The Year in Review: The 50 Best Albums of 2014

Sia, Mary J. Blige and Beck made the list. Who else?

ByAllan Raible
December 22, 2014, 12:10 PM
PHOTO: Sia is pictured in New York City on June 4, 2014, Mary J. Blige is seen in Los Angeles, Calif. on Nov. 23, 2014 and "Weird Al" Yankovic attends a party in Los Angeles, Calif. on Dec. 4, 2014.
Sia is pictured in New York City on June 4, 2014, Mary J. Blige is seen in Los Angeles, Calif. on Nov. 23, 2014 and "Weird Al" Yankovic attends a party in Los Angeles, Calif. on Dec. 4, 2014.
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— -- As 2014 comes to a close, it's time to take stock in the year. There are several trends that come to light when looking at the best albums of the year. A new form of synth-pop that began bubbling under in 2012 and 2013 has now fully taken over while rock and R&B seem to be disappointingly fading from the mainstream. It’s hard to turn on Top 40 radio and find a song playing that purely adheres to any genre.

This list was carefully culled and there were plenty of surprises this year. There were also many albums I wanted to put on this list, but could not fit. I hope this gives you a well-balanced look at 2014’s musical offerings. This list promises to have plenty of records you know, plus some you don’t but should. This list also aims to urge you to think outside the box. Many years there are great records that don’t receive the coverage they deserve. Hopefully this will introduce you to some great albums.

50. BEVERLY - “Careers” Beverly is a noise-rock and power-pop duo featuring Frankie Rose, who spent time in the Dum Dum Girls, Vivian Girls and the Crystal Stilts. Rose’s bandmate is Drew Citron and together the two make appealing music that should please fans of the previously mentioned bands. Standout “Honey Do” sounds like an answer to Best Coast’s first album “Crazy For You,” while closer “Black And Grey” is a mighty ballad with a minimalist backdrop. This is classic music for summer excursions, thick with harmonies and coated with fuzz. The garage rock, shoegaze and dream-pop influences are evident and yet the songwriting recalls an earlier time. All of these elements make “Careers” a truly inspiring collection.

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