End of Year Music Review 2014

9 Albums

End of Year Review – 2014

Here we go again!  I have put together my end of the year lists again.  This year I have added a few categories, made the lists longer, and did the painstaking task of finding a lot of videos to go with my picks.  Indulge me by getting something enjoyable out of this. No need to comment, like, or retweet.  I just want you to enjoy it.  For me, 2014 was a great year for new music.  Some of my favorite stuff came from artists I did not listen to previously.  That is a good thing.  Also, some of my favorite artists put music out that wasn’t on par with their previous releases. That is a bad thing.  Overall, there was enough this year to like and with enough time, maybe even love.  As always, I’d love to hear what you guys liked for the year.  I don’t get a chance to listen to everything. Feed me suggestions…Or feed me cheeseburgers.

Of what I heard, these are my lists…

Top 25 Albums:

  1. Future Islands – Singles
  2. Mac DeMarco – Salad Days
  3. Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels 2
  4. Spoon – They Want My Soul
  5. clipping – CLPPNG
  6. Phantogram – Voices
  7. Interpol – El Pintor
  8. Broken Bells – After the Disco
  9. The War on Drugs – Lost In A Dream
  10. The Both – The Both
  11. Wild Beasts – Present Tense
  12. Sun Kil Moon – Benji
  13. Netherfriends – P3ace
  14. The New Pornographers – Brill Bruisers
  15. Open Mike Eagle – Dark Comedy
  16. RATKING – So It Goes
  17. The Roots – …and then you shoot your cousin
  18. PRyhme – PRyhme
  19. Busdriver – Perfect Hair
  20. Jenny Lewis – The Voyager
  21. Bear Hands – Distraction
  22. Strand of Oaks – Heal
  23. Mick Jenkins – The Water[s]
  24. Milo – A Toothpaste Suburb
  25. J. Cole – 2014 Forest Hills Drive

Future Islands

Future Islands – Singles  

The #1 album of the year comes from the Baltimore-based Future Islands.  This is an album I listened to on repeat for about 4 months straight.  If you look at the Top 75 songs below, there are several songs off of Singles.  If you look at the Best Live Performances below, you will see that they make up 3 videos.  They dominated my year, musically. Katie dominated my year, romantically.

This album is well written, clever, and catchy throughout. Samuel T. Herring has become a star because of his outlandish performances and stage presence but what made me stay with this band was the song-writing and their ability to craft a great album.  It is a collection of songs that don’t get old.  Five or six different songs have been my favorite at different times of the year.  After I heard Singles I went back and listened to about 11 years of this band it has truly been a treat. They have been making great stuff like this for 11 years.  Please take my word and go listen to them.  You will not be disappointed…and if you are, I think this is where our paths separate.

Top 75 Songs:

1. Future Islands – “Season’s (Waiting On You)”

2. Future Islands – “Back in the Tall Grass”

3. clipping – “Taking Off”

4. Spoon – “Inside Out”

5. Future Islands – “Doves”

6. The War On Drugs – “Red Eyes”

7. Future Islands – “Fall From Grace”

8. Mac Demarco – “Treat Her Better”

9. Big K.R.I.T. – “Mt. Olympus”

10. Phantogram – “Black Out Days”

11. Sun Kil Moon – “Ben’s My Friend”

12. Phantogram – “Fall In Love”

13. Run the Jewels – “Jeopardy”

14. Wild Beasts – “Wanderlust”

15. Mac Demarco – “Chamber Of Reflection”

16. Interpol – “All The Rage Back Home”

17. Netherfriends – “Joey Vision”

18. Kendrick Lamar – “i”

19. Mick Jones – “Jazz”

20. The Both – “Milwaukee”

21. Wild Beasts – “A Simple Beautiful Truth”

22. The Roots ft. Patty Crash – “Never”

23. The New Pornographers – “War on the East Coast”

24. clipping – “Work Work”

25. Run the Jewels ft. Zack De La Rocha – “Close Your Eyes (And Count to F@#K)”

26. The Both – “The Hummingbird”

27. RATKING ft. King Krule – “So Sick Stories”

28. The Roots – “When The People Cheer”

29. Interpol – “Twice As Hard”

30. Run the Jewels – “Oh My Darling (Don’t Cry)”

31. Flying Lotus ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Never Catch Me”

32. RATKING – “Canal”

33. Vacationer – “Paradise Waiting”

34. The New Pornographers – “Brill Bruisers”

35. Jenny Lewis – “Just One of the Guys”

36. Andrew Jackson Jihad – “Do, Re, and Me”

37. Sylvan Esso – “Hey Mami”

38. Stand of Oaks – “Same Emotions”

39. Death Vessel – “Ejecta”

40. Spoon – “Do You”

41. clipping – “Inside Out”

42. Open Mike Eagle ft. Hannibal Buress – “Doug Stamper”

43. Schoolboy Q ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Collard Greens”

44. Vacationer – “Glimpse”

45. J. Cole – “G.O.M.D.”

46. clipping – “Story 2”

47. The War On Drugs – “Under the Pressure”

48. Mick Jones – “Water”

49. alt-j – “Left Hand Free”

50. Broken Bells – “Leave It Alone”

51. Andrew Jackson Jihad – “Temple Grandin”

52. St. Vincent – “Birth in Reverse”

53. tUnE yArDS – “Water Fountain”

54. J. Cole – “No Role Modelz”

55. Real Estate – “Had to Hear”

56. Milo ft. Busdriver – “Argyle Sox (Hellfyre 5ever)”

57. Bear Hands – “Giants”

58. Bear Hands – “Bad Friend”

59. Busdriver ft. Aesop Rock and Danny Brown – “Ego Death”

60. Jenny Lewis – “Head Underwater”

61. Rustie ft. Danny Brown – “Attak”

62. Spoon – “Knock Knock Knock”

63. PRhyme(DJ Premier + Royce da 5’9) – “Courtesy”

64. Netherfriends – “Beautiful Women”

65. Mac DeMarco – “Goodbye Weekend”

66. Isiah Rashad ft. Jay Rock & Schoolboy Q – “ Shot You Down”

67. Sun Kil Moon – “Richard Ramirez Died Today of Natural Causes”

68. Vic Mensa – “Down On My Luck”

69. Vince Staples – “Blue Suede”

70. PRhyme(DJ Premier + Royce da 5’9) ft. Common – “Wishin’”

71. Lykke Li – “No Rest For The Wicked”

72. Sia – “Chandelier”

73. Alvvays – “Next Of Kin”

74. Milo – “Salladhor Saan, Smuggler”

75. Broken Bells – “The Angel and The Fool”

Most Watched Live Performance Videos:

Spoon – KEXP Full Performance

Open Mike Eagle – KEXP Full Performance

The Both on NPR Tiny Desk Concert

Future Islands performing “Seasons (Waiting on You)” on David Letterman

Future Islands – KEXP Full Performance

Future Islands – Pitchfork Paris (Full Performance)

Daniel Ratcliff doing “Alphabet Aerobics” on Jimmy Fallon (20 year old me tried to do this so many times…it’s hard)

Worst Live Performance Videos:

Iggy Azalea on SNL but, I couldn’t find that one so here is another cringe-worthy performance.  Be ready to not be able to look away.

Guilty Pleasure Songs (Songs that I turned my notifications off for and listened to on my own or really liked that I felt weird about liking):

Paramore – “Ain’t it Fun”

Taylor Swift – “Shake it Off” …and if I’m honest, all of the rest of 1989


O.T. Genasis – “COCO”

Albums that didn’t come out in 2014 but I listened to a lot:

Flake Music – When You Land Here, It’s Time To Return (1997)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – The Speed of Things (2013)

Rilo Kiley – Under the Blacklight (2007)

Future Islands – On the Water (2011)

Future Islands – In Evening Air (2010)

Biggest Pleasant Surprises: Artists I never heard of that were a nice surprise.

Future Islands – Singles

clipping – CLPPNG

RATKING – So It Goes

Sun Kil Moon – Benji

Biggest Disappoints: Albums I was looking forward to that didn’t live up to my expectations.

The Roots – …and then you shoot your cousin

Wu-Tang Clan – A Better Tomorrow

alt-J – This Is All Yours

Overrated Albums: Albums I didn’t think deserved all the hype given

St. Vincent – St. Vincent

How To Dress Well – “What Is This Heart?”

FKA Twigs – LP1

Isaiah Rashad – Cilvia Demo

 Underrated/Overlooked Albums: Albums critics/people did not give enough love to

The Both – The Both

Phantogram – Voices

PRhyme – PRhyme

Albums to look forward to in 2015 with fingers crossed:

The Decemberists – What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World (1/20)

Belle and Sebastian – Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance (1/20)

Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear (2/10)

Modest Mouse – Strangers To Ourselves (3/3)

Action Bronson – Mr. Wonderful (TBA)

Death Cab for Cutie – TBA

Kendrick Lamar – TBA

Death Cab For Cutie – TBA

The Libertines – TBA

Dr. Dre.-Detox (Blah)

Previous End of Year Lists





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