2014 Music The Best Albums of 2014  

Ranker Music
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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!

1
746 441
St. Vincent is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
St. Vincent St. Vincent - Metascore: 89. Art-pop perfection from guitarist and singer-songwriter Annie Clark.

2
766 447
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
741 440
Lazaretto is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Lazaretto 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
El Pintor 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
Lost in the Dream 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
Turn Blue 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
Ultraviolence 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
In the Lonely Hour 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
Morning Phase 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
To Be Kind 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 The Endless River 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 G I R L Pharrell Williams

13
675 426
Songs of Innocence is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Songs of Innocence 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
1000 Forms of Fear 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 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.

16
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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
691 428
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
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They Want My Soul is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
They Want My Soul Spoon - Metascore: 81. Indie rock vets offer another sterling set of songs.

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

20
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Syro is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Syro 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
I Never Learn Lykke Li - Metascore: 77. Swedish singer scores again with strangely enticing dance-pop.

22
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This Is All Yours is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
This Is All Yours 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
Our Love Caribou - Metascore: 84. Electro-pop tinkerer melds dance grooves to dreamy psych textures.

24
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It's Album Time is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
It's Album Time 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 Supernova Ray LaMontagne - Metascore: 78. The singer-songwriter's 5th studio album knocks it out of the park.

26
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lullaby and... The Ceaseless R... is listed (or ranked) 26 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.

27
584 406
Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Elise Hennigan added Tomorrow's Modern Boxes 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
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Salad Days is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Salad Days Mac DeMarco - Metascore: 82. Charismatic indie weirdo shows off his (relatively) mature side.

31
637 417
Ranker Video
Seeds TV on the Radio

32
644 418
You're Dead! is listed (or ranked) 32 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.

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 Clppng 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 Singles 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 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.

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Ranker Video

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

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

40
537 395
Band of Brothers is listed (or ranked) 40 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.

41
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Popular Problems is listed (or ranked) 41 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.

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 24 Karat Gold: Songs From the Vault Stevie Nicks - Metascore: 74. Fleetwood Mac's witchy woman's 8th studio album takes us back in time.

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

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

45
513 405
Love and Hate is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Love and Hate Joan Osborne

46
482 405
Nikki Nack is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
JacksonMay added Nikki Nack Tune-Yards

47
380 390
Stay Gold is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Stay Gold First Aid Kit - Metascore: 80. Third (and best) LP from sisterly folk duo.

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843 1,044
Ranker Video
Awakening Jackie Evancho

49
384 379
The River & The Thread is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Albums of 2014
Amy Boal added The River & the Thread 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