Wednesday, 4 June 2014

10 Best Albums of 2014 So Far

As always when I do these lists I reiterate it's merely my personal opinion. Below are the Top 10 albums in my view since the start of the year, I've cheated a little bit with Childish Gambino's Because The Internet which was released on the 10th of December at the end of last year but think it definitely deserves a shout out. It's struck me since the start of the year that the quality of albums is far greater than last year and I think I would have struggled to get 10 for the whole 12 months of 2013. There's also a lot more to come in the second half of the year that should be of interest, starting with Jack White's Lazaretto which is out next week, a new Basement Jaxx album in August and who knows what else. Anyway, without further ado, and in order......

1) Beck - Morning Phase

In one sentence: Ethereal, melancholic and completely beautiful, history may regard it as his masterpiece.

Best tracks: Morning, Blue Moon, Wave, Turn Away (and all of the other ones)

2) Todd Terje - It's Album Time

In one sentence: An album by a man who understands pop, electronica, synths, 80's music, and effortlessly puts them together until, by the end, you here a loud CLICK! in your brain, not to mention Bryan Ferry's cover of 'Johnny & Mary'

Best tracks: Intro, Strandbar, Delorean Dynamite, Inspector Norse

3) Pharrell - G I R L

In one sentence: Pure, unadulterated pop, a world where Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, the Bee Gee's and Prince meet and inject themselves into your inner groove.

Best tracks: Marilyn Monroe, Hunter, Happy, Gust of Wind.

4) Tycho - Awake

In one sentence: An album to lose yourself in, exhilarating and wonderful.

Best tracks: Awake, Montana, L, Spectre

5) Mac DeMarco - Salad Days

In one sentence: A rare anti-hero, and the music reflects that, a complete album but no post is complete without a link to this beauty that got me hooked on him, and I can't even remember how I came across it, oh well!

Key tracks: Salad Days, Blue Boy, Goodbye Weekend, Passing Out Pieces (wow!)

6) Childish Gambino - Because The Internet

In one sentence: Stylish, contemporary rap with a hint of brilliance and a dark side

Best tracks: Life The Biggest Troll, Crawl, The Worst Guys, 3005.

7) The War On Drugs - Lost In The Dream

In one sentence: A welcome relief from the myriad of different sub-genres that are everywhere at the moment, and back to a few guys sitting around writing folk-rock.

Best tracks: Under The Pressure, Red Eyes, Suffering, Burning

8) Sharon Van Etten - Are We There

In one sentence: She's the real deal, this New Jersey girl has been a stand out and authentic songwriter over the last 6 years, and should probably be higher in this list

Best tracks: Afraid of Nothing, Our Love, Break Me, Everytime The Sun Comes Up 

9) Damon Albarn - Everyday Robots

In one sentence: Blur fans will be delighted after the damp squib that was 2012's Dr.Dee, back to basics at its best, as Damon deals with our detachment from life as a result of our obsession with smart phones and social media (I don't know what he could possibly mean?)

Best tracks: Everyday Robots, Mr. Tembo, Lonely Press Play, The History Of A Cheating Heart

10) East India Youth - Total Strife Forever

East India Youth, 'Glitter Recession'

In one sentence: He's only 23.

Best tracks: Glitter Recession, Total Strife Forever, Dripping Down, Heaven How Long

And that's a wrap, I would greatly appreciated other album recommendations in the comments section below or on Facebook.

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