#25 – Leonard Cohen – Popular Problems – Feel Connected Top 50 Albums of 2014
At age 80, Leonard Cohen has created a masterpiece. It’s a smoldering, after-hours brew, which is delivered with a sneaky soft feel that veils deep earnestness. “Slow,” is a smokey opening track, allowing Cohen to seize the opportunity to dismiss notions that his age might be responsible for the sedate pace of the music: “It’s not because I’m old/ It’s not what dying does/ I always liked it slow/ Slow is in my blood.”
Cohen’s lyrics are enlightening, rarely including rhymes, often with a disturbing underlying message. Leaving the listener to contemplate the deeper meanings, and the imagery that continues to linger long after the band’s music fades. The album ends with the airy hymn “You Got Me Singing,” suggesting Cohen is in no hurry to retire: “You got me singing even though the world is gone/ You got me thinking that I’d like to carry on/ You got me singing even though it all looks grim/ You got me singing the Hallelujah hymn.”
#26 – Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Piñata – Feel Connected Top 50 Albums of 2014
Piñata is the collaborative studio album by Indiana rapper Freddie Gibbs and California hip hop musician Madlib. Piñata was released on March 18, 2014, under Madlib Invazion; following three stellar EP releases over a two and a half year period, including Thuggin’ (2011), Shame (2012) and Deeper (2013). The entire album is produced by Madlib, and the 17-track LP lives up to the bold promise of “featuring every mother fucker in the rap game worth fucking with,” with features from Raekwon, Earl Sweatshirt, Danny Brown, Domo Genesis, Scarface, BJ the Chicago Kid, Ab-Soul, Casey Veggies, Meechy Darko, Mac Miller, and more.
#27 – TV on the Radio – Seeds – Feel Connected Top 50 Albums of 2014
Seeds is the band’s first album in three years and its first album on legendary ’70s prog-rock label Harvest. TV on the Radio peaked from 2006 to 2008, and the past several years have been trying for band. Their longtime bassist Gerard Smith passed away from cancer days after Nine Types of Light was released, and the group also left its label Interscope. With Seeds the band shares their new sleek sound, likely due to guitarist/producer David Sitek, and remind the listener that TV ON The Radio is still a really good rock band.
Watch TV On The Radio perform “Happy Idiot” on David Letterman
TV on the Radio are on tour in support of Seeds, check out the dates below.
TV on the Radio Tour:
12-09 Seattle, WA – Key Arena
12-11 Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom
02-07 Geneva, Switzerland – Antigel Festival
02-09 Paris, France – Le Trianon
02-10 Brussels, Belgium – AB
02-11 Amsterdam, Netherlands – Paradiso Grote Zaal
02-12 Hamburg, Germany – Mojo
02-14 Reykjavik, Iceland – Sonar Festival
02-16 Edinburgh, Scotland – Queens Hall
02-17 Manchester, England – Albert Hall
02-19 Leeds, England – O2 Academy
02-20 Birmingham, England – Institute
02-21 London, England – Roundhouse
03-20 Dallas, TX – Granada Theater
03-21 Kansas City, KS – Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland
03-23 Chicago, IL – Metro
03-24 Milwaukee, WI – Pabst Theater
03-26 Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre
03-28 Salt Lake City, UT – The Depot
03-29 Boise, ID – Treefort Music Fest
03-31 Oakland, CA – Fox Theater
04-02 San Diego, CA – North Park Theatre
04-03 Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Palladium
#28 – GOAT – Commune – Feel Connected Top 50 Albums of 2014
GOAT, a Swedish collective that makes hypnotic music that infuses EDM and Jamband-esque soundscapes with Afrobeat grooves and rhythms. GOAT embodies the spirit of 1960’s hippies with their guitar licks and psychedelic tones; and their rhythms conjure the lateFela Kuti.
Commune, GOAT’s second album, is rich with deep minimalistic organic grooves that remind me of the band Can, but there are also moments that would fit comfortably as an relic from the Haight-Ashbury in 1969. Throughout, the album’s strong, clear vibe positively calls out for listeners to don face paint, have a smoke, and dance around their living room chanting the hypnotic themes Commune.
In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Blur frontman Damon Albarn has revealed that he’s been “in the process of reactivating Gorillaz for a 2016 release.” The virtual band has not released an album since 2011’s The Fall.
In other news, Gorillaz co-founder Jamie Hewlett recently shared his future plans on Instagram. The UK artist and co-creator of Tank Girl, intends to publish a retrospective collection of his artwork in the form of a 518-page book. The book will feature drawings from Hewlett’s prolific 25-year career. The book’s release date is still unknown, but it ultimately could fill the void left by the inactivated Gorillaz, and provide some interesting material for fans who have been awaiting their next release.
See some of Hewlett’s artwork below:
In 2012, ABSOLUT launched their limited edition bottle in collaboration with artist Jamie Hewlett.
#29 – Jack White – Lazaretto – Feel Connected Top 50 Albums of 2014
Rich with tasty guitar riffs, energetic vocals, and Bonham-esque rhythm sections, Jack White’s Lazaretto is a truly timeless rock album.
Jack White – “Lazaretto”
“High Ball Stepper” from Jack White’s new album LAZARETTO.
Check out the fresh new single “Addicted” from JMSN‘s new soul album Blue Album, to be released December 9th on all major digital distributors. “Addicted” has an infectious bass line, dope backbeat, carefully crafted voice samples, and soulful vocals. If you are really digging JMSN you can pre-order Blue from JMSN for less than $7 here.
#30 – Eno•Hyde – High Life – Feel Connected Top 50 Albums of 2014
Eno•Hyde, better known as Brian Eno and Karl Hyde, released two albums on Warp Records in 2014. First, Someday World was released in May. Less than two months later the duo released High Life. The latter has a sound reminiscent of 20th century minimalism composers like Steve Reich and Phillip Glass.
To many music lovers Brian Eno is an icon in experimental electronic music. He has influenced a number of great artists; The Talking Heads, David Bowie, Coldplay, U2, David Byrne, and DEVO. Today Eno’s influence has broadened into the design of generative music apps like Bloom, Scape, Trope, and Air.
#31 – Todd Terje – It’s Album Time – Feel Connected Top 50 Albums of 2014
It’s Album Time is the debut release by Norwegian DJ and producer Todd Terje, released April 8, 2014, on Olsen Records
For over a decade Todd Terje has been DJing, producing and remixing, however he remains unknown to the majority of American music lovers. Breaking out of obscurity with It’s Album Time, which is loaded with deep dance grooves and gnarly synths. The two fuse to create a retro-nu disco sound that I’m certain anyone would enjoy. Terje’s debut is well crafted and overall a great album. Make a connection!