20. Pharrell – Girl
Released: March 3, 2014
While almost everyone can’t help but love Pharrell, you may have been turned off by the success of Girl, especially with his single “Happy”. However, while “Happy” has had extreme commercial success, do not deter yourself from giving the album a listen just off that one song. Of course, a Pharrell album will have amazing productions, as he is one of the best producers in music. With contributing vocals from Justin Timberlake and even Kelly Osbourse, Pharrell leaves most of the work to himself. A woman oriented concept album, Pharrell pays his tribute to women with one of this years best albums.
19. Common – Nobody’s Smiling
Released: July 22, 2014
Hip-hop legend Common’s tenth studio album, Nobody’s Smiling, is another gem to add to Common’s already legendary discography. 22 years into the game it’s apparent that Common has still got it. Throughout his career, but especially as of late, his album sales on the Billboard 200 haven’t been anything to write home about. And at the age of 42 and without having a charting single since 2008 or a top 10 album since 2007, we did’t expect much saleswise from this album either; but as the saying in music goes, “sales don’t equal quality” and that definitely applies to this album. – Chris Montana/The Early Registration
18. Lykke Li – I Never Learn
Released: May 2, 2014
Lykke Li’s third studio album I Never Learn is only 33 minutes, but is an amazing half hour following a young woman trying to find love. Arguably the best indie pop album of 2014, ‘Gunshot’ and ‘No Rest for the Wicked’ are can’t miss tracks for I Never Learn and for 2014 in general. Li spent two and a half years writing this album, and it shows in the album’s amazing song writing.
17. Future – Honest
Released: April 22, 2014
Rapper/sing Future’s second studio album Honest is honestly awesome (pun intended of course). With the six released singles standing out as the best tracks on the album, the album has the best features of any album this year. Honest features performances by Kanye West, Pusha T, Pharrell, Andre 3000, Lil Wayne and more. With executive production by Mike Will Made, the album is full of great beats with great and catchy singing provided by Future himself. It also doesn’t hurt that Honest is home to one of rap’s top tracks of 2014, ‘Move That Dope’.
16. Sam Smith – In The Lonely Hour
Released: May 26, 2014
If it wasn’t for 2014, Sam Smith would still be that dude on that sick Disclosure song. But, as luck would have it, it was the year we saw Sam craft his first ever studio album, In the Lonely Hour, which was a beautiful moment in itself. Carried by his incredibly intricate, self-reflective, and intimate writing style, the record serves as a time-capsule confessional of sorts, as he ponders moments and memories all while reflecting on those loves of past and present. Smith sounds his rawest and most transparent on this record, and is undoubtedly a great first impression for a dude we can’t wait to hear more from.