Anyone who has ever looked at a list of best albums, songs, pizza or whatever, knows that there will never be an agreement. Music is subjective and heavy influenced by ones environment and friends. We will be listing not only MojoLists Best Albums of 2014, but a few others from music lovers around the country. Look for additional lists throughout the month of December.
Great albums are more than a radio hit, they are a coherent collection of songs that share a vision or forward a story. It is a single work of art created from many pieces. The art of the album is lost on many of today’s recording artists, especially within the pop genre but that isn’t to say that is something new, just perhaps more prevalent. For as long as recorded music had a long play format, there have been albums with untouched B sides and others that compelled the listener to play the complete work, both sides.
These albums stand out as the very best of what all of us here at MojoLists heard this year, the albums that made us stop and pay attention, the albums that we will still be listening too for years to come. It was no easy decision either, 2014 has been one of the best years for music releases in a long time.
- Spanish Gold – South of Nowhere
To our ears, everything that Adrian Quesada touches turns to gold. Put him in a room with the likes of former Hacienda singer Dante Schwebel, My Morning Jacket drummer Patrick Hallahan and you have the perfect recipe for something new and outstanding.
Not only is this album full of infectious earworms, it is solid from beginning to end, one long piece that stirs bruising blues and garage rock with Adrian’s own brand of psychedelic magic. It is like nothing else we have heard while being everything good we have ever heard. Kick back and let South of Nowhere wash over you again and again.
- St. Paul and The Broken Bones – Half The City
You can hear an unrestrained passion inflected in lead singer, Paul Janeway’s voice but you really can’t fully appreciate its power until you see him in action. The story in the music takes over Paul’s body as if he is about to sing in tongues, and with one of the tightest bands we have ever heard behind him, he creates magic.
Half The City is a complete work of soul perfection that keeps calling you back. In a period where the heart of soul music is seeing a strong revival, St. Paul and The Broken Bones came out of nowhere and blew the roof off our expectations.
- The Black Keys – Turn Blue
There are people, a lot of people, who need bands to make the same album over and over again. Don’t believe me? Kiss and AC\DC are just two of the bands that have been making the exact same album for decades and making a fortune doing it. A loud outcry of Black Keys fans voiced their displeasure that the band would dare to mature, grow or forward their sound. These musical troglodytes wish to remain in the past but we think Turn Blue is fantastic.
Singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney were joined by Brian Burton, a.k.a. Danger Mouse as a co-producer this time around. The combination was magical and allowed The Black Keys to maintain their punk blues foundation while expanding beyond the confines of their garage sound. True Blue is as good as anything the Keys have done and show they are not a simple one sound band.
- Temples – Sun Structures
It doesn’t take more than 3 seconds to know you love this album, the psychedelic guitar and retro feel take you back to the best of the 60s and 70s. Temple is a four piece English band that keeps their music planted firmly in the best parts of their early influences, like the Beatles and Zombies. They feel like your favorite jeans, like they have just always been there and you could swear several of Sun Structures songs resided on an 8-Track in your first car.
- Bruce Springsteen – High Hopes
Springsteen cranks out albums in his sleep and we don’t mean that in a bad way, he has always put out worthy music. High Hopes somehow leaps out in a way Bruce hasn’t managed in a long time. It is clearly the best work he has done in decades. There was no easy consensus on where this album should be but it was clearly among the very best albums of the year.
In no particular order are the albums that round out MojoLists top 10 Albums of 2014.
- Gary Clark Jr. – Gary Clark Jr. Live
- Lenny Kravitz – Strut
- Soul Track Mind – Unbreakable
- Tom Petty – Hypnotic Eye
- Beck – Morning Phase
Watch for more MojoLists and Friends Best of 2014 Lists!