Rolling Stone's 50 Best Albums of 2014

Rolling Stone's 50 Best Albums of 2014

Original Source

50. YOB - Clearing The Path To Ascend

YOB - Clearing The Path To Ascend
September 2, 2014
Doom Metal
Critic Score
79
6 reviews
User Score
78
24 reviews

49. Tinariwen - Emmaar

Tinariwen - Emmaar
February 10, 2014
World
Critic Score
78
14 reviews
User Score
75
54 reviews

48. Coldplay - Ghost Stories

Coldplay - Ghost Stories
May 19, 2014
Pop Rock
Critic Score
60
29 reviews
User Score
60
237 reviews

47. Gary Clark Jr. - Live

Gary Clark Jr. - Live
September 23, 2014
Blues Rock
Critic Score
80
3 reviews
User Score
83
11 reviews

46. Tweedy - Sukierae

Tweedy - Sukierae
September 23, 2014
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
78
17 reviews
User Score
75
22 reviews

Sukierae – the first such outing by Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, backed by a few indie-pop pros, plus his teen son Spencer on drums – serves mostly to confirm what we already know: Pop Tweedy is one of the most emotionally fluent American songwriters around.

Full Review →

45. EMA - The Future's Void

EMA - The Future's Void
April 8, 2014
Art Pop
Critic Score
80
24 reviews
User Score
75
128 reviews

44. Interpol - El Pintor

Interpol - El Pintor
September 9, 2014
Indie Rock
Critic Score
75
29 reviews
User Score
74
178 reviews

Interpol still have a masterful touch with their lavishly romantic guitar fantasies: Daniel Kessler rings the chimes in his six-string cathedral, while Paul Banks rounds up another album's worth of miserable ladies to sing about.

Full Review →

43. Future - Honest

Future - Honest
April 22, 2014
Hip Hop
Critic Score
76
18 reviews
User Score
62
88 reviews

42. Perfume Genius - Too Bright

Perfume Genius - Too Bright
September 23, 2014
Art Pop
Critic Score
85
31 reviews
User Score
83
345 reviews

His ambitions are even greater on his third album, which demands attention in a way his quietly heartbreaking music hasn't in the past.

Full Review →

41. Aphex Twin - Syro

Aphex Twin - Syro
September 23, 2014
IDM
Critic Score
87
31 reviews
User Score
80
355 reviews

Per usual, James makes halls of mirrors; ghost voices and silver ambience crest over beats you can imagine destroying a stadium while you fumble with your headphones. 

Full Review →

40. Jack White - Lazaretto

Jack White - Lazaretto
June 10, 2014
Blues Rock
Critic Score
76
35 reviews
User Score
74
182 reviews

39. Caribou - Our Love

Caribou - Our Love
October 7, 2014
Electronic
Critic Score
81
30 reviews
User Score
80
356 reviews

38. Hurray For The Riff Raff - Small Town Heroes

Hurray For The Riff Raff - Small Town Heroes
February 11, 2014
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
75
9 reviews
User Score
75
26 reviews

37. Benjamin Booker - Benjamin Booker

Benjamin Booker - Benjamin Booker
August 18, 2014
Blues Rock
Critic Score
72
9 reviews
User Score
77
22 reviews

36. Alvvays - Alvvays

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

It's a rare treat to discover a debut like Alvvays'. Each of the nine songs on the Toronto band's first LP is a sharply drawn indie-pop wonder, steeped in romance, wit and melody. 

Full Review →

35. Lenny Kravitz - Strut

Lenny Kravitz - Strut
September 23, 2014
Rock
Critic Score
75
4 reviews
User Score
64
8 reviews

34. Prince - Art Official Age

Prince - Art Official Age
September 30, 2014
R&B
Critic Score
73
16 reviews
User Score
74
44 reviews

33. The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger - Midnight Sun

The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger - Midnight Sun
April 29, 2014
Neo-Psychedelia
Critic Score
74
6 reviews
User Score
72
12 reviews

32. Damon Albarn - Everyday Robots

Damon Albarn - Everyday Robots
April 28, 2014
Art Pop
Critic Score
74
34 reviews
User Score
76
184 reviews

31. Young Thug & Bloody Jay - Black Portland

Young Thug & Bloody Jay - Black Portland
January 21, 2014
Hip Hop
Critic Score
73
3 reviews
User Score
74
7 reviews

30. Thom Yorke - Tomorrow's Modern Boxes

Thom Yorke - Tomorrow's Modern Boxes
September 26, 2014
Electronic
Critic Score
71
24 reviews
User Score
74
114 reviews

It demands deep listening, as Yorke's melancholic voice echoes through the hall of synth-mirrors he's built with producer Nigel Godrich.

Full Review →

29. Spoon - They Want My Soul

Spoon - They Want My Soul
August 5, 2014
Indie Rock
Critic Score
79
31 reviews
User Score
81
301 reviews

Spoon's eighth album is an immediate grabber on par with the group's best work to date.

Full Review →

28. Parquet Courts - Sunbathing Animal

Parquet Courts - Sunbathing Animal
June 3, 2014
Garage Rock
Critic Score
78
28 reviews
User Score
76
192 reviews

27. alt-J - This Is All Yours

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

It's an ambling, entrancing listen – full of songs that blur weird folk and electronic zoinkiness, classical filigree and straight-up rock, scrambling in all directions as singer-guitarist Joe Newman sings in a pillowy Kid A warble. 

Full Review →

26. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Hypnotic Eye

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Hypnotic Eye
July 29, 2014
Rock
Critic Score
74
20 reviews
User Score
75
24 reviews

There are few, if any, attempts to reenact Petty’s vintage hits. This is the Heartbreakers four decades and a million shows later, deepening their attack with sturdy reliability.

Full Review →

25. YG - My Krazy Life

YG - My Krazy Life
March 18, 2014
Hip Hop
Critic Score
79
12 reviews
User Score
73
98 reviews

24. Leonard Cohen - Popular Problems

Leonard Cohen - Popular Problems
September 23, 2014
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
82
19 reviews
User Score
80
65 reviews

23. The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream

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

Longer on instrumental texture than songwriting, their third album recasts the blue-collar fantasias of Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen as earthy ambient music, better to soak in than to scrutinize.

Full Review →

22. Skrillex - Recess

Skrillex - Recess
March 18, 2014
Dubstep
Critic Score
56
14 reviews
User Score
45
80 reviews

21. Eric Church - The Outsiders

Eric Church - The Outsiders
February 11, 2014
Country
Critic Score
80
8 reviews
User Score
62
23 reviews

20. Sharon Van Etten - Are We There

Sharon Van Etten - Are We There
May 27, 2014
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
85
29 reviews
User Score
82
362 reviews

... her magnificent fourth LP, which grows her trademark examinations of romantic decay to cathedral-like scale.

Full Review →

19. Jackson Browne - Standing In The Breach

Jackson Browne - Standing In The Breach
October 7, 2014
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
78
4 reviews
User Score
74
3 reviews

18. Sturgill Simpson - Metamodern Sounds in Country Music

Sturgill Simpson - Metamodern Sounds in Country Music
May 13, 2014
Country
Critic Score
81
8 reviews
User Score
79
67 reviews

17. Jenny Lewis - The Voyager

Jenny Lewis - The Voyager
July 29, 2014
Pop Rock
Critic Score
72
25 reviews
User Score
74
74 reviews

The Voyager hangs together as a loose yet polished California-pop travelogue of Lewis' endlessly messy life.

Full Review →

16. FKA Twigs - LP1

FKA Twigs - LP1
August 12, 2014
Alternative R&B
Critic Score
86
35 reviews
User Score
82
719 reviews

Twigs' deconstructed shards of U.K. grime and garage land heavier, while elegiac vocals soften the songs without blunting their edge.

Full Review →

15. Against Me! - Transgender Dysphoria Blues

Against Me! - Transgender Dysphoria Blues
January 21, 2014
Punk Rock
Critic Score
79
19 reviews
User Score
71
112 reviews

14. Weezer - Everything Will Be Alright in the End

Weezer - Everything Will Be Alright in the End
October 7, 2014
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
69
28 reviews
User Score
73
124 reviews

The tracks devoted to Weezer's bond with their listeners are the most tormented and theatrical, as if Cuomo and Co. stitched together their own American Idiot.

Full Review →

13. Ought - More Than Any Other Day

Ought - More Than Any Other Day
April 29, 2014
Post-Punk
Critic Score
81
11 reviews
User Score
81
186 reviews

12. Foo Fighters - Sonic Highways

Foo Fighters - Sonic Highways
November 10, 2014
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
65
27 reviews
User Score
61
87 reviews

Despite the high concept, this isn't exactly a major overhaul for the Foos: The eight songs on Sonic Highways have the same monster guitar crunch, pummeling crescendos and hard-pleading bridges found on every album they've made this millennium.

Full Review →

11. Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

Flying Lotus - You're Dead!
October 7, 2014
Electronic
Critic Score
84
33 reviews
User Score
82
447 reviews

On the L.A. artist's fifth Flying Lotus set ... Ellison makes the boldest, most fully engaged fusion of the hip-hop-laptop era.

Full Review →

10. Taylor Swift - 1989

Taylor Swift - 1989
October 27, 2014
Pop
Critic Score
76
23 reviews
User Score
73
414 reviews

Deeply weird, feverishly emotional, wildly enthusiastic, 1989 sounds exactly like Taylor Swift, even when it sounds like nothing she's ever tried before.

Full Review →

9. Mac DeMarco - Salad Days

Mac DeMarco - Salad Days
April 1, 2014
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
81
23 reviews
User Score
81
587 reviews

Salad Days is packed with wry, knowing lyrics and washed-out vocals, like a meeting of Stephen Malkmus and Marc Bolan.

Full Review →

8. 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
653 reviews

On their second album as Run the Jewels, noise-loving Brooklyn rapper-producer El-P and Atlanta's Killer Mike make the most explosive hip-hop you'll hear all year.

Full Review →

7. Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence

Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence
June 17, 2014
Art Pop
Critic Score
71
31 reviews
User Score
74
457 reviews

Ultraviolence is a melancholy crawl through doomed romance, incorrigible addictions, blown American dreams.

Full Review →

6. Charli XCX - Sucker

Charli XCX - Sucker
December 16, 2014
Electropop
Critic Score
78
28 reviews
User Score
74
195 reviews

5. Miranda Lambert - Platinum

Miranda Lambert - Platinum
June 3, 2014
Country
Critic Score
80
8 reviews
User Score
74
30 reviews

4. St. Vincent - St. Vincent

St. Vincent - St. Vincent
February 25, 2014
Art Pop
Critic Score
87
34 reviews
User Score
82
766 reviews

St. Vincent is her tightest, tensest, best set of songs to date, with wry, twisty beats pushing her lovably ornery melodies toward grueling revelations.

Full Review →

3. The Black Keys - Turn Blue

The Black Keys - Turn Blue
May 13, 2014
Garage Rock
Critic Score
70
25 reviews
User Score
70
222 reviews

2. Bruce Springsteen - High Hopes

Bruce Springsteen - High Hopes
January 14, 2014
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
62
29 reviews
User Score
58
56 reviews

1. U2 - Songs of Innocence

U2 - Songs of Innocence
September 9, 2014
Pop Rock
Critic Score
60
20 reviews
User Score
54
109 reviews

Songs of Innocence is a triumph of dynamic, focused renaissance: 11 tracks of straightforward rapture about the life-saving joys of music, drawing on U2's long palette of influences and investigations of post-punk rock, industrial electronics and contemporary dance music.

Full Review →
Original Source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/50-best-albums-of-2014-20141201

MORE 2014 YEAR END LISTS:


MORE YEAR END LISTS FROM ROLLING STONE:


Check out our 2014 Year End Summary.