I have reviewed a total of 33 albums that were released in the year 2014 and have now compiled a list of my top 10 albums from the year. It’s been a great year for music and I am excited for the releases to come in 2015! I have reviewed all of the albums that I feel would potentially make it into my top 10 and I now have this list. So here it is!
10. Bayside: Cult
Bayside continues to grow as a band, making more well rounded and polished tracks that always seem to get better as they come. While you may not hear this band on the radio, they continue to prove that they are one of the great modern bands in the punk and alternative scene. They seem to get better with each album they release and this one has definitely added to the memorabilia of this band.
9. Taking Back Sunday: Happiness Is…
While Taking Back Sunday have gone more in the direction of an alternative sounding band as opposed to their earlier punk rooted stuff. This album continues with more serious themes that the bands prior album had shown. The growth of this band is seen and heard in the lyrics as well as the composition of the songs themselves.
8. Angels and Airwaves: The Dream Walker
Angels and Airwaves strongest album prior to this release in my opinion was their debut. Since then the band seemed to have already leveled of and with some albums, gone downhill a bit. This album really captures the genius and artistic creativity of front-man Tom Delonge. You can really tell that he put a lot of effort and passion into the songs in almost every aspect making for an album that is extremely enjoyable as well as memorable.
7. New Found Glory: Resurrection
New Found Glory once seemed like that band that would produce a few great singles and fade away. But, here they are in 2014 releasing their eighth studio album and remaining true to themselves and their music. This album shows that pop-punk is not a thing of the past that has come to pass but something that burns on as bright as ever. New Found Glory deserves some credit and respect for the many hits they have created over the years and Resurrection works to add a number of new ones to the trophy case.
6. (hed) p.e. : Evolution
The title of this album says it all. (hed) p.e. is a band with a long history and many dedicated fans. I feel like this album shows this veteran band at the height of its strengths. Many of the bands albums seem to have high points that sit in the shadows of lows but this album elevates or “evolves” above the rest as the bands overall strongest album yet. If you missed this album, make sure to give it a listen. It’s blend of hard hitting, thrash punk type tracks blend very well with the reggae tracks at the end to make for a unique and very enjoyable listen.
5. Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways
Sonic Highways demonstrates the strong musical talents that this future hall of fame band harnesses. The thing that is so great about this album is the way in which it journeys into different sub-genres of rock rather than being a straightforward alternative or hard rock album. This album is full of energy and ambition, this wasn’t just thrown together, this was masterfully put together as a work of art that should not go unheard.
4. The Smashing Pumpkins: Monuments to an Elegy
This album shows why this band was so great in the 90’s. The Smashing Pumpkins have seemed to recapture what they did with earlier albums in a magical way. This is an album that you will find yourself listening to over and over again. There is something very special about this album and every time I listen to it and the final song ends I can’t help but put it back to track 1 for another full listen. This is an album that will hold its value just like the bands hit albums from the 90’s.
3. The Used: Imaginary Enemy
Imaginary Enemy recaptures the angst that was demonstrated on the bands earlier albums but this time adds in a touch of political outcry for change. Imaginary Enemy gives a very deep and eye-opening visual of the world we live in. Each song serves a purpose that is deeply felt if you pay attention. Some may not be to crazy about the political themes and cries for change but this is what this band seemed to have in its early days which gave them ties to the punk-rock community. Imaginary Enemy is great both because of the strength of its sound and the power of its message.
2. Linkin Park: The Hunting Party
I had a hard time enjoying the past few albums from Linkin Park because they where just to different and experimental. I felt like the great sound of their first two albums was gone forever until I heard this album. The Hunting Party makes it seem as if the band had gone away for a while to grow and has now returned stronger and more talented than before. The powerful vocals mixed with the in your face angst makes this album feel almost like a sequel to Hybrid Theory. Linkin Park has regained their strength and re-established their thrash like metal sound that made them so great.
1. Rise Against: The Black Market
Rise Against has never disappointed me with the release of new material and every great album has me wondering how they will continue to improve…Well, The Black Market is yet another great album that tries a few new things in terms of sound and style while holding to the core punk sound of Rise Against. This album is well constructed from start to finish just as each of the bands other albums are. The songs on this album will make you think deep and hard about the world around you. This album is great for its sound and style as well as it’s power. This band continues to write music that is inspiring and touching while remembering their roots.