Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

The 50 best albums of 2014

The 50 best albums of 2014. Yes, includes album just released last week.

Mon, Dec 22, 2014, 09:39

   

There’s a reason why I’m glad I was tardy about doing this list and it’s sitting at number two. End of year lists (by the way, one of my favourite lists is here) are a great way to catch up on stuff which you’ve overlooked or forgotten. But the surprise arrival of D’Angelo’s “Black Messiah” last week and its absence from most lists serves to remind you that these Best Ofs are usually done and dusted by the end of November. And yes, I’m cheating because I contributed a slightly different Top 10 a few weeks ago myself when it came time to compile The Ticket’s Best of 2014 lists. Let’s hope Kendrick Lamar doesn’t go ho-ho-ho and lob his new album out this week.

Here, then, are the 50 best albums of 2014, complete with links to album reviews and interviews where available. There was a few days last week when I wondered if “Black Messiah” would actually top the chart. It’s an album which brings you back to play it again time after time because there’s so much within to fascinate you.

And then “A Countryman’s Christmas” arrived from the wild, wild west. Compiled every year by music booker and hurling fan Nero, it’s a fine selection of the music which hit home during the last 12 months as he watched his beloved Dublin and feckin’ Galway hurlers fall apart yet again. Between tracks from Dej Loaf, Shriekback, Terri, DBFC and Ensemble Eriu , The Gloaming’s “The Sailor’s Bonnet” came peeling from the speakers and you were smitten all over again by the sheer beauty and power of that combo at full pelt. They’ll winter well in Feakle, Dublin, Chicago, Cúil Aodha and New York in the back of their work in 2014. Tomorrow, it’s the 50 best tracks of 2014.

(1) The Gloaming “The Gloaming” (Real World)

Review of the band’s triumphant show at Dublin’s NCH in January and interview with the band conducted ahead of their show at the Kilkenny Arts Festival

(2) D’Angelo “Black Messiah (RCA)

Album review

(3) Shabazz Palaces “Lese Majesty” (Sub Pop)

Review, interview

(4) Odesza “In Return” (Counter)

Review

(5) Damon Albarn “Everyday Robots” (Parlophone)

Interview

(6) Neneh Cherry “Blank Project” (Smalltown Supersound)

Review, interview

(7) Run the Jewels “RTJ2” (Mass Appeal)

Review, interview

(8) Call Super “Suzi Ecto” (Houndstooth)

(9) Caoimhín O Raghallaigh/Dan Trueman “Laghdu” (Self release)

Interview

(10) Godknows + MynameisjOhn “Rusangano Family” (Self release)

Review, interview

(11) FKA Twigs “LP1″ (XL)

Review

(12) The War on Drugs “Lost in the Dream” (Secretly Canadian)

(13) Hurray for the Riff Raff “Small Town Heroes” (ATO)

(14) Arca “Xen” (Mute)

Review

(15) Beck “Morning Phase” (Capitol)

(16) Caribou “Our Love” (City Slang)

Interview

(17) Perfume Genius “Too Bright” (Matador)

(18) Valentin Stip “Sigh” (Other People)

(19) Francis Harris “Minutes of Sleep” (Scissor & Thread)

Review

(20) Moire “Shelter” (Werkdiscs)

Review

(21) Chet Faker “Built On Glass” (Future Classic)

Review

(22) Clipping “Clppng” (Sub Pop)

Review

(23) Linda Perhacs “The Soul Of All Natural Things” (Asthmatic Kitty)

Review

(24) Lucius “Wildewoman” (PIAS)

Review

(25) Mirel Wagner “When the Cellar Children See the Light of Day” (Sub Pop)

(26) Jungle “Jungle” (XL)

Review, interview

(27) Lykke Li “I Never Learn” (Atlantic)

Review, interview

(28) Sinkane “Mean Love” (City Slang)

Review

(29) Future Islands “Singles” (4AD)

Review, interview

(30) Caoimhín O Raghallaigh “Music For An Elliptical Orbit” (Diatribe)

Interview

(31) Sylvan Esso “Sylvan Esso” (Partisan)

Review

(32) Dorian Concept “Joined Ends” (Ninja Tune)

Review

(33) St Paul & The Broken Bones “Half the City” (Single Lock)

Review

(34) Toumani Diabaté & Sidiki Diabaté “Toumani & Sidiki” (Nonesuch)

(35) Leonard Cohen “Popular Problems” (Columbia)

(36) St Vincent “St Vincent” (Republic)

Interview

(37) Kelis “Food” (Ninja Tune)

Review, interview

(38) Jessie Ware “Tough Love” (PMR/Universal/Island)

Review, interview

(39) Flying Lotus “You’re Dead” (Warp)

Review

(40) Perfect Pussy “Say Yes to Love” (Captured Tracks)

(41) Little Dragon “Nabuma Rubberband” (Because)

Review

(42) Jennifer Evans “Works From the Dip & Foul” (Delphi)

Interview

(43) Lethal Dialect “1988″ (Self release)

Review, interview

(44) GOAT “Commune” (Sub Pop)

(45) Azealia Banks “Broke With Expensive Taste” (Prospect Park)

Review

(46) Tune-Yards “Nikki Nack” (4AD)

Interview

(47) Daithi “In Flight” (Sony)

Review, interview

(48) Dan Bodan “Soft” (DFA)

Review

(49) Fatima “Yellow Memories” (Eglo)

Review

(50) Hundred Waters “The Moon Rang Like A Bell” (OWSLA)