My Top 10 Albums 2014

Unlike previous years, there was no clear winner this year. Many good albums that I listened to a lot, but no clear winner. At various times, all the top five could have shuffled around.

  1. About Last Night, Sleeper Agent
    Fun. A big step up from their first album, which I also enjoyed.
  2. Before the Waves, Magic Man
    Not my usual style of music, but man, some of the songs are super catchy.
  3. The Both, The Both
    I had no idea whether the pairing of Ted Leo and Aimee Mann would work. It does. And how can you not like a song (“Milwaukee”) that mentions The Fonz?
  4. Seeds, TV on The Radio
    The first half of this album is up there with their best stuff. Gets mushier in the second half though. Still very good.
  5. Distraction, Bear Hands
    The only real “debut” on the list is this one. A band to watch.
  6. After the Disco, Broken Bells
    Not as good as the first album, but nearly every track is a gem.
  7. They Want My Soul, Spoon
    Not many bands make one of their best albums 20 years into their careers, but Spoon did.
  8. Liberation!, Peter Matthew Bauer
    The first album on the list from a band musician doing a solo album, this time the bassist from The Walkmen stepping out on his own. Liberation! is a great rock record, combining some mellower, Indian-tinged numbers with some rock out songs. Spiritual without being overbearing. Uplifting.
  9. Weatherhouse, Philip Selway
    Radiohead’s drummer’s second album is atmospheric, bitter at times, and resigned. Perfect for rainy days and reflection. “It Will End in Tears” is such a brilliant song.
  10. Morning Phase, Beck
    Beck at his Sea Change melancholy best. Heartbreaking. I don’t know who could fail to be moved by “Say Goodbye.” As always, Beck can do anything, drifting through genres (rock, folk, country, etc.) like a smoke through a forest.

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