AOTY 2018
SPIN's 50 Best Albums of 2014

SPIN's 50 Best Albums of 2014

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50. Schoolboy Q - Oxymoron

February 25, 2014
Critic Score
76
23 reviews

Oxymoron, the rapper's third full-length and first for Interscope, is powered by the sturdy widescreen hedonism of Dr. Dre's The Chronic, full of well-rapped and witty lyrics about doing dirtbaggy things over top-shelf, endlessly fascinating, forever-morphing beats. 

49. Tacocat - NVM

February 25, 2014
Critic Score
69
4 reviews

47. TV on the Radio - Seeds

November 18, 2014
Critic Score
77
29 reviews

Fans of TVOTR's early density and difficulty might get dismayed at their gradual transformation into the thinking stoner's Coldplay. But it's impossible to listen to Seeds' luxurious fuzz and think that this is a band who mean to be anything but fat and in love.

45. Eric Church - The Outsiders

February 11, 2014
Critic Score
80
8 reviews

Nashville has the deepest grab-bag in contemporary pop right now, but nothing else comes together like Eric Church in the wild.

44. Shabazz Palaces - Lese Majesty

July 29, 2014
Critic Score
83
29 reviews

Lese Majesty feels more now, than then. In mirroring and transcending the schizoid, rootless form of digital society, it's an attempt to help people cope with the culture.

43. Charli XCX - Sucker

December 16, 2014
Critic Score
78
31 reviews

42. Mac DeMarco - Salad Days

April 1, 2014
Critic Score
79
23 reviews

His patron saints appear to be Harry Nilsson and yacht rockers like 10cc, and rarely are either channeled with this little cheese and this much panache. He merges these influences with what's quickly become his signature guitar sound, an effortless style that can be playfully discordant.

41. Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence

June 17, 2014
Critic Score
72
32 reviews

In a career fraught with obsessions over the perfection-imperfection dichotomy, it turns out to be a blessing that she put pop and its various pressures on the backburner just to deliver some real summertime sadness. 

40. Real Estate - Atlas

March 4, 2014
Critic Score
75
31 reviews

We already expected pastoral folk-rock with dewy thickets of guitar lines that ripple like a pond. But they've internalized the difference between relaxation and an aural shrug.

39. The Afghan Whigs - Do to the Beast

April 14, 2014
Critic Score
73
26 reviews

Lead vocalist/head louche Greg Dulli's dark obsessions and predatory narrators manage to sound as erotically entrancing as he pushes 50 as they did when he was courting 25, aging gracefully like a snifter of peaty scotch rather than a cup of flat beer.

37. Cymbals Eat Guitars - LOSE

August 26, 2014
Critic Score
78
17 reviews

36. Young Thug & Bloody Jay - Black Portland

January 21, 2014
Critic Score
70
3 reviews

35. Homeboy Sandman - Hallways

September 1, 2014
Critic Score
78
4 reviews

34. Taylor Swift - 1989

October 27, 2014
Critic Score
76
25 reviews

33. Andy Stott - Faith in Strangers

November 18, 2014
Critic Score
81
16 reviews

The album is another leap forward for the producer, refining his sense of songcraft and expanding his instrumental palette without sanding down his rough edges in the slightest.

31. Sylvan Esso - Sylvan Esso

May 13, 2014
Critic Score
78
15 reviews

30. Ariel Pink - pom pom

November 18, 2014
Critic Score
74
27 reviews

On pom pom ... he's finally able to fully marry the two divergent sides of his personality: his effortless knack for reeling off torrents of sincere bubblegum beauty and his irreverent sense of humor.

28. Ryan Adams - Ryan Adams

September 8, 2014
Critic Score
74
25 reviews

26. St. Vincent - St. Vincent

February 25, 2014
Critic Score
87
36 reviews

Clark has made an album free of the one issue that hamstrung its three predecessors: the sense that every turn was plotted in advance, that the fun was hemmed in by a kind of deliberateness.

25. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - Piñata

March 18, 2014
Critic Score
80
17 reviews

From the lyrics to the beats, the pleasure of Piñata is in the details.

23. Aphex Twin - Syro

September 23, 2014
Critic Score
85
33 reviews

22. Cloud Nothings - Here and Nowhere Else

April 1, 2014
Critic Score
81
27 reviews

On Here and Nowhere Else, which was produced by John Congleto, Baldi and Co. take the best bits from Albini's tutelage, apply them to lo-fi pop-punk structures and infuse all of it with tightly wound angst.

21. FKA twigs - LP1

August 12, 2014
Critic Score
86
40 reviews

The album doesn't so much broaden Twigs' scope as reinforce it. Over 10 songs and 42 minutes, Twigs seems unconcerned with minting easy hooks or delivering discrete moments; instead, she sustains vibe.

19. Miranda Lambert - Platinum

June 3, 2014
Critic Score
83
8 reviews

18. YG - My Krazy Life

March 18, 2014
Critic Score
78
12 reviews

17. Swans - To Be Kind

May 13, 2014
Critic Score
87
28 reviews

As all-consuming a ritual as rock music is capable of giving us, and also as viscerally, joyously life-affirming.

16. Todd Terje - It's Album Time

April 8, 2014
Critic Score
81
26 reviews

Like Daft Punk, Terje looks to the past's version of futurism to transcend today's numbed-out consensus beats.

15. Sia - 1000 Forms of Fear

July 8, 2014
Critic Score
74
24 reviews

Listening to 1000 Forms Of Fear, you can hear how strong Furler's influence is on the pop stars with whom she works. 

14. Against Me! - Transgender Dysphoria Blues

January 21, 2014
Critic Score
80
19 reviews

Once it all sinks in, the self-released approach, scrapped-together band, and 29-minute running time should only shock those who expected this to be a huge statement by Grace on anyone's terms but her own.

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

June 24, 2014
Critic Score
74
29 reviews

As intellectual and introverted as Krell often is, he’s at his best when he and the music simply let go.

12. Spoon - They Want My Soul

August 5, 2014
Critic Score
79
32 reviews

Soul achieves the nearly impossible with Spoon’s most eclectic set yet.

11. Betty Who - Take Me When You Go

Betty Who - Take Me When You Go
October 7, 2014
Critic Score
63
3 reviews

9. tUnE-yArDs - Nikki Nack

May 6, 2014
Critic Score
82
27 reviews

Although its emotional intensity is at first nearly overwhelming, Nikki Nack gets similarly crazy with hooks, which makes it more daring because it ups the stakes even higher. 

8. Tinashe - Aquarius

October 7, 2014
Critic Score
75
16 reviews

7. Future Islands - Singles

March 25, 2014
Critic Score
81
32 reviews

Get over Herring's Shatner-like earnestness like you did with Destroyer's Kenny G moves on Kaputt and you'll unlock the furrowed brows, baggy eyes and bulging veins beneath the metronomic perfection.

6. Sun Kil Moon - Benji

February 11, 2014
Critic Score
84
24 reviews

This guy has written 40-plus albums of material, so it's saying something that Benji is one of his more challenging listens.

5. Caribou - Our Love

October 7, 2014
Critic Score
80
32 reviews

4. Jenny Lewis - The Voyager

July 29, 2014
Critic Score
73
28 reviews

You wouldn't assume a troubled backstory from the music — Lewis has channeled her grievances into a statement of life-affirming and ebullient guitar pop.

2. Parquet Courts - Sunbathing Animal

June 3, 2014
Critic Score
77
30 reviews

These performances never surrender to the anxiety of influence: All those comparisons are mere reference points for a loose aesthetic that values sustained chordal vamps above all else.

1. The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream

March 18, 2014
Critic Score
85
33 reviews

Simultaneously spare and just as fully fleshed out as it needs to be, Dream is a perfect distillation of Granduciel's wide-open claustrophobia. The sound is more expansive than ever, even as its maker's songs seem more personal and less universal.

Original Source: http://www.spin.com/articles/50-best-albums-2014/
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