2014 music The Best Albums of 2014  

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List Rules Albums released from January 1st, 2014 to December 31st, 2014. No re-releases. Albums must have a Metascore of at least 50. Please include the Metascore with new additions.

2014 was an undeniably great year for music. Everyone from mainstream stars like Taylor Swift to indie/alternative favorites like Beck brought their A-game, releasing some great new albums that certainly deserve their spots among the best albums of the year. But, when there are this many amazing albums from artists so completely different, ranking a year-end top albums list becomes especially tricky. 

Looking at each album's Metacritic score helps, but it's hardly a foolproof method for measuring critical (let alone popular) opinion. After all, it's easy for under-the-radar albums to score big on the strength of a few good reviews, but high-profile releases have to stand up to the scrutiny of dozens of publications. Plus, a couple terrible scores can sink a new album that's otherwise well-received. 

Additionally, fans and critics don't always see eye-to-eye. Consider artists like Coldplay and Sam Smith, who connected with the record-buying public, but not the music press. Don't they deserve some consideration? Just how much weight should metascores and chart performances carry, anyway? And most importantly, how exactly do you rank artists as diverse as Jack White, Lana Del Rey, and Schoolboy Q?

We considered all these points and more, but there's no way to tell what will go down in history as the best album of, and who will come out on top after the votes are cast. So get to voting and help determine the year's best new albums!
list ordered by

1
+ - 405 191
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Awakening Jackie Evancho

The Best Go-Go's Albums of All Time The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 30

2
+ - 283 484
1989 is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
1989 Taylor Swift - Metascore: 76. Country's top starlet gracefully transitions to pop.

3
+ - 121 364
St. Vincent is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
St. Vincent St. Vincent - Metascore: 89. Art-pop perfection from guitarist and singer-songwriter Annie Clark.

4
+ - 149 292
Ultraviolence is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Ultraviolence Lana Del Rey - Metascore: 74. Polarizing songstress silences (most of) the haters.

5
+ - 116 309
Lazaretto is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Lazaretto Jack White - Metascore: 80. Bluesy guitar god comes back with a vengeance.

6
+ - 101 198
Turn Blue is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Turn Blue The Black Keys - Metascore: 72. Hugely popular blues duo offers another round of massive riffs.

7
+ - 77 151
The Endless River is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
The Endless River Pink Floyd - PINK FLOYD

8
+ - 71 163
Lost in the Dream is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Lost in the Dream The War on Drugs - Metascore: 86. Philly indie band does epic retro-rock right.

9
+ - 51 84
My Everything is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
My Everything Ariana Grande - Metascore:65 The second full-length release for the Nickelodeon actress feature guest appearnces from A$AP Ferg, Big Sean, Cashmere Cat, Childish Gambino, Iggy Azalea, The Weeknd, and Zedd.

10
+ - 50 121
El Pintor is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
El Pintor Interpol - Metascore: 77. Darkly cool rockers earn their best reviews in a decade.

11
+ - 121 237
In the Lonely Hour is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
In the Lonely Hour Sam Smith - Metascore: 64. Soulful R&B crooner's debut wows listeners and divides critics.

12
+ - 88 174
To Be Kind is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
To Be Kind Swans - Metascore: 89. Uncompromising experimenters cement their status as critics' favorites.

13
+ - 92 180
Morning Phase is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Morning Phase Beck Hansen - Metascore: 81. Alt-rock lynchpin goes folk with fine results.

14
+ - 81 112
Foo Fighters Sonic Highways is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Foo Fighters Sonic Highways Foo Fighters

15
+ - 118 200
1000 Forms of Fear is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
1000 Forms of Fear Sia Furler - Metascore: 76. Aussie singer-songwriter becomes an international pop star.

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16
+ - 91 157
Ghost Stories is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Ghost Stories Coldplay - Metascore: 61. Lukewarm reviews (and conscious uncoupling) didn't stop this from topping charts worldwide. 

17
+ - 81 141
LP1 is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
LP1 FKA twigs - Metascore: 87. Immaculate debut from R&B experimenter Tahliah Barnett.

18
+ - 121 183
RTJ2 is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
RTJ2 Run the Jewels - Metascore: 90. Game-changing hip-hop from rap originals El-P and Killer Mike.

19
+ - 60 109
Syro is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Syro Aphex Twin - Metascore: 87. Stunning comeback from one of electronic music's great minds.

20
+ - 48 111
Songs of Innocence is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Songs of Innocence U2 - Metascore: 65. The iTunes free-release that took everyone by surprise.

21
+ - 62 118
They Want My Soul is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
They Want My Soul Spoon - Metascore: 81. Indie rock vets offer another sterling set of songs.

22
+ - 39 97
G I R L is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
G I R L Pharrell Williams

23
+ - 49 96
I Never Learn is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
I Never Learn Lykke Li - Metascore: 77. Swedish singer scores again with strangely enticing dance-pop.

24
+ - 49 83
Salad Days is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Salad Days Mac DeMarco - Metascore: 82. Charismatic indie weirdo shows off his (relatively) mature side.

25
+ - 46 100
Benji is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Benji Sun Kil Moon - Metascore: 85. Soul-baring high from singer-songwriter Mark Kozelek.

26
+ - 54 116
This Is All Yours is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
This Is All Yours alt-J - Metascore: 70. U.K. indie band embraces global success.

27
+ - 66 122
You're Dead! is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
You're Dead! Flying Lotus - Metascore: 88. L.A. producer's most mind-blowingly ambitious effort yet.

28
+ - 12 24
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Seeds TV on the Radio

29
+ - 7 15
Pom Pom is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Pom Pom Ariel Pink

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30
+ - 31 77
Our Love is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Our Love Caribou - Metascore: 84. Electro-pop tinkerer melds dance grooves to dreamy psych textures.

31
+ - 6 15
CLPPNG is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Clppng Clipping - Metascore: 73.  The second release for the Los Angeles avant-garde hip-hop trio

32
+ - 12 16
The Pinkprint is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
The Pinkprint

33
+ - 29 76
It's Album Time is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
It's Album Time Todd Terje - Metascore: 79. Norwegian DJ whips up a wizardly dance album.

34
+ - 5 13
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35
+ - 13 18
.5: The Gray Chapter is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Albums of 2014

36
+ - 10 14
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Monuments To An Elegy Smashing Pumpkins

37
+ - 9 12
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Rock or Bust AC/DC

38
+ - 31 68
Singles is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Singles Future Islands - Metascore: 82. Emotional, sincere synthpop sung by the extraordinary Samuel T. Herring

39
+ - 4 15
Divide and Exit is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Divide and Exit Sleaford Mods - Metascore: 81.  The follow-up to 2013 release "Austerity Dogs" from the British punk duo of Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn.

40
+ - 23 67
Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Tomorrow's Modern Boxes Thom Yorke - Metascore: 73 The second solo album from Radiohead's Thom Yorke. Best listened to through headphones

41
+ - 24 71
lullaby and... The Ceaseless R... is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
lullaby and... The Ceaseless Roar Robert Plant - Metascore: 81. Features influences from African, jazz, and dance music throughout his tenth album.

42
+ - 6 20
Eighteen Hours of Static is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Albums of 2014

43
+ - 17 41
High Hopes is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
High Hopes Bruce Springsteen

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44
+ - 6 10
Steve Martin and the Steep Can... is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers Featuring Edie Brickell Live

45
+ - 10 17
Hypnotic Eye is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Hypnotic Eye Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

46
+ - 2 10
Love and Hate is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Love and Hate Joan Osborne

47
+ - 4 9
My Krazy Life is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Albums of 2014

48
+ - 24 61
Popular Problems is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Popular Problems Leonard Cohen - Metascore: 85. The 80-year-old legend shows the youngsters how it's done.

49
+ - 2 6
The Pink Print is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
The Pink Print Nicki Minaj

50
+ - 24 63
Band of Brothers is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Band of Brothers Willie Nelson - Metascore: 79. Country legend drops what could possibly be one of the best country albums ever.