2014

My Top 30 Albums of 2014 :: 5-1

5. My Favourite Faded Fantasy :: Damien Rice

Damien Rice

My thoughts (from my review in November):
I couldn’t wait for this album to come out, and oh my stars was it worth the wait. Damien’s music always rips me open in jagged tears and has me very often a mess of tears, but in this beautiful, bittersweet way that I cannot turn away from, no, instead I keep returning for more. This one is no different, this gorgeous collection of songs, they leave me feeling an endless array of emotions, and leave me tearful and hopeful and strangely understood.

Favorite Song: I Don’t Want to Change You

I Don’t Want to Change You :: Damien Rice

4. Self-Titled :: Hozier

Hozier

My thoughts (from my review in October):
It can be hard to release an exceptional album that does not disappoint when a flat out amazingly perfect single preceded it months in advance, and a buzz of excitement and anticipation followed, with endless music fans half-holding their breath clamoring for the album. Well, I have to say, the wait was worth it, and all that breath-held anticipation was not in vain. Emotionally rich, deep voiced blues and soul and rock and something that digs under the skin in the best way – I’m not sure I can pick just a few favorites.

Favorite song: Take Me to Church

Take Me to Church :: Hozier

3. Lazaretto :: Jack White

Jack White

My thoughts (from my review in June – an excerpt from a longer review):
The songwriting on this album plays literary. The album, as a whole, feels like an anthology collection, short stories with characters and plotting that start and stop, and feel completely contained in three to four minutes. My mind meanders through the songs, imagining the songs brought to life, playing cinematic shorts in my head. This really is one hell of an album.

Favorite song: Would You Fight for My Love?

Would You Fight for My Love? :: Jack White

2. The Voyager :: Jenny Lewis

Jenny Lewis

My thoughts (from my review in July) – an excerpt from a longer review):
The female lens is definitely what this album was created through, something that is more than a little unheard of in rock music. Many of these songs speak candidly of the feminine experience, and not in the “he’s cheating on me/he doesn’t notice me/he completes me” kind of way, no it isn’t about any “he’s” at all. No, it is more on the lines of an Exile to Guyville grown-up. Whether to marry or not marry, to have a baby or not, to be monogamous, to compromise, to believe in love, or not – these are some of the topics discussed through songs. There is the dissection of the “cool girl” myth in Just One of the Guys, which reminds me of a diary-rant via Amy from the book Gone Girl (Gillian Flynn) where she debunks the cool girl as being an act performed to please a “he”. The whole idea of being “just one of the guys” is insulting really, as if there is such a difference between genders, and as if the male is preferable, and worth aspiring towards.

Favorite song: Late Bloomer

Late Bloomer :: Jenny Lewis

1. Self-Titled :: Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams

My thoughts (from my review in September):
The most “rock” album of his released albums, rock in terms of straight-forward (but not vanilla) and approachable, and rather hopeful. At times reminiscent of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (could be that Benmont Tench of the Heartbreakers helped out here), The Replacements and Your Love era of The Outfield, at other times something more akin to the alt-country of Wilco and The Avett Brothers, but again, with more of a rock punch in the heart, and then I hear a little Brit Pop sneak in, some Johnny Marr guitar sensibilities especially. I’m a lifelong, hopelessly (and hopeful) fan of Mr. Adams, and this album was just what I needed to end the Summer with.

Favorite song: My Wrecking Ball

My Wrecking Ball :: Ryan Adams

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