The 33 Best Albums QP Heard in 2014
Words By Quinn Peterson
The year is winding down, so per usual, I’ve cooked up my top albums list. It’s near impossible to hear everything, so I can’t ignorantly say these are undoubtedly the best albums of the year. Instead, I’ll call this the “33 best albums that I heard this year.” That said, I have some of the best ears for good music, so while this is based on what I’ve heard, I also think that it’s the best list out there. There’s hip-hop, jazz, blues, funk, soul, a little bit of everything.
One thing that blows me, and I point this out every year, is looking at these major publications and seeing their lists. NPR and Okayplayer are usually solid; Rolling Stone, Complex, Pitchfork, Spin are decent, but they omit so much stuff that I just can’t understand and most of it is the jazz, funk, soul, groove music that is prevalent throughout mine.
Another thing that blows me: when people complain about there “not being that much good music out.” That’s BS. If anything, people just don’t know where to look. If you rely on the radio or a couple hip-hop blogs, then yeah, you probably struggle to find quality, timeless music. There’s a lot to sift through, to be sure, but there was more than a handful of good (some great) music that was released between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2014. I know I found plenty.
Butcher Brown, Theo Croker, Otis Brown III, Snarky Puppy, Liv Warfield, Mick Jenkins, Prince and others all put out strong, cohesive, meaningful – damn near flawless in some cases – bodies of work, yet I rarely saw their names on any of the aforementioned’s end-of-year lists. Takuya Kuroda’s Rising Son is some of the hardest bopping shit I heard this year...Travis $cott’s Days Before Rodeo gets play in the whip from front to back with no skips...Nicholas Payton’s Numbers was recorded in sequential order and Sly 5th Ave’s Akuma was recorded in one session…Jungle had the illest videos and Migos got me on board when they made a short film...
Several albums on this list I’ve had a chance to feature on Jay Z’s Life+Times and talk with the respective artist. Benefits of being a writer are the free music for sure. Admittedly, it is a key reason I am tuned in to certain things and able to hear some of the stuff that I have. At the same time, Spotify especially makes it possible to hear plenty without having to purchase it or hope to find it on YouTube. There’s no excuse in 2014 to not being able to access quality music. If you don’t know where to find it, follow me.
There are no corny reviews or blurbs here, the music speaks for itself. It’s alphabetical order, not subjective rankings. Here goes the best list of the year, “the 33 best albums QP heard in 2014.”
(click the album covers to view the names)
Check out QP's other editorial work at Life+Times