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  1. #1

    Idioteque Stalker's Top 20 of 2014

    Derek hasn't posted in months. In his absence, somebody has to step up, take one for the team, and call attention to their music taste at year's end. Might as well be me. Here are my favorite albums of 2014.

    20. Spoon - They Want My Soul
    19. Brian Eno & Karl Hyde - High Life
    18. Perfume Genius - Too Bright
    17. Aphex Twin - Syro
    16. Real Estate - Atlas
    15. Frankie Cosmos - Zentropy
    14. Mac Demarco - Salad Days
    13. Marissa Nadler - July
    12. Flying Lotus - You're Dead!
    11. Alvvays - Alvvays
    10. Death Grips - Niggas On the Moon
    9. Grouper - Ruins
    8. Sun Kil Moon - Benji
    7. Ariel Pink - Pom Pom
    6. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - Piñata

    Honorable mention:
    Jens Lekman - WWJD

    From my post earlier this year: "This new Jens Lekman mixtape takes me right back to the perfect sublimity that was Night Falls Over Kortedala. The lovely instrumentation and peppiness of the whole thing benefits from that omnipresent feeling of "this too shall pass"--in the end just as pessimistic a sentiment as it is optimistic--so that the heart-wrenching theme from Contempt, stuck right in the middle, feels right at home and takes the whole thing up a notch."


  2. #2
    Spoon - They Want My Soul

    How boring is it that Spoon made a good album this year? Even as somewhat of a fan, I almost didn't give it a shot. But "Inside Out"--a synth-pop slow-burner as gorgeous as it is out of character--shocked me into actually giving They Want My Soul a fair shake, and it ended up being my front-to-back favorite Spoon album.


  3. #3
    Brian Eno & Karl Hyde - High Life

    Not huge on "Moulded Life," but the rest of this album is solid. Channeling early 80s-era Eno projects like Remain in Light, the live instrumentation makes all the difference between this and Eno/Hyde's prior collaboration. "DBF" grew to be my favorite jam of the year and "Cells & Bells" capitalized on the strange beauty of Justin Bieber 800% Slower. Awesome surprise.


  4. #4
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    The Hyde and Eno albums this year were great.

  5. #5
    Perfume Genius - Too Bright

    After the overwhelming vulnerability of Put Your Back N 2 It (one of my favorite albums in recent years), the tone of Too Bright took me a while to warm up to. It's lumpier, more aggressive, and harbors moments of unprecedented pop experimentation--but Hadreas' songwriting is as eloquent as ever, and the compassion he exhibits time and time again is probably making the world a better place.


  6. #6
    Aphex Twin - Syro

    Aphex Twin plays it straight. No crazy album art, no "Milkman," just technically astounding electronic music. "xmas_EVE," "produk" and "PAPAT" appeal to me most, but the whole thing should and will be studied by burgeoning electro-producers for years. It's so impressive that, listening from beginning to end, it gets a little... well... corny. After the fifth ridiculously impressive, yet kind of same-y, cut in a row, one almost begins to wish for some kind of "Logon Rock Witch" or "To Cure a Weakling Child" to inject a little variety. Thankfully he closes the album with one of his most gorgeous compositions, "aisatsana." In a year bereft of impressive electronic releases, Syro stood tall.


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