Kelly Does Her Best: Top 14 Albums of ’14… and Then Some

In 2013, Jason Isbell’s Southeastern was so stunningly fantastic, that it was impossible not to declare it as my favorite record of the year, even as Brandy Clark’s 12 Stories, Ashley Monroe’s Like a Rose, and Holly Williams’ The Highway all tied for a very, very close second. This year, there were a bunch of records that I liked a whole lot — some that even stopped me in my tracks for the first few spins and many that I keep going back to for deeper listens — but none that demanded, necessarily, the top seat. So, this ranking is somewhat arbitrary, but so is life. What are you gonna do?

Favorite Albums of 2014
1. Jonah Tolchin – Clover Lane
2. Katie Herzig – Walk Through Walls
3. Ani DiFranco – Allergic to Water
4. Rosanne Cash – The River & the Thread
5. Hozier – Hozier
6. Lee Ann Womack – The Way I’m Livin’
7. Pieta Brown – Paradise Outlaw
8. Parker Millsap – Parker Millsap
9. First Aid Kit – Stay Gold
10. Robby Hecht – Robby Hecht
11. Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds in Country Music
12. Robert Ellis – The Lights from the Chemical Plant
13. The War on Drugs – Lost in the Dream
14. Joan Osborne – Love and Hate

 

hozier

Favorite Roots Albums by Guys under 25
Jonah Tolchin – Clover Lane
Hozier – Hozier
Parker Millsap – Parker Millsap
Robert Ellis – The Lights from the Chemical Plant
Noah Gundersen – Ledges

 

cashFavorite “Comeback” Albums by Women Who Never Went Away
Rosanne Cash – The River & the Thread
Lee Ann Womack – The Way I’m Livin’
Joan Osborne – Love and Hate
Annie Lennox Nostalgia
Sinéad O’Connor – I’m Not Bossy, I’m the Boss

 

Katie Album ArtFavorite Albums by Artists I Know Personally
Katie Herzig – Walk Through Walls
Robby Hecht – Robby Hecht
Ben Glover – Atlantic
Peter Bradley Adams – The Mighty Storm
Natalia Zukerman – Come Thief, Come Fire

 

aniFavorite Albums by Long-Time Favorite Artists
Ani DiFranco – Allergic to Water
Beck – Morning Phase
Lori McKenna – Numbered Doors
Amy Ray – Goodnight Tender
Natalie Merchant – Natalie Merchant

 

SOR_Pieta-Brown_Paradise-OutlawFavorite Albums by Artists I Hadn’t Previously Listened To
Pieta Brown – Paradise Outlaw
First Aid Kit – Stay Gold
Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds in Country Music
The War on Drugs – Lost in the Dream
Sharon Van Etten – Are We There

 

palomaFavorite Albums by Artists Who Are More Pop Than I Normally Listen To
Paloma Faith – A Perfect Contradiction
Coldplay – Ghost Stories
LP – Forever For Now
St. Vincent – St. Vincent
The Ting Tings – Super Critical

 

Brandy_Clark-Cover_Art-12_StoriesFavorite Album Quietly Re-Released in 2014 on a Major Label after Topping All the Best of 2013 Lists as an Indie
Brandy Clark – 12 Stories