Every year I offer a bit of reflection on the last four quarters of music more so for my own personal musings. I have an annual personal journal (yes, I only update it once a year) for much the same reason: experiencing time is weird and full of paradoxes. It seems to go by fast, but so much happens. Little details go missing in the blur. Attempting to assign some descriptors known as words onto the experiences seems almost futile. But here I am.
For music, 2014 was an exceptional year. There were a few headline leaders taking a lot of acclaim as usual, but there is incredible volume of high quality artists making music. This is in thanks both to the democratization of the tools used in making/producing music as well as the continued improvement of digital distribution/streaming. Obviously we’ve been heading in this direction for a while now, but now that it’s being more frequently embraced by both content creators and listeners, the result has been incredible.
If you have the urge to listen to something new of any genre, it’s easier than ever. There are services that will even do the hard work of finding those artists for you. It used to be only a few crazies like me who would take the time to dig up and research new artists, but now, anyone with Pandora or Spotify can dive into something new. And I’m not being elitist about that — I think it’s awesome, and I’m glad people can experience new content so easily. Thanks, information age: you have officially become digital crack cocaine. And the masses are euphoric.
I felt so passionately about so many albums this year that 50 albums was starting to feel like too few. But the limitation helps me be more critical about the quality. I almost did narrative for the entire lot, but once again, it’s only for the top 20. I mean, for that alone, it’s nearly 10 pages of text in Google Documents. I don’t think people care what I have to say that much.
Okay, here we are. The list follows at the break: