Without further ado, my picks for Top 10 Albums of 2014:
Anberlin - Lowborn
Their final record returns to form that would do their of Friendship/Cities heyday proud.
The Black Keys - Turn Blue
Shouldn't we all be tired of the "guitar+drums+Danger Mouse=hit record" formula by now? Maybe, but I'm not.
Copeland - Ixora
They went away 5 years ago, and announced their return to much joy/consternation on April Fool's Day. Ixora's release was like a meal with an old friend you haven't seen in years.
Foster the People - Supermodel
Their Torches was quite likely my most-played album of 2011. Supermodel lacked some of that contagion, but showed growth in crafting an album, not just a series of singles.
Kye Kye - Fantasize
Perfect music for driving at night, summer or winter. Haunting, beautiful.
Manchester Orchestra - Cope
First introduction to MO came at a festival performance, 4 PM on a rainy Sunday in September. Cope has been in heavily circulation since.
Needtobreathe - Rivers in the Wasteland
I found 2012's The Reckoning to be a disappointment - whether of its own merits or simply in comparison to 2009's The Outsiders - but Rivers brought me back into the fold and did not disappoint.
Saint Paul & The Broken Bones - Half the City
Make yourself comfortable, because you're going to want to watch all 20 minutes of this live radio set.
(Also, I didn't figure you'd believe a bunch of white guys could make music like this if you didn't see it for yourself.)
Switchfoot - Fading West
Fading West doesn't stand up as well as some of Switchfoot's outings as albums go - almost fell in with this year's disappointments - until I realized how many of the songs I absolutely love. It's no Hello, Hurricane - but it clearly earned a spot on my list.
TV on the Radio - Seeds
Another discovery via our fall festival outing. I'll forever remember dancing in the September rain with Krystal to TV On the Radio's funky grooves.
That's it. Excited for a new year, new opportunities, new challenges, new music. Looking forward to more time in the studio, hopefully a calendar with room to put a couple shows on the agenda, motivate some serious production. Until next time - adios.