My Week That Was “Top 10 Albums of 2014”

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My Week That Was
DJ: G.Gone’s Top 10 Albums of 2014

It’s been a long time since I’ve compiled a year-end Top 10 list, so I wasn’t fully prepared for the daunting task of doing so for 2014. It seems to me that 2014 has been one of the better years of music in recent memory.

It also raises the question; has the shift in music distribution and its ensuing change of the paradigm helped or hurt the music/artists that reach our ears? I guess that answer depends on who those ears are attached to and how wired in they are.

In my circumstance – lifelong music lover, seeker of the unheard and obscure, appreciator of artistic endeavors, not to mention online radio station Program Director – I have had the luxury of having too much music pass through these ears, which presents an even greater paradox when compiling a “Best of/Top 10” list for anything music, let alone a single year.

For example: Three of my favorite records that I listened to in 2014, were actually released in 2013; Rusty Things – Wading Through The WasteThem Damn Hamiltons – S/T, and The Strypes – Snapshot didn’t exist to me before 2014 – but having been released prior to 2014, each are excluded from this list.

Then, what about those which only recently made it to my turntable? The War On Drugs – Lost In A Dream was released in March, though several tunes filtered through my ears and made their way onto the Cygnus Radio Continuous Stream and the record received rave reviews from many people whose music appreciation I admire and agree with, I hadn’t gotten around to listening to the whole LP until just this past week. I’m sure had I been listening since March it would be on this list. The same goes for Wilco – Alpha Mike Foxtrot Rare Tracks 1994-2014, which found its way under the Christmas tree and hasn’t left the CD player since.

Maybe that’s the problem with being heavily involved with running a radio station – you don’t devote enough time to listen to and fully absorb the music, the medium, the art that reaches your inner spirit. That’s why below my Top 10 is an honorable mention list – those records which, had I had more time to listen to, absorb, and allow to wash over my soul in all their glory, could have easily found themselves among my Top 10 of 2014 – without a doubt.

Then there are the several dozen albums that time, space, and sheer forgetfulness has caused me to unfortunately omit from this list. To those I apologize, for they too are deserving of the same treatment as all the titles below.

EDITOR’s NOTE: Listen to the Audio Companion: My Week That Was” 01-01-15 brodacast.

1). Lines West – Stop, Look, and Listen
Toe-tapping, head-bobbing, heart-swaying tunes of unrequited love, loss, and longing that etches a smile on your soul and a chorus in your head. This Bridgeport, CT duo writes songs that could be Simon & Garfunkel fronting Wilco (or The Band).

2). Treavor James & The Perfect Gentlemen – Huron
Great vocals, excellent production, interesting lyrics – The complete album package. Melodic Rock-n-Roll from Toronto.

3). No Line North – Further out Beyond Today
Another winner from the band formerly known as Closely Watched Trains. Solid from start to finish.

4). Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Hypnotic Eye
One of the best from Tom & the boys, it exceeds all expectations. A perfect Tom Petty & Heartbreakers lp.

5). Chrissie Hynde – Stockholm
An amazing return – Billed as her 1st solo album (but could have been called Pretenders without missing a beat), Ms. Hynde shows why she was, and still is one of the best.

6). Goodnight Blue Moon – A Girl I Never Met
This New Haven, CT outfit makes you fall in love with Americana even if you don’t want to.

7). Dann Morr – Shouting Into The Wind
Stepping out of his former band(s) shadow, This 1st solo effort by Chicago musician Dann Morr puts pop into alt. and hooks you throughout.

8). Deena – Rock River
The 2nd solo release from one of the co-founders of NJ natives, The Cucumbers. Deena once again enraptures me with her almost twee, always memorizing vocals, and perfect alt.-pop-folk arrangements.

9). Thievery Corporation – Saudade
Chillax. Is it Acid-House Bossa Nova, or Brazilian Trip-Hop, or ??? It doesn’t matter, it’s awesome.

10). The New Basement Tapes – Lost On The River
40+ year old Dylan Lyrics recorded by musicians hand-picked by T Bone Burnett, how can you not love this?

Honorable Mentions

Wilco – Alpha Mike Foxtrot Rare Tracks 1994-2014

The War On Drugs – Lost In The Dream

G. Love & Special Sauce – Sugar

Neil Young  – Storytone

Temples – Sun Structures

Echo & The Bunnymen – Meteorites

Imelda May – Tribal

Ray LaMontagne – Supernova

St. Vincent – St. Vincent

The New Pornographers – Brill Bruisers

Real Estate – Atlas

Jenny Lewis – The Voyager

Now, bring on 2015!