My Favorite Albums of 2014

It was an odd year for ‘album listening’ for me, but as always a group of albums stood out as ones I went back to again and again. As always, these are what I consider my favorite albums released in 2014–not necessarily the ‘best’ albums of the year, whatever that means.

Lee Fields & The Expressions Emma Jean: Great music transports the listener to another place; these tunes take you on a retro blast from start to finish. There’s not a modern sound that can touch Lee Fields, nor should there be.

Sturgill SimpsonMetamodern Sounds in Country Music: Truth in packaging; or the only reason country music didn’t totally suck this year.

Alt-J, This is all Yours: clubby anthems that don’t club you over the head.

Ed Sheeran, X: the rare occasion when my preteen and I agree on what’s a great album.

Leonard Cohen, Popular Problems: 80 years old and still as lyrically and stylistically agile as ever.

Matthew ShippI’ve Been to Many Places: And he takes us along with him to most of them here with just ten fingers and a piano.

EagullsEagulls: post-industrial age rock that soars, swoops, and scavenges the best of its predecessors.

Bob Mould Beauty & Ruin: Still abrasively sweet after all these years.

Hiss Golden Messenger Lateness of Dancers: A comfortably heartworn slice of heartland Americana.

Chromeo White Women: disco-funky-sexy-fun-lunacy.


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