REVIEW 2014: Like Music? We Pick Our Favourite Albums Of The Year

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We’re pretty music-mad here in, so we decided to pick our favourite albums of the 2014. First up is Gavin O’Connor’s choices with a key track from each record underneath…

1. The War in Drugs – Lost in The Dream

Over a blatant influence of 80’s ‘Dad rock’, there is something deeper going on here. A sound honed and hypnotic that eventually gets under your skin. It might seem that way from the start, but this is not a straight up homage to Springsteen and Dylan or what was called ‘beer commercial rock’.

On top of those influences The War On Drugs, own sound of experimental ambient noise clashes with something more familiar to ears to create a record well worth putting your time in for.


2. St Vincent – St Vincent

So glad that I caught her live this year, it was like witnessing an androgynous super star like Marc Bolan or Prince. She’s also a beast on guitar. On the record she floats through styles putting on different heads like Bowie did, marrying great production songwriting and performance with ease.

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3. Alt-J – This is All Yours

I was surprised to not see this in a lot of the end of year top tens. For me the album is hook central. There is an English folk thing going on here that I thought wouldn’t really work, but the beautiful subtle melodies and quirky lyrics make this album a joy right for the very first listen.

4. Sun Kil Moon – Benji

This is without doubt the saddest thing I’ve listened to in 2014, but with that sadness comes beautiful melancholy. The arrangements are simple and feature Mark Kozelek’s voice and words as the prominent aspects of the album.

The record is incredibly brave and mainly deals with the loss of loved ones and heart wrenching personal experience which are usual kept personal.

5. Spoon –  They Want My Soul

The best straight up rock record I listened to this year. Influences of the Stones and T-Rex can be heard, but their other things going on in here harder to put your finger on. Above all, the record has great variety and hardly a dud track.

6. Sleaford Mods – Divide and Exit + Chubbed Up

Without doubt the finest piece of social commentary I came across this year. You’d wonder why in 2014 there wasn’t more snarling rants about modern life over cheap beats?

Sleaford Mods are also very funny. The fact the angst is coming from the mouth of a 40+ man does raise questions about the apathy of young bands today. Maybe they’re just too busy working because no one buys music?

7. Todd Terje – It’s Album Time

A modern disco house record with a latin flavor. So often when DJs attempt an album, it doesn’t hold up as one solid work, but Sweden’s Todd Terje  accomplishes that.

8. Freddie Gibbs and Madlib  – Piñata

Madlib, the master loop digger of old soul, finally found a collaboration that matches the one he had with Doom on the rap nerd cult classic ‘Madvillainy’.

What you’ll find here is a well put together honest record from two guys who know what they’re about and know their craft inside and out.

9. D’Angelo – Black Messiah

This was my surprise of the year. D’angelo was down and out up until a couple of years ago. When I heard his first record in 14 years was released I didnt much hope for it.

He’s obviously some kind of crazy funk genius like George Clinton or Prince who can just turn when he has to.

10. Caribou – Our Love

The album’s opener ‘Can’t Do Without You’ is one of the songs of the year.

A dance record that doesn’t bonk you over the head, instead moves along using psychedelic sounds and some odd discordance to tweak your ears to make sure you’re still listening.

With choices firmly rooted in the rock genre, here’s Editor, Dermot Crean’s Top 10.

1. St VincentSt Vincent

2. SpoonThey Want My Soul

3. Avi BuffaloAt Best Cuckold

4. Weezer – Everything Will Be Alright In The End

5. Sleaford ModsDivide And Exit

6. BeckMorning Phase

7. Manic Street PreachersFuturology

8. Damon AlbarnEveryday Robots

9. Parquet Courts Sunbathing Animal

10. Royal BloodRoyal Blood

Song of the Year

Taylor Swift – ‘Shake It Off’

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