AOTY 2019
Drowned in Sound's Favorite 50 Albums of 2014

Drowned in Sound's Favorite 50 Albums of 2014

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50. Owls - Two

Owls - Two
March 24, 2014
Critic Score
75
12 reviews

49. Thom Yorke - Tomorrow's Modern Boxes

September 26, 2014
Critic Score
71
24 reviews

If you have a tolerance for drums that go ‘fzzz’, Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes is a lovely, lovely record, easily Yorke’s best non-Radiohead effort.

48. Aphex Twin - Syro

September 23, 2014
Critic Score
85
33 reviews

Syro sees a master craftsman return with renewed inspiration. And while it might not technically be James' most innovative album, it way well be his best: his most complete and engaging under the guise of Aphex Twin.

45. Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - Gone Girl

Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - Gone Girl
September 30, 2014
Critic Score
81
4 reviews

44. The Bug - Angels and Devils

August 25, 2014
Critic Score
81
17 reviews

Despite the dualistic structure of Angels & Devils, the album’s two halves are never in opposition to one another; its vocalists all equally damned, equally resilient to their fate.

43. The Raveonettes - Pe'ahi

The Raveonettes - Pe'ahi
July 22, 2014
Critic Score
72
14 reviews

Pe’ahi is an uneven reinvention, but it’s a brave one, too - the manner of its release isn't the only surprise that comes with it.

42. Young Fathers - Dead

February 3, 2014
Critic Score
80
15 reviews

41. Spoon - They Want My Soul

August 5, 2014
Critic Score
78
33 reviews

The album is an enjoyable hodgepodge that trades neat cohesion for scattish variety. It’s an overview of all Britt can do when given a guitar and a ruthlessly tight entourage.

40. Inventions - Inventions

April 1, 2014
Critic Score
70
8 reviews

39. The Phantom Band - Strange Friend

June 2, 2014
Critic Score
78
12 reviews

It’s a record without a weak link, that doesn’t outstay its welcome, and excites you about the possibility of seeing it all played live. 

38. The Antlers - Familiars

June 17, 2014
Critic Score
79
24 reviews

The extremely subtle musical template that The Antlers have adopted here only avoids grating as a whole by the end of the record because the songs get stronger as the album goes on.

37. Perfume Genius - Too Bright

September 23, 2014
Critic Score
85
31 reviews

The darkness was always there, in Hadreas, in the songs, but now it’s in the music, Too Bright, to sound ridiculously over the top, has darkness in its soul.

36. Liars - Mess

March 25, 2014
Critic Score
75
28 reviews

The homogeneity of sound is fascinating and oppressive and inscrutable, a brooding cosmic puzzle that Liars keep rearranging to new effects and opaque ends.

33. Kiasmos - Kiasmos

October 27, 2014
Critic Score
81
6 reviews

32. Wild Beasts - Present Tense

February 25, 2014
Critic Score
82
26 reviews

Present Tense might lack the immediacy of both Smother and Two Dancers, but scratch away at the surface and its a record oozing with the precision and maturity we've come to expect from its creators.

31. Owen Pallett - In Conflict

May 27, 2014
Critic Score
79
24 reviews

In Conflict is a fine composition free of the fussy baggage that often comes with grand artistic vision.

30. Pulled Apart By Horses - Blood

Pulled Apart By Horses - Blood
September 1, 2014
Critic Score
75
7 reviews

28. I Break Horses - Chiaroscuro

January 21, 2014
Critic Score
73
16 reviews

27. Prince - Art Official Age

September 30, 2014
Critic Score
73
17 reviews

27. Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL - PLECTRUMELECTRUM

September 30, 2014
Critic Score
62
14 reviews

26. Blood Red Shoes - Blood Red Shoes

Blood Red Shoes - Blood Red Shoes
March 3, 2014
Critic Score
67
9 reviews

25. Vessel - Punish, Honey

September 15, 2014
Critic Score
79
11 reviews

24. Grouper - Ruins

October 31, 2014
Critic Score
81
18 reviews

The memories that Harris explores on Ruins are to us what those physical Portuguese ruins were to her - decontextualised mysteries, distant waves whose ripple hints at some past trauma we’re locked out of.

23. Lykke Li - I Never Learn

May 5, 2014
Critic Score
73
26 reviews

I Never Learn is by no means a failure - the highs are grand when they come - but it has a tendency towards bombast and shallow self indulgence that sees it edge dangerously close to the fringes of mediocrity. 

21. Future Islands - Singles

March 25, 2014
Critic Score
81
32 reviews

What they have created is a consistent work which showcases the band’s diversity as well as their skill and passion in making music which treads the ground between weird and wonderful.

20. EMA - The Future's Void

April 8, 2014
Critic Score
81
24 reviews

The music operates less as an end in itself and more as a counterpoint to the keening, whispering, screeching, gasping voice-as-expression-of-humanity: within the silicon maze, she suggests, there’s a ghost trying to get out.

19. East India Youth - Total Strife Forever

January 13, 2014
Critic Score
81
19 reviews

Total Strife Forever is that scarcest of things; a masterly record which walks a unpredictable line musically yet remains entirely consistent in quality.

18. Hookworms - The Hum

November 10, 2014
Critic Score
80
20 reviews

The Hum, whilst sounding very different, is very much a continuation of Pearl Mystic, and absolutely does not disappoint. 

15. FKA twigs - LP1

August 12, 2014
Critic Score
86
40 reviews

Confidently frail and hesitant, LP1 is a refreshing reaction to, and a calm assault upon, the unfathomably fast-paced total noise of the current age.

14. Sun Kil Moon - Benji

February 11, 2014
Critic Score
84
24 reviews

Benji contains some of the most evocative songs about mortality and youth that have ever been written.

13. Interpol - El Pintor

September 9, 2014
Critic Score
75
29 reviews

Their belief regained and creative juices flowing at a rate of knots, Interpol have delivered their finest record in a decade with El Pintor.

12. Mogwai - Rave Tapes

January 21, 2014
Critic Score
74
29 reviews

It’s not that Rave Tapes is disappointing, it’s just underwhelming - but it’s beautiful enough that maybe that doesn’t matter. 

11. Cloud Nothings - Here and Nowhere Else

April 1, 2014
Critic Score
81
27 reviews

For all its radiance and attention to detail, Here And Nowhere Else only just breaks the 30-minute-mark, yet in that half an hour exudes more emotions than a counsellor's waiting room.

10. Swans - To Be Kind

May 13, 2014
Critic Score
87
28 reviews

The ten tracks collected here, ranging from five to 34 minutes in length, demonstrate everything that Swans have ever been over their career, but it is their bloody mindedness that continues to stand out.

9. The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream

March 18, 2014
Critic Score
85
33 reviews

Lost In The Dream is an instant salve to the shittiness of modern life, an album that would sound as though it could have been made anytime in the last five decades were it not so immaculately produced

8. Ought - More Than Any Other Day

April 29, 2014
Critic Score
80
11 reviews

Steeped in the postpunk aesthetic, a well-established rock style that nonetheless remains richer and deeper than any other in formal possibilities, this is a record that conflates doubt and optimism while at surface remaining aggressively articulate.

7. Eagulls - Eagulls

March 3, 2014
Critic Score
75
17 reviews

Throughout its ten pieces, Eagulls delivers in every conceivable way. 

6. Alvvays - Alvvays

July 22, 2014
Critic Score
80
24 reviews

What sets Alvvays apart from their peers is the sense of darkness and melancholy that hides behind the somewhat sprightly tunes on offer.

5. ††† - †††

February 10, 2014
Critic Score
72
7 reviews

4. Marissa Nadler - July

February 4, 2014
Critic Score
79
17 reviews

July is a grown up album – but it’s not a cleaned up one: Marissa Nadler may flirt with the sun now, but still articulates the dark like no one else.

3. Taylor Swift - 1989

October 27, 2014
Critic Score
76
26 reviews

Swift’s self-empowerment is so irrepressible that you can actually hear her kiss off the haters with the help of a brass backing section.

2. Sharon Van Etten - Are We There

May 27, 2014
Critic Score
85
33 reviews

Indeed it is a deep, dragging record; listening to it an experience akin to wading through particularly delicious molasses and it will take the hardy listener a good few attempts to find the key by which they can unlock most of its treasures.

Original Source: http://drownedinsound.com/in_depth/4148558-drowned-in-sounds-50-favourite-albums-of-2014
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