Pretty Much Amazing's 50 Best Albums of 2014 So Far

Pretty Much Amazing's 50 Best Albums of 2014 So Far

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50. Yumi Zouma - EP

Yumi Zouma - EP
February 11, 2014
Critic Score
80
2 reviews

48. Fear of Men - Loom

Fear of Men - Loom
April 22, 2014
Critic Score
80
17 reviews

47. Schoolboy Q - Oxymoron

Schoolboy Q - Oxymoron
February 25, 2014
Critic Score
76
23 reviews

This is functional, engaging music, even exceptionally so, but it never seems to have a real, vested interest in being anything beyond that. 

46. Pure X - Angel

Pure X - Angel
April 1, 2014
Critic Score
70
10 reviews

It’s a heartfelt, narcotic odyssey through the seductive pleasures of lava lamps and black light posters, a kind of escapism that comes in the same strange, silk-screened colors as the novelty lighters and t-shirts one might find at a backwoods southwestern gas station.

45. Kelis - Food

Kelis - Food
April 22, 2014
Critic Score
75
25 reviews

Food is consistently satisfying and often fabulous. 

44. Wye Oak - Shriek

Wye Oak - Shriek
April 29, 2014
Critic Score
75
20 reviews

Remarkably, the absence of guitar from the equation opens the door for Wasner and Stack to play in a much more delightfully ambiguous environment. 

43. Ratking - So It Goes

Ratking - So It Goes
April 8, 2014
Critic Score
74
16 reviews

42. Actress - Ghettoville

Actress - Ghettoville
January 27, 2014
Critic Score
75
21 reviews

Ghettoville is as deeply immersive a piece of music as any, a veritable world unto itself, full of dark alleys and hidden nooks, the kind of place you can get lost in and which reveals new details with every listen. 

41. Parquet Courts - Sunbathing Animal

Parquet Courts - Sunbathing Animal
June 3, 2014
Critic Score
77
30 reviews

It doesn’t provide the thrill-a-minute jolts of Light Up Gold, but Parquet Courts may yet become a garage punk band that millennials can call our own.

40. Chromeo - White Women

Chromeo - White Women
May 12, 2014
Critic Score
68
22 reviews

39. ceo - Wonderland

ceo - Wonderland
February 4, 2014
Critic Score
72
15 reviews

Running just shy of thirty-five minutes, WONDERLAND’s eight tracks present a renewable opportunity to get lost. Each spin offers a chance for escape, but what endows Berglund’s sophomore effort with the glow of a masterpiece is its accessibility. 

38. Isaiah Rashad - Cilvia Demo

Isaiah Rashad - Cilvia Demo
January 28, 2014
Critic Score
78
11 reviews

37. Marissa Nadler - July

Marissa Nadler - July
February 4, 2014
Critic Score
79
17 reviews

36. Alcest - Shelter

Alcest - Shelter
January 21, 2014
Critic Score
82
9 reviews

35. YG - My Krazy Life

YG - My Krazy Life
March 18, 2014
Critic Score
79
13 reviews

34. Lone - Reality Testing

Lone - Reality Testing
June 17, 2014
Critic Score
73
16 reviews

33. Shamir - Northtown

Shamir - Northtown
June 10, 2014
Critic Score
77
4 reviews

32. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - Piñata

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - Piñata
March 18, 2014
Critic Score
80
17 reviews

31. Speedy Ortiz - Real Hair

Speedy Ortiz - Real Hair
February 11, 2014
Critic Score
76
9 reviews

Dupuis’s bittersweet, teasing vocals feel like the gorgeous, blue, and brutally cold day after it snows three feet. 

30. The Antlers - Familiars

The Antlers - Familiars
June 17, 2014
Critic Score
79
24 reviews

It all comes satisfyingly full circle, but Familiars mostly washes over you when it should be lunging for your heart.

29. Ben Frost - A U R O R A

Ben Frost - A U R O R A
May 26, 2014
Critic Score
80
16 reviews

27. Angel Olsen - Burn Your Fire for No Witness

Angel Olsen - Burn Your Fire for No Witness
February 18, 2014
Critic Score
81
31 reviews

For as commanding and affecting Burn Your Fire for No Witness can be while it plays, the album remains elusive when trying to call it to mind later. 

26. Neneh Cherry - Blank Project

Neneh Cherry - Blank Project
February 25, 2014
Critic Score
82
26 reviews

25. Cloud Nothings - Here and Nowhere Else

Cloud Nothings - Here and Nowhere Else
April 1, 2014
Critic Score
81
27 reviews

Here and Nowhere Else’s disposition for self-examination coaxes out a superior depth and nuance when stacked against Cloud Nothings’ previous works. Conversely, it is a little surprising how unsurprising the album is.

24. Liars - Mess

Liars - Mess
March 25, 2014
Critic Score
75
28 reviews

As the trio continue to remould and refine their craft, Mess, an album fuelled by impulse, demonstrates their ideological core hasn’t moved an inch.

23. Real Estate - Atlas

Real Estate - Atlas
March 4, 2014
Critic Score
76
31 reviews

These sonic tweaks are welcome, but they are merely the fine grain of an album that works in broad, hypnotic strokes – song by song capturing feelings of separation, exploration, and uncertainty.

22. Röyksopp & Robyn - Do It Again

Röyksopp & Robyn - Do It Again
May 26, 2014
Critic Score
74
20 reviews

Do It Again remains impressive, if not extraordinary, from beginning to end. Röyksopp and Robyn for once sound like bandmates, rather than guest stars on one another’s solo work. 

21. Ought - More Than Any Other Day

Ought - More Than Any Other Day
April 29, 2014
Critic Score
80
11 reviews

20. Future Islands - Singles

Future Islands - Singles
March 25, 2014
Critic Score
81
32 reviews

Future Islands are remaining relevant by crafting stimulating, quirky, synth-laden music that fuses the arcane with the universal; there’s a depth and complexity to their sound that’s lacking in many of their peers.

18. MØ - No Mythologies to Follow

MØ - No Mythologies to Follow
March 11, 2014
Critic Score
75
21 reviews

Ørsted’s debut LP wears its history heavily, composed of equal parts previously released and new material. It is a risk for an artist as dependent on earworm shock value as Ørsted, but a deliberate one that yield dividends at the end of the day.

17. Owen Pallett - In Conflict

Owen Pallett - In Conflict
May 27, 2014
Critic Score
79
24 reviews

Throughout In Conflict, Pallett opens up his compositions even more than his lyrics, but the songwriting is no less brainy, and themes no less tangled, than on his earlier work.

16. How to Dress Well - What Is This Heart?

How to Dress Well - What Is This Heart?
June 24, 2014
Critic Score
74
29 reviews

Compared to the tedious Total Loss, done in by consistently plodding tempos and an icily ascetic atmosphere, the new material (produced by Rodaidh McDonald) is much more dynamic and is in audible conversation with Krell’s peers all around the pop landscape.

15. Beck - Morning Phase

Beck - Morning Phase
February 25, 2014
Critic Score
78
38 reviews

Beck’s voice, most often doubled and sometimes tripled, omnipresent and in conversation with itself, binds and elevates this, his most consistently exceptional album since Odelay

14. Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence

Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence
June 17, 2014
Critic Score
72
32 reviews

Ultraviolence, a collection of mid-century ballads spiked with blues-rock, is a stunning accomplishment. Its eleven songs whimper and howl, soothe and taunt, hypnotize and thrill. 

13. Mac DeMarco - Salad Days

Mac DeMarco - Salad Days
April 1, 2014
Critic Score
79
23 reviews

For all the pomp and circumstance preceding Salad Days, this is still an album that DeMarco recorded in his Brooklyn walkup. It’s a record that boasts glaring maturity without diminishing the iconic immaturity.

12. Todd Terje - It's Album Time

Todd Terje - It's Album Time
April 8, 2014
Critic Score
81
26 reviews

11. Hundred Waters - The Moon Rang Like A Bell

Hundred Waters - The Moon Rang Like A Bell
May 27, 2014
Critic Score
77
14 reviews

On The Moon Rang Like a Bell, Hundred Waters offers an album of quiet moments of subtlety juxtaposed with crashing waves of desperation.

10. Wild Beasts - Present Tense

Wild Beasts - Present Tense
February 25, 2014
Critic Score
82
26 reviews

Present Tense may be a less accessible offering from Wild Beasts, but it’s their most human – a mesmeric bundle of contradictions, indignities and pleasures. 

9. Perfect Pussy - Say Yes to Love

Perfect Pussy - Say Yes to Love
March 18, 2014
Critic Score
81
21 reviews

The stakes of this music are so high – dizzyingly high, perilously so. Life-or-death high. Perfect Pussy are so good, it ought to embarrass most of their peers. 

8. tUnE-yArDs - Nikki Nack

tUnE-yArDs - Nikki Nack
May 6, 2014
Critic Score
82
27 reviews

Nikki Nack, the phenomenal follow-up to whokill, will only solidify the prior convictions of admirers and cynics alike. Garbus has broadened and sharpened her sonic vocabulary. Her melodies are catchier, her zany song structures more welcoming.

7. Beyoncé - Beyoncé

Beyoncé - Beyoncé
December 13, 2013
Critic Score
83
28 reviews

Beyoncé waited for the last moment to unveil 2013′s finest pop album. It arrived too late to enter our top ten lists, but just in time to own the year. 

6. White Lung - Deep Fantasy

White Lung - Deep Fantasy
June 17, 2014
Critic Score
77
20 reviews

Deep Fantasy is incisive and immersive. It has real depth and space, even color: it’s filled with exquisite little turns, playful flashes of sound-for-sound’s-sake brilliance.

5. Swans - To Be Kind

Swans - To Be Kind
May 13, 2014
Critic Score
87
28 reviews

To Be Kind is a loving ode to chaos, full of deranged, mutant energy and even more brilliant for it.

4. The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream

The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream
March 18, 2014
Critic Score
85
33 reviews

It’s nerves are uneasy, but Lost in the Dream stands as Granduciel’s most open-armed record yet, filled to the gills with selfdom and sprawling musicality. 

3. Sun Kil Moon - Benji

Sun Kil Moon - Benji
February 11, 2014
Critic Score
84
24 reviews

The sparse musical arrangements and haunting production only serve to heighten the album’s intimacy and ultimately render it a masterpiece of reflection and introspection, destined to be played on repeat in scores of late-night, tired, and lonely rooms. 

2. Sharon Van Etten - Are We There

Sharon Van Etten - Are We There
May 27, 2014
Critic Score
85
33 reviews

While Are We There can be taxing at points, by its end, you’ll be overcome by the feeling that you’ve shared in something profound.

1. St. Vincent - St. Vincent

St. Vincent - St. Vincent
February 25, 2014
Critic Score
87
36 reviews

The ruthlessly taut St. Vincent makes its predecessor appear flabby and loose. St. Vincent – so jagged and sinewy – doesn’t lack lush moments. But they go as soon as they come – with maximum impact.

Original Source: http://prettymuchamazing.com/feature/best-albums-2014
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