Paste's 50 Best Albums of 2014

Paste's 50 Best Albums of 2014

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50. Hospitality - Trouble

January 28, 2014
Critic Score
70
18 reviews

47. Cloud Nothings - Here and Nowhere Else

April 1, 2014
Critic Score
80
27 reviews

The result is a fast-paced, convulsive collection that has all the intensity of its predecessor but with an elevated dose of urgency.

45. Damien Rice - My Favourite Faded Fantasy

November 11, 2014
Critic Score
79
10 reviews

These are rich songs, meant to be savored and taken in with repeated listens.

42. Dum Dum Girls - Too True

January 28, 2014
Critic Score
69
30 reviews

40. Jack White - Lazaretto

June 10, 2014
Critic Score
76
35 reviews

The songs are exciting, effortlessly creative and full of risk-taking, but White taps into the vein of classic rock just enough to filter all of his weird extrapolations so that they’re comprehensible for his audience. 

36. Drive-By Truckers - English Oceans

March 4, 2014
Critic Score
72
18 reviews

English Oceans is a triumph for the Drive-By Truckers, one that capitalizes on Hood and Cooley’s strengths as songwriters and also gives them something to sing for that means more than all those colorful characters put together.

35. FKA Twigs - LP1

August 12, 2014
Critic Score
86
35 reviews

With both immediate appeal and density that demands long-term digestion, it’s one of those rare debuts that manifests a fully-grown, deeply engaging sound.

34. Ryan Adams - Ryan Adams

September 8, 2014
Critic Score
73
24 reviews

It’s more of a rock ’n’ roll album than the rootsy, understated Ashes & Fire, and while Adams includes a handful of the wrenching ballads he does so well, bold electric guitars hold sway on most of these 11 new songs.

32. Foxygen - ...And Star Power

October 14, 2014
Critic Score
61
24 reviews

...And Star Power is essentially a return to the grimey, DIY spirit of that first record, buffing the sheen away to expose some rusty, bumbling core.

31. Tweedy - Sukierae

September 23, 2014
Critic Score
78
17 reviews

Stretching past 70 minutes and shifting through a spectrum of moods, it’s a lot to digest—but well worth the effort.

30. Phantogram - Voices

Phantogram - Voices
February 18, 2014
Critic Score
72
18 reviews

Voices is one of the most exciting sad albums I’ve encountered in a while. And it triumphs in that space in between.

28. Ages and Ages - Divisionary

Ages and Ages - Divisionary
March 24, 2014
Critic Score
70
4 reviews

26. Caribou - Our Love

October 7, 2014
Critic Score
81
30 reviews

Snaith’s latest disc further just distills the guy’s most synthetic interests and occasionally winds up sounding like something playing at a club while Tom Cruise, circa 1988, enters the room. 

25. Future Islands - Singles

March 25, 2014
Critic Score
81
32 reviews

As easy as it is to enjoy, there is something fleeting in its pleasures, as if it isn’t quite complete without occupying the same spaces as the band. 

23. Sun Kil Moon - Benji

February 11, 2014
Critic Score
85
23 reviews

Kozelek’s lack of reservation here is something to be begrudgingly admired, as his willingness to make yet another album that is solely for himself and those obsessive fans who want all the gory details of his past. For the rest of the world, there’s not much here to make any real connection with.

21. St. Paul & The Broken Bones - Half the City

St. Paul & The Broken Bones - Half the City
February 18, 2014
Critic Score
75
2 reviews

20. Perfume Genius - Too Bright

September 23, 2014
Critic Score
85
31 reviews

If the first two Perfume Genius albums played something like nightmares—beautiful, full of danger, guided by pristine internal logic—then Too Bright is where Hadreas finally yells himself awake.

19. Allah-Las - Worship The Sun

September 15, 2014
Critic Score
71
8 reviews

18. Mac DeMarco - Salad Days

April 1, 2014
Critic Score
81
23 reviews

This is art that is confidently immature, and it begs the question: why can’t sophomoric art still be great? 

17. The New Pornographers - Brill Bruisers

August 26, 2014
Critic Score
77
27 reviews

Some days, all I can listen to is “Dancehall Domine”; on other days, it’s “Marching Orders” or “Backstairs.” Yet, put together in order, I find my interest waning and my attention wandering.

16. Jenny Lewis - The Voyager

July 29, 2014
Critic Score
72
25 reviews

The Voyager is her strongest solo release and best overall effort since Rilo Kiley’s 2004 LP, More Adventurous.

14. Ty Segall - Manipulator

August 26, 2014
Critic Score
81
23 reviews

With Manipulator, Ty takes a chance and tidies up the raucous bedlam. He didn’t lose his edge; he just squired a little antiseptic along the jagged ridges.

13. Real Estate - Atlas

March 4, 2014
Critic Score
75
30 reviews

Atlas might seem like an obvious career peak were this not the work of a still-young band that, from the start, has been predisposed toward graceful maturation. 

12. Spoon - They Want My Soul

August 5, 2014
Critic Score
79
31 reviews

Throughout They Want My Soul, the songs flow into and out of each other with a subtle movement that’s hypnotic and sounds deceptively simple. It’s not as easy as Spoon makes it seem, of course, which is what makes their consistency so impressive. 

11. Angel Olsen - Burn Your Fire for No Witness

February 18, 2014
Critic Score
81
28 reviews

Olsen shares graciously in her music, and if you are willing, Burn a Fire for No Witness will change your world. Or, actually, it will change how you see your world.

9. First Aid Kit - Stay Gold

June 10, 2014
Critic Score
76
26 reviews

These layered sounds, so intricately woven to complement the sisters’ voices, create a completeness that realizes First Aid Kit’s musical maturity.

8. Sharon Van Etten - Are We There

May 27, 2014
Critic Score
85
29 reviews

Van Etten’s fourth album marks the true arrival of a singer who’s been on her way for a long time, and thinking of her as anything less than a career artist is certainly a vast underestimation.

7. Beck - Morning Phase

February 25, 2014
Critic Score
79
36 reviews

Morning Phase is that comeback story, that emergence from the water and that first breath taken with the gusto of someone knowing they are truly alive. It is a beautiful record, and maybe a little over-simplified at its weakest moments, straddling that line between clean and bare.

6. Sylvan Esso - Sylvan Esso

May 13, 2014
Critic Score
76
15 reviews

The whole album feels like jigsaw puzzle of disparate genres fitting together in strange and lovely ways. In fact, it might just be the greatest crossover sleeper success of the year so far.

5. Alvvays - Alvvays

July 22, 2014
Critic Score
79
23 reviews

4. King Tuff - Black Moon Spell

King Tuff - Black Moon Spell
September 22, 2014
Critic Score
71
15 reviews

If 2012’s King Tuff and last year’s Burger Records reissue of Was Dead proved we were riding the wave of yet another garage rock revival, this time instead of competing for the throne, if feels more like a party with open guest list.

3. Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2

October 28, 2014
Critic Score
87
26 reviews

You can feel the effort with every syllable, that this music is coming from their very core.

2. St. Vincent - St. Vincent

February 25, 2014
Critic Score
87
34 reviews

Clark has transformed both literally and figuratively into an artist every bit as challenging as Ye or her erstwhile collaborator David Byrne. St. Vincent has a gravity that Clark’s peers will, or at least should, not ignore when making their own records from here on out.

1. The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream

March 18, 2014
Critic Score
86
32 reviews

Lost in the Dream pushes rock music forward—it isn’t the mirror of supposed better times that lesser bands make because they can’t or don’t want to locate their own voice.

Original Source: http://www.pastemagazine.com/blogs/lists/2014/12/the-50-best-albums-of-2014.html
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