As I mentioned before, I am dismantling, rebuilding, and reviewing all of the albums on the Rolling Stone Magazine Top 50 of 2014 list.
The introduction to this process is here, and you should read it so that you can glimpse into my insanity:
The second group of 10 are here: https://bradytighe.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/dismantling-and-rebuilding-the-rolling-stone-magazine-50-best-albums-of-2014-part-3/
What follows are reviews for albums 19 – 11
19.) Jackson Browne – Standing in the Breach
On first listen this album sounds like something your dad would use to show people at an old-person party how nice his new stereo is. Jackson Browne still sounds smooth as can be, and this album sounds real fucking good.
But really, is this the 19th best album of the year?
No. You probably could have guessed that. Although, if you’re looking for a Christmas gift for Dad, this’ll do fine. Just be prepared to listen to him play it 60,000 times.
18.) Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds in Country Music
If all of modern country sounded like this then the genre wouldn’t be the embarrassment that it currently is. But I’ve ranted enough about that already (I think I said something along the lines of, “Modern country makes me want to get skull fucked by a large and angry animal.”) It’s great without needing to rely on that Hank III style where all he sings about is doing mushroom and shooting coke into a stripper’s ass.
I might even have a little hope for the genre now. Which is a big change from last night, where I drunkenly wrote off country music and gave it to the dogs. This album warms the part of my heart that loves good country music, and thank fuck for that.
17.) Jenny Lewis – The Voyager
This album should be held up as an example of what all pop albums should sound like. They don’t need to be dumb, they don’t need to sound like shit, and they certainly don’t need to feature Pit-bull on like eighteen fucking tracks.
This is fun music with a soul, sounding like the audio equivalent of blue cotton candy (the best kind.) Although, unlike cotton candy, this record isn’t too much of a good thing; it doesn’t push too hard in certain directions or go too hard into certain styles, and as a result of that, listening to it doesn’t sicken you to the sound, and you leave the whole experience wanting to listen again, instead of coming to the record’s conclusion and then slamming your head into the nearest wall in an effort to purge your entire mind of the sound of reverb and 80’s keyboards.
16.) FKA Twigs – LP1
Possible the sexiest sounding album of the last 15 years, FKA Twigs makes the Weeknd look like a horny teenage boy hiding in his room, and she’s the one he’s awkwardly texting and writing songs about.
If you put this album on and don’t immediately feel primal urges to violate things, then you don’t have anything to worry about, because you’re dead and your problems are minor. Actually, you do have problems, because even the dead and the dying could hear these songs and think it was time to get freaky.
15.) Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues
I’ve talked on this blog before about how much I absolutely love this album, and nothing has changed. It’s topical, it’s personal, it’s biting, it’s angry, and it rocks like a motherfucker.
Here’s my review from earlier in the year: https://bradytighe.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/album-review-against-me-transgender-dysphoria-blues/
Good rock music should say something, and this album doesn’t waste time with doing that, and instead screams into your face till it’s impossible to ignore it.
I’ve listened to it dozens and dozens of times before doing this list, and still bothered to play it all the way through again for this review. It deserves that, and it deserves adoration, and it’s probably the best album of the year.
14.) Weezer – Everything Will Be Alright in the End
The guitars are loud, and the lyrics are catchy.
Fuck it, I had fun.
Also, the lyric, “turn off those stupid singing shows,” made me laugh more than I like to admit. I probably scared my cat.
13.) Ought – More Than Any Other Day
Post punk that’s more difficult to listen to than it should be. Maybe I’m saying that because it’s 5 am and the sound of jangling guitars playing the same thing over and over just makes me want to thrust-punch a fucking brick wall with erect penis.
Do you ever think that artists listen back to songs in the studio and say, “yes, this is really repetitive, and painful to listen to, and that’s exactly the effect we want. If there is a way to make us playing whatever fucking two notes we decided on for this song sound more objectionable, we should do that as well.”
If this band were playing in the garage next door, you would call the police, because fuck them, that’s why.
12.) Foo Fighters – Sonic Highways
The Foo Fighters hit the road to make a really boring album in eight different cities. Their last record was awesome, and you should listen to that one instead of this, because this band is capable of so much more than Sonic Highways.
The plan for this album sounds like something interesting and good, but the resulting record isn’t either of those things, and that’s a shame, especially with the Foo Fighters being one of the only islands of sanity and goodness in the sea of shit that is modern rock.
11.) Flying Lotus – You’re Dead
Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew for a new generation. Which isn’t something I ever thought I would ever hear.
It’s probably dangerous to get really high and listen to this. You could break something. Besides, you don’t even need to be high to feel like you’re on drugs listening to this.
This is a trip you’ll take more than once.