A decade ago, I wrote a series of entries ranking my favorite albums from 1985 to 2004. My collection has expanded greatly since then, particularly in the last five years. So I wanted to see what has changed in 10 years.
I relaunched this site in early 2014 to focus more on discovering catalog music than newer artists. As a result, I didn’t get a chance to revise the Favorite Edition 2013 list after I discovered a number of critical favorites.
Jason Isbell, Southeastern
Jarell Perry, Simple Things
Patty Griffin, Silver Bell
Sam Amidon, Bright Sunny South
James Blake, Overgrown
Sigur Rós, Kveikur
Hem, Departure and Farewell
Blood Orange, Cupid Deluxe
Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, Old Yellow Moon
LEO Imai, Made from Nothing
Other favorites from the year:
Kanye West, Yeezus
Johnny Hates Jazz, Magnetized
TV Mania, Bored with the Internet and Prozac?
Ty Herndon, Lies I Told Myself
Res, Refried Mac
Janelle Monáe, The Electric Lady
Jason Isbell had caught my eye with the stark but stunning cover of Southeastern, but I didn’t follow up on that fascination till well into 2014. Nor did I make the connection between Blood Orange and Solange till after 2013 had passed.
Isbell and Blood Orange bumped Johnny Hates Jazz and TV Mania, while Rhye and Kanye West nearly crack the Favorite 10.
I dug The College Dropout, but West can teach Billy Corgan lessons in being insufferable. Yeezus, though, sounded like an indie rock record, so I could overlook the man and focus on the art. I wouldn’t cut him that slack nowadays.
Ty Herndon came out of the closet in 2014, and he was cute enough for me to take a listen to his greatest hits collection, This Is Ty Herndon. I ended up liking it more than I expected, mostly because I really can’t stand country radio.
Lies I Told Myself shows up on this list because it sounds way more confident than anything on This Is Ty Herndon.