Category Archives: Best of 2014

#21: You+Me – Rose Ave.

It doesn’t take much to scour this site and generate the hypothesis that I’m a huge fan of Dallas Green. For those unfamiliar with this real birth name, that’s the man behind City and Colour. Prior to that, he was a guitarist and vocalist for the screamo band, Alexisonfire.

This year, he surprised everyone by collaborating with Pink on a duet album entitled Rose Ave. The name of the project is called You+Me. They claim that they were only going to write and record one song together, but apparently, they worked so well together, that they got through an album’s worth by the time they were finished.

If you are familiar with City and Colour’s music, this album has a lot more of the same. The only difference here is that Pink (who actually has a very good and fitting voice for this type of music) is layered throughout tastefully.

I know many critics will write this album off as too shallow or poppy. I understand that perspective, but to me, the charming melodies defeat the inherent simplicity in the songs. The truth is – these are fun love songs that are great to sing along to. I know my wife and I have a great time doing just that, that’s for sure.

You can find the album here.

#22: Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds in Country Music

For those that know me, you know I’m not very fond of country music. However, for the sake of the popular genre and for my own personal musical diversity, I still listen to anything that’s noteworthy that comes out. This year, there were only a few albums buzzing for critical acclaim. Sturgill Simpson‘s Metamodern Sounds in Country Music was at the top of that list.

Coming in at #22, Sturgill should be proud of what he’s accomplished here. He’s recorded an album that is true to the old-school versions of country music that the genre thrived upon back in the day. The lyrics are heavy, the music is solid, and the intention is pure.

No matter the genre, this album is a testament to quality songwriting. It wouldn’t be fair to any artists, if music critics were to discriminate against quality craftmanship strictly due to a genre bias.

Kudos, Sturgill! Keep up the great work!

You can buy the album here.

#23: The War on Drugs – Lost in the Dream

The War on Drugs may be hated by Sun Kil Moon, but not by yours truly. Unfortunately for SKM, one made the countdown this year and the other didn’t (SPOILER ALERT).

The truth is – Lost in the Dream is a fantastic album. It’s very Arcade Fire-esque. Some might call the music copycat, but it’s too pure to give that argument any time of day.

My favorite songs on the album are “Red Eyes” (embedded below) and “Under the Pressure.” The rest of the tunes don’t fall too far behind in terms of quality.

Check out this great band, and like me, look forward to where the beef with Sun Kil Moon goes from here.

You can buy the album here:

#24: Sylvan Esso – Sylvan Esso

After hearing the song “Coffee” (embedded below) earlier this year, Sylvan Esso became my most anticipated album of 2014. Perhaps it was because they were a new act that gained so much traction with the release of one simple song. I don’t know what it was exactly, but the song had a major impact on me.

The debut album is charming, eclectic, and truly one of a kind. I love their sound and can’t wait to see what they do next.

Additionally, I can’t wait to see the duo live. I’ve only heard great things so far.

You can buy the album here:

#25: Glass Animals – ZABA

Glass Animals is the first band signed by Adele’s manager. They are tribal and very eclectic.

I have yet to see them live, but I’ve enjoyed their debut album enough to put them in the #25 spot this year. That’s a testament to their sound since this year featured a ton of great music (as you will see later in the countdown).

I have embedded the video for their indie single “Gooey” below for your enjoyment.

You can purchase this album here.

25 Days of Music – 2014 Countdown Preview

It’s December 1st. It’s time to kick off yet another 25 Days of Music Top 25 Albums of the Year Countdown. This will launch the eighth consecutive year of the countdown on this blog.

This year will be the same as the previous ones. Every day in December, I will write about one album a day making my way down from 25 to 1. If you’re good at math, you might uncover that the best album of the year will be revealed on Christmas morning. I do that intentionally. It’s because it’s a gift to you.

I look forward to counting the albums down for everyone. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.