I could hardly believe my ears when I first pressed play on El Pintor; is Interpol really back? I can't help but think the soaring heights of Turn On the Bright Lights are long behind them, but the bands 2014 offering is perhaps their most 'rock' record to date, stuffed to the gills with killer riffs and punchy percussion.
If Torches was Foster the People's BIG HITS record, then Supermodel is their much more cohesive response to their debut's ginormous success. 48 straight minutes of festival jams and arena anthems that flow with the consistency of a single thought.
I mean... you've heard Problem, right? Grande's voice lives up to her name and then some, the constant mini-Mariah comparisons completely valid on every level. The broken-hearted, mid-tempo tracks seen here are fine and all, but nothing in comparison to the way the newly-minted pop star can wail over the very biggest of beats.
Terje's long-anticipated debut is at once goofy, kinetic, badass and fun. Think LCD Soundsystem by way of lounge music, and you're not far off, the juxtaposition lending It's Album Time its truly singular bend.
Dark, claustrophobic, and damn near impossible to put down, Clark is that rare electronic record wherein each track stands out from its album mates without ever sacrificing continuity. As dingy as it is delightful.
FlyLo has always done his thing at warp speed, but Stephen Ellison's unique soundworld takes on a whole new meaning when framed as a transition into the afterlife. His tracks still eagerly ramp up the MPH, but the subject, as well as guest spots from the likes of Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar, ensure that You're Dead stands out from the rest of the prolific producers' canon.
Say what you will about Lana Del Rey, but she's established a niche for herself in a way that very few pop stars are really capable of accomplishing. Her glamourous depression might irk some, but for my money, her darkly tinged balladry and its old school trappings are as impossible to deny as Dan Auerbach's expert production.
So, yeah, I can't get quite as excited about this disc as the multitudes who have heralded Lost in a Dream as The Album of 2014, but these Tom Petty enthusiasts have crafted yet another undeniable winner. Perhaps more importantly, their are a couple of tracks on hand that are worthy of every ounce of the hype they're received, but we'll get to that on the songs list.
Remember when Iron & Wine attempted to become more of a full-band outfit as opposed to a bearded dude writing lovely lullabies to himself? Horse Feathers is the perfect embodiment of Sam Beam's mission, and So It Is With Us further expands upon their decade of producing gorgeous, rural folk music for the tenderhearted.
Layers upon layers upon layers. Sea When Absent is positively stunning and stunningly positive, a generous, glittering shoe gaze offering with no shortage of tiny flourishes that ensure the listener discovers something new on every spin. It's easy to get lost in.
Hype Starts Here's Top 50 Albums of 2014:
Hype Starts Here's Top 100 Songs of 2014: