Darian Bolin’s Top 10 of 2014: Albums

top10albums2014 was an interesting  year for music. Weezer and Weird Al made grand comebacks, Taylor Swift became the only platinum-selling album of the year, classic albums like Funeral by Arcade Fire and Weezer’s Blue Album turned ten years old and twenty years old, respectively, and The Wrens announced that they finally finished their 12-years-in-the-making 4th album. To commemorate this interesting year, here is a list of the top 10 albums of 2014.

**Please note that this list is all opinion, and, as such, is subjective**

10. Turn Blue – The Black Keys

Looser and more intimate than their previous album, this album manages to be both a slight retool, production-wise, of El Camino while also feeling more refined.

CHECK OUT: “Turn Blue”

9. Lazaretto – Jack White

While it fails to reach the heights of his work  with The White Stripes, Lazaretto shows that Jack White is not afraid to experiment with many different genres.

CHECK OUT: “Lazaretto”

8. Mandatory Fun – “Weird Al” Yankovic

Containing some of Yankovic’s most deeply satirical and well-timed song parodies in a long while, combined with deftly humorous style parodies and originals, Mandatory Fun is mandatory listening.

CHECK OUT: “Word Crimes”

7. La Gárgola – Chevelle

Chevelle takes their familiar sound, steps it up with more experimentation than ever seen on a Chevelle album, and puts it to even more of vocalist Pete Loeffler’s abstract and dark lyrics to form one of the best albums from their seven-album discography.

CHECK OUT: “One Ocean”

6. They Want My Soul – Spoon

They Want My Soul instantly grabs you, and then takes you along on a journey through the Beatles-esque “Inside Out,” the immensely catchy “Do You” and “They Want My Soul” before leaving you wanting more at the end of the album’s relatively short length.

CHECK OUT: “Inside Out”

5. 1989 – Taylor Swift

The only album of 2014 to go platinum (one million copies sold), 1989 is Taylor Swift making a full-on pop album, which boasts some complex and hypnotic synth instrumentation, even if the lyrics are still stuck in the themes of love all too prevalent in every other Taylor Swift album.

CHECK OUT: “Blank Space”

4. Everything Will Be Alright In The End – Weezer

It took almost ten years, but Weezer has finally released an album that can even come close to the heights of Blue Album and Pinkerton. The crunchy riffs, self-reflexive and apologetic lyrics, and the varied song structures show that Weezer still has it in them to make good music, and that maybe, just maybe, everything will be alright in the end.

CHECK OUT: “Back to the Shack”

3. Supermodel – Foster the People

Supermodel is not Torches. “Best Friend” is not “Pumped Up Kicks.” This album strives for something different, going a darker, more introspective route while also being commonly conceptual, but it does this will still maintaining the carefree accessibility and catchy hooks of the other Foster the People album. This is not Torches. This is far better.

CHECK OUT: “Pseudologia Fantastica”

2. St. Vincent – St. Vincent

Arguably the biggest critical darling of 2014, St. Vincent’s self-titled fourth album shows that she definitely learned a thing or two from her brass-heavy collaboration with David Byrne, Love This Giant. This album never feels content to just be. It never stops without giving you something fresh and new, something unexpected. And it does so in the biggest way possible.

CHECK OUT: “Digital Witness”

1. Lights Out – Ingrid Michaelson

Collaborative, infectious, down-to-earth, and optimistic, Lights Out manages to skirt swiftly through different emotions while constantly leaving you guessing what will happen next. Its also the perfect album of summer, with songs like “Afterlife” and “Time Machine” holding upbeat passion and promise. While most albums are fuel for the mind, this album is fuel for the heart.

CHECK OUT: “Handsome Hands”