Adam Schenkel, WCYT General Manager
I hate these Top 10 lists at the end of each calendar year, not because it’s hard to find 10 great albums – and just being honest, this year was extraordinarily easy to do that – but because I am afraid I’ll omit an album (or three!) or discover something after the fact.
Yes, this is coming from the guy who had Tegan and Sara in his Top 10 last year. I liked that album, in a cheesy/80s pop type of way, but not having The National’s Trouble Will Find Me or The Strokes Comedown Machine makes my list look very amateur. I listened to those albums but didn’t recognize how good they were until after the New Year. I am afraid I will do that this time around once again.
One thing for sure is that my #1 isn’t up for debate and won’t be in time either. It’s made almost everyone’s Top 10 of the year, but I am going as far as saying it’s the best album I’ve heard since Radiohead’s In Rainbows seven years ago. Ask anyone that knows me, I’ve tried pawning this album off to them all year long. There’s something going on here that I can’t explain, it’s timeless, it’s depressing and uplifting at the same time, it’s perfect.
1. War On Drugs – Lost In The Dream
With so many musical influences ringing through each track (Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen must be smiling), along with some of the most haunting lyrics I’ve ever heard mixed in with beautiful sounds from a multitude of instruments, the album literally sucks you in and doesn’t let up for 60 minutes. It’s pure, it’s unique, it’s original. And it just keeps getting better with every passing week. There is no doubt in my mind that this will still be in my playlist 10 years from now. It also contains three of the best songs of the year (if I did a Top 10 song list, these three songs would be on it). “Red Eyes,” in my opinion, is the best song from 2014.
2. Real Estate – Atlas
Almost the exact opposite of Lost In The Dream, the latest from Real Estate is perfect in its simplicity. A short album with no wide array of instruments being used on different tracks, the band from New Jersey just keeps it up with every song that appears on the record. Some may say it all sounds the same, but after a couple of listens you begin hearing the difference and uniqueness of each track.