Each year, Mother Jones music critic Jon Young browses through hundreds of new albums and pulls out 75 to 100 to review for the magazine and website. Some of those make the final cut, but there are some wildcards, too. Below, in no particular order, are Jon’s super-duper-abbreviated write-ups of his cream of the crop—the Top 10 albums of 2014. Feel free to tell us your own Top 10 in the comments.
Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires
Blazing, populist old-school rock and roll with a chip on its shoulder.
The “5” Royales
Soul & Swagger: The Complete “5” Royales 1951-1967
Raucous, timeless R&B powered by Lowman Pauling’s blistering guitar licks.
I’m Just Like You: Sly’s Stone Flower 1969-70
Light in the Attic
Mind-blowing funky archaeology, this collection of little-known Sly productions from his golden era, many previously unreleased.
Singer Mish Way’s furious punk-rock update is guaranteed to sear.
Joan as Police Woman
Play It Again Sam
Sharon Van Etten
Are We There