AllMusic's Best Albums of 2014

AllMusic's Best Albums of 2014

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Alvvays - Alvvays

July 22, 2014
Critic Score
79
24 reviews

Alvvays find a way to articulate their heart-struck, dream-like songs with deft intention and control.

Ana Tijoux - Vengo

March 18, 2014
Critic Score
80
2 reviews

Aphex Twin - Syro

September 23, 2014
Critic Score
85
33 reviews

Low on frenetics, Syro is anchored by rotund and agile basslines that zip and glide, and it's decked in accents and melodies that are lively even at their most distressed.

Arca - Xen

November 4, 2014
Critic Score
78
17 reviews

The way Arca plays with and decorates time, letting sounds and moods mutate spontaneously, makes Xen a complete picture of his artistry and also promises much more.

Ben Frost - A U R O R A

May 26, 2014
Critic Score
80
16 reviews

His disciplined approach and bleak yet massively creative imagination delivers a particularly 21st century industrial music of his own design. A U R O R A is dark, dreadful, and dramatic; it is also a masterpiece.

Cloud Nothings - Here and Nowhere Else

April 1, 2014
Critic Score
81
27 reviews

Throughout these songs, the band examines the gulfs between people with the kind of furious apathy and emphatic ambivalence that makes them the heirs to '80s and '90s masters like the Replacements, Green Day, and Nirvana without seeming overly derivative.

EMA - The Future's Void

April 8, 2014
Critic Score
81
24 reviews

The Future's Void's often dazzling vignettes aren't quite as striking as Anderson's debut, but they show she's an artist unconfined by any one sound or perspective, and more than capable of engaging minds as well as hearts.

Ex Hex - Rips

October 7, 2014
Critic Score
81
13 reviews

One of the most entertaining chapters in Timony's career, Rips mixes simple pleasures and complicated ones into a completely life-affirming debut.

FKA twigs - LP1

August 12, 2014
Critic Score
86
40 reviews

FKA Twigs' music was already so fully realized that LP 1 can't really be called Barnett coming into her own; rather, her music has been tended to since the "Water Me" days, and now it's flourishing.

Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

October 7, 2014
Critic Score
84
35 reviews

Its flow is even more liquid than that of Until the Quiet Comes, though the sounds are more jagged and free, with roots deeper in jazz.

Freeman - Freeman

July 22, 2014
Critic Score
74
6 reviews

Freeman is a tighter record than McCartney -- it's not homemade, it's all complete songs -- but there's no denying it shares the same spirit; that it is the sound of breaking dawn of a new day.

Future Islands - Singles

March 25, 2014
Critic Score
81
32 reviews

The vocals, the songs, the music, and the production work together to make Singles a one-of-a-kind experience that's nearly perfect.

Jenny Lewis - The Voyager

July 29, 2014
Critic Score
73
28 reviews

It's heavy midlife crisis material but The Voyager plays lightly, offering a warm balm of Southern California sounds.

Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again

July 22, 2014
Critic Score
75
11 reviews

Joyce Manor make 20 minutes feel way more epic than the running time might promise, and Never Hungover Again ends up as the kind of record that feels like an instant classic.

Kelis - Food

April 22, 2014
Critic Score
75
25 reviews

An eclectic and modern-sounding synthesis of classic pop and rhythm & blues with a lot of friskiness, some funk, and even a little twang.

Kimbra - The Golden Echo

August 19, 2014
Critic Score
69
14 reviews

An album that just becomes more engaging with time, The Golden Echo lives up to its name: it refashions the best of what came before it into something alluringly modern and a lot of fun.

Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence

June 17, 2014
Critic Score
72
32 reviews

Ultraviolence asserts that as a songwriter, she has complete control of her craft, deciding on songs far less flashy or immediate but still uniquely captivating

Liars - Mess

March 25, 2014
Critic Score
75
28 reviews

Even if it's not quite as striking an achievement as WIXIW, it's a lot of fun and shows, once again, that Liars are unquestionably themselves no matter how much they push their boundaries.

Little Dragon - Nabuma Rubberband

May 13, 2014
Critic Score
72
20 reviews

The writing, playing, and production is predominantly the work of the group on their own, with two collaborators playing small but significant roles ... Subtract those contributions and this would still be the group's most accomplished work.

Mac DeMarco - Salad Days

April 1, 2014
Critic Score
79
23 reviews

With songs touching on themes of maturation, life in the public eye, and good old-fashioned romance, DeMarco has trimmed the fat both musically and conceptually on Salad Days, turning in a streamlined picture of his musical development.

Mahan Esfahani - Rameau: Pieces de Clavecin

Mahan Esfahani - Rameau: Pieces de Clavecin
November 11, 2014
Critic Score
100
1 review

Moreno Veloso - Coisa Boa

Moreno Veloso - Coisa Boa
September 9, 2014
Critic Score
90
1 review

Otis Brown III - The Thought of You

Otis Brown III - The Thought of You
September 23, 2014
Critic Score
85
2 reviews

Perfume Genius - Too Bright

September 23, 2014
Critic Score
85
31 reviews

Equally bold, vulnerable, concise, and expansive, Too Bright dazzles.

Real Estate - Atlas

March 4, 2014
Critic Score
75
31 reviews

Their songs have always resided somewhere between head-in-the-clouds lightheartedness and day-dreamy nostalgia, but the ten songs that make up Atlas seem more mature, more deliberate, and lacking some of the carefree naiveté of earlier work.

Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2

October 28, 2014
Critic Score
86
28 reviews

If the first album was the supernova, RTJ2 is the RTJ universe forming, proving that Mike and El-P's one-off can be a going, and ever growing, concern.

Shabazz Palaces - Lese Majesty

July 29, 2014
Critic Score
82
30 reviews

It's a shame that such a vanguard effort is weakened by a few clever and jokey interludes that don't warrant a return, but that just leaves Shabazz Palaces room for a proper masterpiece as the brilliant Lese Majesty is so very close.

St. Vincent - St. Vincent

February 25, 2014
Critic Score
87
36 reviews

St. Vincent is some of her most pop-oriented work, yet it doesn't dilute the essence of her music. If anything, her razor-sharp wit is even more potent when polished in a candy coating with just a hint of venom. 

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks - Wig Out at Jagbags

January 7, 2014
Critic Score
73
30 reviews

It feels looser than most of the Jicks records; the compositions are tight but the attitude is ragged, which winds up being more infectious and fun than albums where the songs drift but the instruments are tight.

Temples - Sun Structures

February 11, 2014
Critic Score
74
26 reviews

Sun Structures is an impressive debut that would be legendary now if it had been released in 1967; in 2014 it's merely the best psych pop around.

Teyana Taylor - VII

November 4, 2014
Critic Score
71
5 reviews

The Bug - Angels and Devils

August 25, 2014
Critic Score
80
17 reviews

Angels & Devils contains none of the Acid Ragga material, and neither KMS partner is involved. Even so, there's continuity and gradual evolution that can be traced back several years through Martin's output.

The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream

March 18, 2014
Critic Score
85
33 reviews

It's a near flawless collection of dreamy vibes, shifting moods, and movement, and stands easily as Granduciel's finest hour so far.

tUnE-yArDs - Nikki Nack

May 6, 2014
Critic Score
82
27 reviews

Nikki Nack demands, and rewards, repeated listening to appreciate everything Garbus and Brenner are doing. It's an oddly nourishing album that's as big a step forward for tUnE-yArDs as W H O K I L L was from Bird-Brains.

Original Source: http://www.allmusic.com/year-in-review/2014/allmusic-best-of-2014
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