11. Temples - Sun Structures
In its late '60s heyday, psychedelic rock was thought to be forward looking, innovative, and unbound. Forty-five years later, it appears trapped in the era from which it was born, offering an accurate a depiction of what "the future" might look like, as say The Jetsons did. However, the likes of Aussie rockers Tame Impala have in recent years led a kind of psych-rock revival, proving there is plenty of life left in the genre.
Endowed with bubble perms, drainpipe trousers, and pouts that tread a fine line between uber cool and gormless, the U.K.'s Temples could be viewed as mere posing pothead pixies that own a couple of Traffic records -- certain to be also rans in this revival.
Its debut, Sun Structures, however, finds new energy in the haze of basement bong smoke, that while shamelessly flaunting its influences (5th Dimension era Byrds, 13th Floor Elevators, and Love certainly among them), contains a lush multi-layered sound scape, guitars that flit effortlessly between electro-glam acid-rock and acoustic camp fire dawdling. It's a sonic soup that is certainly derivative, put in the best possible way.
10. Kelis - Food
One of the most enjoyable albums of 2014 is also one of those that in future years might be labeled "lost classic". While Kelis, who is still remembered by the public at large for bombastic smash "Milkshake," has always been refreshingly idiosyncratic in her work, her new album takes this to new levels.
Food is a saucy smorgasboard of soul, electronic, Afro-Beat and funk. Tracks like "Biscuits n' Gravy," "Friday Fish Fry," and album opener "Jerk Ribs" show the songstress belting out a huskier, lived-in vocal, with a sassy brass backing and that smacks of vintage soul, but with new energy. Kelis continues to forge her own path, and it's fun to follow her.