Happy New Year from Cool Music Central! 2015 is going to bring changes for this blog as we enter our eighth year on Blogger and I feel that a renewal is long overdue. More details on this subject coming soon...
For our first post of the New Year though, we are focusing on the best music that 2014 had to offer: the 30 albums we've enjoyed the most over the past 12 months, a carefully selected shortlist of excellent works chosen from a plethora of fine propositions we have had last year, most of which you can check out by going through our 2014 New Releases posts.
The top of our 2014 album list rightfully belongs to Swans and the thirteenth chapter in a truly unique body of work that started three decades ago and continues to evolve, taking rock music to uncharted territories.
"To Be Kind" explores further the vast, creative universe of noise that Michael Gira’s crew entered with "The Seer" in 2012, but this time the balance between order and chaos, rhythm and noise, light and darkness is more effective than ever, creating an astonishing sonic experience that will richly reward those who dare to follow them on their journey.
The fourth, self-titled album by St. Vincent has undoubtedly taken Annie Clark’s music to the next level. Her sound is constantly progressing, absorbing new influences which she uses to shape her own unique style. Clarks's economic guitar playing never tries to steal the show, yet never seizes to offer subtle surprises and throw curve balls that catch you off-guard. The melodies are as strong as ever throughout the record while anxious synth-funk lines keep erupting here and there, keeping you on your toes. Best album cover of the year as well!
"Manipulator", the seventh solo effort in Ty Segall’s impressively prolific career, is his best one yet. Segall really took his time in making this one (14 months for an album is an unusually long period for someone with his work ethic) and the end result is truly exceptional: 17 tracks of non-stop garage rock brilliance, not encountered since the heyday of The White Stripes a decade ago. The timeless quality of "Manipulator" already gives to this record the aura of a 21st century rock classic, the crowning achievement so far in Ty Segall’s rapidly increasing body of work.
Here’s the complete list of our Top 30 Albums of the Year:
Top 30 Albums of 2014
1. To be kind - SWANS
2. St. Vincent - ST. VINCENT
3. Manipulator - TY SEGALL
4. Nikki nack - TUNE-YARDS
5. Warpaint - WARPAINT
6. Sun structures - TEMPLES
7. They want my soul - SPOON
8. Do to the beast - THE AFGHAN WHIGS
9. Sunbathing animal - PARQUET COURTS
10. Rips - EX HEX
11. Too true - DUM DUM GIRLS
12. The best day - THURSTON MOORE
13. Benji - SUN KIL MOON
14. Commune - GOAT
15. Divide and exit - SLEAFORD MODS
16. Mess - LIARS
17. Dude incredible - SHELLAC
18. With light and with love - WOODS
19. Brill bruisers - THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS
20. Lazaretto - JACK WHITE
21. Are we there - SHARON VAN ETTEN
22. Lost in the dream - THE WAR ON DRUGS
23. Under color of official right - PROTOMARTYR
24. Here and nowhere else - CLOUD NOTHINGS
25. Elpintor - INTERPOL
26. Phantom radio - MARK LANEGAN BAND
27. Burn your fire for no witness - ANGEL OLSEN
28. Atlas - REAL ESTATE
29. Seeds - TV ON THE RADIO
30. Run The Jewels 2 - RUN THE JEWELS
Click here for the second part of our Albums of the Year list, from number 31 to 60.
You can also check out our Top 50 Singles of 2014 here and stream all of them here.
Listen to our Albums of the Year playlist on Spotify: