Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Year In Review 2014- Top Ten Albums Part 2 (10-6)

Here is Part 2 of RtBE's Top Ten Albums of 2014.  (Part 1 was here if you missed it) We are continuing our Year In Review for 2014 and lots of goodies still to come...
In the instance that RtBE have reviewed the album either on the site or somewhere else we will link to that review, just click on the Band name and title to get there. RtBE worked with the Glide Team to give input on the their Top 20 so expect some overlap. 

Again the focus here is on full albums, not singles, but full releases you can slap on and listen to the full way through. We know these are a dying breed, but it still is the way we consume music, no shuffle or singles for us. We will also remove ourselves from the rankings but we wouldn't mind if you gave it a listen.

After the jump you will see our list for numbers 10-6, this year seemed to be top heavy with a few really amazing releases and then a sizable gap. These are all excellent and worth your hard earned money and hard drive space, so without further ado Click that read more link.

10. St. Paul & The Broken Bones- Half The City
The debut from this Birmingham, AL retro soul band is a pretty great listen as it's inclusion here indicates and Paul Janeway has a voice for the ages. The group reminds us a bunch of the Alabama Shakes and with good reason. Powerful singer that makes up for fairly basic soul tunes. Also StP&TBB were produced winningly by Ben Tanner of the Shakes. We are looking forward to catching them live and seeing what they have in store next go around.

9. Jenny Lewis- The Voyager
Another excellently produced album, as Jenny Lewis was in the capable hands of Ryan Adams and Beck for her first solo proper album in ages (Interesting that both of those boys strike us as better producers then artists these days). The Voyager is a pure LA sounding jaunt through honest/story telling middle age womanhood. The lyrics are dark, questioning, humorous and painful and in front of the gorgeous sounding instrumentation the combo is delightful yet never to easy to swallow.  

8. Ringworm- Hammer of the Witch
Easily our favorite metal/hardcore/heavy-as-all-get-out album to come out in 2014. This one surprised the shit out of us, who knew Ringworm were even still around? Even if you did, did you know they had this good of an album in them? RtBE sure didn't. Production again (a theme this year for certain) makes this stand out as the low end matches the screaming guitars and hateful vocals. When we first started scratching out this list in late November we were pleasantly surprised to find Jenny Lewis next to Ringworm...not going to be too many year end lists where they are side by side sharing a cocktail.   

7. Ex Hex- Rips
We go from brutal-heavy to upbeat-catchy retro rock via touches of glam and punk by this female trio who make their home in Washington DC, Ex Hex. A really joyous record that was apparently recorded for just the fun of playing live; Rips does just as the title suggests. Timony, who was part of the short lived Wild Flag, shines here but the band seems to be palpably having a good time with these catchy quick rockers. 

6. Rancid- ...Honor Is All We Know
For some reason that we can't quite put or finger on, we didn't think Rancid's newest album would ever make this list. Then when we started putting this together we kept going back to it as one of the better albums we have heard this year. In re-listening (often) there isn't a lot of negative thoughts that come to mind. The punk is punky, the reggae skanks, and the combo of it all works in a very Rancid way. Can't deny I dig it more then a ton of other highly acclaimed records this year so it deserves this spot in my brain and rankings. Just give a listen to three of the highlight tracks in this video and try not to dig on them:

Part 3, the top of the heap, is coming soon. Stay tuned....

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