Albums I’ve Listened to and Enjoyed the Most in 2014

I was thinking of ranking these, but I just can’t figure out which one’s I like the most. This is really hard, y’all. Still, I’ve gotten into some albums this year that have been memorable. Here we go:

Beck – Morning Phase

So begins my short list of new music from familiar artists. This just seemed to be a good year for bands from the 90s coming out with better than average music. This was one of the earlier albums that came out this year but it was good stuff. Very laid back Beck. Good for naps (seriously, not a knock!).

St. Vincent – St. Vincent

I’m a new fan of St. Vincent but I feel like I’ve listened to this album more than any other this year. It’s so weird but has such a strong pulse. Annie Clarke is a hero of mine and it’s just awesome to see a brilliant woman who shreds the guitar better than all the bro dudes. I hope that isn’t sexist to say, it’s just very refreshing. She’s also a great songwriter and the production makes it a very fun listen.

Tune-Yards – Nikki Nack

I was a big fan of this band’s previous album w h o k i l l and this seemed to take what Merril Garbus did there and crank it up a few notches. She is such an inspiring musician! She makes her own rules and her music just plain rocks. If you haven’t listened to this band but you really like the sound of a strong drum and bass this is stuff you need to listen to. She’s different, but not in a bad way. Unique and original, which are my favorite qualities in music, man.

Tweedy – Sukierae

I love Jeff Tweedy. He is one of my favorite modern songwriters. I can’t say I love all 20 songs on this very long album, but there are at least 10 that I think rank with the best Wilco songs. Still, the grab bag approach is interesting and worthwhile to listen to, as it shows all the different sides of his music. “Nobody Dies Anymore” is one of my all time favorite Jeff Tweedy songs. Great headphones album. 

Counting Crows – Somewhere Under Wonderland

I’ve been a gigantic Counting Crows fan in my life but I can’t say their last one blew my hair back or anything. This one was a nice surprise. It’s just good to listen to a great band doing what they do best. “Palisades Park” is “Round Here”-level stuff. Actually, the whole album stacks up well against their best music.

Weezer – Everything Will Be Alright In the End

I’ve been a Weezer fan ever since I heard “The Sweater Song” on MTV when I was making Pop Tarts one day after my Freshman year of high school. I have DEEP love of this band. Sometimes it’s been worth it, but not always. This was a thrill to hear, so much thought and heart and melody. The band put so much into this album and even though it’s probably not as good as Pinkerton or the blue album, it’s an easy 3rd best, I think. And a 3rd best Weezer album is better than most music any year.

Damien Rice – My Favorite Faded Fantasy

This is one the most recent albums I’ve gotten into. I still need to spend some time with it, but Damien Rice is a heart destroyer, man. This is hard core good music. “The Greatest Bastard” is a brilliant, crushing song. That’s one that’s really stood out so far, though the rest is good too.

I know there are probably a thousand other amazing albums that came out this year that I missed because they just weren’t on my radar, but this is the music that will remind me the most of 2014, personally. Bye.

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