Shryll W: Top Albums of 2014

Allentown, PA

I was tempted to use call and response throughout all of my album comments in honor of 2014 breakout rap artist and…[snickers]…master lyricist…[snickers]…Iggy Azalea (I-G-G-Y, put my name in bold), mainly to troll Dave for putting 1989 on the banned nominations list. He needed to be reminded that there are worse things in the world than Taylor Swift (right). Besides, I listened to the whole thing and if I can’t even get credit for it in Noise Narcs weighting, then tell me what I spent that 48:41 for (tell me what, tell me what). But then somehow, Taylor Swift and Alt-J ended up on the dropdown list despite being banned in nominations, thus making it easier for people to add it to their top ten lists. And I remembered that I was adding Tori Amos to my last-ever top ten list. So I decided not to call and respond in my comments a la I-G-G-Y, figuring that Dave has already suffered enough. (Like what)

top ten albums

10Tori Amos: Unrepentant Geraldines

Disclaimer: You know that awkward Tori Amos fangirl you knew in high school? Every high school had at least one back in the 90s. Well, I was that girl until almost a decade of questionable concept albums and floundering in general (Really, Tori? A Christmas album?) made me wonder if my fandom was just a phase I had outgrown. Unrepentant Geraldines and her 2011 classical concept album Night of Hunters have been two of Tori Amos’ best efforts in years. While I’ll readily admit that better albums could be put in this last spot, it would make me sad to not include it in this last top ten list.

09Prince: Art Official Age

Is it getting hot in here? Hey…when did my pants come off..?

08Damon Albarn: Everyday Robots

In Everyday Robots Damon Albarn seems to be wallowing in more of a moody funk than he normally does in his Blur or Gorillaz projects. The album may be too subdued for everyday listens, but I get in funks every now and again and appreciate having a soundtrack for them.

07Angel Olsen: Burn Your Fire for No Witness

At times, Angel Olsen is twangier than I tend to tolerate; at others, she’s hauntingly perfect.

Standout Track(s): Enemy

06Wild Beasts: Present Tense

Really, Pitchfork? Present Tense didn’t make the list, but Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift did? Shame on you.

05TV on the Radio: Seeds

A common complaint about TV on the Radio is that they lost their edge when they moved away from politics. Fair enough. However, Seeds, in its handling of loss and recovery, is a great tribute to the late Gerard Smith.

04Sharon van Etten: Are We There?

Though Are We There? didn’t blow me away like my top three albums did, this is probably my most-listened-to album of 2014.

03FKA Twigs: LP1

This is what a fantastic debut sounds like. Take notes, I-G-G-Y.

02D’Angelo and The Vanguard: Black Messiah

See the comments for Run the Jewels 2.

01Run the Jewels: Run the Jewels 2

It was a really tough call not putting Black Messiah at #1 because both albums are very good. Both are musically interesting, politically relevant and just so damn smart. Ultimately, it just came down to the fact that I’ve spent more time this year being in love with this album than D’Angelo’s.

honorable mentions

If I hadn’t insisted on adding Tori Amos to the list, St. Vincent would have probably made it (at a significantly higher spot) and Jack White would have had an outside chance to make it.

similarity to overall top ten: 44%, 5 matches

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