20 Best Albums of 2014

With Thanksgiving leftovers still rotting in the fridge, the season for year-end lists and arguments over what records were the best is off and running – there’s no escaping it. It was a hell of a strange calendar run for album releases, where guaranteed winners were big-box polarizers, icons ruined their legacy with uninvited iTunes invasions and a hardcore band of white boys from California made a phenomenal mariachi record. Needless to say, our speakers got quite a workout this year – now we’re taking a look back at the best of the best.

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Filtering down the best albums of the year is always an exercise in the teeth-shattering pressure of indecision, sonic conflict and deeply violated deadlines. But we have finally cleared the rubble and wreckage to bring you the definitive list of the 20 Best Albums of 2014. Let the debates – but, more importantly, the replays – begin.

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