No Ripcord's Top Albums of 2014

No Ripcord's Top Albums of 2014

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50. Ariel Pink - pom pom

November 18, 2014
Critic Score
74
27 reviews

He deconstructs pop conventions within the first five seconds in pom pom with a devilish grin, setting the tone for an uncompromising mélange of hissed art rock that ups the ante even further than the disarmingly twisted Mature Themes.

49. Warpaint - Warpaint

January 21, 2014
Critic Score
75
34 reviews

Warpaint are very much an Ikea act, not that that’s meant as a dig at their potential audience ... but rather as both are in the puzzling position of frequently pulling off genuine style and sophistication, but occasionally slipping up on the absolute basics. 

48. Wild Beasts - Present Tense

February 25, 2014
Critic Score
82
26 reviews

47. Ty Segall - Manipulator

August 26, 2014
Critic Score
80
25 reviews

Following last year’s acoustic-based Sleeper, Segall’s newest release is an ambitious 17 tracks, all of which combine 60s pop sensibilities with contemporary psych flavors and dissonant embellishments.  

38. Elbow - The Take Off and Landing of Everything

March 10, 2014
Critic Score
78
23 reviews

A work of faultless skill and assured sophistication, The Take Off and Landing of Everything positions Elbow as one of the most quietly ambitious and rewarding acts of our generation.

37. Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

October 7, 2014
Critic Score
84
35 reviews

36. Mac DeMarco - Salad Days

April 1, 2014
Critic Score
79
23 reviews

The romantic in De Marco is now very much a presence in his life, far from it being a farce, and adroitly balances those feelings of solitude and intimacy by clasping dearly to the everyday proportions that make his life complete.

35. Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence

June 17, 2014
Critic Score
72
32 reviews

It’s a record that does an awful lot of things ‘wrong’ and is all the more beguiling for it.

33. Real Estate - Atlas

March 4, 2014
Critic Score
75
31 reviews

As simple and unchallenging as Atlas is, it’s undoubtedly the group’s most emotionally resonant album, both sonically and lyrically, even if Real Estate chooses to unleash them in a diminutive sigh rather than a fearsome roar.

32. Future Islands - Singles

March 25, 2014
Critic Score
81
32 reviews

31. Spoon - They Want My Soul

August 5, 2014
Critic Score
78
33 reviews

They continue to operate with a restlessness that results from making just enough changes to link their stern commitment to write straight-ahead rock songs with a classic feel.

30. Cloud Nothings - Here and Nowhere Else

April 1, 2014
Critic Score
81
27 reviews

It’s hard not to listen through Here and Nowhere Else with a smile on your face, as the hooks and instrumentation are just so incredibly lively and infectious it makes the whole album a momentous, front to back blast.

28. Banks - Goddess

September 8, 2014
Critic Score
70
21 reviews

27. Mogwai - Rave Tapes

January 21, 2014
Critic Score
74
29 reviews

25. Alvvays - Alvvays

July 22, 2014
Critic Score
79
24 reviews

Despite the sun-soaked paisley vibe that it initially sets, Alvvays sidetracks itself from the “summer album” malady with a surprising amount of hefty hooks and sweet-and-sour lyrical contours. 

24. Perfume Genius - Too Bright

September 23, 2014
Critic Score
85
31 reviews

Few artists in this day and age take self-expression through art to heart like Hadreas does as Perfume Genius, and with the sensitive confidence that radiates from Too Bright, he’s mastered it in a way few artists never do.

23. Jenny Lewis - The Voyager

July 29, 2014
Critic Score
73
28 reviews

It’s an incredibly well-observed, poignant look at what it means to be Jenny Lewis right now, yet lacks the indefinable quality to make it a classic.

22. Parquet Courts - Sunbathing Animal

June 3, 2014
Critic Score
77
30 reviews

It widens the scope of influences even further, becoming more refined and pointed as they begin to settle into a new pattern whilst playing some of those old tricks.

21. Jessie Ware - Tough Love

October 13, 2014
Critic Score
73
28 reviews

20. Sylvan Esso - Sylvan Esso

May 13, 2014
Critic Score
78
15 reviews

19. MØ - No Mythologies to Follow

March 11, 2014
Critic Score
75
21 reviews

Whether it’ll appeal to actual teenagers rather than those who are reduced to reflecting on their own adolescence through the dim glow of nostalgia is an interesting question, but either way, MØ might have just released the freshest, most joyful pop record of 2014

18. Jack White - Lazaretto

June 10, 2014
Critic Score
76
37 reviews

The songs that make up Lazaretto are the most diverse on a White album since Get Behind Me Satan, and even more impressively, the songs themselves could stand alongside those on Icky Thump and Consolers of the Lonely thanks to the wonderful arrangements.

17. Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2

October 28, 2014
Critic Score
86
28 reviews

16. Taylor Swift - 1989

October 27, 2014
Critic Score
76
26 reviews

15. Grouper - Ruins

October 31, 2014
Critic Score
81
18 reviews

14. Sharon Van Etten - Are We There

May 27, 2014
Critic Score
85
33 reviews

Her pain, her flaws, her confidence and her laughter make her one of the most relatable songwriters around today, as human as the rest of us. 

11. tUnE-yArDs - Nikki Nack

May 6, 2014
Critic Score
82
27 reviews

This is the strongest tUnE-yArDs album to date, more ambitious musically, more urgent and eloquent lyrically, and yet somehow more danceable all the same.

10. TV on the Radio - Seeds

November 18, 2014
Critic Score
77
29 reviews

9. Caribou - Our Love

October 7, 2014
Critic Score
80
32 reviews

8. Beck - Morning Phase

February 25, 2014
Critic Score
78
38 reviews

The Beck we find in Morning Phase depicts a weary soul resting in a hammock as he explores his transcendental spiritual existence, rather than the sprightly blue-eyed cockatoo that was starting to find his groove again after an almost-defeating spinal injury. 

7. Swans - To Be Kind

May 13, 2014
Critic Score
87
28 reviews

Swans have always made albums that are meant to get you to sit down and really *listen,* but with To Be Kind, that seems especially true. The dynamic range on the album is, quite literally, startling.

6. Aphex Twin - Syro

September 23, 2014
Critic Score
85
33 reviews
It isn't perfect, its sheer restlessness prevents it from being so, but it will undoubtedly come to be remembered as another masterpiece from possibly the greatest electronic composer to walk the earth.

5. The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream

March 18, 2014
Critic Score
85
33 reviews

They most certainly have created something special over the 15 months or so the album took to piece together.

4. FKA twigs - LP1

August 12, 2014
Critic Score
86
40 reviews

There is no single powerful element that obscures the other through LP1, however, and Bartlett’s previous EP proves this is still very much her singular vision. 

2. Sun Kil Moon - Benji

February 11, 2014
Critic Score
84
24 reviews

Kozelek creates because it’s his need, a blessing that cannot be wasted. And Benji is his way of showing gratitude to those who enriched his life to its greatest capacity.

1. St. Vincent - St. Vincent

February 25, 2014
Critic Score
87
36 reviews

It’s difficult to think of another artist who’s so consistently inventive and rewarding. Listening to St. Vincent is a more enjoyable experience each time you press play, thanks to its seemingly bottomless well of inspiration.

Original Source: http://www.noripcord.com/features/top-albums-2014-part-one
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