Hello everyone! For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Adit Ahmed, and I’ve been with Mind Equals Blown since July of this past year. It has been a lot of fun contributing to such a great site over the past few months. 2014 was a pretty great year as far as music is concerned. I haven’t had the chance to catch all of the great releases this year, because it was just so hard for me to stop listening to some of these albums, it put the others at a disadvantage. I did explore a lot of other music this year, but 2014 was chock full of great releases to keep my hunger quenched. There are a lot of things I need to do 2015, including catching up on all of the great releases of the past 12 months, but for now, I hope you can put up with my list of favorites from the past year. Keep in mind, these are favorites, the music from this past year that has meant the most to me, and is in no way a declaration of objective quality. That being said, goodbye 2014, you were a good one. Here’s to 2015 and all it has to offer.
Our emotions are complicated. We may feel different with each passing day, but we know that with a sad day can come a smile, and with a happy day can come a frown. On Ixora, Copeland returns with a record that carries with it an emotive experience. Each song evokes a different set of emotions, and each listen will send you a different set. It is densely packed, and waxes and wanes from song to song. They may have been tucked away for four years, but Copeland is as close to our hearts as ever.
It’s a story we may tell our kids. When Laura Jane Grace and her band released this record, we were able to feel some skin skin. Gone was the insecurity and animosity Tom Gabel faced as a child, as we are here listening to Laura’s story, as that is what this record has enabled us to do. A candid look into Grace’s outing as transgender, this record is a battle cry of sorts. We shouldn’t fear who we really are, as confronting our identity is something truly liberating. Take it from Laura Jane Grace.
I love Taylor Swift. I’m not sure if I’m breaking some music journalist code by saying that, but I really, really love Taylor Swift. Since her “Teardrops On My Guitar” days, I’ve been right by Ms. Swift’s side, rooting for her with every new frontier that her career has taken. With 1989, Taylor Swift proved to us once again why she is arguably the biggest pop star in the world. It is far from cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all pop music. It’s Taylor Swift doing pop music her way, and the results are spot-on.
One of my biggest goals as a music fan is to find albums that I will listen to on repeat for hours. When I listened to Absent Sounds for the first time, it possessed this sense of intimacy that stuck with me the second, fifth, and twenty-fifth times that I have listened to it. An intense and confident effort, From Indian Lakes may find themselves in new waters, but the results are mighty and majestic. This record has weaved its way into me, and has maintained its strength and value with each listen.
Chills ripple down my spine with every listen. When the 289-word poem that is “An Introduction To The Album” carries into the intense catharsis of “The Scope Of All Of This Rebuilding,” all feels right. Every layer of “Among The Wallflowers” builds a brick tower, and “Housebroken” comes in to shatter it. This album has the punch of Déjà Entendu, maybe even Clarity. In the emo revival, The Hotelier has rendered themselves forefathers, and I’m lucky enough to understand why.
11. Prawn – Kingfisher
12. Aviator – Head In The Clouds, Hands In The Dirt
13. Spoon – They Want My Soul
14. Somos – Temple Of Plenty
15. Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness – Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness
16. Modern Baseball – You’re Gonna Miss It All
17. La Dispute – Rooms Of The House
18. Accents – Tall Tales
19. Sorority Noise – Forgettable
20. Have Mercy – A Place Of Our Own
A Few Albums That I Missed Out On:
February 21 – Kanye West, Yeezus Tour (Uncasville, CT)
June 19 – Fall Out Boy/Paramore/New Politics, Monumentour (Hartford, CT)
August 2 – Panic! At the Disco/Walk The Moon/Magic Man, The Gospel Tour (Uncasville, CT)
Sorority Noise – Forgettable, 7.0 (From 8.5, -1.5)
The Sun And The Sea – American Empire, 7.0 (From 8.0, -1.0)
Lee Corey Oswald – Regards, 6.5 (From 7.0, -0.5)
Aviator – Head In The Clouds, Hands In The Dirt, 8.0 (From 8.5, -0.5)
Moose Blood – I’ll Keep You In Mind, From Time To Time, 7.0 (From 7.5, -0.5)
Forever Came Calling – What Matters Most, 8.0 (From 7.5, +0.5)
Have Mercy – A Place Of Our Own, 7.5 (From 7.0, +0.5)
Taylor Swift – 1989, 8.0 (From 7.5, +0.5)
Copeland – Ixora, 8.5 (From 8.0, +0.5)
Most Anticipated: Kanye West