Best Music Of 2014: Editor's Picks

author PP date 20/12/14

It's that time of the year again. 2015 is just around the corner, which means our yearly ritual of retrospection lies ahead of us. Which albums were the best representatives of 2014? Which records permanently marked themselves into the minds of our editors for years to come? Separating the best from the rest, our expert staff of music enthusiasts each year tirelessly scour the release schedules of labels and DIY bands alike so that you don't have to. With more than a thousand albums reviewed each year and countless more listened to but not written about, Rockfreaks.net offers you a filtered window into what's happening in the music world, a true 'by the fans, for the fans' medium if you happen to be an enthusiast for anything qualifying for the giant umbrella tag 'rock and metal'.

This article contains the 'best of 2014' lists by all the editors in the site, who are incidentally also the most active in terms of number of reviews each month. Each writer was tasked to look back in the year gone by and choose their picks based on a simple criteria: if you're reading this article three year's time from now, which albums do you think should be specifically highlighted as the ones worth mentioning from 2014. It was up to each writer to figure out just how many or how few albums they interpreted as suitable according to that description, and to rank them in order of preference.

We have specialists in each style, and all of us have eventually carved our own niche of styles to cover, which explains why our lists are so different from one another. After all, every genre has its highlight reel albums if you're willing to dig deep enough, and we've done just that for you in this article. There are a number of albums that creep up on multiple lists, however, and these are usually ones with particular cross-genre appeal.

In any case, the top 5 on all lists are all brilliant albums which, if you haven't checked out yet, you should consider listening to. Because after all, if people who listen to music 365 days a year combing through releases argue that these are the best albums from the past year's worth of releases, then surely that warrants at least a few listens to figure out why that might be the case.

Without further ado, I present you Best Music of 2014: Editor's Picks. //PP

Petteri 'PP' Pertola

PP is the Editor In Chief at Rockfreaks.net, thus covering a broad spectrum of genres ranging from mainstream rock to metalcore and pretty much everything in between resulting in almost 365 reviews each year. He specializes in punk rock / hardcore genres, covering the vast majority of important releases in these two genres each year while also taking a few forays into other styles. Let it be said that if there's an album on this list, it's going to be exceptional in one way or another. For the 2014 edition, top 5 albums on this list are ones that in my opinion separated themselves from the rest of the pack with a wide margin. Positions 5-13 are also pure brilliance. 14 and onwards are albums that were rock solid, and still worthy of your time when exploring this list in three years' time.

Honorable mentions:

Tim 'TL' Larsen

TL got into music via pop-punk, alternative rock and emo, yet has gradually grown to also keep close track of metalcore, post-hardcore, indie, pop- and folk rock, while dabbling elsewhere on occasion. He looks for; charismatic vocal performances, tight, elaborate song structuring, busy arrangements, engaging lyrics and forward-thinking soundscapes. Dislikes: Pretentious genre-conventions being weighed over engaging songwriting, macho posturing in music, "more is more"- and "if it ain't broken copy it endlessly"-thinking.

Just outside (random order):

Aleksi 'AP' Pertola

AP typically busies himself with all things stoning and monumentally heavy, though he also has a very particular affinity for punk rock and hardcore. This 2014 edition of his annual list reflects, above all, growth - both as a person and a critic - having shed once and for all his -core disposition in favour of the complex, challenging and retrospective; and embracing a more scrutinising approach to reviewing music than has been the case thus far. The grading has hence been more stringent, and you should feel assured that each of the records selected by AP below is worth your while.

Bo 'BV' Vinberg

I consider myself a specialist on anything remotely psychedelic – hence psychedelic rock, psychedelic pop, noise-rock, folk and the occasional dose of stoner rock and doom all fall within my usual coverage.

Ellis 'EW' Woolley

I am the bringer of all things metal. Whether it be black, doom, viking, folk, classic, death, thrash or anything in between I live for it - listening, buying, gigging, reading and writing. No compromise.

Honourable mentions:

And there you have it. Stay tuned next week for the rest of our staff's thoughts on their favorites from the year gone by.

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