My Top 5 Albums of 2014 / by Jon Whittaker

The year is almost a wrap. Usually about this time I call it... My top 5 of the year. So here it is...

There were tons of great music this year. Quite a few I thought would make my top 5 but always seem to get nudged out. My top 5 basically means it didnt leave my CD player for weeks on end and always would end up back in rotation very quickly. (yes I still buy CDs. Im an audiophile, downloads sound like ass to me!) One in particular didnt make the cut that I would like to give special note to, Pink Floyds The Endless River. An incredible shocker! I thought it would be filled with adult contemporary/new age shite. I was pleasantly surprised. Worth a listen. Especially on a quiet, mellow, Sunday morning.

I also wish I could say that Arcade Fires helping this year made the cut... But I still havent figured that one out. smdh

So on to the list.

#5: Run River North- self titled

I shot this band unknowing who they were. I was blown away! Bought the album at the show and have been addicted ever since. Has a very *young* Of Monsters and Men feel but it has something a little more special to it. Keep an eye on this band. They are growing quickly and I expect their next album to have a much bigger sound. Try this album out on any road trip or when you just wanna smile.

#4: Ben Howard- I Forget Where We Were

       Gah! This shouldve been my number one of the year. Its missing something and I still havent figured out what it is. It might be its missing the big feel of the first album and the Burgh Island ep. It might not be missing anything. There is 1 song on the album that bothers me and only because its not in Bens range at all. I am hopeful that when I see this live in New Orleans that it will draw me closer to it. But!... It is still an amazing journey with Mr Howard and makes my top 5. Give it a shot when you are having a super mellow evening coupled with some nice wine.

#3: Afghan Whigs- Do The Beast

      Good Lord! This album I HATED on the first listen. I kept thinking "what a bunch of jumbled up crap! Dulli totally is stroking his ego on this one and it sounds like a train wreck!" Yeah... I was wrong. DEAD wrong! Being a long time Afghan Whigs fan, I expected something great after a long absence. Well I got it. Epic to say the least. Pure "indie" rock and roll on the dark side of the street. Its grubby, its crisp, its muddy, its huge, its... Amazing. The "train wreck" that I originally heard is layers and layers of brilliance. I was rushing and just hearing the surface. This album is 40 feet deep of incredible, seasoned musicianship. Shy of flawless to me because of the single release, Algiers, which doesnt feel right on the album or like a Afghan song at all. A great track, but feels like a speed bump on the journey of the album. With that said, the albums closing track, These Sticks, is one of my favorite songs of all time now. Perk your ears up to this when you just want a beautiful "indie" rock and roll ride that will make you think and listen.

#2: The Darcys- Warring

       Yeah yeah, I know this was released in 2013. But it was late in the year and didnt make my top 5 last year.
I love this album! I love this band! I love these guys! Canadians... Psssshhh! HAHA! I cant say enough about this album and band. So I am not going to say much at all.  huh?!?!? Go listen to this album. Dont miss them live. End of story. If you need a starting point, then start at The River. Flawless track to get you going.

Number 1. Numero uno! The top of the pops. If you know me then you know I havent shut the hell up about this album. If you live in Atlanta and you know about this album, its probably because of either myself or Tim Sweetwood!


     Excuse my language, but... What a fucking rush!!! Oh Frank Turner. Just when I thought I couldnt like you anymore! The hardest of the hard. Its brutal! As Tim said, "Not for the faint of heart!" Frank took the best of EVERYTHING hard, core, hardcore, screamo, punk, metal, the kitchen sink, the stove, and the toaster oven too! Everything! EVERYTHING, and made it in to an album. The lyrics are comical but you wont be laughing. Well, I was laughing because its so damn good! I think Frank was joking when he did this and wasnt expecting it to turn out so amazing. It didnt leave my ears for almost 2 months solid. And returns frequently. NOT my usual number one at all. I love the heavy stuff, but never thought it would make my number 1. Pray, PRAY Sweetwood has booked Frank in to doing Mongol Horde. What. A. Rush!

There ya have it. Not your usual top 5. I hope I have turned many on to some new music this year. Its my favorite thing to do!

STAY TUNED for my Top 5 Shows of 2014! (Shooting and seeing. There will be some shockers in there as well!)

Much love and gratitude for everyone's support this year! I hope I have entertained you well!