The Rentals – Lost In Alphaville
What can I saw about this album? It’s BY FAR my favourite of 2014, in fact I’d been waiting for a new album from The Rentals in what seemed like forever. Every year I’d hope a new album would be on the cards and this year my wish was answered. It is absolutely spectacular, as I mentioned several times in the review I wrote after it was released. Their debut album, Return Of The Rentals, is one of my favourite albums of all time however the follow up, Seven More Minutes, wasn’t nearly as good. But Lost In Alphaville was a real return to form for the band. Every single song from start to finish is perfect. Some albums I listen to a lot and then stop listening to but this one hasn’t been like that, I’ve listened to it consistently since it was released and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. If you don’t have this album (or don’t know who The Rentals are) then please get it now!
The Allman Brothers Band – The 1971 Fillmore East Recordings
The 1971 Fillmore East Recordings are an expanded set of songs from The Allman Brothers Band’s legendary shows at the Fillmore East in New York in March 1971. At Fillmore East was the original live album, released in 1971, and is considered one of the best live albums of all time. However this set contains every single set the band played during their time at the Fillmore East in March of that year, minus the first day where the sound was ruined due to the inclusion of a brass section. But what we have here is all of the other sets together for the first time, and boy it’s great to have them. What I love in particular is listening to the different versions of songs. The version of Statesboro Blues which featured on the original live album is iconic but listening to the other versions of that one song the band played in the other sets is fantastic. This release has probably given me the most pleasure this year, it’s superb,
She & Him – Classics
As soon as this album was announced mid-way through 2014, I couldn’t wait to get it. She & Him have been one of my favourite bands since their debut album Volume One was released back in 2008. Since then they’ve released two other studio albums, a Christmas album and now an album devoted to classic songs. The production on this album is simply divine and drenched in reverb which just adds to the whole feel and vibe from the get go. The collection of songs are nothing but perfect and M. Ward, Zooey Deschanel and their band are in fine form. The highlight for me is I’ll Never Be Free which Zooey Deschanel sings to perfection. If you don’t fall in love with her upon listening to this song, then frankly, there’s something wrong with you! Great album.
Beck – Morning Phase
Six whole years after Beck’s last studio album, Modern Guilt, I was unbelievably excited to hear his latest album and I wasn’t disappointed when I did. When it’s lead single Blue Moon was released prior to the album I knew it would be something special. Many other people who reviewed it consider Morning Phase a natural successor to Beck’s 2002 album Sea Change. I can see where they are coming from but for me, I think he takes his work in a completely new direction. Yes the songs can be compared to Sea Change in terms of feel but it’s a step forward and not a step back. It’s a very enjoyable album, I hope we don’t have to wait another six years for Beck’s next release.
You+Me – rose ave.
This album was a real surprise for me. I’ve been a City and Colour fan for a number of years now and I wasn’t sure what I’d think about the album when I heard Pink was half of this duo. She’s known for big stage productions when singing live and roaring vocals but her input here is absolutely fantastic. I’d love more City and Colour albums in the future but I’d settle for more from these two as a duo as well. Their vocals really compliment each other beautifully and Dallas Green, as always, is fantastic on acoustic guitar.
Nina Persson – Animal Heart
This is an album I reviewed upon release and I loved it instantly. Having been a fan of The Cardigans since getting the Gran Turismo Playstation game as a child (My Favourite Game featured on the soundtrack) I couldn’t wait to hear her debut album. She’s without a doubt one of my favourite female singers and the album didn’t disappoint.