ATN's Albums of 2014

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Was the music of 2014 heavier than usual, or is it just us? When the staff of NPR Music and our member station partners gather to collect our favorite albums of the year, we don’t start out with a theme. We don’t intend to come to an absolute consensus. We begin with questions: What do you hold close, and what do you want to share?
 
Out of the thousands of albums we listened to in 2014, many of the ones that made this list seemed to satisfy a particular need. Some of them are aggressive; some of them are soothing. Sometimes we wanted them to ask hard questions — about rising oceans, global inequality, alienation and systemic injustice — that reflected the events around us. Sometimes we just needed them to show us something new. Exceptions abound, of course: There is lightness and melodrama, confidence and expertise, music composed decades ago and music that could have been beamed in from the future. Old needs surface in the midst of heavier times, too. We like to dance.
 
These 50 albums helped define 2014 for us. (They are presented alphabetically, because how do you begin to rank amazing work from a dozen different genres?) They are how we’ll remember the year. They’re the ones we love well enough to share.
 
Advisory: Some of the songs on this page contain profanity.
 


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Brian Wise

Brian Wise was the Editor of Addicted To Noise‘s Australian site from 1997 – 2002. The site won two ONYA Awards as Best Online Music Magazine in 1999 & 2000. He has also been Editor since its reincarnation in 2013. He also presents the weekly music interview program Off The Record on 102.7 Triple R-FM (rrr.org.au) in Melbourne. It is networked to 45+ stations across Australia on the Community Radio Network and is a four-time winner of the Best Music Program Award from the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia. In 2012, it was nominated as a finalist in the Excellence in Music Programming category. Brian was also the Founding Editor & Publisher of Rhythms Magazine and is now its Senior Contributing Editor.

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