Katie Hasty’s Top 50 Albums of 2014

This isn't even a representation of what I listened to the most.

Top 10 and Top Albums list at year-end can be a popularity contest. They can be just another way to celebrate singles artists. It could be about enjoying the brand just as much as the album itself. Top 10s can be a metaphor for feelings.

Objectively, you can't say there's such thing as a definitive way to go-about making a year-end list. It can waver year to year: last year, I'd say my choices felt like they were all about color and boldness. This year, for me, it felt like it was all about discord.

FKA Twigs is not for everybody, but  “LP1” simply was one of the most put-together, challenging sets that moved me this year. I can't listen to the damned thing just any time. That wasn't how I marked it. Young Fathers basically made an album that was all my favorite depressing things all in one joyful place. Perfect Pussy's “Say Yes to Love” sounds like it was recorded in a tile bathroom with a holy purpose among seething band members. What a beautiful thing. I can't get anything done when I listen to Aphex “Syro.” And so on.

I look forward to the “What, you don't have [XYZ Artist] on your list? God is dead and your life is sham!” comments every year. Tell me what you loved in 2014.

1. FKA twigs, “LP1”
2. Young Fathers, “Dead”
3. Aphex Twin, “Syro” Warp
4. Perfect Pussy, “Say Yes To Love”
5. Run The Jewels, “RTJ2”
6. Sylvan Esso, “Sylvan Esso”
7. Sturgill Simpson, “Metamodern Sounds In Country Music”
8. Flying Lotus, “You're Dead”
9. Godflesh, “A World Lit Only By Fire”
10. My Brightest Diamond, “This Is My Hand”
11. D'Angelo, “Black Messiah”
12. Statik Selektah, “What Goes Around”
13. YOB, “Clearing the Path to Ascend”
14. Tinashe, “Aquarius”
15. Parquet Courts, “Sunbathing Animal”
16. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, “Piñata”
17. Jessie Ware, “Tough Love”
18. Luluc, “Passerby”
19. Frankie Cosmos, “Zentropy”
20. Clark, “Clark”
21. Moodymann, “Moodymann”
22. Kelis, “Food”
23. Swans, “To Be Kind”
24. East India Youth, “Total Strife Forever”
25. MØ, “No Mythologies to Follow”
26. Caribou, “Our Love”
27. Beyonce, “Beyonce”
28. The Phantom Band, “Strange Friend”
29. Schoolboy Q, “Oxymoron”
30. Shellac, “Dude Incredible”
31. Miranda Lambert, “Platinum”
32. St. Vincent, “St. Vincent”
33. Vince Staples, “Hell Can Wait”
34. Asgeir, “In the Silence”
35. Future, “Honest”
36. The War on Drugs, “Lost in the Dream”
37. Hozier, “Hozier”
38. Hurray for the Riff Raff, “Small Town Heroes”
39. Charli XCX, “Sucker”
40. J. Cole, “2014 Forest Hills Drive”
41. Angel Olsen, “Burn Your Fire For No Witness”
42. Ex Hex, “Rips”
43. Pharrell, “G I R L”
44. Eyehategod, “Eyehategod”
45. Mr. Gnome, “The Heart of a Dark Star”
46. Perfume Genius, “Too Bright”
47. Steve Dawson, “Rattlesnake Cage”
48. Ought, “More Than Any Other Day”
49. Beck, “Morning Phase”
50. Prince, “Art Official Age”