2014 Albums

SUCKER

Album Reviews | Charli XCX – SUCKER (2014)

These days there sure aren’t many pure pop albums that really satisfy. The problem is, what differentiates a pop album from an album of popular music that is a little deeper and more sophisticat...

8.5 Great
Black Messiah

Album Reviews | D’Angelo and The Vanguard – Black Messiah (2014)

Thank God for Black Messiah, which swooped in out of the sky to nearly save one of the weakest years for music in recent memory. Arriving Beyoncé-style — out of the blue and after all of the cri...

9.5 Amazing
Anybody Wanna Buy a Heart?

Album Reviews | K. Michelle – Anybody Wanna Buy a Heart? (2014)

There is no way I would have discovered Anybody Wanna Buy a Heart? if I hadn’t created a list of every 2014 album AllMusic gave a 4.5-star review. Like, literally none. Thankfully though, I work...

8.5 Great
Monuments to an Elegy

Album Reviews | Smashing Pumpkins – Monuments to an Elegy (2014)

If there is one thing Billy Corgan has a penchant for above anything else, it’s scope. The monstrously huge, two-hour, two-CD 1995 epic Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness was the most public...

7 Good
Rock or Bust

Album Reviews | AC/DC – Rock or Bust (2014)

Arriving at the end of 2014 with plenty of fanfare — track two, “Play Ball,” was ubiquitous throughout the month of October, thanks to its appearance throughout TBS’ playoff ba...

7.5 Good
Seeds

Album Reviews | TV on the Radio – Seeds (2014)

TV on the Radio is one of the many indie rock darlings that rose to critical prominence in the 2000s decade that I still am getting acquainted with. I have loved the song “Wolf Like Me” fr...

9 Amazing
The Endless River

Album Reviews | Pink Floyd – The Endless River (2014)

I have listened to The Endless River a few times now, and I’m having trouble understanding why this album needed to be made. Clearly, money isn’t the motivation — Pink Floyd is one o...

4.5 Poor
Cadillactica

Album Reviews | Big K.R.I.T. – Cadillactica (2014)

Cadillactica is one of the best hip-hop albums of 2014. With more soul in the music and more bass in most of the production, Cadillactica still sounds like a modern rap record, but its feel skews olde...

8.5 Great
Sonic Highways

Album Reviews | Foo Fighters – Sonic Highways (2014)

Sonic Highways has turned out to be quite an ambitious project for the Foo Fighters and, particularly, for Dave Grohl. As a way of celebrating the band’s twentieth anniversary, he spent 2014 mak...

7 Good
Run the Jewels 2

Album Reviews | Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels 2 (2014)

Everyone needs to calm down about this album, which turned out to be one of the most acclaimed of 2014, with Pitchfork naming it the best album of the year. (Run the Jewels 2 also placed #8 on Rolling...

7 Good
Pain Killer

Album Reviews | Little Big Town – Pain Killer (2014)

I really have been finding a lot of country music to like lately, and Pain Killer by Little Big Town is just the latest example. After guesting on the best song (“Smokin’ and Drinkin'̶...

8.5 Great
American Middle Class

Album Reviews | Angaleena Presley – American Middle Class (2014)

I may not have the greatest ear for country music, but I have a pretty good ear for accents and regional dialects. One of my complaints about the Pistol Annies‘ excellent 2013 album Annie Up was...

8.5 Great
Playland

Album Reviews | Johnny Marr – Playland (2014)

After taking some 25 years to deliver his first proper solo album, Johnny Marr returns with a surprise sophomore set just over 18 months later. Whereas 2013’s The Messenger was a blast of nostal...

7.5 Good
Rips

Album Reviews | Ex Hex – Rips (2014)

Ex Hex is a trio fronted by Mary Timony, who has also been in Wild Flag, Autoclave, and Helium — all independent bands with little to no mainstream pull, although Wild Flag’s self-titled d...

7.5 Good
Standing in the Breach

Album Reviews | Jackson Browne – Standing in the Breach (2014)

I frowned immediately upon booting up Jackson Browne‘s latest LP (and first of studio material since 2008) Standing the Breach, since I thought I had heard the first track, “The Birds of S...

5 Average
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