Monday, December 15, 2014

2014 Top 10 Albums of the Year

I only reviewed around 30 albums this years, so a pretty low number, though I probably listened to about 40 or so. To me this makes my list of 10 albums a little less meaningful because the pool wasn't as deep as in past years. Hopefully next year I'll get the number of reviews back up to where it should be.

For each album I've included an excerpt from my original review.

10.  The Classic by Joan as Police Woman
In some ways it feels dated as Joan takes on the 50's and 60's inspired music that was made so popular by Amy Winehouse almost ten years ago. But for inspiration Joan looked to David Bowie and Rickie Lee Jones, artists who were also heavily influenced by the 50's and 60's music and has thus created an album in 2014 that sounds fresh and different and very Joan as Police Woman.

9.  Pulses by Karmin
So here is another group I knew nothing about when I first put on their album. It struck me right away as a very solid pop album and has one song "I Want It All" which will be in my running for song of the year. I was very happy with this album . . .

8.  Holly by Nick Waterhouse
In some ways albums like this feel very unproduced. Like they took the band, put them in a room with microphones and turned on the recorder. But to get a band to sound this natural and alive it actually takes some smart production work and they captured the energy and sound of the band perfectly on this album.

7.  Kiss Me Once by Kylie Minogue
What I like about Minogue is that she seems to take being a pop star seriously. To me what that means is that she continues to take her song selection seriously, she continues to work with top producers, and she continues to keep her sound up to date. In the end what you get is a solid pop album which is something somewhat rare for an artist who is 45 years old.

6.  Get Hurt by Gaslight Anthem
Oddly with all the influences of the 80's floating around right now it is funny to hear something like this. I never thought some of those clothes from the 80's would come back in style but I see them every day around the college campus I work on and so it's funny to be listening to this album walking around campus and see some of these clothes and find myself feeling like I'm 19 again.

5.  5 Seconds of Summer by 5 Seconds of Summer
These guys came up with a great idea. Mix boy band and pop punk and you get 5 Seconds of Summer. Of course the key to make that work is to be able to write a bunch of hook heavy, slightly funny, very energetic tracks and they did just that for their debut album.

4.  Worlds by Porter Robinson
Now I don't know that you can really say he moved away from his roots as this album feels very dance beat heavy, but he did succeed in creating a very cohesive album that flows well from start to finish. Because of this flow and the good beats this makes a fantastic workout album. Put this on and go for a run and you'll find yourself getting an extra boost as you run up that hill.

3.  They Want My Soul by Spoon
Sometimes it's nice to put on a rock album and this is a rock album that is full of energy, solid hooks, and what makes it stand out is that it is also full of interesting songs. I find Britt Daniel to be an interesting songwriter and he doesn't disappoint on this album coming up with 10 solid songs. That's a good way to go after being away for four years I think.

2.  Supermodel by Foster the People
I have talked a lot on this blog of the influences of the post punk movement on much of the music today. One thing that is easy to forget about that movement in the 80s is that it lead to songs like "In Between Days" by The Cure. Foster the People have found that music and brought it up to date and created an album that feels youthful, energetic, and still edgy.

1.  Lights Out by Ingrid Michaelson
My favorite pop album of the year to this point this album is also a standout because it is a hit with me, my wife and my daughter. That's a rarity. It also works for me because it has both very catchy songs, like the opener "Home," and thoughtful romantic songs like "Wonderful Unkown."  On a good pop album you need that mix to keep the album fresh and interesting as you work through it. 


  1. Yeah, I certainly didn't love any song more this year than I loved "Wonderful Unknown" by Ingrid Michaelson. Great choice.

  2. Um, it's "The Gaslight Anthem," not "Gaslight Anthem."

  3. Karmin Nation remains hacked its review didn't yield more than 2 stars.