Pretty Much Amazing's Best Albums of 2014

Pretty Much Amazing's Best Albums of 2014

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60.

February 25, 2014
Critic Score
76
25 reviews

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

59.

May 12, 2014
Critic Score
67
24 reviews

58.

March 4, 2014
Critic Score
72
15 reviews

A record that’s all too often content with mediocrity even though its finest moments reveal just how close it came to greatness.

57.

May 5, 2014
Critic Score
73
28 reviews

Heard consecutively, these songs sound disappointingly like one another, and while one good belter about the pain of unrequited love is a blessing, nine in a row turns out to be real drag. 

56.

August 25, 2014
Critic Score
63
18 reviews

55.

September 9, 2014
Critic Score
75
30 reviews

This album succeeds in ways You’re A Woman never could have, and for that, it requires commendation.

54.

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. 

53.

March 18, 2014
Critic Score
79
13 reviews

52.

March 25, 2014
Critic Score
74
31 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.

51.

April 8, 2014
Critic Score
74
17 reviews

50.

July 8, 2014
Critic Score
72
28 reviews

It finds Furler in stark, naked view. But I can’t muster more than a nod of admiration. Sia deserves a crowning accomplishment to match her phenomenal talent and remarkable story.

49.

November 18, 2014
Critic Score
73
31 reviews

Is it surprising that a 67-minute Ariel Pink album is a bit, err, frustrating? No. Yet as murky and goofy as Before Today was, it took its time to build overall atmosphere, instead of little fragmented half-atmospheres that you have to cherry-pick from songs unworthy of them.

48.

March 11, 2014
Critic Score
73
22 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.

46.

June 10, 2014
Critic Score
77
4 reviews

44.

May 27, 2014
Critic Score
77
16 reviews

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

43.

March 4, 2014
Critic Score
76
34 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.

42.

June 17, 2014
Critic Score
76
22 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.

41.

May 26, 2014
Critic Score
74
21 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. 

39.

May 6, 2014
Critic Score
71
9 reviews

38.

November 6, 2014
Critic Score
72
22 reviews

What Broke With Expensive Taste so forcefully reminds us is that we have all been waiting for Azealia Banks, even if we had briefly forgotten her in a haze of blogosphere backlash.

37.

October 7, 2014
Critic Score
80
38 reviews

It’s one of Snaith’s least cohesive and affecting full-lengths, even as it provides us with some of his strongest individual tracks to date.

36.

October 31, 2014
Critic Score
82
19 reviews
Despite consisting of well-crafted, thoughtful songs, the emotional gutpunch that is to be expected from a Grouper album never quite arrives over multiple listens.

35.

June 3, 2014
Critic Score
77
34 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.

34.

June 24, 2014
Critic Score
74
33 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.

32.

May 27, 2014
Critic Score
78
29 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.

31.

June 23, 2014
Critic Score
77
14 reviews

30.

February 25, 2014
Critic Score
79
41 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

29.

February 25, 2014
Critic Score
82
28 reviews

27.

August 26, 2014
Critic Score
81
28 reviews

He’s not hiding behind fuzz and distortion, rather allowing his garage rock proclivities to stand alongside his 60s & 70s psychedelic rock influences. And damn if they don’t stand tall and proud.

26.

June 17, 2014
Critic Score
79
30 reviews

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

25.

September 23, 2014
Critic Score
80
10 reviews

There’s a sense that the band is inquisitively exploring the far reaches of the album’s fluid spaces right alongside the listener, and this feeling is strengthened by unusually revealing lyrics that speak to a growth that’s both personal and artistic.

24.

May 6, 2014
Critic Score
82
33 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.

23.

February 18, 2014
Critic Score
81
32 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. 

22.

April 1, 2014
Critic Score
81
30 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.

21.

March 25, 2014
Critic Score
81
33 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.

20.

February 25, 2014
Critic Score
82
29 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. 

19.

October 7, 2014
Critic Score
79
28 reviews

The thing Ronnenfelt and his bandmates are trying to communicate is honesty above all – sometimes it’s brutal to match the music, sometimes it’s not; it’s whatever it has to be to get real feeling across.

18.

July 29, 2014
Critic Score
82
31 reviews

The production is closer to a Nicolas Jaar or James Blake than anything hip-hop is toying with at the moment. It’s innovative, it’s slippery, and it’s bound to piss off a lot of purists.

17.

October 27, 2014
Critic Score
76
30 reviews

1989 would have been just as impressive thirty years ago, against much fiercer competition. It’s also proof that an expert songwriter, one who happens to sing and dance (somewhat less expertly), can rule our dreary charts.

14.

April 1, 2014
Critic Score
80
27 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.

13.

August 5, 2014
Critic Score
78
37 reviews

Though They Want My Soul fully satisfies a four-year itch for new Spoon music, it isn’t a mere retread of past glories or a paint-by-number exercise.

12.

October 7, 2014
Critic Score
85
37 reviews

You’re Dead! is a near-flawless examination of death as narrated by a virtuosic musician who has been exposed to a little too much of it.

11.

May 27, 2014
Critic Score
85
36 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.

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