Friday, 2 January 2015

TheRobster's Top 10 albums of 2014 (part one)

Fair to say 2014 wasn't a classic year for great music, but even so there were some gems that floated to the top of my pile. Today and tomorrow I present my top 10 albums of the year. They're not in any particular order, though there is one amongst them that I rate most highly of all.

'Eagulls' - Eagulls
I can't quite put my finger on why I like this record so much. It's not exactly varied in its approach, a little samey you might say. But I've probably played this album more than any other this year and haven't (yet) grown tired of it. They were good live when we saw them back in October, too.


'Futurology' - Manic Street Preachers
How do they do it? All the talk has been about their recently-announced tour playing the 'Holy Bible', but the Manics' latest offering is one of the best of their career. Its 80s Europop/Krautrock sound may be considered an ambitious venture, but 'Futurology' sounds like a record they were always destined to make.


'Stay Gold' - First Aid Kit
Another wonderful example of why First Aid Kit deserve the elevated status they've been granted over the last few years. 'Stay Gold' is beauty defined and only a cold-hearted old grouch with no appreciation of such things would disagree.


'IX' - ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead
Back on form and as epic as ever. Trail Of Dead have rescued themselves from their mid-career slump and have now delivered two really good albums on the bounce. This one brings pianos and strings into the mix and a batch of songs that maintain an energetic momentum throughout. Even the instrumental tracks are superb.


'Dude Incredible' - Shellac
Steve Albini will long be remembered more for his production credits than as a musician, which is a shame as the latest Shellac record demonstrates. The riffs are plentiful, the recording minimal; the sound is tense yet welcomingly familiar; and the songs are in turns brutal and hilarious. 'Dude Incredible' is Shellac's first album in seven years. While on this form, let's hope they don't leave the next one as long.

Another five picks tomorrow...


  1. Interesting list, looking forward to the other half. I struggled with The Manics LP to be honest, but I'll give it another bash on your recommendation.
    (PS. The Eagulls link is dead.)

    1. Eagulls link fixed now. Thanks for the heads up.

  2. I'm not big on the Manics but that track is a stonker