2014 was a balance of new and old in the music world. Standout debuts from Lake Street Dive, Alvvays, Hozier and Sylvan Esso were up against milestone releases from heritage artists like Beck, Pink Floyd, TV On the Radio and The Roots. Against Me! made waves with Transgender Dysphoria Blues, while Sam Smith and Beck put in strong showings at the Grammys with In the Lonely Hour and Morning Phase respectively (and much to the chagrin of Kanye West).
2014 also brought the reunions of Pink Floyd, American Football, OutKast, Nickel Creek, Slowdive and Sleater-Kinney, a sign of robust musical enthusiasm across genres.
Philadelphia continued to make a major mark on an international scale as well, with The War on Drugs’ Lost In the Dream landing at the top of many year-end lists and Strand of Oaks knocking socks off with HEAL.
Perhaps one of the greatest comebacks in recent memory was the return of D’Angelo with Black Messiah, ending a fourteen-year hiatus for the Virginia musician.
Do these comeback albums and strong debuts make 2014 the greatest year in music? What was year’s musical highlight for you? Let us know in the comments while revisiting some of the year’s best releases.
Warpaint – Warpaint
Transgender Dysphoria Blues – Against Me!
Burn Your Fire For No Witness – Angel Olsen
Bad Self Portraits – Lake Street Dive
Voices – Phantogram
Morning Phase – Beck
St. Vincent – St. Vincent
Atlas – Real Estate
Lost in the Dream – The War on Drugs
Singles – Future Islands
Do to the Beast – The Afghan Whigs
Lights Out – Ingrid Michaelson
I Never Learn – Lykke Li
Unrepentant Geraldines – Tori Amos
Turn Blue – Black Keys
… And Then You Shoot Your Cousin – The Roots
In the Lonely Hour – Sam Smith
Stay Gold – First Aid Kit
Ultraviolence – Lana Del Rey
Alvvays – Alvvays
The Voyager – Jenny Lewis
HEAL – Strand of Oaks
Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams
Lateness of Dancer – Hiss Golden Messenger
This Is All Yours – Alt-J
You’re Dead! – Flying Lotus
Hozier – Hozier
1989 – Taylor Swift
RTJ2 -Run the Jewels
The Endless River – Pink Floyd
Sonic Highways – Foo Fighters
Black Messiah – D’Angelo and the Vanguard
Seeds – TV On the Radio
Sylvan Esso – Sylvan Esso