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American Songwriter's Top 50 Albums of 2014
American Songwriter's Top 50 Albums of 2014

American Songwriter's Top 50 Albums of 2014

Original Source →

50. Sharon Van Etten - Are We There

May 27, 2014
Critic Score
85
33 reviews

Are We There is definitely an album that will reveal itself to you with closer attention and multiple listens, as opposed to Tramp, which was a little catchier with its obsessions right from the get-go. 

49. Drive-By Truckers - English Oceans

March 4, 2014
Critic Score
73
18 reviews

English Oceans is a meat-and-potatoes rock and roll record, rawer and rougher than anything since Alabama Ass Whuppin’, and its leanness highlights the band’s strengths while amplifying a few lingering weaknesses.

47. The New Pornographers - Brill Bruisers

August 26, 2014
Critic Score
78
28 reviews

With Brill Bruisers providing another example of their amazing chemistry, it seems more and more likely history will show that this group was meant to be their day job all along.

46. Beck - Morning Phase

February 25, 2014
Critic Score
78
38 reviews

Given that Morning Phase reveals similarly raw honesty and engrossing emotion – plus bears the mark of superior penmanship gained by a decade’s more patience and wisdom, the album is poised to be revered as one of Beck’s most potent collections.

44. Rodney Crowell - Tarpaper Sky

Rodney Crowell - Tarpaper Sky
April 14, 2014
Critic Score
76
7 reviews

43. Old Crow Medicine Show - Remedy

July 1, 2014
Critic Score
77
10 reviews

42. Real Estate - Atlas

March 4, 2014
Critic Score
75
31 reviews

41. Doug Paisley - Strong Feelings

January 21, 2014
Critic Score
77
11 reviews

Its sound is breezy and sumptuous, stylistically attractive but overflowing with honest feelings. On paper that seems to look a lot like the M.O. of a C&W artist, but even at his most earnest or folksy, Paisley never gets too comfortable staying in one place, musically speaking.

40. Hozier - Hozier

September 19, 2014
Critic Score
80
13 reviews

39. Warpaint - Warpaint

January 21, 2014
Critic Score
75
34 reviews

Sensual vocals intertwine with menacing lyrics. Throbbing grooves swell alongside unsettling rhythms. Eerie atmospherics feel comforting at one moment yet gothic at another.

38. Old 97's - Most Messed Up

Old 97's - Most Messed Up
April 29, 2014
Critic Score
80
8 reviews

The back cover’s somewhat clichéd advice of “Play this album loud,” should be heeded for maximum enjoyment of a rollicking set that nearly two decades in, stands as some of the Old 97’s finest and most exhilarating music.

37. Bahamas - Bahamas is Afie

Bahamas - Bahamas is Afie
August 19, 2014
Critic Score
81
5 reviews

36. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Hypnotic Eye

July 29, 2014
Critic Score
75
21 reviews

Hypnotic Eye is a bastion of consistent excellence.

35. Eric Church - The Outsiders

February 11, 2014
Critic Score
80
8 reviews

Apart from one or two fleeting missteps, The Outsiders is a beautiful, quintessentially inclusive pop record dressed up as insurgent anti-pop.

33. Jack White - Lazaretto

June 10, 2014
Critic Score
76
37 reviews

The 11 tracks are still packed with those “tricks,” but like the record’s subject matter, the occurrences are controlled, nuanced, or flawlessly smoothed out like the icing on a bakery-made birthday cake.

32. Miranda Lambert - Platinum

June 3, 2014
Critic Score
83
8 reviews

31. Spoon - They Want My Soul

August 5, 2014
Critic Score
78
33 reviews

27. Tweedy - Sukierae

September 23, 2014
Critic Score
78
18 reviews

There are a lot of songs here, and it overwhelms in one sitting, but even in small pieces, it’s clear that Tweedy takes home the songwriting ribbon at the father-son picnic.

25. Jenny Lewis - The Voyager

July 29, 2014
Critic Score
73
28 reviews

The Voyager mostly dispenses with genre exercises and style hopping in favor of a gorgeously organic rock record.

24. Leonard Cohen - Popular Problems

September 23, 2014
Critic Score
82
19 reviews

That variety helps to highlight Cohen’s interpretive skills. Those who dismiss his vocals as monotone are missing out on the soulful power he brings to “Did I Ever Love You” or the sly humor he ladles on “Slow.” 

23. Matthew Ryan - Boxers

Matthew Ryan - Boxers
October 14, 2014
Critic Score
75
2 reviews

22. Ex Hex - Rips

October 7, 2014
Critic Score
81
13 reviews

21. St. Vincent - St. Vincent

February 25, 2014
Critic Score
87
36 reviews

St. Vincent will flatten you like a steamroller the first time around, but it’s the kind of clobbering that grows immediately addicting.

18. Lee Ann Womack - The Way I'm Livin'

September 23, 2014
Critic Score
86
5 reviews
This is a triumph for country music that’s never musty yet still harkens back to a simpler, less glitzy time when emotions drove songs, not simplistic clichés.

16. Perfume Genius - Too Bright

September 23, 2014
Critic Score
85
31 reviews

15. Conor Oberst - Upside Down Mountain

May 20, 2014
Critic Score
72
22 reviews

It is also one of his most consistently rewarding efforts since the heady early records. Conor sounds more relaxed than ever before

14. Lera Lynn - The Avenues

Lera Lynn - The Avenues
September 9, 2014
Critic Score
80
1 review

12. Ty Segall - Manipulator

August 26, 2014
Critic Score
80
25 reviews

With 17 tracks stretching over 57 minutes, perhaps some judicious editing could have trimmed the excess, but this remains a major step forward for Segall and a logical extension of a direction he was already headed in.

11. Marianne Faithfull - Give My Love To London

Marianne Faithfull - Give My Love To London
September 29, 2014
Critic Score
75
11 reviews

10. First Aid Kit - Stay Gold

June 10, 2014
Critic Score
76
26 reviews

9. John Fullbright - Songs

John Fullbright - Songs
May 27, 2014
Critic Score
80
5 reviews

7. Angel Olsen - Burn Your Fire for No Witness

February 18, 2014
Critic Score
81
31 reviews

For those prepared to hunker down and get immersed in Angel Olsen’s laconic, often downbeat echoes on depressing life events many of us have experienced, it’s a startlingly uncompromising, if occasionally uncomfortable peek into her haunted dreams.

5. Ryan Adams - Ryan Adams

September 8, 2014
Critic Score
74
25 reviews

Ryan Adams as an album might not be uplifting but it sure is outstanding, reaffirming the singular talent of its namesake.

4. Taylor Swift - 1989

October 27, 2014
Critic Score
76
25 reviews

3. Strand of Oaks - Heal

June 23, 2014
Critic Score
77
14 reviews

Showalter has jacked up the musical intensity to match his fearless, often harrowing lyrics, and the results are stellar.

2. The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream

March 18, 2014
Critic Score
85
33 reviews

Lost In The Dream doubles down on its predecessor’s adventurous side, and it’s War On Drugs’ most engrossing album thus far.

Original Source: http://www.americansongwriter.com/2014/11/american-songwriters-top-50-albums-2014/
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