So it begins, the rollout of various music lists from us as we look back at the year that was and present our picks for the most recognizable albums of the year. Over the last eight years, it has become a Thanksgiving weekend tradition for us to issue our first list -- Honorable Mentions. This is the first of three lists we will bring out over the next three weeks, next week we will present our coveted League of Their Own and then finally, the Top 10 albums of the year. So, here we go, our Honorable Mentions, albums that were very good, but not good enough to crack the Top 10 but still worth of note.
As we always do, we breakdown the list in short form and then with explanations.
2014 Honorable Mentions in Short Form (In No Particular Order):
TV on the Radio - Seeds
The Hold Steady - Teeth Dreams
Ratking - So It Goes
The Horrors - Luminous
Death From Above 1979 - The Physical World
Spoon - They Want My Soul
Now, in long form:
TV on the Radio have always delivered records that sound as
if they come from another cosmic part of the universe, Seeds is no exception.
The band’s latest, their first recorded since the passing of bassist Gerard
Smith, doesn’t sound like a band reflecting too much on their past but
focusing, as always, on the future and what is ahead. Which in many ways, is
probably what Smith would have wanted. The production of member David Sitek is
as funky and freaky as ever and the energy this record packs is a colorful
punch to fans around the globe.
Key Tracks: Happy Idiot, Seeds
Teeth Dreams marked the longest gap between Hold Steady records but heard the band bring their signature sound to the masses again. It is also a record devoid of themes and characters but much more introspective than ever. With engaging roaring riffs and Craig Finn's personal stories that could be moments of your life, Teeth Dreams is a record to admire.
Key Tracks: Spinners, Wait a While
One of the most exciting new hip-hop groups to emerge from
New York City in years arrives with their pulverizing and shocking debut.
Ratking hail from Manhattan and have been emerging as a new voice in Big Apple
rap since 2010. Now, with their debut, So It Goes, Ratking provide lyrical
blows to the hipsters, the NYU crowd, and anyone who thinks they are the King
of New York. Plus, thanks to chaotic and ravaging production and a guest
appearance from King Krule, it displays how diverse and exciting this group
Key Tracks: Canal, So Sick Stories feat. King Krule
The career of The Horrors has been a gradual incline and
alteration in sound from when they first appeared on the music scene back in
2006. Back then, with their debut, Strangehouse, they looked like a poor mans
version of My Chemical Romance. Then, in 2009, they returned with Primary
Colours, a record that heard them channeling the angst into art and a
contemporary Joy Division. Then, in 2011, they released the groundbreaking
Skying, a record that heard them take the best of 80’s cold and new wave and
giving it a modern spin. With Luminous, they don’t transition too much
from Skying but still manage to mature in all the right ways. Luminous is dark,
cavernous, but also melodic and angelic.
Key Tracks: So Now You Know, I See You
Ten years after their landmark debut, Canadian post-hardcore
thrashers Death From Above 1979 regrouped and released their sophomore record, The Physical
World. It is a bit more polished then their debut, You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine,
and it is also much more political than ever before. Still this band made us
all wait to hear them again and this proved it was worth the wait.
Key Tracks: Right On, Frankenstein; Trainwreck 1979
The Austin indie icons returned with They Want My Soul and ventured more
into the trippy side of music than that typical jangling indie rock we have
come to love and expect from them. Filled with jangling riffs and
psychedelic undertones, They Want My Soul is one of the more diverse albums in this bands growing catalog.
Key Tracks: Rent I Pay, New York Kiss
Stay Tuned Next Week When We Announce The 2014 "League of Their Own" Recipient.