NME's Top 50 Albums of 2014

NME's Top 50 Albums of 2014

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49. Interpol - El Pintor

September 9, 2014
Critic Score
75
29 reviews

It would be hard to argue that Interpol are as vital as they once were - even with such an accomplished new work under their belts - but, fifth time round, they're proving there's still plenty of value in their elegantly downtrodden aesthetic.

48. Temples - Sun Structures

February 11, 2014
Critic Score
73
24 reviews

The model lovechild of Jim Morrison, Marc Bolan, John Hassall and Timothy Leary, singer James Edward Bagshaw is a true cosmic dancer, but he’s no fool either, with one keen eye on dragging the psych revival chartward.

46. Twin Peaks - Wild Onion

August 5, 2014
Critic Score
75
12 reviews
Twin Peaks aren’t interested in burning out, even if their lifestyle suggests they might. While they’re here, they’re just too good to miss.

45. Honeyblood - Honeyblood

July 14, 2014
Critic Score
73
13 reviews

The doomed relationship cycle in eternal motion or the sound of a heart that won’t stay mended, ‘Honeyblood’ is visceral pop music giving its prettiest snarl.

44. Perfect Pussy - Say Yes to Love

March 18, 2014
Critic Score
81
21 reviews

Melodies are buried alive under a tonne of aural dirt, delivered in frequencies that hurt your organs.

43. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - Piñata

March 18, 2014
Critic Score
81
16 reviews

On record, though, Gibbs’ coarsely inventive flow works perfectly with Madlib’s imperfectly human beats.

42. Hookworms - The Hum

November 10, 2014
Critic Score
82
18 reviews

There is no showboating or ostentatiousness on ‘The Hum’; it’s a different record to ‘Pearl Mystic’, but also a logical continuation and, in some ways, a companion piece.

40. Bombay Bicycle Club - So Long, See You Tomorrow

February 3, 2014
Critic Score
73
18 reviews

After years of chopping and changing, Bombay Bicycle Club have finally found an iteration worth sticking with.

38. alt-J - This Is All Yours

September 22, 2014
Critic Score
69
30 reviews

‘This Is All Yours’ engulfs you like a deep forest. Alt-J Mk II, then: an impressive expansion, with hugely improved connectivity.

37. Thom Yorke - Tomorrow's Modern Boxes

September 26, 2014
Critic Score
71
24 reviews

The hullaballoo over these guerrilla releases can often detract from the music itself, making it appear secondary to the circumstances of its release. ... ‘Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes’, thankfully, does not.

36. GOAT - Commune

September 23, 2014
Critic Score
78
16 reviews

Compared to its predecessor, the production is snappier and helps lift the veil on their righteous noise. What lies beneath is frequently glorious, especially in the second half

35. Parquet Courts - Sunbathing Animal

June 3, 2014
Critic Score
78
28 reviews

'Sunbathing Animal' is not an immediate or cushy listen, but it is gripping; a considered and brutal reminder that Parquet Courts’ aren’t necessarily an accessible band. 

34. Sun Kil Moon - Benji

February 11, 2014
Critic Score
85
23 reviews

Kozelek has a novelist’s eye for detail, and right from languid opener ‘Carissa’ – a song about his second cousin – he paints a vivid world and invites you to see it through his eyes.

33. Wild Beasts - Present Tense

February 25, 2014
Critic Score
82
26 reviews

The result is an LP that feels more in sync with contemporary music than ever before. There are notes here of Oneohtrix Point Never, Clams Casino, and Tim Hecker. Crucially, though, ‘Present Tense’ roams a landscape which couldn’t have been charted by anyone else.

32. Childhood - Lacuna

August 11, 2014
Critic Score
70
10 reviews

31. Sharon Van Etten - Are We There

May 27, 2014
Critic Score
85
29 reviews

Although there is the occasional overwrought lyric, and nothing ground-breaking here in terms of song structure or instrumentation, the emotion in the delivery makes up for it.

30. Warpaint - Warpaint

January 21, 2014
Critic Score
75
34 reviews

If ‘The Fool’ presented them as ethereal hippies with musical nous, ‘Warpaint’ drives them forward as masters of their talent, seriously loaded with ambition and prowess.

29. Alvvays - Alvvays

July 22, 2014
Critic Score
79
23 reviews

Nothing on this record fails to impress.

28. Morrissey - World Peace Is None of Your Business

July 15, 2014
Critic Score
64
29 reviews

Like Morrissey’s last grand return from hiatus, 2004’s ‘You Are The Quarry’, there’s that same undefeatable spirit, the sense that he thrives on being the fly in the ointment.

27. Jungle - Jungle

July 15, 2014
Critic Score
72
22 reviews

‘Jungle’ is a record designed to seep from barbeques the breadth of 2014, an ultra-modern rewiring of funk for Generation Y. 

26. Perfume Genius - Too Bright

September 23, 2014
Critic Score
85
31 reviews

‘Too Bright’ isn't quite as tough as Hadreas made it seem. Rather, it's a collection of enthralling confessionals where stabs of bleakness mean that heavy bleeding dominates.

25. Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence

June 17, 2014
Critic Score
71
31 reviews

The line between self-aware irony and tragically conforming to type is thin, though, her knowing winks getting stuck in a tangle of false eyelashes, and ultimately undermining what had the potential to be a powerful artistic statement. 

24. Angel Olsen - Burn Your Fire for No Witness

February 18, 2014
Critic Score
81
28 reviews

Its title is a biblically bold declaration accompanied by 11 songs that put the 27-year-old’s worldview in no uncertain terms: disinterested in the attentions of others and steadfastly committed to honouring her own intentions and experience.

23. Kasabian - 48:13

June 9, 2014
Critic Score
53
11 reviews

The cocky confidence that barrelled them into the big time might just be losing momentum - a band made of bold leaps have started dipping toes.

22. Swans - To Be Kind

May 13, 2014
Critic Score
88
28 reviews

'To Be Kind' is not easy or pleasant; it will probably repel and confuse as much as it inspires. It’s a Hieronymous Bosch painting come to life, impossible to tear your eyes away from despite the grotesque atrocities it depicts.

21. FKA Twigs - LP1

August 12, 2014
Critic Score
86
35 reviews

This pervading sense of control and commitment to her art proves that Twigs is set on building the sound of the future all by herself.

20. Jack White - Lazaretto

June 10, 2014
Critic Score
76
35 reviews

... a varied album that lacks any monster riffs like the ones White used to write for The White Stripes, but includes enough intrigue, originality and plain weirdness to delight and, in some places, appal.

18. Kate Tempest - Everybody Down

May 19, 2014
Critic Score
75
11 reviews

As a performance poet, Tempest is good, in a sort of ‘on before Robin Ince in the Latitude literary tent’ kind of way. As a rapper, though, she’s excellent, balancing deft flow and dense storytelling to the detriment of neither.

16. Iceage - Plowing Into the Field of Love

October 7, 2014
Critic Score
79
23 reviews

This, then, is Iceage gleefully torching their legacy and dancing in the ashes. And expanding their horizons hasn’t mellowed them, but made them even more discomforting.

15. Eagulls - Eagulls

March 3, 2014
Critic Score
75
17 reviews

For all the ugliness that spills out of Eagulls, they’re never anything less than vital; these are anthems for a doomed youth determined to kick against the pricks rather than mope forlornly and fruitlessly.

14. Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2

October 28, 2014
Critic Score
87
26 reviews

Cranking the urgency and confrontation of last year's self-titled debut to neck-breaking levels of intensity, 'RTJ2' is an urgent, paranoid album for a violent, panicked time.

13. Damon Albarn - Everyday Robots

April 28, 2014
Critic Score
74
34 reviews

The seductive music, with its Bon Iver found-sound creaks and crackles of static, its colliery laments, its gothic calypsos and its full-on Magnetic Fields alt-showtunes invite intimacy and the slow picking away of its layers. Albarn pulls you close and whispers the codes of his life into your ear. 

12. Death From Above - The Physical World

September 9, 2014
Critic Score
76
23 reviews

The 10-year break has obviously served DFA 1979 well. They have returned hungry and wired to shake us out of our digital comas.

11. Future Islands - Singles

March 25, 2014
Critic Score
81
32 reviews

Get past the initial jolt of weirdness and you'll find in his delivery a soul-puncturing cry from the very frontlines of life, able to evoke both desperate tragedy and skyscraping joy all at once.

10. Ex Hex - Rips

October 7, 2014
Critic Score
82
13 reviews

'Rips' draws skilfully from the twang of CBGB-era punk, glam's robust swagger and Go-Gos pop-punk, imbuing the likes of small-town howl 'New Kid' with the assurance that comes from two decades spent playing in bands

8. Jamie T - Carry On The Grudge

September 29, 2014
Critic Score
81
9 reviews

‘Carry On The Grudge’ is an inspired modern breakdown album in the vein of such cathartic classics as the Manic Street Preachers' ‘The Holy Bible’. It’s London low-life viewed from the other end of the telescope, and the view is dejected but divine.

6. La Roux - Trouble in Paradise

July 21, 2014
Critic Score
77
23 reviews

It's been a tortuous half-decade that's found Jackson riven with anxiety in the aftermath of her debut, to the point where she couldn't even sing, but she comes out reborn.

5. Caribou - Our Love

October 7, 2014
Critic Score
81
30 reviews

This fourth Caribou record encapsulates his whole career. Unwrap its rainbow artwork and you’ll find the plush harmonics of 2007’s ‘Andorra’ (‘Second Chance’), ‘Swim’’s cold, oscillating synths (‘Dive’) and Daphni’s strict beats (‘Mars’).

4. Aphex Twin - Syro

September 23, 2014
Critic Score
87
31 reviews

‘Syro’ is amazing: bug-eyed, banging rave that sounds quintessentially Aphex while not quite sounding like anything he’s done before. It makes zero concessions to the modern day.

3. The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream

March 18, 2014
Critic Score
86
32 reviews

2011’s ‘Slave Ambient’ may have been a cult success, but this follow-up is a fast-flowing gully to mainstream domination. 

2. Mac DeMarco - Salad Days

April 1, 2014
Critic Score
81
23 reviews

Sweet, soulful little man that he is, Mac knows better than to let his bellyaching get in the way of everyone else's good time — instead, he’s simply dialled down the quirk and written his best record yet.

1. St. Vincent - St. Vincent

February 25, 2014
Critic Score
87
34 reviews

Clark’s readiness to be freakish and alone has translated into her songwriting, which is bolder than ever, and out to connect.

Original Source: http://www.nme.com/photos/nme-s-top-50-albums-of-2014/364635/1/1
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2014 YEAR END SUMMARY