SPECIAL: Feed The Dog’s Top Albums of 2014

arianacropped

YES ARIANA AGAIN GET OVER IT

Wrapping up these top lists, here are the Spotify playlists again:

Top Albums
Top Songs
Top Ariana Grande Songs
What I Missed in 2013

& some final musings on 2014:

– I am so glad that twenty years post-O.D.B., the weirdos have finally taken over hip hop. Young Thug and Rae Sremmurd topped the hip hop charts. A$AP Ferg popped up on tracks from Ariana Grande and HAIM, then dropped a mixtape. I Love Makonnen became an overnight sensation, I’m hoping Rome Fortune is next. We even got some promising Lil Wayne verses. I expect this trend to continue and could not be more excited about it.

Anyone remember that summer Jay-Z and Beyonce showed up at a Grizzly Bear concert, and it was a really big deal? Then that was made an even bigger deal when they asked Jay-Z about it, and he basically said (and I’m paraphrasing), “We need indie rock to start inspiring hip hop artists to make better music.” For whatever reason, I thought that was a pretty big deal when Jay-Z said that, and it really spoke volumes of the quality of indie rock (amazing) and hip hop (terrible) that was coming out at the time. And I think it’s finally happened. Mainstream hip hop was terrible enough for a long time that it had to be saved by the innovators — and suddenly it feels like we’re in a new Golden Age of hip hop.

And beyond all the weirdos, we have DJ Mustard. I don’t think anyone has had the year DJ Mustard had in the history of time. On top of putting out his own impressive album, he produced YG’s and a good amount of Ty Dolla Sign’s and Kid Ink’s and had a track on just about every major release of the year. Most importantly, along with YG, he brought G-Funk back. I’m not even waiting for the third Dr. Dre album to drop anymore, I really don’t care, because there’s no way its going to be better than My Krazy Life, an album that completely satisfies my decade-long craving for new G-Funk that had nearly gone dormant.

– In regards to the sentiment that 2014 was a lousy year for music, I will admit that the indie rock crop wasn’t that strong. There were definitely fewer truly great rock records this year than there have been the last couple years. But that said, there were a bunch of pretty good rock records. So Cow, Late Bloomer, Gold-Bears, and Cymbals Eat Guitars are some that come to mind.

But, hey! Music critics! That doesn’t mean we just give the trophy to the best contender in the shittiest category! The War On Drugs and St Vincent records were so boring! I will go on record as saying that Sun Kil Moon is total garbage, and that douchebag behind it basically ruined my summer by dominating the indie news cycle with his incessant “beefing”. I hope he eats some bad sushi and dies.

I know why all the critics’ top lists were so terrible, as well — fear. It’s obvious. The War On Drugs is the most beautifully understandable and placeable album of the year, for sure. It’s influences are referenced SO TASTEFULLY. The whole thing is SO GODDAMN EARNEST. And apparently every music magazine exclusively hires the type of grizzled, aged white boy hipster whose idea of musical perfection is Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker’s Damn The Torpedoes.

The War On Drugs is safe. No one listens to that record and gets pissed off, like what the fuck is this!? St. Vincent, FKA Twigs, and Run the Jewels are also safe. St. Vincent is safe because she has reached Beygency levels of unquestioning admiration, FKA Twigs is safe because if you don’t like it you just think you don’t “get” it, and even Run The Jewels are safe because they’re associated with a political movement and harrowing events in our society that make us feel all the feels. No one has the fucking balls to come out here and say that The War On Drugs are fucking boring, and Ariana Grande, the Nickelodeon starlet, the girl who looks way too young to be showing me all that leg, put out the best record of the year and one of the best pop records in a decade. Luckily, I don’t really do this professionally and have a readership smaller than a public school English class, so I’m happy to be the brave one.

If there’s anything this whole exercise has taught me, and continues to teach me every year, it’s this – you gotta get creative in the ways you seek out music. You can’t just follow the critics, follow the headlines, follow the charts (though at this point, the charts might be doing a better job than the critics). If you do that, you will never give the teeny bopper pop stars a chance. You will never discover a magical, moving record of vulnerable indie rock from a band out of Kansas City with fewer than 2,000 Facebook likes, who also happened to put out the 4th best album of the year. You will just read through what everybody else thinks instead, and come away thinking, Man, 2014 just wasn’t that good of a year for music. I think I like that FKA Twigs album, I dunno. I guess I’ll just start making another high school nostalgia playlist.

1. Ariana Grande – My Everything

 

2. Hospitality – Trouble

 

3. Isaiah Rashad – Cilvia Demo

 

4. Shy Boys – Shy Boys

 

5. YG – My Krazy Life (Deluxe Version)

 

6. Charli XCX – SUCKER

 

7. White Lung – Deep Fantasy

 

8. Alvvays – Alvvays

 

9. Tinashe – Aquarius

 

10. Skrillex – Recess

 

11. Aphex Twin – Syro

 

12. Weezer – Everything Will Be All Right In The End

 

13. Beyonce – Beyonce

(Editor’s note: Well, it came out too late for me to include last year, and it only came out in physical copies this year. So I’m counting it.)

 

14. Spank Rock – The Upside

 

15. Cloud Nothings – Here and Nowhere Else

 

16. Lana Del Rey – Ultraviolence

 

17. Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels 2

 

18. Kelis – Food

 

19. Elliphant – Look Like You Love It EP

 

20. Zhu – THE NIGHTDAY EP

 

21. Perfect Pussy – Say Yes To Love

 

 

22. Sean Nicholas Savage – Bermuda Waterfall

 

23. Temples – Sun Structures

 

24. DVA – Nipomo

 

25. Lowell – We Loved Her Dearly

 

26. Angel Olsen – Burn Your Fire For No Witness

 

27. Vashti Bunyan – Heartleap

 

28. Tennis – Ritual in Repeat

 

29. FKA twigs – LP1

 

30. Eagulls – Eagulls

 

31. Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks – Enter The Slasher House

 

32. Clean Bandit – New Eyes (UK)

 

33. Comeback Kid – Die Knowing

 

34. Schoolboy Q – Oxymoron

 

35. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Piñata

 

36. PUP – PUP

 

37. Real Estate – Atlas

 

38. So Cow – The Long Con

 

39. Gold-Bears – Dalliance

 

40. Chromeo – White Women

 

41. Pallbearer – Foundations of Burden

 

42. Cheatahs – Cheatahs

 

43. A$AP Ferg – Ferg Forever

 

44. Rich Gang – Rich Gang: Tha Tour Pt 1

 

45. Late Bloomers – Things Change

 

46. Future Islands – Singles

 

47. Spazzkid – Promise EP

 

48. Chuck Inglish – Convertibles

 

49. Parquet Courts – Sunbathing Animal

 

50. Cymbals Eat Guitars – Lose

51. Single Mothers – Negative Qualities
52. Jenny Lewis – The Voyager
53. Yumi Zouma – EP
54. ABSRDST – Love in the Making EP
55. Azealia Banks – Broke with Expensive Taste
56. September Girls – Cursing the Sea
57. Sales – Sales EP
58. Menace Beach – Lowtalker
59. Morgan Delt – Morgan Delt
60. DJ Q – Ineffable
61. Godflesh – A World Lit Only by Fire
62. Vince Staples – Hell Can Wait
63. Sir Michael Rocks – Banco
64. Quilt – Held In Splendor
65. Tinariwen – Emmaar
66. Mr Oizo – The Church
67. Migos – No Label II
68. D’Angelo – Black Messiah
69. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings – Give the People What They Want
70. Mic Terror – Fresh Prince of Darkness
71. Willie Watson – Folk Singer Vol. 1
72. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu – Pika Pika Fantajin
73. Young Widows – Easy Pain
74. DJ Mustard – 10 Summers
75. Hercules & Love Affair – The Feast Of The Broken Heart
76. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Days of Abandon
77. Frankie Cosmos – Zentropy
78. Big Freedia – Just Be Free
79. Vertical Scratchers – Daughter of Everything
80. Black Bananas – Electric Brick Wall
81. The War On Drugs – Lost In The Dream
82. Bart Davenport – Physical World
83. Paws – Youth Culture Forever
84. Rome Fortune – Beautiful Pimp II
85. Ashanti – Braveheart
86. Keys N Krates – Every Nite EP
87. Slick Shoota – Keep Bussin’ EP
88. Creepoid – Creepoid
89. Mac Demarco – Salad Days
90. La Sera – Hour of the Dawn
91. Black Wine – Yell Boss
92. Nothing – Guilty of Everything
93. Revocation – Deathless
94. Tune-Yards – nikki nack
95. At The Gates – At War With Reality
96. Spoon – They Want My Soul
97. Iceage – Plowing Into the Field of Love
98. Childish Gambino – Kauai
99. Woods – With Light and with Love
100. Nicki Minaj – The Pinkprint

Honorable Mentions:

Allo Darlin’ – We Come from the Same Place
Com Truise – Wave 1
First Aid Kit Stay Gold

I LOVE MAKONNEN – I LOVE MAKONNEN
Little DragonNabuma Rubberband

Perfume Genius – Too Bright
Rick Ross – Mastermind

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