The Best Metal Albums of 2014

A year after bemoaning the death of progress in heavy metal, it was very encouraging to hear plenty of ideas coming from younger bands, especially in the underground extreme scene. Great ideas, but with plenty of room for improvement, something I’d like to hear developed even more. Metal has been so devoid of interesting ideas lately […]

Read More The Best Metal Albums of 2014

The 2014 Album of the Year

                      FKA Twigs, LP1 (Young Turks) I had one runaway leader for my 2014 Album of the Year for much of 2014, but one album worked its charms on me in much more subtle fashion, starting this summer, percolating into fall, and by November I couldn’t […]

Read More The 2014 Album of the Year

The 2014 Single of the Year

Katy B, “Crying For No Reason” Although it was an admirable top 5 single in the UK, the shimmering ballad “Crying For No Reason” should have catapulted Katy B to Adele-level heights. For me, at the very least, it’s a song that has lingered throughout the entirety of 2014, its power feeling even greater the […]

Read More The 2014 Single of the Year

The Best Singles of 2014, #2

2. Lykke Li, “No Rest For the Wicked” On an album comprised solely of devastating, downbeat, minimalist exercises in misery, Lykke Li’s “No Rest For the Wicked” is the initial focal point, the one track that ropes the listener in the quickest. Built around a simple, plaintive six-note piano melody, Lykke Li and her longtime […]

Read More The Best Singles of 2014, #2

The Best Albums of 2014, #2

2. Katy B, Little Red (Columbia) The debut album by young Kathleen Brien was good enough to make my runners-up list back in 2011, but as time went on, the more it grew on me, to the point where it was one of my most listened-to albums of 2012. On a Mission was an auspicious […]

Read More The Best Albums of 2014, #2

The Best Singles of 2014, #3

3. Alvvays, “Archie, Marry Me” Could this song not start off any more twee? Chirping birds, plaintively strummed guitar strings like some long-lost Bell and Sebastian demo recorded in a garden. But that’s the mood Alvvays sets out to establish on its lush, lo-fi charmer of a debut album, and breakthrough single “Marry Me Archie” […]

Read More The Best Singles of 2014, #3