Best Albums of 2014

My third annual list. This is mostly personal preference, but with an ear to recommend both popular and obscure (mostly alt-rock and electronic) albums to other music lovers. On this list, albums get either a 1 (best) or 2 (rest); within those two groups, most have equal ground. This may seem like a boring list with no explanations, but pick one of your favorite genres and zero in on just one album. Let loose and enjoy your SELF!


Top Six

  • Gary Clark, Jr. – Live (Blues; September)
  • Rosanne Cash – The River & the Thread (Americana; January)
  • Röyksopp – The Inevitable End (Electronic; November)
  • Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels 2 (Experimental hip hop; October)
  • The War on Drugs – Lost in the Dream (Folk rock; March)
  • Tycho – Awake (Ambient; March)

The Rest

  • Beck – Morning Phase (Alternative; February)
  • Flight Facilities – Down to Earth (Electronic; October)
  • Foo Fighters – Sonic Highways (Rock; November)
  • Geotic – Morning Shore (Eon Isle) (Ambient; July)
  • Hozier – Hozier (Pop soul; September)
  • Hundred Waters – The Moon Rang Like a Bell (Electronic; May)
  • Jason Vieaux – Play (Classical guitar; January)
  • Jenny Lewis – The Voyager (Indie rock; July)
  • John Fullbright – Songs (Alt-country rock; May)
  • Johnnyswim – Diamonds (Folk; April)
  • Keb’ Mo’ – BLUESsamericana (Blues; April)
  • Kiesza – Sound of a Woman (Pop/rock; October)
  • La Roux – Trouble in Paradise (Synth pop; July)
  • Lee Fields – Emma Jean (Soul; June)
  • Lily Allen – Sheezus (Pop; May)
  • Loscil – Sea Island (Ambient; November)
  • Mary J. Blige – The London Sessions (R&B; December)
  • Nicki Minaj – The Pinkprint (Hip hop; December)
  • Paolo Nutini – Caustic Love (Pop soul; April)
  • Ralph Zürmuhle – Reflections (New Age, piano; March)
  • Sam Smith – In the Lonely Hour (Pop soul; May)
  • Sia – 1000 Forms of Fear (Electronic; July)
  • Silvia Nakkach and David Darling – In Love and Longing (New Age; April)
  • Spiritual Rez – Apocalypse Whenever (Reggae; February)
  • St. Vincent – St. Vincent (Alternative; February)
  • Thom Yorke – Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes (Electronica; September)
  • Tinariwen – Emmaar (World, folk; February)
  • Todd Terje – It’s Album Time (House; April)
  • Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Hypnotic Eye (Blues rock; July)
  • tUnE-yArDs – Nikki Nack (Worldbeat; May)