2014 Music The Best Albums of 2014  

Ranker Music
Originally by
118.1k votes 1.5k voters 29.7k views 155 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
746 441
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
766 448
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
741 440
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
710 433
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
752 442
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
764 444
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
728 436
Ultraviolence is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Lana Del Rey - Metascore: 74. Polarizing songstress silences (most of) the haters.

8
737 437
In the Lonely Hour is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Sam Smith - Metascore: 64. Soulful R&B crooner's debut wows listeners and divides critics.

9
760 443
Morning Phase is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Beck Hansen - Metascore: 81. Alt-rock lynchpin goes folk with fine results.

10
725 434
To Be Kind is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Swans - Metascore: 89. Uncompromising experimenters cement their status as critics' favorites.

11
719 435
The Endless River is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
smellsrank added Pink Floyd - PINK FLOYD

12
669 423
G I R L is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
JacksonMay added Pharrell Williams

13
675 426
Songs of Innocence is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
U2 - Metascore: 65. The iTunes free-release that took everyone by surprise.

14
743 440
1000 Forms of Fear is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Sia Furler - Metascore: 76. Aussie singer-songwriter becomes an international pop star.

15
706 428
My Everything is listed (or ranked) 15 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.

16
697 430
Ghost Stories is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Coldplay - Metascore: 61. Lukewarm reviews (and conscious uncoupling) didn't stop this from topping charts worldwide. 

17
691 428
LP1 is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
FKA twigs - Metascore: 87. Immaculate debut from R&B experimenter Tahliah Barnett.

18
672 424
They Want My Soul is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Spoon - Metascore: 81. Indie rock vets offer another sterling set of songs.

19
649 420
Benji is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Sun Kil Moon - Metascore: 85. Soul-baring high from singer-songwriter Mark Kozelek.

20
680 426
Syro is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Aphex Twin - Metascore: 87. Stunning comeback from one of electronic music's great minds.

21
660 423
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
654 421
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
627 415
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
611 412
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
389 367
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.

26
576 406
lullaby and... The Ceaseless R... is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Robert Plant - Metascore: 81. Features influences from African, jazz, and dance music throughout his tenth album.

27
584 406
Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Elise Hennigan added Thom Yorke - Metascore: 73 The second solo album from Radiohead's Thom Yorke. Best listened to through headphones

28
688 426
RTJ2 is listed (or ranked) 28 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.

29
714 432
Foo Fighters Sonic Highways is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
LloydSpivey added Foo Fighters Sonic Highways Foo Fighters

30
658 420
Salad Days is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Mac DeMarco - Metascore: 82. Charismatic indie weirdo shows off his (relatively) mature side.

31
637 417
Ranker Video
TV on the Radio

32
644 418
You're Dead! is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Flying Lotus - Metascore: 88. L.A. producer's most mind-blowingly ambitious effort yet.

33
632 415
Pom Pom is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Pom Pom Ariel Pink

34
622 414
CLPPNG is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
jackslee2 added Clipping - Metascore: 73. The second release for the Los Angeles avant-garde hip-hop trio

35
587 405
Singles is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Elise Hennigan added Future Islands - Metascore: 82. Emotional, sincere synthpop sung by the extraordinary Samuel T. Herring

36
564 402
Divide and Exit is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
jackslee2 added Sleaford Mods - Metascore: 81. The follow-up to 2013 release "Austerity Dogs" from the British punk duo of Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn.

37
609 409
Ranker Video

38
567 402
Eighteen Hours of Static is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
muzziac added Big Ups

39
574 402
High Hopes is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
jgoldner96 added Bruce Springsteen

40
537 395
Band of Brothers is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Willie Nelson - Metascore: 79. Country legend drops what could possibly be one of the best country albums ever.

41
543 397
Popular Problems is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Leonard Cohen - Metascore: 85. The 80-year-old legend shows the youngsters how it's done.

42
527 394
24 Karat Gold: Songs from the ... is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Amy Boal added Stevie Nicks - Metascore: 74. Fleetwood Mac's witchy woman's 8th studio album takes us back in time.

43
517 392
Down Where the Spirit Meets th... is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Albums of 2014

44
490 420
Lese Majesty is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Shabazz Palaces - Metascore: 81. Offbeat hip-hop crew continues to sound like no one else.

45
513 434
Love and Hate is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Joan Osborne

46
482 435
Nikki Nack is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
JacksonMay added Tune-Yards

47
873 1,044
Ranker Video
Awakening Jackie Evancho

48
380 394
Stay Gold is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
First Aid Kit - Metascore: 80. Third (and best) LP from sisterly folk duo.

49
384 379
The River & The Thread is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Amy Boal added Rosanne Cash - Metascore: 87. The royal daughter of country music releases a Southern-inspired musical journey.

50
598 419
Ranker Video
Monuments To An Elegy Smashing Pumpkins