The Skinny's Top Albums of 2014

The Skinny's Top Albums of 2014

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50. Bronto Skylift - Date with a Ghoul

Bronto Skylift - Date with a Ghoul
September 11, 2014
Critic Score
80
1 review

49. Randolph's Leap - Clumsy Knot

Randolph's Leap - Clumsy Knot
April 7, 2014
Critic Score
60
1 review

48. Glitterbug - Dust

Glitterbug - Dust
June 9, 2014
Critic Score
73
3 reviews

46. Vessel - Punish, Honey

September 15, 2014
Critic Score
79
11 reviews

45. Withered Hand - New Gods

March 10, 2014
Critic Score
74
12 reviews

Throughout, New Gods affirms Willson’s superlative abilities, with highlights ranging from the airport insecurities of Love Over Desire to the communal courage expressed in closer Not Alone. 

44. Ninetails - Quiet Confidence

Ninetails - Quiet Confidence
March 10, 2014
Critic Score
73
2 reviews

43. Ex Hex - Rips

October 7, 2014
Critic Score
81
13 reviews

You could call it powerpop if you wanted, with the spectre of Cheap Trick haunting the bouncy likes of How You Got That Girl, though the bubblegum rock of Radio On and War Paint call The Runaways to mind just as easily, with Timony’s luminescent guitar-playing as much a hypnotic treat as ever.

41. Honeyblood - Honeyblood

July 14, 2014
Critic Score
72
13 reviews

You can stick a pin anywhere in its 40 minutes and turn up a choice guitar line or a razor-sharp melody worthy of enthusiastic praise.

39. Adult Jazz - Gist Is

August 5, 2014
Critic Score
79
14 reviews

The four-piece, Leeds Uni alumni and students of Joanna Newsom, Van Morrison and Animal Collective, have taken their time to craft nine songs of enduring scope and warmth, despite seeming to vaguely resent the idea of making it.

37. Ratking - So It Goes

April 8, 2014
Critic Score
74
16 reviews

36. PAWS - Youth Culture Forever

PAWS - Youth Culture Forever
May 6, 2014
Critic Score
73
11 reviews

35. Future Islands - Singles

March 25, 2014
Critic Score
81
32 reviews

Singles is an impressively assured record, particularly in terms of its robust, coherent sonic palette, which layers ebbing synth chords and delicate guitar lines over an infectious, driving rhythm section.

34. Melvins - Hold It In

Melvins - Hold It In
October 14, 2014
Critic Score
71
10 reviews

33. Deerhoof - La Isla Bonita

November 4, 2014
Critic Score
73
23 reviews

Bloody-minded as ever, they run the listener ragged over ten tracks of imperfectly-formed noise fragments, pushed spectacularly into shapes that feel curiously familiar yet deeply out-of-whack.

32. Interpol - El Pintor

September 9, 2014
Critic Score
75
29 reviews

Expansive and texturally advanced, and arguably their strongest outing since that lauded debut, this is a welcome second coming.

31. Mastodon - Once More 'Round the Sun

June 24, 2014
Critic Score
73
20 reviews

For a band now in its 14th year – here lyrically meditating on a perpetual life on the road and the looming threat that it could all end tomorrow – the results are reassuringly invigorated. 

30. Virginia Wing - Measures of Joy

Virginia Wing - Measures of Joy
November 3, 2014
Critic Score
73
3 reviews

29. Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra - Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light on Everything

January 21, 2014
Critic Score
79
22 reviews

The outfit have not lost their dramatic edge; like all SMZ releases, this is a record which treads a fine line between histrionic and redemptively passionate.

28. Actress - Ghettoville

January 27, 2014
Critic Score
75
21 reviews

Ghettoville is simply a space, a hinterland where textures materialise, mutate and fade, their tessellations or arguments observed and mediated by no one. 

27. Shield Patterns - Contour Lines

Shield Patterns - Contour Lines
June 9, 2014
Critic Score
53
2 reviews

26. Neneh Cherry - Blank Project

February 25, 2014
Critic Score
82
26 reviews

In many ways, this understated, stripped return to the fray is long overdue – and it's no surprise to find her seeking out collaborators with a vital underground pedigree

24. East India Youth - Total Strife Forever

January 13, 2014
Critic Score
81
19 reviews

A remarkable album of astonishing scope and beauty, with an effortlessly direct emotionality, Total Strife Forever more than delivers on the early promise of this young Bournemouth producer.

23. Goat - Commune

September 23, 2014
Critic Score
78
17 reviews

Listen long enough and this record will do strange things to your mind

22. Wild Beasts - Present Tense

February 25, 2014
Critic Score
82
26 reviews

Oxygenated by clean synths and carried by Chris Talbot's sentient percussion, Present Tense is an exercise in delivering impact through seemingly minimal means.

21. TR/ST - Joyland

March 4, 2014
Critic Score
73
14 reviews

With considerably more polished and widescreen production than on 2012's TRST, tracks like Capitol come alive with a darkly glittering studio sheen and strident, echoing pianos, beginning like a souped-up Laibach, but climaxing in a rising and falling chorus that worms into the brain

20. Dope Body - Lifer

Dope Body - Lifer
October 20, 2014
Critic Score
73
7 reviews

19. Hookworms - The Hum

November 10, 2014
Critic Score
80
20 reviews

If their debut showcased a tendancy to shroud vocalist MJ’s deranged squeals in obfuscating reverb, this time he’s foregrounded, giving proceedings a cleaner focus – indeed, songs take precedence this time, rather than exercises in slowly-mounting tension and delirious release. 

18. Aphex Twin - Syro

September 23, 2014
Critic Score
85
33 reviews

17. Caribou - Our Love

October 7, 2014
Critic Score
80
32 reviews

With more pluses than minuses Our Love stacks up to an often compelling offering, yet it leaves the unmistakable aftertaste of a missed opportunity. 

16. The Bug - Angels and Devils

August 25, 2014
Critic Score
80
17 reviews

On Angels & Devils, Kevin Martin pushes farther and harder than ever before – and it's his strangest ideas which beguile the most.

15. Sun Kil Moon - Benji

February 11, 2014
Critic Score
84
24 reviews

14. Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

October 7, 2014
Critic Score
84
35 reviews

It’s when Lamar and Snoop arrive on Never Catch Me and Dead Man’s Tetris that things get weird, double speed turning to half, free-form jazz segments appearing and dissipating. It’s fragmented and yet, as ever, seems to make total sense.

12. Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2

October 28, 2014
Critic Score
86
28 reviews

11. Swans - To Be Kind

May 13, 2014
Critic Score
87
28 reviews

On the evidence of To Be Kind, Gira and co. have thoroughly outlasted and outperformed their atonal contemporaries and honed their hostile grind into a sinewy and slinky onslaught of light and shade.

10. Young Fathers - Dead

February 3, 2014
Critic Score
80
15 reviews

Dead continues the bass heavy, free-form direction that the Edinburgh trio explored on well-received EPs Tape One and Tape Two. No two songs sound the same; this is an album full of playful inventiveness. 

9. The Phantom Band - Strange Friend

June 2, 2014
Critic Score
78
12 reviews

Strange Friend is their most refined and coherent album to date. It’s lighter and poppier than its predecessor and more musically akin to the debut, but their penchant to experiment remains.

8. The Afghan Whigs - Do to the Beast

April 14, 2014
Critic Score
73
26 reviews

Do to the Beast blows the dust off 16 years with a swaggering barroom rocker and Greg Dulli’s clear statement of intent: “If they’ve seen it all, show ‘em something new.”

7. FKA twigs - LP1

August 12, 2014
Critic Score
86
40 reviews

It reads like a whispered confessional; a generous and sure-footed adventure whose studio smarts (snappy beats, exquisitely detailed backing) provide foundation for a unique and thrilling new voice.

6. Mogwai - Rave Tapes

January 21, 2014
Critic Score
74
29 reviews

Rave Tapes is filled with expert contrasts, making this a pulse-quickening return from a band that’s still evolving, and still amazing.

5. Angel Olsen - Burn Your Fire for No Witness

February 18, 2014
Critic Score
81
31 reviews

Burn Your Fire for No Witness proves a bolder, more assertive expression of the Missouri-born songwriter’s talents

4. St. Vincent - St. Vincent

February 25, 2014
Critic Score
87
36 reviews

The uniting factor is a funk-centred tautness which runs throughout the record: no instrument or melody is allowed to dominate, and the end result is a deftly-woven, endearingly direct tapestry of genres.

3. The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream

March 18, 2014
Critic Score
85
33 reviews

The listener is constantly reminded that this is an expansive modern rock record, stuffed with big hooks and a crisp production

1. Warpaint - Warpaint

January 21, 2014
Critic Score
75
34 reviews

Built on a drifting bed of hazy beats and coloured by Wayman’s spidery arpeggios, it’s far less immediate than their debut and demands real diligence from the listener.

Original Source: http://www.theskinny.co.uk/music/the_albums_2014/309637-albums_2014_the_runnersup_were
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