Albums That Weren’t Total Shit in 2014 – Second in a Series!

Luke Haines – New York in the ’70s
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A prequel to the latest Taylor Swift album/a tribute in the form of a piss take that manages what we call “the Mudhoney trick” round here, i.e. it somehow sounds even more like a work of severe spiritual devotion for the fact that the devotees in question have their tongues firmly wedged in their cheeks.

Loud Reed Lou Reed.

Cooly G – Wait ‘til Night

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The club in the bedroom in the club. Some reviews said it lacked the narrative depth of her previous album, but while you’re in the moment you never mind.

Ex-Hex – Rips

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No one sounds like they’re having more fun playing basic-arsed guitar lines than Mary Timoney (aside from maybe John Darnielle, and even then only mid-concert) and here she’s found a couple of girls who’re willing to try and match her riff for riff and kick for kick. Less ambitious than Wild Flag, sure, but it’s less fussy for it – sometimes a girl(/boy’s) just gotta preen, and sometimes that means rock’n’roll.

Owen Pallett – In Conflict

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Twelve of the year’s most careful, clever compositions, and one perfect Mountain Goats pastiche for bass, drums and violin. I’ll treasure the former more in the long run but it’s the latter that’s got me through.

Vince Staples – Hell Can Wait

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Unlike YG, Vince Staples has skills and stories good enough to stand up with the best of them, and on this brutally short record he’s got the beats to match. Cold like prime Clipse, discordant and disoriented like the first (and, so far, best) Shabazz Palaces album, this is the best observed and least optimistic rap record I’ve heard all year, and even then it’s not quite totally bereft of hope – “Is you feeling amazing?/Yeah I’m feeling the love/Hope I get to take it with me when my living is done.”

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