Monday, December 22, 2014

Favorite Albums of 2014

This year has been simply amazing for music. There was so much cool stuff that came out and so much cool stuff I found. I briefly considered reworking the format I normally use but decided against it. Just know that it was really hard to narrow it down to five. Hard. I even considered making one of the spots a tie. There are so many albums I feel like should be here… Amaranthe, Icon For Hire, Tom Petty… oh gosh, I’d better stop. I will never be able to play the whole “which albums would you need on a desert island” game. As always, my picks don’t necessarily include stuff that came out this year – it’s just stuff I discovered this year. Anyway, without further ado…

My Favorite Albums of 2014

Haken, The Mountain – There were two prog-rock albums that pretty much dominated the first few months of the year: Haken’s The Mountain and Maschine’s Rubidium. Both of them are just fantastic albums from start to finish. The only reason why Haken is here and not Maschine is because I flipped a coin. Literally. That’s the cold, clinical kind of analysis you can expect from me!

Xandria, Neverworld’s End – In my original review I called Xandria “Loreena McKennitt metal.” I still stand by that. This year I got into a lot of cool symphonic metal bands like Within Temptation and Epica. Their albums were great but Neverworld’s End was the one I went back to the most. I think it’s that Celtic flair. Xandria’s new album, Sacrificium, is good too but Neverworld’s End is better.

Tess Wiley, Little Secrets – This actually came out two years ago so I’m just hopping on this train. Oh my word, this is such a good record. I wish that radio stations would play more pop music like this instead of some of the insipid garbage they play now. It’s simple, catchy, fun, and most of all, genuine.

Weezer, Everything Will Be Alright In The End – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: welcome back, guys. Everything is exactly what we need to hear. It’s one of the few times where a band’s “we’re going back to our roots” claim is actually true. This album was actually written by the guys who wrote Blue and Pinkerton. It’s not perfect but I can say, without hesitation, that it is the best album since Pinkerton.

Steve Taylor and the Perfect Foil, Goliath – I’ve already reviewed this one so I won’t say too much about it here. Actually, no I’m going to talk about it more. It’s so good, guys. I’ve been listening to it for weeks and I’m still not done. I just hope and pray they make more!

Honorable Mentions

Knifeworld, The Unraveling

Devin Townsend Project, Z2

Bigelf, Into the Maelstrom

Dissapointments of 2014

None! – That’s right! With everything I listened too this year I did not encounter a single album that I could describe as a “disappointment.” How awesome is that? Years like this are rare as latinum and I will always treasure 2014’s music offerings!

Best Reissue of 2014

Daniel Amos, Doppelganger – We had some pretty good classic Christian metal reissues from Roxx with Deliverance and Vengeance Rising. However, the Daniel Amos reissue really took the cake. It’s got a great remaster, great packaging, great liner notes, an extra disc packed full of demos and such. The original was long out of print and impossible to find for a reasonable amount of money so this edition is a blessing.

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