Last week Muruch’s Top Albums of 2014 were revealed. This week we’re happy to share a Spotify playlist of every song (over 200!) from every album on our list except one (by a certain singer who notoriously pulled her music from Spotify). Enjoy!
It’s that time of year again! This year brought us several astoundingly brilliant releases (especially my #1-5), a shockingly pleasant surprise from a formerly disliked artist (#18?!?) and even more shocking disappointments from formerly beloved ones (Charlie XCX, Foxygen, Leela James, Lia Ices, Gerard Way). Here are the 20 albums I enjoyed most this year. Click the album titles for my original reviews. And you can listen to the albums in this Spotify playlist.
Guest Post By: Laura
25. Mary Lambert: Heart on My Sleeve
24. The Gaslight Anthem: Get Hurt
23. Jamie T: Carry On the Grudge
22. Ed Sheeran: X
21. John Newman: Tribute
20. Against Me!: Transgender Dysphoria Blues
19. Shakey Graves: And the War Came
18. July Talk: Guns & Ammunition
17. James Bay: Let It Go
16. You + Me: Rose Avenue
14. FKA Twigs: LP1
13. Johnny Marr: Playland
12. Cold Specks: Neuroplasticity
11. St. Vincent: St. Vincent
10. Neon Trees: Pop Psychology
9. Banks: Goddess
8. Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways
7. Counting Crows: Somewhere Under Neverland
6. First Aid Kit: Stay Gold
5. Damien Rice: My Favourite Faded Fantasy
4. Hozier: Hozier
3. Jack White: Lazaretto
2. Jenny Lewis: The Voyager
1. Ryan Adams: Ryan Adams
Read more of Laura’s reviews at her music blog Lyrique Discorde
*all mp3s, streams & videos uploaded by & posted w/ permission of artists, labels and/or their PR reps
Mary Lambert’s debut full-length album is aptly titled Heart On My Sleeve. The Seattle singer-songwriter, who garnered national attention for her “Same Love” collaboration and Grammy performance with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, is not one to shy away from baring her heart through her lyrics. It was her own gut-wrenching song “I Know Girls (Body Love)” that first captured our attention here at Muruch and we’re loving her debut album.
Much of the album contains peppy pop tracks in the vein of Sara Bareilles, such as the opener and first single, “Secrets.” I prefer Mary’s big voice and piano playing (which rival Allison Crowe and Tori Amos) without so much polish, but her unabashedly confessional lyrics continue to set her far apart from other artists.
The album truly comes alive and showcases Mary’s extraordinary poetic talent with the beautiful spoken word “Dear One,” which melts exquisitely into the equally enchanting love song “When You Sleep.”
She transforms Rick Springfield’s classic uptempo pop song “Jessie’s Girl” into a pretty piano ballad. Her yearnful, gorgeously multi-faceted soprano adds new dimensions to the unrequited love anthem.
Angel Haze and K.Flay guest on the track “Ribcage” and the solo tracks “So Far Away” and “Monochromatic” are the standouts among the pop songs.
Yet it’s the album’s more quiet, wistful moments that grab the heart and make Mary’s music so compelling. I only wish that heartfelt acoustic side had been explored a bit further and that “I Know Girls (Body Love) had been included. Granted the song was previously released on EP, but Mary’s full-length debut is her true introduction to the world at large in the post-Grammys limelight. Thankfully the finale, “Sum of Our Parts” plays like a triumphant self-acceptance sequel to “Body Love.”
Mary Lambert’s Heart On My Sleeve is one of the stronger debuts of recent years and will definitely be on my best of the year list. Mary Lambert deserves to be a star and the world needs to hear her spectacular music and poetry.