Back by Popular Demand: Timmy T’s Top Ten of Twenty Fourteen

22 Jan
Music super fan Timmy T is back again with his take on the year that was. Without further adieu, and presented without comment by Unsung  (ok, 2 comments:  Where is Hozier??? How about Sturgill?? 🙂  here’s your chance to catch up on all the great music you may have missed!
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1.)  alt-J  –  This Is All Yours
Best Song:  “Every Other Freckle”
Why It’s On The List: Very different yet easy listening stuff; kind of like if someone took the Drive soundtrack and put it in a blender with some heavy riffs and lyrics for extra flavour.

2.)  Bruce Springsteen  –  High Hopes  &  American Beauty (EP)

Best Songs:  “American Skin (41 Shots)” from High Hopes  &  “Mary Mary” from American Beauty (EP)

Why They’re On The List: Look, he’s called the Boss for a reason; it’s not like the name was awarded for half-assed music. This time out, he’s done another collection of cover songs, outtakes and re-imagined tracks. It’s done with contributions from both the E Street Band and Tom Morello and nearly every song sounds amazing! If you like Bruuuuuuuccceee, do yourself a favour and give both of these a listen.

3.)  Paolo Nutini – Caustic Love

Best Song:  “Scream (Funk My Life Up)”
Why It’s On The List: Just a great contemporary take on soul and R&B and a tiny little bit of funky funk. The first track is really a great leading track (for almost any playlist) and everything that follows is mellow and soothing while thought-provoking. A great album for a quiet night in, along with some great drinks.

4.)  Sam Roberts Band  –  Lo-Fantasy

Best Song:  “We’re All In This Together”
Why It’s On The List: I was a little worried he might never have another great album, that he “might never be the same again”. Well, I was wrong on both counts. Not only is this album fantastic, it’s also a re-invention of Sam Roberts. Take what you think you know about him and his band, stomp on it with your foot, and kick it across the room. Then pull it apart and crumple it back together. Then paint it with a combination of groovy colours. That’s what this album is!

5.)  Ryan Adams  –  Ryan Adams

Best Song:  “I Just Might”
Why It’s On The List: Personally, I think if you have to ask, then you haven’t obviously ever been listening to any of his work to begin with. And shame on you then. Setting aside a dismal concert performance in E-dot (in my humble opinion), this album is quite possibly his best work yet, and that’s saying something. The guy has already done a ton of amazing work. If you have listened to him, then you know what I’m talking about. And, you’ll agree with me if you know what’s good for you.

6.)  SomeKindaWonderful  –  SomeKindaWonderful

Best Song:  “Devilish Man”
Why It’s On The List: A combination of nearly all genres, somehow it works. Initially, I didn’t think it did. But, on the second listen, there’s quite a bit of complexity to this album. One of the main cases in point is “Devilish Man”; it’s got a catchy but also throwback attitude. The whole thing is quite enjoyable.

7.)  Spoon  –  They Want My Soul

Best Song:  “Inside Out”
Why It’s On The List: Just when you think this album might be trying to be Brit-pop, it veers off into some pretty interesting melodic territory. If you’re familiar with Spoon already, this is their best work so far, in my opinion. And, I think the future is even more promising for this band than ever before, based on this album.

8.)  John Hiatt  –  Terms of My Surrender

Best Song:  “Nobody Knew His Name”
Why It’s On The List: If you like slow Blues, without it sauntering up to you and being all up in your face, then this is a great album for you. It’s not fancy, but that’s a good thing. This is the kind of album I see myself listening to by the fire pit with a beer, and howling at the moon in angelic harmony with the album. I have an angelic voice, you know.

9.)  Vance Joy  –  Dream Your Life Away

Best Song:  “Mess Is Mine”
Why It’s On The List: I like fast-paced Folk riffs. So does everyone else apparently! This album is kind of like if only one guy from Mumford & Sons decided to go solo.

10.)  Royal Blood  –  Royal Blood

Best Song:  “Figure It Out”
Why It’s On The List: Well, NME‘s readers voted it number ‘1’, and that’s worth something, right Unsung? 😉 It’s also a total rebel assault on rock n’ roll itself. Don’t listen to this if you don’t like meat & potatoes rock n’ roll. By the way, based on this, the genre (i.e. ‘rock n’ roll’) is alive and well.

Honourable Mentions

  • U2’s Songs of Innocence had its detractors for obvious reasons, but all in all, it’s a pretty good U2 album. Just not good enough for the main list. Sorry, Bono. But, also congrats for being on my Honourable Mentions list.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack has awesome songs from the seventies. A great playlist unto its own and just awesome homage. FYI reminder, not to be a downer, but “Spirit in the Sky” gets played at my funeral and/or at O’Byrne’s for my wake.
  • Walking Dead soundtrack EP has some phenomenal tracks I’ve never heard of before, especially Sharon Van Etten’s “Serpents (Basement)”; if you like music, you should listen to that track. The track is not from 2014, but the soundtrack is. So, that’s why it’s in Honourable Mentions.
  • Death from Above 1979’s “Trainwreck 1979” is a rip-roaring track!
  • Robert Plant’s lullaby and . . . The Ceaseless Roar has some great tunes on it, if you’ve enjoyed his latter year mellowing melancholy tunes. A little Celtic flavour underlying this one too, which is an interesting juxtaposition to what is an otherwise ordinarily rock-blues-country vocal.
  • Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers’ Hypnotic Eye; after years of not being on charts, that this one made it, and is worth the nod, is worth the nod. Honourable Mention, but not a top 10. Good going, Tom. Maybe a TT Top 10 is in your sights yet. 😉 Keep at it. You’ll make it someday.
  • I only happened to discover The Killers’ “Shot At the Night” during 2014. Yes, it’s a 2013 track from a Greatest Hits compilation. But holy cow! Magnificent track!! I remember being absolutely paralyzed when I first heard it (and that was a good reaction; it’s the reaction to have to music – when it’s soooo good, you can’t move; literally). I have to mention it because I don’t have an Unsung website so, this is my only opportunity for this plug. Yes, I’m a year late. But, if you have only one song you can download this month, this is my absolute 100% foolproof recommendation.
    • Your life will thank you.
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