Pitchfork's 50 Best Albums of 2014

Pitchfork's 50 Best Albums of 2014

Original Source →

50.

May 26, 2014
Critic Score
79
18 reviews

A U R O R A can be heard as Frost’s attempt to create something physical, and it stands above the rest of his discography.

49.

September 23, 2014
Critic Score
80
10 reviews

Mr Twin Sister sounds flawless, and the fact that they co-produced the album and put it out on their own label aligns with a lyrical streak of independence that runs throughout. 

48.

November 3, 2014
Critic Score
79
13 reviews

The album adds a fresh layer of grandiosity that hints at festival-sized dance music or even Trent Reznor’s churning soundtrack work while never bowing down to any type of current trend.

47.

September 16, 2014
Critic Score
82
10 reviews

46.

August 25, 2014
Critic Score
63
18 reviews

45.

November 18, 2014
Critic Score
81
17 reviews
The separate moments are astounding, evidence of a musician who has managed to remain inquisitive even as he’s established his signature.

44.

June 24, 2014
Critic Score
78
20 reviews

With Sea When Absent, A Sunny Day in Glasgow have finally made that loud rock record—full of crashing percussion and screaming guitars—but without abandoning the ambiance that makes them so distinct. 

43.

March 18, 2014
Critic Score
78
19 reviews

It doesn't matter if Gibbs and Madlib were once considered artists playing to different audiences -- united in their uncompromising, independent-as-fuck visions, they put together something hardcore hip-hop heads on both sides should feel.

42.

May 27, 2014
Critic Score
78
30 reviews

He's less concerned with dazzling us this time around, and as a result he moves us more.

40.

August 26, 2014
Critic Score
81
28 reviews

In sharp contrast to his previous album-to-album stylistic shifts, the songs of Manipulator represent a perfect melting-pot synthesis of Segall’s many sonic signatures, as if each component—from the British Invasion-inspired melodies to the glam-rock affectations to the berserker guitar solos—was carefully measured out in beakers and test tubes before being mixed together

39.

April 29, 2014
Critic Score
79
13 reviews

It’s an anxious, distressed record to be sure—brimming with feelings of disaffection and dislocation—but it presents itself as such simply to show you how that nervous energy can be put to more positive, constructive use. 

38.

May 27, 2014
Critic Score
77
16 reviews

Hundred Waters thrive in the place where post-rock meets freak folk, and sing-song melodies are twisted into strange shapes by circuitry.

37.

March 18, 2014
Critic Score
81
22 reviews

Say Yes to Love is so relentlessly pummeling that it's almost meditative, and its songs are caked in so much sludge it's often hard to make out what Graves is saying. Until, very suddenly, it's not.

36.

October 7, 2014
Critic Score
75
17 reviews

35.

July 29, 2014
Critic Score
82
32 reviews

The soul of Shabazz Palaces is pairing next-gen sounds with classic brass-tacks show-and-prove emceeing, and Lese Majesty tugs those extremes as far as they've ever been pulled; that it never shows signs of wear speaks to the strength of the bond.

34.

April 1, 2014
Critic Score
81
30 reviews

To call it a “grower” would be accurate, though that downplays its visceral jolt, as previous Cloud Nothings records revealed their high points fairly quickly; here, the initial sonic beating's reflected in the unmistakable shades of purple, black, and blue-black in the resultant bruises.

33.

September 29, 2014
Critic Score
80
8 reviews

32.

June 17, 2014
Critic Score
76
22 reviews

Deep Fantasy is definitely savvy, ensuring its staunch ideals are delivered by a riveting, relatable frontwoman and 22 minutes of vicious, compact musicianship and addictive melody.

31.

October 27, 2014
Critic Score
76
31 reviews

The big ol’ city was imaginary; but on 1989, Swift writes and inhabits a fully-realized fantasy of self-reliance, confidence, and ensuing pleasure. Her music was no longer just a diary entry. You can almost hear her winking on every track.

30.

October 7, 2014
Critic Score
78
29 reviews

This is the sound of Iceage finding a balance between getting older and seeking immortality by way of leaping into an abandoned-lot fire head-first. It’s beautiful and ugly at the same time and, for now, Iceage have found their own unstable sense of peace.

29.

June 24, 2014
Critic Score
74
33 reviews

Krell is informed by genre but driven by expression; in his mind, pop music is anything that aspires for the most immediate and impactful connection, even if it risks embarrassment in the process. As a result, his transcendent third LP "What Is This Heart?" is a pop album of the highest caliber.

28.

October 14, 2014
Critic Score
77
19 reviews
The sense of control Margaret Chardiet wields over her nasty, fire-breathing music provides a sense of structure that makes this very out-there music easy to grasp for those outside of noise music circles. Her work is marked by a push-and-push-harder tension between pummeling rhythms, swaths of power-electronics static, and her impressive, chilling howl.

27.

March 18, 2014
Critic Score
79
13 reviews

26.

October 7, 2014
Critic Score
82
15 reviews

Rips mostly finds the band walking away from Timony's established voice and pushing toward something more direct and energetic—embracing the past, but also blowing things up and starting again.

25.

November 6, 2014
Critic Score
72
22 reviews

Older material accounts for roughly half the tracklist, and some of it doesn’t mesh well with the fresher, weirder stuff around it. It helps to see Broke With Expensive Taste, then, as an anthology, The Portable Azealia Banks.

24.

June 3, 2014
Critic Score
77
34 reviews

Sunbathing Animal's considered, whip-smart rock revivalism is a work of substantial growth from a band that already did "simple" quite well, placing Parquet Courts in their own distinct weight class.

23.

May 5, 2014
Critic Score
73
28 reviews

I Never Learn utilizes the simplest tools of confessional songwriting: uneasily strummed acoustic guitars and resonant piano chords enlarged for texture and dramatic flair, like they’re appearing from behind a just-raised curtain, or from a radio as you sing to yourself. 

22.

March 25, 2014
Critic Score
81
33 reviews

Herring acts on impulse—at no point does he sound calculated or clever—offering an open invitation to the uninhibited, to the goofy, and the sentimental.

21.

June 30, 2014
Critic Score
66
18 reviews

20.

October 7, 2014
Critic Score
80
8 reviews

Hell Can Wait is a debut for rapper Vince Staples, but it’s really a refinement, the end result of a years long search for the right producer. His jump to Def Jam is a case study in the enduring merit of good old-fashioned artist development.

19.

May 27, 2014
Critic Score
85
36 reviews

Are We There may be her most present-tense album to date, her most immediate and urgent—the peak of a steady upward trajectory.

18.

November 4, 2014
Critic Score
80
20 reviews

Taken as a whole, it is an album about unstable unities, things that cannot easily hold together, wholes breaking to pieces and being put back together again in new and unfamiliar shapes.

17.

October 7, 2014
Critic Score
85
38 reviews

It's far and away the most free-ranging FlyLo album to date. And yet the album doesn't sprawl out of control, maybe because it doesn't really have the time to: the whole record clocks in at just over 38 minutes, all jolts of sound and quick bursts of motifs. 

16.

February 25, 2014
Critic Score
88
43 reviews

With each release, Clark sounds less like anybody but herself, and more forcefully embraces a darkness that was quietly stirring in even her earliest songs.

15.

February 18, 2014
Critic Score
81
34 reviews

Burn Your Fire for No Witness conjures the past without ever imitating it, swirling its influences into something intimate, impressionistic and new.

14.

March 4, 2014
Critic Score
76
36 reviews

They’ve made the first record of their career that feels like it might teach you something over time. It is rare, and special, for a band to be this effortlessly and completely themselves. 

13.

August 5, 2014
Critic Score
78
37 reviews

As guitar rock continues its slow and inevitable transition into a bygone art, They Want My Soul pulls at familiar threads, fraying things to make them seem now, if not new.

12.

April 1, 2014
Critic Score
80
27 reviews

His second full-length, Salad Days, isn’t a departure from its predecessor so much as a richer, increasingly assured refinement. For all its internal contradictions, Salad Days is no more or less than a great album in a tradition of no-big-deal great albums.

11.

September 23, 2014
Critic Score
84
33 reviews

These songs feel less like songs and more like treasures, ones that fill you with power and wisdom, and as a result, Too Bright seems capable of resonating with, comforting, and moving anyone who's ever felt alienated, discriminated against, or "other-ized," regardless of sexual orientation.

10.

October 7, 2014
Critic Score
81
40 reviews

The key attribute is ultimately confidence. Our Love is a very assured record, from its unconventional, austere arrangements to its unrelenting focus and thematic consistency. 

9.

November 18, 2014
Critic Score
73
33 reviews

For all the arch humor and affectation, Pink writes some of most wistful and peculiarly moving songs in contemporary music. 

8.

April 8, 2014
Critic Score
81
28 reviews

For as much ground as he covers on It's Album Time, the music feels effortless, gliding from Henry Mancini-esque detective jazz to bouncy, Stevie Wonder funk like breeze blowing through the waffle weave of a leisure suit.

7.

February 11, 2014
Critic Score
84
25 reviews

While Benji is consumed with death, sadness, mourning, and tragedy, there's gratitude within all this melancholy and it’s actually Kozelek’s least depressing and most life-affirming record

6.

May 13, 2014
Critic Score
88
35 reviews

To Be Kind adheres to a policy of transcendence by any means necessary, even if it means repeatedly bashing you in the face with a mallet until you’re seeing stars and colors.

5.

October 31, 2014
Critic Score
82
19 reviews

What we're left with is achingly beautiful and ... almost unnervingly direct.

4.

September 23, 2014
Critic Score
85
43 reviews

The care and virtuosity with which these tracks were assembled is immediately obvious, but nothing feels difficult; the record’s easy flow despite it all is one of its primary virtues, and there’s something new to uncover with every listen.

3.

March 18, 2014
Critic Score
85
40 reviews

What at first seemed like a fairly straightforward, traditionalist roots-rock exercise has very gradually, very subtly blossomed into something wondrous and profound.

2.

August 12, 2014
Critic Score
86
44 reviews

Quiet as it may be, this is a huge album, a monumental debut. On a formal level, it takes the kinds of risks that few pop artists, and few "experimental" artists, for that matter, are willing to take these days.

1.

October 28, 2014
Critic Score
87
32 reviews

Sounding like nothing else and answering to nobody but its creators, Run the Jewels 2 is in a class by itself.

Original Source: http://pitchfork.com/features/staff-lists/9558-the-50-best-albums-of-2014/
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