Run It Back: Re-ranking My Top 25 Albums of 2014

‘Tis the season for end of year lists, so of course I have one on the way. But first, I’d like to revisit something I wrote a year ago. A lot can change over the course of 12 months, so I thought it would be fun to re-rank my top 25 albums from 2015. Here’s what I came up with.

This is a short post, just something for fun, so I only wrote descriptions for the top 10. Read what I wrote last year here.

2014 Ranking: 1 (0)

There was never a doubt in my mind. I still think this is the best album I’ve ever heard. I listen to this album at least once a week now, and everything I felt on the first listen still comes through. The follow-up is due out in 2016, so we’ll find out if PUP has true staying power soon enough.

2. Cilvia Demo, Isaiah Rashad
2014 Ranking: 3 (+1)

Last year I wrote that I had never before heard anything like Isaiah Rashad in hip-hop; I still stand by that. But I’m willing to go further now. I think that Cilvia Demo is the best hip-hop album I’ve ever heard. I have no idea how the man from Chattanooga, Tennessee will follow up his debut, but we’ll find out in 2016 when the next album is scheduled to drop.

3. Never Hungover Again, Joyce Manor
2014 Ranking: 11 (+8)

My biggest complaint about this album last year, the thing had had me rank it outside the top-ten originally, is that its only 19 minutes long. This is still my biggest complaint. It is such a great album, every song really does grab you. Maybe if the album was longer it would’ve just been packed with filler and not nearly as good. That’s a fair point.

But, man. I really need more than 19 minutes of Joyce Manor.

4. Nervous Like Me, Cayetana
2014 Ranking: 8 (+4)

Here’s another album that aged really well. Still really catchy, still really poppy, still pretty punk. Still something I listen to on a regular basis.

5. Faces, Mac Miller
2014 Ranking: 19 (+14)

This mixtape moved up more places than anything else on this list. I liked it a lot when it was first released, then I didn’t listen to it for a while. Once Mac announced he was releasing GO:OD AM, however, I revisited Faces.

My goodness.

The storytelling throughout the mixtape is just top-notch. I don’t think I fully appreciated it initially because the mixtape is about two hours long. But once you commit to taking in the full body of work, you see that this really is a beautiful project. I think it’s the best project Mac Miller has put out.

6. Descensus, Circa Survive
2014 Ranking: 4 (-2)

This is still a great Circa Survive album. It’s still an album I enjoy, something I listen to often. But I think I like some of the band’s other work more, and that take’s a little bit away from Descensus in my opinion.

7. Benjamin Booker, Benjamin Booker
2014 Ranking: 5 (-2)

A year later, I still haven’t found anybody like Benjamin Booker. I still can’t decide if he’s blues, punk or both. And I still don’t think it matters. This is a great album.

8. Wake, Hail The Sun
2014 Ranking: 2 (-6)

These guys shred. The music can  get a little dense at times, but that’s okay. The album is full of music that is both intricate and catchy, a balance that is hard to achieve.

9. Cadillactica, Big K.R.I.T
2014 Ranking: 6 (-3)

Big K.R.I.T. is not to be slept on, yet people keep snoozing. Listen to Cadillactica if you haven’t yet; it’s about as good as southern hip-hop gets.

10. Honeyblood, Honeyblood
2014 Ranking: 9 (-1)

I’ll admit it: I forget about this album sometimes. Not proud of that. But whenever I do revisit it, I love every second. I can’t get enough. I’ll binge on this album for three or four days and then forget it again. I do the same thing with Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon, though, so I guess it’s in good company.

11. Wild Animals, Trampled By Turtles
2014 Ranking: 22 (+11)

12. Under Pressure, Logic
2014 Ranking: 7 (-5)

13. Long Live The King, King Mez
2014 Ranking: 14 (+1)

14. Shyne Cold Chain, Vol. 2, Vince Staples
2014 Ranking: 15 (+1)

15. Circulation, JPNSGRLS
2014 Ranking: 12 (-3)

16. Z, SZA
2014 Ranking: 21 (+5)

17. In Humor and Sadness, ’68
2014 Ranking: 10 (-7)

18. Sianvar EP Sianvar
2014 Ranking: 24 (+6)

19. Allomaternal, Stolas
2014 Ranking: 13 (-6)

20. Rooms of the House, La Dispute
2014 Ranking: 16 (-4)

21. The Next Four Years, United Nations
2014 Ranking: 17 (-4)

22. Teenage Retirement, Chumped
2014 Ranking: 25 (+3)

RIP to Chumped. The band broke up in November.

23. Searching Sylvan, QuESt
2014 Ranking: 23 (0)

24. Buttons, The Weeks
2014 Ranking: 20 (-4)

25. Bloodwork, Texas In July
2014 Ranking: 18 (-5)


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