As I stated in the Worst of list, this year was quite a step up for music. Last year’s dull roar evolved into a mighty chorus of amazing music. Here are my Top Albums of 2014!
There for Tomorrow – Nightscape
It really saddens me that these guys won’t be making music together anymore. This swan-song EP was the perfect way to finish up their careers together and show just how great of music they can make. Just the overall vibe of this EP is incredible and it contains some of the best music put out this year. I wish them all the best of luck and hope for new music in whatever form it may come.
Gerard Way – Hesitant Alien
I was devastated by the news that My Chemical Romance had split. They were part of the foundation that created and held up my musical taste. When frontman Gerard Way announced his solo album, I was a bit sceptical to say the least. The final product was a funky trip down artsy avenue, bring in all styles and vibes that one could imagine on one album. The only thing I really disliked here was how over-hyped it was as a whole. I know this is one of a few side-projects keeping MCR in our hearts, but lets cool out jets people.
Chiodos – Devil
I personally think this album is one of the most underrated albums of the year. I mean, I barely see it mentioned at all on any major top 10 list. Chiodos came back from the depths to produce a finely polished piece of music that has stuck with me all year. The creepy atmosphere and dynamic instrumentals seen throughout make this one an experience you have to give a listen.
This Wild Life – Clouded
I felt like I was watching my own child grow up when these guys were signed. From their days singing Pink Tie to now, they have continually evolved and written fantastic music. This album is as consistent as it gets, pouring out song after song of blissful acoustics that make you feel good and sometimes make you just feel. It’s mood music for sure, and some of the best that has been released in a good while.
Circa Survive – Descensus
Circa Survive are honestly one of the most talented bands around. They simply cannot write bad music. Album after album these guys crank out another masterpiece leaving me begging for more. Descensus is one of my favorites among them all, blending skillful tracking with many tracks gapping over 5 mins long. I knew as soon as I heard it through the first time this album would be on this list, it is just so good.
Anberlin – Lowborn
No other album this year left me feeling as emotionally distraught as Lowborn. Knowing this would be their final album, Anberlin wrote 10 songs that would define their career. These songs really make you reminisce about all the music this band has written in the past and the final track nearly left me in tears. I will forever love this band and wish them the best on anything new that comes their way.
Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness
If you know me, you know I put no one higher on my list of musicians than Andrew McMahon. This man is a genius. This time around, he produced his first solo album and it was beautiful. Writing from the new perspective of a father, he has written some of the catchiest and most heartfelt songs of his career, showing that this man isn’t slowing down anytime soon. I can’t wait to see what else lies in store for this new chapter in his story.
Beartooth – Disgusting
This album single handedly changed the scene. When Beartooth released this monster of an album, it made people take a step back and realize just how piss poor that current state of the hardcore scene is. This album is truly brutal, track after track delivering an absolute kick in the face to anyone who listens. It gives some of the most talented musical performances of any album this year and sets that stage for the future of what this scene holds. Caleb Shomo, you are a beast.
Crown the Empire – Resistance: Rise of the Runaways
It may surprise some that this is not number 1 on the list, receiving the highest score of any review this year. THough it is in my opinion one of the most beautifully written and balanced albums I have ever heard, there were just a couple albums that struck me deeper than this. That being said, this album seriously caught me off guard. Crown the Empires debut album was a bit mediocre to me, and hearing this sophomore album come out and rock as hard as it does, it really surprised me. I hope these guys can continue to capture the essence they did here. If they do, they are going to have an amazing career.
From Indian Lakes – Absent Sounds
This album was such a surprise, I don’t even know how to categorize it. I found this band from a “Band you need to know” article and let me tell you, you honestly do need to know them. This album is beautiful in every way, from the light hearted vocals throughout, to the most unique instrumentation I’ve heard in a long time, this album delivers in ever possible way and demands your attention every time you take a listen. If there is any lesser known band that you need to check out right now, it is From Indian Lakes.
Issues – Self Titled
There was no other album this year that I gave more listens to than Issues. It may not have gotten my highest rating, it may not be the deepest or the most inspiring album I have ever heard, but my god is it the one album I keep coming back to. I have easily given this album over 20 listens in full since release, and it just relies on the fact that this album is the future of the scene. Bands like Beartooth and Crown the Empire might be patching up the holes in the bleak scene we have today with their great music, but Issues took the scene and turned it on it’s head. This albums blend of sounds is like no other, taking hardcore and seamlessly adding in elements of nu metal, pop, djent, and many more to make for a most unique sounds. The mix of vocal techniques seen from Michael and Tyler is one of the best combos you will find in music today. I know this album will remain as one of my favorites for years to come, and I can only imagine what else this band has in store.