A Brief Look to the Last Year – Selected Album Reviews 2014

Every human being wants to say that “We had pretty good times last year!” and remember those days with ultimate joy and happiness. Some of them admit the marriage or engagement as a success of the last year, while some of them prefer new job opportunity, fulfilled dreams or “un bon voyage”. On the other hand, what makes the music-addict content of the past year is the sweet taste of listening to decent and fresh albums.

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The year 2014 has given birth to many unique and alternative albums.  “To Be Kind”, Swans’ 13th studio album, is a powerful nominee to be a masterpiece of the 60-year-old orchestrator Michael Gira and his co. in the noise-rock/experimental genre. You can see the sudden jump at noise-rock chart during its release time. They elaborately put the enormous repetition and incremental escalation to the melting pot of “To Be Kind” with various string instruments, orchestral bells and bunch of pipes. Here is my favorite track of “To Be Kind”. This song reminds me an unfulfilled attempt of a bank robbery, showing respectively the faces of thiefs preparing for fraud in each tempo.

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Beside this, we can recall year 2014 with the come-backs of awaited musicians after their long duration intense work. “The Endless River”, commemoration album for Pink Floyd’s passed-away keyboard player, Richard Wright, made the fans content even if it was considered a repetition of 1994 album “The Division Bell”. The success of the album is visible in the classic-rock genre weekly chart. You can see the detailed post about Pink Floyd’s latest album by clicking this. Here is the only song which has verses in the album. David Gilmour reminds the harsh controversies between himself and Roger Waters with these lyrics in the beginning of the song:  “We bitch and we fight, diss each other on sight but this thing we do!” But they had also done something splendid for all those years, hadn’t they?

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Other long-awaited musician, IDM expert Richard D. James has given an end to his 13 year break under the name of “Aphex Twin” with the album “Syro” which sticks the listeners’ minds. He used roughly 100 different equipments to form the 12 unique tracks. Among these songs, Aisatsana stands out brightly with its melodramic tone. He showed a tremendous bounce in the ambient charts with full dominance.

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Soul genre has gained an acceleration with the come-back of D’angelo after 15 years. His unsteady, drifting in depression soul paves the way for another masterpiece “Black Messiah” with flamboyant jazz splashes in it.

Folk music, also found an artsy piece of itself in year 2014: “Benji” by the “Sun Kil Moon”. With the release of that album, tha band ascended considerably in the americana and folk charts. The band’s mind Mark Kozelek follows a classical way of himself and goes on a journey for exploring his past and future with his tremendous lyrics and one-tempo voice. It’s like reading  the old diaries of somebody, accidentally found on the bed, weird but attracting. One track, “Dogs” pushes the limits for its narrative background of his first sexual experiences.

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However, these successful pieces of work could not prevent the dominance of Coldplay and other main stream bands in many charts of last.fm except during their releasing dates. Listeners remained faithful to their top-scrobbled-musicians.

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On the other hand, the new year 2015 had brought so less regarding the flourishing work at first two months. After then, March proves to be the right time to blossom not only for the plants, but also for the music industry. Later on, I’ll be analyzing the first quarter of year 2015 with respect to new albums. Coming soon!

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