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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

the best albums of 2014, top artist

What: end of year lists
Who: Wildfire Reviews
When: December 2014
Why: Topping off the best of 2014!

Here we have it finally, the best albums and top artist of 2014.

Enjoy the read folks!



Top Artist:

Michael Franti

Although this might come as a surprise to some readers, it's a no doubt in connection to Wildfire Reviews who's this year's top artist is: Michael Franti.
We were going to feature Taylor Swift or Katy Perry or the War on Drugs, but we'd rather focus on an artist that has not only helped out Wildfire Reviews but has had an impact on the reviewer this year.
That artist by far is Michael Franti, who we saw performing live at Mountain Jam X. The reason why is simple:
Michael Franti gave the most emotional performance of the year, and it was heartfelt and warming. Not only that, but he was one of the best performers at Mountain Jam X.
'I don't really like that style of music, but mean that was entertaining as hell' said fellow Mountain Jammer and music performer Tom Hutchinson.
Michael gave a warming speech about disabled kids and the challenge of his own son in his performance that connected home. He also spent most of his set in the crowd at Mountain Jam, which was extremely fun to see and witness.
Warren Haynes also came out during his set to tease the crowd with an edition of 'Rambling Man'.
All in all, although we could have went with T Swift or K Perry, the artist of 2014 for Wildfire Reviews is Michael Franti, who gave an excellent and emotional performance at Mountain Jam X.

The Best Albums of 2014 Are:
1)
Lights-Little Machines

By the 3rd listen to Little Machines, any Lights fans will agree that her music has never been any stronger. She's matured greatly and these songs truly show it, each song of the album is extremely catchy and fun to listen to, and Lights even gets serious on a number of tunes. She's an artist that deserves much more attention that what she's been given the past few decades, although her fans are more true to her than ever and will stick by her to the end.
2)
T Swift-1989

By now everyone has listened to 1989 and for good reason. It's one of the best albums of the year, and its truly a pop masterpiece. Move over Katy Perry, because Taylor Swift has the pop universe by swarm. She's everyone bees knees, and like Bob Dylan going electric, she has started a trend in the music industry that will hopefully not fade away as more artist maybe switching genres soon.
3)
U2-Songs of Innocence

Everyone that is talking crap about the new U2 album and Rolling Stone magazine should have actually LISTENED to it besides complaining it was for free on their Itunes. And what the heck, why not? U2 has always produced good albums, but Songs of Innocence is actually one of the best albums of their career in the past 20 years. It's a great listen to from start to finish, so all the haters need to sit back and actually give the album a try.
4)
St. Vincent-St Vincent

Everything abut St. Vincent's new album is powerful, and it shows on every track. It's the best music of her career by far, and St. Vincent is one of those artists that keeps on getting better as time goes by. For those of you that have no idea who she is, this is a perfect album to start listening because its haunting and catchy at the same time, like the rest of her music but even better.
5)
The Black Keys-Turn Blue

This year the Black Keys really turned it up with Turn Blue, and it's paid off. It's a great blues album and a change for the Keys that may have won over some new fans. It's important to note that its not just a rock record but its more bluesy than anything they've ever done before, and it sounds excellent. Die hard fans of the band may turn a blind eye to the new record, but it's a great piece of musical work that truly shows the two lead frontman's ability to produce a vairity of different sounds.
6)
The War on Drugs-Lost in the Dream
Like St. Vincent, The War on Drugs keeps on getting better with every album they produce. With their most current album, this indie folk rock group have really pressed a name to their selves and have finally came out onto mainstream media. And that's a good thing, because more and more people need to realize how great they are and take a listen to a band who's a cross between Explosions in the Sky, Dawes & Bob Dylan.
7)
Bruce Springsteen-High Hopes
Springsteen has never really produced a bad record, and although High Hopes may not be as great as his previous effort, it's still great and classic Springsteen. The tunes on this album are cutting edge and should please both new and fans alike, although it is a bit different from his other earlier stuff. But hey, that's a good thing, ane one song that stands alone on the album is 'Just like Fire Wood'. If your a die hard Springsteen fan, you shouldn't be dissapointed with High Hopes.
8)
Willie Nelson-Band of Bothers
An album that has been overlooked by many best of year lists that shouldn't be is the new album by Willie Nelson. Willie sounds better than ever on the new record, and it should be noted that each tune sounds professional and extremely well done and cut. It's fresh sounding but at the same time sounds like classic Willie Nelson, and he's able to produce a record that is both new and old at the same time which is amazing to say the least.
9) 
Against Me-Transgender Dysphoria Blues
Nothing like a little punk rock to shake up the music world. Against Me! did the definition of that this year with the release of their highly anticipated new album-Transgender Dysphoria Blues. The album hits home and is an extremely emotional one-which is rare for this type of music. The songs on the album are more professionally done than anything the band has previously released, and the guitar playing as well as vocals are over the top and meaningful. TDB maybe one of the best punk albums of the last ten years by any band, and should be a beacon for fellow artists for years to come in the genre.
10)
Lykke Li-I never Learn
Lykke Li is a favorite for many indie lovers and after one listen to 'I never Learn' one can understand why. It's a suburb album from back to finish-one of the best of 2014 and the best of her career by far, Lykke Li has really progressed and found her muse in her unique style of acoustic, folks sounds. I Never Learn is a great additional to her catalog, and her lyrics are more powerful than ever. The album is unique because it sounds a bit different than the rest of her tunes and is much more than a breakup album.
11)
Spoon-They Want my Soul
Spoon's 'They Want my Soul' is an album that grows on you after the first listen. While it may sound like just another Spoon album, after listening to it after the first time, the album is clearly deeper than their previous efforts. While its their eight studio album and a mid career release, 'They Want my Soul' is a perfect indie record that defines who Spoon really are. The songs are ever so catchy, poppy and pure and entertaining to say the least, despite a rather unemotional and plain hit single that throws off the album which sounds completely different. Spoon fans won't be disappointing if they really listen to the album, and its what a mid career album should sound like for your American indie rock group.
12)
Sharon Van Etten- Are We there?
Another artist that has truly found her muse on her last record is Sharon Van Etten with 'Are We there?' With powerful vocals and acoustic guitar, it's as if she's broken out from the rest of her work and gave us something to the next level in her music playing. By the end of the album one has a sense of profoundness and satisfaction of listening to a good record for an artist who truly does great work at blending in her voice and lyrics to the music. 'Are We There' is by far Sharon Van Etten's best work, and this artist is another female musician where each record seems to be better than the last.
13)
Jenny Lewis-Voyager
Just after one listen and you'll fall in love with Jenny Lewis's The Voyager. Each song is almost like a movie and has great song writing behind it, but yet again Miss Jenny Lewis is a great song writer as it is. Although 'The Voyager' maybe another love album, some of the other tunes on the album that aren't about love really stand out, including the one about the Gypsy woman in Paris and the self titled track. It's a great folksy pop record that really shows out who Jenny Lewis and her band really are. Fans won't be disapointed.
14)
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers- Hypnotic Eye
It really shows that on Hypnotic Eye Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers are one of the only classic rock groups of the 60s and 70s who haven't lost a member due to death, illness or someone leaving the band. The band really comes to full force in Hypnotic Eye, showing that they aren't going to be laying down and resting up any time soon. The album has some great unique tunes to it, especially the several radio hits 'American Dream Plan B', and 'Shadow People' on the far end of the album. While it's nothing different, Hypnotic Eye is a classic Tom Petty album.
15)
Weezer-Everything Will be Alright In The End
Although originally written as a bad review from Wildfire Reviews for this album, Weezer's 'Everything will be alright in the end' is on this list because it's a classic album from the band. They didn't disappoint their die hard fans, and the album seems to define who the group is as a whole, even the title in itself.  While the album sounds like half if it doesn't belong on this record, the songs that do fit in really stand out for themselves and prove a point that Weezer aren't going any where and those die fans will ever more happier as the songs sound like old Weezer more so than any of their previous records.



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