2014 Favourite Albums

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invisible Pole
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2014 Favourite Albums

Postby invisible Pole » Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:20 am

Hi there, I would love to hear what fellow EC fans regard as the best music of 2014.
I am looking at my list and I have to say I might be slowly turning into an old prick. :)
With one exception, all of the artists have been around for more than 10 years (one, sadly, not with us any more).
Many of the albums are collections of introspective, slow-tempo, stripped-back songs, but the intimacy and sincerity I hear behind them, as well as the beautiful melodies, are what makes me like them so much.

Here is my list (random order):

Conor Oberst - Upside Down Mountain
Roddy Frame - Seven Dials
Jesse Winchester - A Reasonable Amount Of Trouble
The New Pornographers - Brill Bruisers
Damien Rice - My Favourite Faded Fantasy
Eels - The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett
Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott - What Have We Become?
Ben Watt - Hendra
Allo Darlin' - We Come From The Same Place
Suzanne Vega - Tales From The Realm Of The Queen Of Pentacles
Morrissey - World Peace Is None Of Your Business
James - La Petite Mort

Looking forward to your Best-of lists.
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Jack of All Parades
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Re: 2014 Favourite Albums

Postby Jack of All Parades » Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:17 pm

IP- thank you for posting this. I have been thinking about what I truly enjoyed in music last year for the past month but was hesitant to post as there is so little activity here these days. I now have an impetus to jot my thoughts down as you have broken the ice. I will do so in the coming days-at first glance like you very little in the way of new artists gave me much pleasure this year and I am hard pressed to even come up with 10 but I will try-truthfully it is a 47 year old record that has stirred me the most in 2014.
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'

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verbal gymnastics
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Re: 2014 Favourite Albums

Postby verbal gymnastics » Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:56 pm

My favourite album by a long shot is Kin by Larkin Poe.

Interesting that you put James on your list. I didn't think there were many of us James fans around!
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invisible Pole
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Re: 2014 Favourite Albums

Postby invisible Pole » Mon Jan 05, 2015 6:10 pm

Verbal, I like James a lot and though their last is by no means the best album they've ever released, there are a couple of great songs on it. On top of it, my wife is a huge James' fan and she plays La Petite Mort at least a few times a week, so I've grown to love it. :-)

Jack, eagerly looking forward to your list.

Any other board members?
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mood swung
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Re: 2014 Favourite Albums

Postby mood swung » Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:08 pm

Would love to throw something out there, but just can't. I, too, have turned into an old prick. I don't have Larkin Poe's Kin. Yet. Plans for that.

I just enjoyed songs this year. I was All About That Bass for a good while and I got Fancy with Iggy and Charli XCX. I'm having a Taylor fling, now that she's gone pop and meta. I heard a band called Red Molly at Bristol Rhythm & Roots and I've enjoyed their Red album, especially their version of 1952 Vincent Black Lightning from whence they take their name. Somewhat along the lines of Larkin Poe, VG. Rancid had a new album and a couple good songs, but a little too hardcore for me. I liked some Bleachers songs but I don't know their names!

Officially, I have ceased to be a viable demographic.

But I still have ears.

I was thinking today, that Rolling Stone always Youtubes the best parts of SNL for old farts like me. Someone needs to do that for music. 8)
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Jack of All Parades
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Re: 2014 Favourite Albums

Postby Jack of All Parades » Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:51 pm

Like IP this year was not full of new-new music for me-only one band made a real impression. But nine other performers offered work that I think will stay in my collection going into the future and one in particular is a 'major' collection of songs that was dusted off this year, cleaned up and given a dynamic that continues to speak to me across the forty seven years preceding their first appearance in recorded form. The first four are my real favorites- the remaining six have no particular order-they are equal in their appeal to me this past year. Here goes:

1 Bob Dylan and the Band The Basement Tapes Raw. My favorite record bar none this year and one of my favorites for many years to come I suspect. 47 years and still as unselfconsciously funny, ribald, sad, moving and memorable. Never has time spent in a basement been put to better usage. This record is on my player daily- it is that nourishing, sustaining and life affirming. Getting songs like "Silent Weekend", "Johnny Todd" and "Sign on the Cross" and "I'm Not There" only enhances my love and admiration for this record.

2 The New Pornographers- "Brill Bruisers". The freshest blast of 'eclectic pop' in years and simply infectious fun from beginning to end. A welcome return to form from this band after two 'down' cds.

3 Tuba Skinny- "Owl Call Blues". A band coming into its own both with their band dynamic and within the studio where they finally seem to feel comfortable. It shows in the 15 songs on this record. Favorite- "Owl Call Blues"

4 Elbow- "The Take off & Landing of Everything". As in many of my favorites this year mighty themes of maturity, the passage of time and the rounding of lives, lovers and friendships. And all filtered through one of musics current treasures- the voice of Guy Garvey. Favorites- "My Sad Captains" and "Fly Boy Blue/Lunette". My new theme-'to the here and now and who we are'.

5 Chrissie Hynde "Stockholm". Her first 'solo' record and by turning over production to Byorn Yttling she sounds as relevant and reinvigorated as she did in 1977. Her voice continues to be one of Rock n Rolls real pleasures. Favorites- "You Are No One", "Like in the Movies" and "Adding the Blue".

6 Lake Street Dive "Bad Self Portraits". Boston based and oozing self confidence with their distinctive jazz infused take on 'power pop'. The voice of Rachel Price will be a force to reckon with in coming years. Favorite- "You Go Down Smooth".

7 Rosanne Cash "the River & The Thread". A vivid, emotional travelogue[imaginary and real] that appears to allow her to come to terms with both her father's and her heritage- the in-escapable nature of blood, history and place. Favorites- "The Long Way Home".

8 Conor Oberst "Upside Down Mountain". A seemingly sincere expression of new found maturity and powerful adult level introspection. Songs from this side of 30. Favorites- "Hundreds of Ways" and "You Are Your Mother's Child".

9 Ray LaMontagne "Supernova". Ray lightens up and guess what? He has some fun with a bright 'pop' collection of tunes that made my summer. Favorites "SuperNova" and "Ojai".

10 The New Basement Tapes "Lost on the River". Because they decided to act like Bob failed to show up for the recording session and just left his words to play with. Why not just cut loose and riff? The results are scattered but for my ears there are five keepers- "Down on the Bottom", "Card Shark", "Nothing To It", "Diamond Ring" and the sublime "Lost on the River #20"- an honorable mention goes to "Duncan and Jimmy".
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'

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Otis Westinghouse
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Re: 2014 Favourite Albums

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:53 pm

I just remembered to take a look here... I too liked La Petite Mort and saw James at the Corn Exchange, which was a quite remarkable 31 years since I first saw them when they were pretty well unknown, supporting New Order in May 1983. I confess I don't even own it, I just love Moving On, which ranked with the remarkably good My Sad Captains, as cited by Jack, for my song of the year. It was nice to be a bit addicted to those too for a while. I thought the Elbow album was strong all round, they have yet to make one that was anything other than very strong.

The only new thing I got into was Future Islands who marry very 80s synthpop to a great soul voice and Marlon Brando looks with incredible moves from singer Samuel Herring. The album Singles boasts 4 or 5 cracking songs. this was a nice example of a band I got into via my son sending me this clip of them on Letterman, raving about them, and me then finding that their sound harked back to 10 years before he was born. This is the third song I got hooked on last year:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ee4bfu_t3c

My live highlight was seeing the magnificent John Grant at the Royal Festival Hall with full orchestra, the second time I was lucky enough to see him last year. I'm not sure it gets better than Where Dreams Go To Die with full orchestra.

The Wilco Alpha Mike Foxtrot rarities/live/demos box set was a thing of beauty.
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Jack of All Parades
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Re: 2014 Favourite Albums

Postby Jack of All Parades » Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:33 am

Happy New Year-Otis. The Wilco compilation is a thing of beauty. I gifted it to myself over the holidays and I have been subsequently wallowing within it's treasures. It is nice to have the rarities and b sides all in one place now and its auditory evidence over four discs of the evolution of a band into a superb studio and live act is stunning. The booklet is informative and easy to spend time over and Mr. Tweedy's comments on individual tracks are a treat. I would have put it on my list but I only got to it late in the year-in hindsight it goes in my top 5 for 2014. It is everything a box set should be- inclusive, re-affirming and an adventure. 8)
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'


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