The Telescope presents: the top albums of 2014. We gathered best-of lists from staff and contributors, crunched some numbers and came up with ten records that unanimously wowed us this year.
PS I Love You have fully awakened something that’s been slumbering for 20 years or so.
Their affection for ’90s guitar rock was well documented in tracks like “Toronto,” on their previous disc, but here the lumbering dinosaurs of Canadian alt-rock are finally roaming free: 13 Engines, The Killjoys, Tristan Psionic—if you thought Death Dreams was an epic guitar record, it’s time to re-evaluate.
This is more than overdubs and solos, though—for all the moments where For Those Who Stay achieves a fiercer stance than its predecessors, there are just as many where it aims for something more nuanced. “Bad Brain Day” takes a not unwelcome stab at acoustic balladry. The title track spends two minutes exiting with a cosmic funk swagger. Both, if online powwows are any indication, seem to please and anger in equal measure. That’s perhaps the ultimate accolade: to be able to say that your album garners some kind of reaction—whether good or bad—from everyone.
They’re bound to slip up at some point, but there’s no sign of missteps here.