Five of the best albums to emerge in 2014
2014 was another big year for music, with big-name releases coming from every genre, from country to hip-hop. With new albums dropping weekly, it was difficult to stay on top of the new releases. Here’s a list of a few of the best albums to come out this year.
5. “El Pintor” by Interpol
Interpol’s first album in four years was fantastic on every front. This was epitomized in the first track, “All the Rage Back Home,” which featured lush layers of guitar riffs and driving verses along with a catchy chorus. It’s one of the best songs Interpol has released to date and the rest of the album follows suit. “El Pintor” is everything a rock album should be and it’s refreshing to hear innovative music within such a saturated genre.
4. “Run the Jewels 2” by Run the Jewels
Run the Jewels exploded into the hip-hop scene last year as a moniker for the hyped collaboration between rappers Killer Mike and El-P, and the release of the original “Run the Jewels” album came soon after.
After touring relentlessly through 2014, including headlining Boise’s Treefort Music Fest in the spring, the duo is back with a sophomore album. “Run the Jewels 2” is toned down in comparison to its predecessor in terms of raw speed and aggression, but the verses and beats are still top notch. The album features guest appearances from a multitude of different artists, including Rage Against the Machine’s front man Zack de la Rocha. All of this helps to form their release, which is the furthest thing from a sophomore slump.
3. “Another Language” by This Will Destroy You
“Another Language” is a euphoric journey through the depths of post-rock. The result is a sprawling dosage of ambient guitar riffs, pounding drums and textured keyboard backtracks. The predecessor to this album was a timid affair, but it’s safe to say This Will Destroy You reestablished itself as one of the front-running bands in its genre. Everything about “Another Language” manages to be peaceful and nonabrasive without being self-absorbed or formless, which makes it a cohesive listen from start to end.
2. “Here and Nowhere Else” by Cloud Nothings
Cloud Nothings’ fourth release is the latest addition to its catalog of alternative rock. It’s not as grating or in-your-face as the band’s past releases, but the songwriting faced an increase in quality. Despite clocking in at a mere 32 minutes across eight tracks, “Here and Nfowhere Else” manages to say everything it needs to say and there’s a commendable lack of filler. Fans of groups like Japandroids and Death From Above 1979 should hear this before leaping into 2015.
1. “Foundations of Burden” by Pallbearer
This album is a drawn out, sludgy doom metal affair and the approach fits Pallbearer’s songwriting style. “Foundations of Burden” was critically acclaimed as one of the best releases in its genre to drop during 2014. Most of the tracks are on the lengthier side, with many of them clocking in above 10 minutes each, but each one manages to grasp the attention of its listener in different ways. Down-tuned guitar riffs backed by massive rhythm sections help create the sounds of a top-notch album, and this release deserves allthe positive attention it gets.
Masen Matthews can be reached at email@example.com