Thursday, 1 January 2015

Schönberg's Top 10 Albums of 2014

I would like to say that, owing to overwhelming pressure from the blog-reading public, my annual top 10 albums of the year countdown returns. However, when I say 'overwhelming pressure' I mean that one person, namely John Sills, has asked that the annual long-player summary of the year be resurrected once again. So, in true Wayne's World style, this is a special one-off blog for an audience of one, if you like what you read we're at Pine Way in Aurora, Illinois, so Ladies and Gentlemen I give you.... Schönberg's top 10 albums of 2014!!!

I wrote last year that 2013 had heralded a move from CDs to digital downloads in my music collection, and that this had made me listen to more albums rather than the predicted move to single track purchases. Well, 2014 saw another media-shift in the Schönberg collection, a move from owning music to 'renting' through streaming media supplier Spotify. I spend £10 per month on Spotify's premium service, the price of one or two albums, and have access to myriad of new releases and back-catalogues. Now there is no reason to not try an album out, for fear of buying a pup, a simple download and listen in the car on the way to work will normally give me an idea of whether the album is worth pursuing more, or whether I should delete it from my phone and replace with something else. This means that I have been able to be much more adventurous with my choices this year, something that I think shows in the broadness of my top 10.

So, strap yourself in:

10. The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream

9. Johnny Marr - Playland

8. The Horrors - Luminous

7. Royal Blood - Royal Blood

6. Metronomy - Love Letters

5. Alvvays - Alvvays

4. Death from Above 1979 - The Physical World

3. Todd Terje - It's Album Time

2. Teleman - Breakfast

1. Allo' Darlin - We Come From The Same Place

So there you have it. An eclectic top 10 ranging from the indie-folk musings of Allo Darlin' through the funky club electronica of Todd Terje all the way to the down and dirty grunge rock of Death from Above 1979. I hope 2015 is as interesting and varied in a music sense as 2014 has been.

Footnote. My number one album of 2014 shows the power of Spotify. Back in 2010 I was blown away by Allo Darlin's debut album, but their 2012 follow up (Europe), save for a couple of cracking tracks, left me a bit cold. If it wasn't for the option to try out the third album without shelling out good money, I may have declined to purchase it and would therefore have been denied this beauty. I'm still not sure of whether the economics of Spotify work, or whether the smaller, independent bands get a good deal, maybe someone can educate me on this.


John J Sills said...

Wonderful! I'm honoured and grateful...

I bought quite a few from your list last year, and will be streaming all this year!

Chris Phillips said...


I think I'm finally set up to comment ...

I thought I'd best have a listen to at least some of these, and have got as far as 'The War On Drugs' - which I really like. It's made up of long tracks though, and that's plus for me, but I would have thought that it would have put you off - looks like I'm wrong.

I'll get you into classical music yet.

I'm also enjoying Spotify Premium and am still continuing to pay for albums I like, but like you, using Spotify to filter out things I might have otherwise wasted money on.

I have yet to find a 'Stuff that Chris doesn't know but would like' playlist for myself, but subscribe to 'New Music Tuesday' where I have found some good stuff, but there's a fair bit of filtering to do as all genres are covered.

John Lamb said...

I'm still working through them as well Chris. If you'd like to send me your top ten or new music tips if be happy to put them in the blog.

Chris Phillips said...

What does that produce?