Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Best Albums of 2014

It is again the time of year when I show off my obsessive list-keeping (and Excel know-how) in the form of a compiled ranking from a variety of the year-end lists published at the end of each year. I've done this in each of the years that I've been running this blog (see 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013); I've described my methodology in the past and, at least for this year, that remains unchanged. So, let's get to it!

10.  Jenny Lewis - The Voyager: 22 points (3 top ten lists)
9.    Aphex Twin - Syro: 23.7 points (4 top ten lists)
8.    Caribou - Our Love: 25.9 points (5 top ten lists)
7.    Taylor Swift - 1989: 30.6 points (4 top ten lists; 1 number one spot)
6.    Sharon Van Etten - Are We There: 31.3 points (6 top ten lists)
5.    Angel Olsen - Burn Your Fire for No Witness: 34.9 points (4 top ten lists; 1 number one spot)
4.    FKA twigs - LP1: 39.1 points (7 top ten lists; 1 number one spot)
3.    St. Vincent - St. Vincent: 64.2 points (9 top ten lists; 1 number one spot)
2.    Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2: 70 points (8 top ten lists; 2 number one spots)
1.    The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream: 89.4 points (12 top ten lists; 5 number one spots)

There were a few surprises this year. While I saw The War on Drugs' album getting a lot of positive attention upon its release, it seemed like other records received more sustained attention through the year; FKA twigs, St. Vincent, and Run the Jewels, especially. Taylor Swift's inclusion also surprised me. While she's certainly an easy choice for mainstream album of the year, even mainstream publications tend to lean indie when the year of the end comes.

All in all, the albums I expected to see fall into the top ten did, a couple of surprises snuck in, and it was another great year in music. My spreadsheet for calculating this list can be downloaded here.

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