Top 10 albums of 2014: Michael Mann

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      I’d sooner roll around in a pile of ticks that are covered in influenza-tainted bat guano than waste my spare time scouring the Internet for the next big thing in music. The albums I listened to most in 2014 were George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass, Nas’s Illmatic, and Sarah Koenig’s Serial. Two of those came out a while ago and the other isn’t an album. So I consulted with a veritable who’s who of Vancouver DJs, promoters, and musicians, and, most importantly, the guy who plays MP3s at lululemon’s hot-yoga meets. While they hit me with acts as far-ranging as FKA twigs, Flying Lotus, Grouper, Jenny Lewis, Angel Olsen, the Raveonettes, and SBTRKT, not one of them had a solid theory about who killed Hae, so how could their opinions matter? I promptly ignored their suggestions and came up with these.

       

      Beyoncé: "Drunk in Love".

      Beyoncé
      Beyoncé
      You had a tough year, ladies. There was Gamergate, Ghomeshigate, Cosbygate, Time-readers-voting-to-eliminate-the-word-feminismgate, and, well, basically every other news headline in 2014. For what it’s worth, I’m really sorry about all that. But, hey, this album from Bey sorta made up for it, right?

       

      Lana Del Ray: "Shades of Cool".

      Lana Del Rey
      Ultraviolence
      Okay, Lana, you say you fucked your way up to the top, but I think your sultry, sad-girl torch songs had a little something to do with your success. I’ll be waiting here if you need someone to eat takeout and watch Netflix with for the ride back down.

       

      Phil Western: "Dementhol".

      Phil Western
      Longform
      Even though this lengthy, electronic headfuck wasn’t announced via Tor or blimp or stencil graffiti or Pitchfork, it got more spins from me than Syro. It’s the second-best thing I bought out of the trunk of a car on Main Street this year.

       

      Skrillex: "Try it Out".

      Skrillex
      Recess
      The bombastic debut album of this upstart EDM artist shows a lot of promise, and is true testament that the full-length isn’t laughably irrelevant.

       

      Taylor Swift: "Blank Space".

      Taylor Swift
      1989
      I am not one to deny millions of Swifties or the marketplace. Tay sold the most albums in 2014, so this is the best one of the year.

       

      Robin Thicke: "Get Her Back".

      Robin Thicke
      Paula
      Look, I can’t sing, dance, or play an instrument—all I have going for me is my looks. But I’m confident I could release an album and sell more copies than #THICKE did with his dreadful yet fascinating attempt to win back his ex-wife. It’s the musical equivalent of that excruciating scene from Swingers where Jon Favreau keeps calling the girl.

       

      Riff Raff: "How to be the Man".

      Riff Raff
      Neon Icon
      You know how you can tell you’re at a shitty show? Someone comped you tickets to an energy-drink DJ battle and you see me there looking dejected because none of the competitors are dropping @JODYHiGHROLLER tracks and I’m scribbling down that the theme from DuckTales is getting the crowd “turnt up”.

       

      Temples: "Keep in the Dark".

      Temples
      Sun Structures
      A few people I talked to name-checked Temples, but that was old news to me because Vicki “Neptoon Records” Frith recommended them back in the summer. Subsequently, “Keep in the Dark” came close to ending the 25-year reign of “Batdance” as the most played song in my iTunes. By the way, do you know how you can tell you’re about to see an amazing show? It’s if you spot Ben, Rob, and Vicki Frith in attendance. Fact!

       

      Love and Rockets: "Haunted When the Minutes Drag" from The Guest OST.

      Various Artists
      The Guest OST
      So you couldn’t find a copy of Sinoia Caves’ Beyond the Black Rainbow soundtrack in stores or on Pirate Bay. Well, this one for Adam Wingard’s throwback ’80s thriller about an insane shitkicker who rolls into a farm town populated by kids who listen to Annie, Clan of Xymox, Gatekeeper, Love and Rockets, and the Sisters of Mercy is pretty great too.

       

      Willie Dunn: "I Pity the Country" from Various Artists: Native North America (Vol. 1).

      Various Artists
      Native North America, Vol. 1
      Who needs new music when phenomenal First Nations rock, folk, and country you’ve never heard was waiting to be unearthed by Kevin “Sipreano” Howes? This compilation is so great I can’t bring myself to make a smart-ass remark about it.

      Follow Michael Mann on Twitter at @mmann.

      Comments

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      7 Comments

      Jon Cranny

      Dec 10, 2014 at 2:23pm

      Blank Space over Shake it Off? C'mon, Michael.

      robin thicke?

      Dec 11, 2014 at 9:22am

      this is a parody list.. right??

      if not, i think its time you listened to more than 104.9 for musical inspiration.

      JODY HIGHROLLER

      Dec 11, 2014 at 3:51pm

      Seriously Riff Raff? This is the best, Michael Mann knows what's going on.

      Riffraff?

      Dec 12, 2014 at 8:38am

      Thanks for introducing me to the latest in hip hop underground... Awful stuff hah

      I could only handle the first half of the video before shaking my head and wondering about the future if this is what the young generation listen to... Getting old sucks :-/

      J Dub

      Dec 12, 2014 at 10:13am

      You forgot JLo and Iggy Azalea's subversive Booty. It's like an Imodium commercial but less sexy.
      http://youtu.be/nxtIRArhVD4

      Jeesh

      Dec 12, 2014 at 1:22pm

      What a list! I scrolled through and when I began this comment I thought, I'm surprised he didn't have Robin Thicke on there, but you did! Your really did! Incredible.
      I know you people that listen to this music potentially exist, I've just never met you in real life.

      Hey Jeesh

      Dec 16, 2014 at 1:01am

      He's kidding, you stupid fuck.