Monday, December 1, 2014

Almost Time For The Year-End List. (Still waiting for some good records to come out.)

2014 was not a great year for me musically. To be clear, I listened to some of the most amazing music in 2014, it's just that most of it was recorded before 1980. As I piece together my "Best Of 2014" list, I noticed that I really only loved about seven records on the list. There are three I liked very much and just too many others that left an Alvy Singer frozen smile on my face. One or two actually made me angry. (I'm talking to you, Lucinda!)

It's the never-ending debate over how things ain't what they used to be. I am guilty of "get off my lawn" syndrome, but I do not think I am overreacting. As another year comes to a close, I am again disappointed in what passes for great. (I'm talking to you, War On Drugs!)

I will get my list up soon, but until then, if anyone would like to share their best and worst of the year, leave it in the comments and I will post it over the next week or two.


William Repsher said...

About the only album that blew my doors off in the old-fashioned way was the new one by Spoon. No "great" songs per se, the album just holds together so well as a recording artist understanding what he does best and hitting his stride.

I also liked the Foxygen album, although I realize it's a bit thin by classic-rock standards. There's almost a Lennon-esque tinge to some of the vocals and some genuinely good ideas melodically that they flirt around with. Would I call them great? Hell, no, but I hear enough of these guys hinting that they could break through one of these albums to pay attention.

Addendum: a few weeks ago when you were complaining about vinyl prices, I thought, eh, this is much ado about nothing. The other week, I had time to kill before going to the gym and popped into an Urban Outfitters to look at clothes, figuring the bloated prices would keep me from buying anything.

I didn't realize they had a vinyl section, comparable to what you'd find in a dumpy strip-mall department store in the 70s and 80s, but still, a vinyl section. I perused. My eyes popped out. As example, they had nearly every KISS album in the K section ... prices at $32.98! Just unbelievable that anyone would pay that much for an album. The newer artists seemed to be slightly cheaper, around mid-20's, but still. I guess you were right about this ... the shift for me from vinyl to CD to digital has never felt better!

Anonymous said...

Thought I would recommend Burnt Offering by The Budos Band. I've had that record on repeat now for almost two months. It seemed brass heavy to me at first, but it has a cool vibe and grows on you. Sounds kind of like a lost low-budget movie soundtrack from the 70's. Although derivative of better music, I also liked Sun Structures by Temples. Other than that, not much for me in 2014.

Anonymous said...

"One or two actually made me angry. (I'm talking to you, Lucinda!)"

Yeah, somehow I got suckered into that album too and I echo your sentiments.

As Mr. Repsher has tangentially reached back to a previous post, I found an article in the Guardian by Steve Albini that gives a many faceted perspective on the musicbiz.

Google the following: steve albini guardian purple dwarf assless chaps

Expat Ed

Anonymous said...

What about the Lucinda's album pissed you off?

I happen to like the album a lot but feel it has a sameness of sound and arrangements that keeps me from loving it. Also she sounds like she's buzzed on cough medicine w/ codeine.

Capt. Al

Sal Nunziato said...

Capt. Al, the record sounds like a parody of Lucinda Williams. There used to be a charm to her warble, but now to my ears, it's almost unlistenable. Some great material, but there was bound to be on a double. I wanted to love this record, but it was a huge disappointment.

Anonymous said...

Joe henry the invisible hour

peabody nobis said...

Robert Plant's lullaby and The Ceaseless Roar is my runaway winner for album of the year. And it didn't even make the Rolling Stone Top 50, which is a badge of honor, at this point.
I truly admire Plant's determination to explore new and different music, while eschewing the likely multi-million dollars he could earn by reuniting with his LedZep mates. That takes balls.

cmealha said...

I've only actually bought 9 albums that were released this year

Better Than Ezra - All Together Now
The Black Keys - Turn Blue
Gary Clark Jr - Black and Blu(Mixtape)
John Fulbright - Songs
Mads Langer & Tom Christensen - Side Effects
Paloma Faith - A Perfect Contradiction
Pharrell Williams - G I R L
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - Give the People What They Want
U2 - Songs of Innocence

cmealha said...

More than 10, but songs/perfromances that stood out for me this year.

George Ezra - Budapest
Glen Campbell - I’m Not Gonna Miss You
Iggy Azalea - Fancy (I’m so ashamed)
Girls Chase Boys - Ingrid Michelson
Jack White - Lazaretto
Khalil Uchis - What They Say
Meaghan Trainor - All About That Bass ( I know)
Michael Jackson & Jason Timberlake - Love Never Felt So Goo (What is wrong with me? Help!)
Mike Viola & Wild Honey - Oh Darlin’
Sarah McLachlan - Shine On
St Paul & The Broken Bones - Call Me
Taylor Swift - Shake it Off (Ok. Now I’m worried)
Weezer feat Sara Bareilles - (If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To