ALBUM OF THE WEEK - Week of January 19th, 2015 - My Picks for 2014 Pt. 1
Honestly, these kinds of lists are mostly arbitrary and boring. I hardly ever read them. There are several reasons for my list ambivalence: These lists are usually composed months before the end of the year thus eliminating any surprise late arrivals and also preventing most critics from listening to their selections with anything more than a half-an-ear. Of course, if you wait until the new year to capture everything and give it all a proper listen you run the risk of having irrelevant selections - too late to the ball, so to speak. So why, after all of these years of not doing 'em, am I suddenly composing a 2014 best of list...in mid-January?!
This post is primarily a response to a holiday challenge/encouragement from my homie Symbio of 530Techno, who wanted to know what my favorite new albums of 2014 were and thought I should blog about it. The reason it has taken until mid-January to compile this list is that it took me this long to just listen to 20 albums from last year that I thought were worth the time to write about. This after an entire year of listening to promo albums like a madman, the sheer volume music flowing my direction is daunting at times and probably an underlying motivation behind my not ever doing a best of list. So this list comes with the preface that I finally surrendered to one of my above-mentioned best of list pet peeves - I didn't listen to all of the promos sent my way in 2014, the late arrivals got left hanging. It was either that or once again abandon the concept of completing this project at all. In keeping with my New Year's resolution of being a more disciplined writer, I chose to finish the task instead. But in the process, another arbitrary line was drawn and it's irritating but not so much so that I can't live with an imaginary bi-sector dividing my choices between those promo albums included and those left behind. Part of my hope as a more disciplined writer is to cover some of the unselected albums I missed in 2014 and return to them in future ALBUM OF THE WEEK features. That's the hope any way. The final reason was that I missed writing and I get all of these wonderful promos from a variety of artists, labels, PR agencies, and record pools and thought it would be a great way to reconnect and let 'em all know I was back in biz.
What were the criteria that made up my 20 selections? Mostly that they were neither trend-humping or derivative. I was looking for things that specifically caught my era that were both energetic and creative. Simple enough but it turned out to be a huge ordeal. Leading me to believe that dance music artists need to try a little harder, although I know they won't. That's the problem with party music, there is just way too much partying to be done that the music is always of secondary consideration. I am ok with that but it does make finding inspired albums kind of a big pain in the ass. Rather than review each selection individually, I gave you a chance to listen to some music from each selection so you can make up your own mind about whether it is a valid choice or not. If you discern any common themes between my choices please send me a message, I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Here is the top 10: