Monday, January 26, 2015

Taking On 2014 - Top Albums

So look, there's a reason I have been pushing these lists off. I got through songs well enough, but when it comes to BIG THINGS like albums and games (not really films though in this case) I lost a lot of the overall rankings lists that I put up. So, really, while I could go based on the previous lists, I have listened to a lot more. What I am going to do, instead, is just write quickly about a few of my favorite albums, and maybe games at some point in the future. Apologies to all musical artists who are left out, you truly deserve better.

These Days... - Ab-Soul

The most lyrically capable member of TDE (a surprising feat in itself), Soul's follow up to Book Of Soul is truly a marvel. The wordplay on display here is second to none, and using it to both grapple with larger ideas and deconstruct hip-hop is handled so incredibly well.

Run The Jewels 2 - Run The Jewels

Not sure if I prefer this to last year's, but Killer Mike and El-P know how to make a mixtape. It clips along at a breakneck pace, which helps contribute to this energy which pulsates through every song, even when the beats slow down a bit to allow for some more breathing room.

The Future's Void - EMA

Broadening the more overtly personal qualities of Past Life Martyred Saints, EMA's latest never sacrifices her signature sound nor the chilling lyrics and perspective which have made her music such a delight to experience.

St. Vincent - St. Vincent

Another highly accomplished work from a highly accomplished musician. While it may appear at first that her work does not change too often, it really is in the aural nuance and subject matter of the songs that define the true brilliance of Annie Clark.

"What Is This Heart?" - How To Dress Well

As far as raw emotion is concerned, few albums produce the results that are found on the latest How To Dress Well. There's a longing, a desire, and occasionally even a bliss that permeates the entire record, and it's all so beautiful.

Benji - Sun Kil Moon

Yet the most compelling art of the year (and wherein I essentially call this, with These Days... as a close second, my favorite album from 2014) comes when the deeply personal is used as a window in to a larger conversation about humanity. Surely that has happened here with Sun Kil Moon's latest. Sweeping and sprawling, every line even in their most basic form takes on gigantic importance. There's little more I could ask for in a great album.

And there we have it. If I do the games one next, I guess maybe it will be the same? We'll see. I might just switch over to film first if I don't do/post games pretty soon though. I promise to try and keep better tabs in the coming year!


Comments are welcome and, for anyone with a literary mind, I encourage checking out my poetry blog filled with all original works for your reading pleasure.

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© 2015 Richard James Thorne

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