Top 20 Albums of 2014: 10-9
This was a band I got into later in the year... not the love at first sight type of music discovery, but instead a more gradual appreciation brought about by single after excellent single. I love the old school hip hop feel to the album, augmented with boisterous hooks and undeniable swagger. A bit too many ballads in the middle for my liking, but still an assured, enjoyable from start to finish, debut album for the guys.
9. Akdong Musician - Play
Most of the K-pop that I love is upbeat and produced to within an inch of its life (not a bad thing, by the way), but in that landscape this might have been the most refreshing release of the year. I was already familiar with AKMU from their time on K-pop Star, but I really didn't know if their actual music would be my thing. Turns out that their quirky brand of folk-pop, complimented by elements of hip-hop, became surprisingly addictive. It's definitely one of those "early spring" type records, full of light and innocence and joy.