), and that's it. If this is the best the man can do after five years of absence then the future's grim.

Opeth - Pale Communion
Opener "Eternal Rains Will Come" has a decent Faith No More-ish vibe, but the rest is extremely boring. Death and black metal bands are rarely good once they stop screaming (see also this years Alcest album), and Opeth, who have four or five death metal classics in their discography, are no exception.

Simple Minds - Big Music
Another act perfectly capable of doing something interesting fails to do something interesting, like Blondie and Kylie above. People calling this Simple Minds' best since the mid-eighties clearly missed about half a dozen better records Jim Kerr et al did. Damn, the bonus disc that came with Graffiti Soul was better.

Sharon Van Etten - Are We There
Not bad, but I was expecting more. Like Future Islands perhaps Sharon's a victim of rave reviews (and associations with The National, whom I consider the best band of the past ten years).

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Re: Favourite albums/music of 2014

Post by Trimm Trabb » 01 Dec 2014, 12:05

Standouts for me:
Elbow - The Take Off And Landing Of Everything
Gruff Rhys - American Interior
Superfood - Don't Say That
Metronomy - Love Letters
Bright Light Bright Light - Life Is Easy

mr_spenalzo
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Re: Favourite albums/music of 2014

Post by mr_spenalzo » 01 Dec 2014, 18:54

I've narrowed it down to 10, am putting them in order. But first...

A BUNCH OF LONESOME HONORABLE MENTIONS

Damon Albarn - Everyday Robots
Almost as good as Think Tank, which is the album in Damon's oeuvre it resembles the most. Which means it's merely almost as good as the least impressive record Blur did.

The Antlers - Familiars
Some of the most beautiful music of the year can be found here, mainly during the first half of this dreamy record. Unfortunately there's not enough variation, and towards the end The Antlers' record becomes a little boring. Of all these honorable mentions this is the one I regret leaving out of my top 10 the most.

Behemoth - The Satanist
A proper death metal monster, and with "O Father, O Satan, O Sun!" Behemoth have created a bona fide satanist singalong.

Dum Dum Girls - Too True
After a fantastic debut and a so-so second one Dum Dum Girls hit back with a wonderful piece of pop. The ballads, in particular, are the business: "Trouble Is My Name" and "Are You Okay?" are simply gorgeous.

The Horrors - Luminous
After Primary Colours and Skying The Horrors (title of a Blur b-side) seemed invincible, but Luminous (title of a Blur b-side) shows they're humans too. "First Day Of Spring" has the best chord changes of the year, but overall it sounds a bit too much like the band's last one, only the songs aren't as good.

Manic Street Preachers - Futurology
Ah, the Manics. Talk about inconsistent: one album's brilliant, the next is utterly crap, then they make an alright one. This is the alright one. "Let's Go To War" is one of my favourite songs of the year though.

Obituary - Inked In Blood
The old men are back to show that there's a time and place for subtlety, but not on an Obituary record. Still, there's a lot to be enjoyed here. A lot of blunt death metal to be precise. Also contains one of the years scariest moments on a record (in a slasher pic kind of way) when John Tardy starts screaming "I'm coming to get you!" on the rediculous "Pain Inside".

A Sunny Day In Glasgow - Sea When Absent
Alright dreampop, but any album with song titles "In Love With Useless (The Timeless Geometry In The Tradition Of Passing)" and "The Body, It Bends (ペルセポネが帰ってきた!)" deserves a mention somewhere.

U2 - Songs Of Innocence
Not so much an album as a marketing campaign, but it would be a shame to dismiss this: it's easily U2's best and most adventurous since Pop, and shows what U2 can do when they forget about the U2-Rulebook. "Sleep Like A Baby Tonight", "The Troubles" and "Raised By Wolves" have that magic ingredient that grew on the band's trees back in the early nineties.

Woods Of Desolation - As The Stars
This year's Sunbather, except not quite as good. However, those hoping for more post-black metal masterpieces weren't exactly treated in 2014, so this is almost an essential album by default... and there's a bloodcurdling scream halfway through opener "Like Falling Leaves" that's worth the price of admission.

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