Music

The Best Albums of 2014  

Ranker Music
Originally by
118.6k votes 1.6k voters 29.7k views 154 items

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
St. Vincent is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
St. Vincent
Metascore: 89. Art-pop perfection from guitarist and singer-songwriter Annie Clark.
2
1989 is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Taylor Swift
Metascore: 76. Country's top starlet gracefully transitions to pop.
3
Lazaretto is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Jack White
Metascore: 80. Bluesy guitar god comes back with a vengeance.
4
El Pintor is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Interpol
Metascore: 77. Darkly cool rockers earn their best reviews in a decade.
5
Lost in the Dream is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
The War on Drugs
Metascore: 86. Philly indie band does epic retro-rock right.
6
Turn Blue is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
The Black Keys
Metascore: 72. Hugely popular blues duo offers another round of massive riffs.
7
In the Lonely Hour is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Sam Smith
Metascore: 64. Soulful R&B crooner's debut wows listeners and divides critics.
8
Morning Phase is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Beck Hansen
Metascore: 81. Alt-rock lynchpin goes folk with fine results.
9
To Be Kind is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Swans
Metascore: 89. Uncompromising experimenters cement their status as critics' favorites.
10
The Endless River is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
smellsrank added Pink Floyd
PINK FLOYD
11
G I R L is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
JacksonMay added Pharrell Williams
12
Ultraviolence is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Lana Del Rey
Metascore: 74. Polarizing songstress silences (most of) the haters.
13
1000 Forms of Fear is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Sia Furler
Metascore: 76. Aussie singer-songwriter becomes an international pop star.
14
My Everything is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
T8Tamoor added 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.
15
Ghost Stories is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Coldplay
Metascore: 61. Lukewarm reviews (and conscious uncoupling) didn't stop this from topping charts worldwide. 
16
LP1 is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
FKA twigs
Metascore: 87. Immaculate debut from R&B experimenter Tahliah Barnett.
17
They Want My Soul is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Spoon
Metascore: 81. Indie rock vets offer another sterling set of songs.
18
Songs of Innocence is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
U2
Metascore: 65. The iTunes free-release that took everyone by surprise.
19
Syro is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Aphex Twin
Metascore: 87. Stunning comeback from one of electronic music's great minds.
20
Benji is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Sun Kil Moon
Metascore: 85. Soul-baring high from singer-songwriter Mark Kozelek.
21
I Never Learn is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Lykke Li
Metascore: 77. Swedish singer scores again with strangely enticing dance-pop.
22
This Is All Yours is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
alt-J
Metascore: 70. U.K. indie band embraces global success.
23
Our Love is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Caribou
Metascore: 84. Electro-pop tinkerer melds dance grooves to dreamy psych textures.
24
It's Album Time is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Todd Terje
Metascore: 79. Norwegian DJ whips up a wizardly dance album.
25
Supernova is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Amy Boal added Ray LaMontagne
Metascore: 78. The singer-songwriter's 5th studio album knocks it out of the park.