Well darn it. Well here I am in December 2015 drafting up my ’15 list, go to check back what I wrote up last year, and find this sitting in my drafts!
I’m so good at blogging.
Here is what I had written up just about exactly a year ago:
20 favorite albums of 2014! Woohoo!
20. Future Islands– Singles
19. Ryan Adams– S/T
18. Real Estate– Atlas
17. How to Dress Well– What is This Heart?
16. The Antlers– The Familiars
15. TV on the Radio– Seeds
14. Andy Stott– Faith in Strangers
13. Tobacco– Ultima II Massage
12. Aphex Twin– Syro
11. Parquet Courts/Parkey Quartz– Sunbathing Animal/Content Nausea. Both
10. Run the Jewels -RTJ2. F yes, that is all.
9. Tweedy– Sukierae. Ignore the easy jokes about this album being, very literally, dad rock, and let’s bask in this beautiful, oddly overlooked, collection of classic Jeff Tweedy songs. Low Key, Slow Love, I’ll Sing It, among others, would all fit seamlessly in a top tier Wilco release.
8. Liars– Mess. An interestingly paced album, with huge pummelling zombie techno up front tempered by downbeat, dread soaked electro soundscapes on the back half. Is there a more menacing song this year than “Pro Anti Anti”?
7. Beck– Morning Phase. Came as close as could be reasonably hoped in living up to the hype as the “Sea Change part II” billing. Soundtracked many weekend mornings this year.
6. Sun Kil Moon– Benji. Depressingly morbid, uncomfortably personal, groggily paced, this one reaches new levels of sad. As far as I can recall, there is a death in literally every song. Not a recommended listen if you are enjoying, or hope to enjoy, your day.
5. Caribou– Our Love. The spiritual opposite of Sun Kil Moon, this one is lighter, brighter, and dancier than anything Caribou has done before.
4. Spoon– They Want My Soul. I honestly didn’t think they had this album in them at this point in their career, but here it is- Spoon’s best album.
3. Lykke Li– I never Learn. Go Lykke (whoever you are).
2. War on Drugs– Lost in The Dream. An improvement by every measure on what came before, WOD stepped it up big time on this album. A handful of truly epic, Springsteen- scope anthemic hooks included here.
1. Ty Segall– Manipulator. Given his prolific, varied output over the past 5 years, it’s hardly a surprise a Ty Segall double album in 2014 smokes starts to finish. Manipulator completely realizes the potential of the format, and is a relentless, glorious, enduring monument built for all things rock. Any time I spend typing this and you spend reading this is time not spent listening to Ty Segall, so lets go fix that.