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GBITS Top Albums of 2014 December 19, 2014

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2014-300x168

This little website really is the gift that keeps on giving.  Though my last post was 366 days ago, it’s always just a click away, a digital document of the past five years of my favorite pastime.  Looking back at my short-lived attempt at music journalism, I make specific note of a major shift in preference:  from primarily guitar-based music to that of buttons and knobs.

Electronic music has overtaken my life (and the lives of some of those “fortunate” enough to be forced to listen with me).  Throughout this reeducation, however, it has become clear that crafting a coherent statement in album form is, for reasons unknown to me, more difficult for these artists.  Singles, remixes, and EPs seem to be more well-suited to these longer track lengths.  Or perhaps I just need more practice recognizing the subtle gestures that define a great electronic album (I’ll be quite happy to continue studying this).

That being said, I have tirelessly worked to critically evaluate as much music as personally possible to bring you the stand-outs, about half of which are from more traditional genres.  The others are from the vast pixelated plains of electronic music, but the percentage of electronic music albums here pales in comparison to the amount I actually listened to in 2014.

Changing gears – if anyone asks me what my favorite album in recent memory is, without hesitation I give them Lonerism by Tame Impala.  It stood head and shoulders above the pack in 2012 and, to be honest, no album has since eclipsed its every-song-is-great track listing.  I say this because this year’s nominees, while all great in their own regard, were not quite able to piece a full album’s worth of excellent songs together.  Some had 6, some had 8, none had 12.

However, the past year offered much in the way of outstanding full-lengths, from the return of a reclusive electronic genius to the best “beer commercial” Americana in decades.  So, after much consideration and 12 months of glorious listening, here are my favorite albums of the 2014.

Honorable Mentions:  Clark – Clark, Flying Lotus – You’re Dead, Real Estate – Atlas, Ricky Eat Acid – Three Love Songs, Brian Eno/Karl Hyde – High Life, Answer Code Request – Code, Tobacco – Ultima II Massage, I Break Horses – Chiaroscuro

Unknown20.  How To Dress Well – What Is This Heart?

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Unknown19.  Heterotic – Weird Drift

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Unknown18.  Aphex Twin – Syro

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Unknown17.  Lockah – Yahoo or the Highway

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Unknown16.  The Juan Maclean – In A Dream

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Unknown15.  Caribou – Our Love

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Unknown14.  Spoon – They Want My Soul

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13.  UnknownDownliners Sekt – Silent Ascent

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Unknown12.  Dark Sky – Imagin

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Unknown11.  Helado Negro – Double Youth

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Unknown10.  Leon Vynehall – Music For The Uninvited

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Unknown9.  School of Language – Old Fears

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Unknown8.  Swans – To Be Kind

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Unknown

7.  Beck – Morning Phase

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Unknown6.  Plastikman – EX

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Unknown5.  Hundred Waters – The Moon Rang Like a Bell

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Unknown4.  Mr. Twin Sister – Mr. Twin Sister

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Unknown3.  Wye Oak – Shriek

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Unknown2.  The War On Drugs – Lost in the Dream

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Unknown1.  Shabazz Palaces – Les Majesty

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Happy holidays!

J

The Top 20 Albums of 2011 – #10 – #1 December 17, 2011

Posted by greatbloginthesky in Recommendations.
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The Top 20 Albums of 2011 – #10-#1

Be sure to check out #20 – #11 here

#10 Bon IverBon Iver

A misty spring morning in Minnesota, WI

Sufjan Stevens and Kris Kristofferson jamming in a cirrus cloud

Kissing your loved ones goodbye

#9 RadioheadThe King Of Limbs

The battalion drummer, running to escape Death

Scavenging for rare flora in an English wood

In your arms – don’t hurt me

#8 ScubaDJ Kicks

An ominous night among the abandoned buildings of Bristol

The aurora borealis searching the Russian steppes for your soul

Stacks of red equalizers pulsating from the decks

#7 The FieldLooping State of Mind

Watching the pendulum swing with bleary eyes

Heading towards Berghain on the Autobahn

Electrobotic rhythm strip

#6 Shabazz PalacesBlack Up

Absinthe with The Abstract Poet

Lyrical open mic night in Soho

Clear some space out, so we can space out

#5 Mark McGuireA Young Person’s Guide To Mark McGuire

A scarf made of warm feedback

The oriental rug overlaid with a sea of pedals and cables

Intertwining columns of waveforms to translate emotion

(Hit play button under the green Hypem logo at top)  “Stranger Than Paradise”

#4 Real EstateDays

The remains of the weekend washed on the shore

Squinting in the sun on an 18-degree day

Passing the familiar rolling hills on the way home

#3 M83Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming.

Pining for the girl in school with the biggest hair and brightest Esprit sweater

When the greatest worry in life was finishing dinner before dark to catch one last bike ride

Just waiting, just waiting

(Hit play button near top) “Steve McQueen”

#2 DestroyerKaputt

Dorothy Hamill cuts and bell-bottoms

Lines with James Taylor

An eight-hour stint in the beanbag chair

(yes, this is the real video:)

#1 Fleet FoxesHelplessness Blues

Ivy overtaking the cold castle walls

Idyllic bard-song among a monastic meadow

If I had an orchard…

Be safe, friends

J