NME's Top 50 Albums of 2014

NME's Top 50 Albums of 2014

Original Source

50. Julian Casablancas + The Voidz - Tyranny

Julian Casablancas + The Voidz - Tyranny
September 23, 2014
Synthpunk
Critic Score
63
17 reviews
User Score
74
70 reviews

49. Interpol - El Pintor

Interpol - El Pintor
September 9, 2014
Indie Rock
Critic Score
75
28 reviews
User Score
75
171 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.

Full Review →

48. Temples - Sun Structures

Temples - Sun Structures
February 11, 2014
Psychedelic Rock
Critic Score
74
23 reviews
User Score
73
195 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.

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47. Gruff Rhys - American Interior

Gruff Rhys - American Interior
May 5, 2014
Indie Pop
Critic Score
77
16 reviews
User Score
70
22 reviews

46. Twin Peaks - Wild Onion

Twin Peaks - Wild Onion
August 5, 2014
Garage Rock
Critic Score
75
12 reviews
User Score
78
43 reviews

45. Honeyblood - Honeyblood

Honeyblood - Honeyblood
July 14, 2014
Indie Pop
Critic Score
73
13 reviews
User Score
75
23 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.

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44. Perfect Pussy - Say Yes to Love

Perfect Pussy - Say Yes to Love
March 18, 2014
Noise Rock
Critic Score
81
21 reviews
User Score
71
127 reviews

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

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43. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - Piñata

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - Piñata
March 18, 2014
Hip Hop
Critic Score
80
15 reviews
User Score
83
293 reviews

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

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42. Hookworms - The Hum

Hookworms - The Hum
November 10, 2014
Psychedelic Rock
Critic Score
82
18 reviews
User Score
77
49 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.

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41. Manic Street Preachers - Futurology

Manic Street Preachers - Futurology
July 7, 2014
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
80
11 reviews
User Score
76
28 reviews

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

Bombay Bicycle Club - So Long, See You Tomorrow
February 3, 2014
Indie Rock
Critic Score
73
18 reviews
User Score
72
131 reviews

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

Full Review →

39. Protomartyr - Under Color of Official Right

Protomartyr - Under Color of Official Right
April 8, 2014
Post-Punk
Critic Score
80
12 reviews
User Score
79
129 reviews

38. alt-J - This Is All Yours

alt-J - This Is All Yours
September 22, 2014
Art Pop
Critic Score
69
29 reviews
User Score
68
219 reviews

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

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37. Thom Yorke - Tomorrow's Modern Boxes

Thom Yorke - Tomorrow's Modern Boxes
September 26, 2014
Electronic
Critic Score
70
22 reviews
User Score
74
110 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.

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36. GOAT - Commune

GOAT - Commune
September 23, 2014
Psychedelic Rock
Critic Score
78
16 reviews
User Score
74
44 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

Full Review →

35. Parquet Courts - Sunbathing Animal

Parquet Courts - Sunbathing Animal
June 3, 2014
Garage Rock
Critic Score
79
27 reviews
User Score
77
188 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. 

Full Review →

34. Sun Kil Moon - Benji

Sun Kil Moon - Benji
February 11, 2014
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
85
22 reviews
User Score
82
467 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.

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33. Wild Beasts - Present Tense

Wild Beasts - Present Tense
February 25, 2014
Art Pop
Critic Score
83
25 reviews
User Score
79
318 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.

Full Review →

32. Childhood - Lacuna

Childhood - Lacuna
August 11, 2014
Indie Rock
Critic Score
70
10 reviews
User Score
70
9 reviews

31. Sharon Van Etten - Are We There

Sharon Van Etten - Are We There
May 27, 2014
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
86
28 reviews
User Score
82
354 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.

Full Review →

30. Warpaint - Warpaint

Warpaint - Warpaint
January 21, 2014
Dream Pop
Critic Score
75
32 reviews
User Score
74
219 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.

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29. Alvvays - Alvvays

Alvvays - Alvvays
July 22, 2014
Indie Pop
Critic Score
79
23 reviews
User Score
79
206 reviews

Nothing on this record fails to impress.

Full Review →

28. Morrissey - World Peace Is None of Your Business

Morrissey - World Peace Is None of Your Business
July 15, 2014
Pop Rock
Critic Score
64
28 reviews
User Score
72
49 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.

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27. Jungle - Jungle

Jungle - Jungle
July 15, 2014
Nu-Disco
Critic Score
72
22 reviews
User Score
74
72 reviews

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

Full Review →

26. Perfume Genius - Too Bright

Perfume Genius - Too Bright
September 23, 2014
Art Pop
Critic Score
85
30 reviews
User Score
82
315 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.

Full Review →

25. Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence

Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence
June 17, 2014
Art Pop
Critic Score
72
28 reviews
User Score
73
380 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. 

Full Review →

24. Angel Olsen - Burn Your Fire for No Witness

Angel Olsen - Burn Your Fire for No Witness
February 18, 2014
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
82
27 reviews
User Score
81
338 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.

Full Review →

23. Kasabian - 48:13

Kasabian - 48:13
June 9, 2014
Alternative Dance
Critic Score
54
10 reviews
User Score
61
79 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.

Full Review →

22. Swans - To Be Kind

Swans - To Be Kind
May 13, 2014
Experimental Rock
Critic Score
87
27 reviews
User Score
84
470 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.

Full Review →

21. FKA Twigs - LP1

FKA Twigs - LP1
August 12, 2014
Alternative R&B
Critic Score
86
34 reviews
User Score
82
652 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.

Full Review →

20. Jack White - Lazaretto

Jack White - Lazaretto
June 10, 2014
Blues Rock
Critic Score
75
32 reviews
User Score
73
169 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.

Full Review →

19. Royal Blood - Royal Blood

Royal Blood - Royal Blood
August 25, 2014
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
70
14 reviews
User Score
75
137 reviews

18. Kate Tempest - Everybody Down

Kate Tempest - Everybody Down
May 19, 2014
Hip Hop
Critic Score
75
11 reviews
User Score
74
25 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.

Full Review →

17. Todd Terje - It's Album Time

Todd Terje - It's Album Time
April 8, 2014
Nu-Disco
Critic Score
82
24 reviews
User Score
80
311 reviews

16. Iceage - Plowing Into the Field of Love

Iceage - Plowing Into the Field of Love
October 7, 2014
Post-Punk
Critic Score
79
22 reviews
User Score
80
189 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.

Full Review →

15. Eagulls - Eagulls

Eagulls - Eagulls
March 3, 2014
Post-Punk
Critic Score
75
17 reviews
User Score
75
71 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.

Full Review →

14. Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2

Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2
October 28, 2014
Hip Hop
Critic Score
87
26 reviews
User Score
85
603 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.

Full Review →

13. Damon Albarn - Everyday Robots

Damon Albarn - Everyday Robots
April 28, 2014
Art Pop
Critic Score
75
32 reviews
User Score
76
179 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. 

Full Review →

12. Death From Above 1979 - The Physical World

Death From Above 1979 - The Physical World
September 9, 2014
Dance Punk
Critic Score
76
23 reviews
User Score
75
85 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.

Full Review →

11. Future Islands - Singles

Future Islands - Singles
March 25, 2014
Synthpop
Critic Score
81
29 reviews
User Score
79
365 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.

Full Review →

10. Ex Hex - Rips

Ex Hex - Rips
October 7, 2014
Indie Rock
Critic Score
82
13 reviews
User Score
77
96 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

Full Review →

9. Sleaford Mods - Divide and Exit

Sleaford Mods - Divide and Exit
April 28, 2014
Post-Punk
Critic Score
71
6 reviews
User Score
73
32 reviews

8. Jamie T - Carry On The Grudge

Jamie T - Carry On The Grudge
September 29, 2014
Indie Rock
Critic Score
81
8 reviews
User Score
77
64 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.

Full Review →

7. Merchandise - After the End

Merchandise - After the End
August 26, 2014
Indie Rock
Critic Score
73
19 reviews
User Score
73
47 reviews

6. La Roux - Trouble in Paradise

La Roux - Trouble in Paradise
July 21, 2014
Synthpop
Critic Score
77
22 reviews
User Score
76
106 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.

Full Review →

5. Caribou - Our Love

Caribou - Our Love
October 7, 2014
Electronic
Critic Score
81
29 reviews
User Score
80
346 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’).

Full Review →

4. Aphex Twin - Syro

Aphex Twin - Syro
September 23, 2014
IDM
Critic Score
87
31 reviews
User Score
79
337 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.

Full Review →

3. The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream

The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream
March 18, 2014
Folk Rock
Critic Score
86
31 reviews
User Score
84
678 reviews

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

Full Review →

2. Mac DeMarco - Salad Days

Mac DeMarco - Salad Days
April 1, 2014
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
82
22 reviews
User Score
81
551 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.

Full Review →

1. St. Vincent - St. Vincent

St. Vincent - St. Vincent
February 25, 2014
Art Pop
Critic Score
88
32 reviews
User Score
82
713 reviews

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

Full Review →
Original Source: http://www.nme.com/photos/nme-s-top-50-albums-of-2014/364635/1/1

MORE 2014 YEAR END LISTS:


MORE YEAR END LISTS FROM NME:


Check out our 2014 Year End Summary.