Top 10 Albums of 2014

As specified in my first post, this is a safe haven for me to make lists about music. That’s how I operate. So first up, here’s the top 10 albums of the past year. Don’t expect to see pop, hip hop, or rap in here. We’ve all got our tastes.

10. The Dream Walker

Angels & Airwaves

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Easily the best work Tom Delonge and gang have done since 2007’s I-empire. Certainly a different sound, courtesy of new drummer Ilan Rubin, but it looks like this project is finally starting to be as big as it was imagined to be 8 years ago. They’ll be releasing another album, tentatively titled Strange Times, next December.

9. Lift A Sail

Yellowcard

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The departure from Southern Air to Lift A Sail is much like the same departure from Ocean Avenue to Lights And Sounds that pissed off fans in 2006. Guest drummer Nathan Young certainly changed the bass section game on this album, but its the underlying story about front man Ryan Key’s wife that makes the meaning behind this album come fruition, which brings the true beauty out of it.

8. Melophobia

Cage The Elephant

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The Kentucky-based rockers third album lives up to the bar set by their previous two albums. Singles “Come A Little Closer” and “Cigarette Daydreams” truly exemplify that they’ve picked up right where they left off. Not to mention that they’re a great live act.

7. Lost In The Dream

The War On Drugs

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Another magnificent album that comes out of a songwriter’s depression. The rockers from Philadelphia, who I can honestly say I’d never heard of until this album, put their best foot forward. I’m an absolute sucker for a guitar-centric sound. The first half is pretty mellow, there’s a clear threshold for mood and sound about halfway through “An Ocean In Between The Waves”, the standout track on the album.

6. Songs of Innocence

U2

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I’m one of the few people who was ecstatic when this was dropped into my iTunes library without warning. I was like the Nintendo 64 kid. Not only because I’m a huge U2 fan, but because this album was phenomenal. Easily the first great front-to-back album U2’s had since The Joshua Tree.

5. Morning Phase

Beck

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Certainly don’t throw this album on with all your buddies around. Its more of an introspective album. This isn’t the Beck you know from “Loser” and “Where It’s At”. It’s the same Beck from 2002’s Sea Change, and its more proof that he can play whatever genre he wants and still blow away the competition. This album will go up against this year’s releases from Beyoncé, Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, and Pharrell Williams for Album of the Year at the Grammy’s in February.

4. Strange Desire

Bleachers

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Jack Antonoff has made it abundantly clear he’s much more than fun. He’s more fun than fun. There’s no denying the smash summer hit that was “I Wanna Get Better”, and “Rollercoaster” is one of the highest highs you’ll ever feel. Everyone’s just eager to hear more from Bleachers.

3. Sonic Highways

Foo Fighters

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Critics said Dave Grohl’s love letter to American music was just another Foo Fighters record. And that’s exactly what makes it so great. Because it’s another Foo Fighters record. They accomplished this project while staying true to their sound. Anyone not convinced, watch the HBO series, then tell me this album isn’t phenomenal.

2. Turn Blue

The Black Keys

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I still get a headache of joy every time I look at this cover. While it may not have surpassed El Camino (did you really expect it to?), this is still a Black Keys record. There weren’t as many radio-friendly singles on here, but “Fever” and “Gotta Get Away” were good enough for me, as well as everything in between. “Weight Of Love” is easily a top 3 Black Keys track.

1. Everything Will Be Alright In The End

Weezer

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Anyone who knows me knew this was coming. Weezer delivered an instant classic of an album that sounds exactly like their “old stuff”. This is their best album since Pinkerton, and delivers a huge “thank you” to fans who stuck around through the past few garbage albums. Ten amazing tracks, followed by the “Futurescope Trilogy”, three tracks that front man Rivers Cuomo said are his favorite tracks from Weezer’s entire catalogue.

Honorable Mentions:

Lunatic – KONGOS

Lazaretto – Jack White

High Hopes – Bruce Springsteen

Hungry Ghosts – Ok GO

The Rockville LP – O.A.R.

Joyride – Transit

You’re Gunna Miss It All – Modern Baseball

Fading West – Switchfoot

Hypnotic Eye – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Pop Psychology – Neon Trees

Mind Over Matter – Young The Giant