Some may describe my taste in music as being almost schizophrenic, but that may be because I've never cared about genres or labels. I've only cared about the inspirational power that music holds, so if I feel inspired after listening to a song then I know it's good stuff. 2014 saw the release of a ton of good albums, and having to boil it all down to 10 essential ones has been tough, but here they are, the 10 albums that inspired me the most in 2014.
1. Blake Mills - Heigh Ho
This album is just jam-packed with amazing songwriting and super tasty guitar playing. Blake Mills has an ultra dynamic playing style, which has affected my own style a lot. Just check out this breathtaking live version of "Unworthy" and see/hear what I'm talking about.
2. Mastodon - Once More Around The Sun
Mastodon rules! It's just that simple. I've been a fan of their combination of crushing riffs and catchy melodies ever since "Remission", and my love for this band has only grown with the release of "Once More Around The Sun"! Here's the awesome song "High Road", which is accompanied by an equally awesome video.
3. Hozier - Hozier
This album just knocked me off my feet! An amazing voice accompanied by beautiful melodies and highly inspirational music arrangements. Love it!
4. Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden
It's not every day you come across an album that contains equal amounts of bonecrushing riffs-of-doom and catchy sing-along melodies, but Pallbearer have achieved just that with their album "Foundations of Burden". I've caught myself playing a mean airguitar while singing along to "World's Apart" too many times already, and now it's your turn to experience how catchy this stuff actually is.
5. Sam Smith - In The Lonely Hour
I could listen to Sam's voice all day long. It manages to be frail and melancholic while retaining an uplifting grandeur all at the same time. His album "In The Lonely Hour" is a masterpiece!
6. Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble - The Complete Epic Recording Collection
The album title says it all! This compilation is just EPIC! Every Stevie Ray Vaughan fan should own this, it's simply that good.
7. FKA twigs - LP1
I think Frank Zappa said it best; "Without Deviation From The Form, Progress Is Not Possible". FKA twigs is deviant in the best way possible, mixing intelligent eclectic beats with her distinct and soulful voice.
8. Rival Sons - Great Western Valkyrie
This album is just Rock n Roll at its best! Whenever I hear this record I just have to pick up my guitar and start riffin'. If you haven't heard this album yet, get on it!
9. Beck - Morning Phase
I personally think that Beck has outdone himself on this one. Every single song is so well balanced and thought out, it's unbeliveable. Whenever I need to relax a bit or whenever I need to focus, I pop this record on!
10. The Haunted - Exit Wounds
The Haunted has always been one of my favorite metal bands, and with "Exit Wounds" they show that they still know how to bring the brootalz even with a band lineup consisting of mostly new members! Ola Englund's riffs are mean as hell and Marco Aro's vocals are just plain out awesome. Put this record on and start headbangin'!