Note: This is a master list, NOT P&P’s list of best albums. That’s coming soon.

This is a thinking man’s piece. If you dislike Excel spreadsheets, calculated averages or goats, then this video of Justin Bieber botching a recitement of the continents is probably more your speed. For the 32% or so that are still with me, your patience and appreciation for brainwave activity is about payoff in spades.

The Purpose

“Best of” lists are great. They’re a chance to catch yourself up any under-the-radar gems you may have missed throughout the year. We turn to these to make sure we’re in the know, and to discover artists or albums we might not have otherwise been introduced to. But honestly, who has enough free time to chew through all of those lists? It’s time consuming and there are often times one-off random albums that get lumped in towards the end and don’t truly deserve to be labeled a “best of”. Our objective was to simplify your review process and let the numbers do the work. This ultimately eliminated the outliers and whittled down ten Top 25 industry lists, into one.

The Process

Our approach was fairly simple. Select a wide sample base, plug the information into a spreadsheet, total how many times each album appeared on a list and then calculate the average rank of each. The order in which the albums appear on this list were determined based on frequency first, average rank second. If multiple albums had an equal number of appearances, then their ordering was determined by average rank. There are some even-ties on here and this is the only time our preference played a factor in order (see example of The Weeknd and Drake at seven and eight, respectively). Otherwise it’s a much less subjective, and far more accurate representation of which albums this year deserved top nod.

The Results

So there you have it. Motive and execution. This shit is like the Voltron of lists, so time to let our findings speak for themselves. Have a look below…

Lists considered: Paste, Mojo, Uncut, Rolling Stone, Q, Amazon, Stereogum, MTV, Fact and NME.


25. Tom Waits – Bad As Me
(Frequency – 3, Average Rank – 15.0)


24. The War On Drugs – Slave Ambient
(Frequency – 3, Average Rank – 14.0)


23. Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi
(Frequency – 3, Average Rank – 12.3)


22. The Decemberists – The King Is Dead
(Frequency – 3, Average Rank – 11.7)


21. Paul Simon – So Beautiful Or So What
(Frequency – 3, Average Rank – 10.0)


20. Wilco – The Whole Love
(Frequency – 3, Average Rank – 10.0)


19. St . Vincent – Strange Mercy
(Frequency – 3, Average Rank – 8.7)


18. tUnE-yArDs – w h o k i l l
(Frequency – 3, Average Rank – 8.7)


17. Metronomy – The English Riviera
(Frequency – 3, Average Rank – 7.3)


16. Fucked Up – David Comes To Life
(Frequency – 3, Average Rank – 3.7)


15. Frank Ocean – Nostalgia, Ultra
(Frequency – 4, Average Rank – 17.5)


14. Beyoncé – 4
(Frequency – 4, Average Rank – 17.5)


13. James Blake – James Blake
(Frequency – 4, Average Rank – 14.3)


12. Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring For My Halo
(Frequency – 4, Average Rank – 11.8)


11. Wild Beasts – Smother
(Frequency – 4, Average Rank – 11.8)


10. Radiohead – The King of Limbs
(Frequency – 4, Average Rank – 11.3)


9. My Morning Jacket – Circuital
(Frequency – 4, Average Rank – 9.5)


8. Drake – Take Care
(Frequency – 4, Average Rank – 8.5)


7. The Weeknd – House of Balloons
(Frequency – 4, Average Rank – 8.5)


6. Jay – Z & Kanye West – Watch The Throne
(Frequency – 4, Average Rank – 6.5)


5. The Horrors – Skying
(Frequency – 5, Average Rank – 5.4)


4. Adele – 21
(Frequency – 5, Average Rank – 4.0)


3. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
(Frequency – 6, Average Rank – 6.0)


2. PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
(Frequency – 7, Average Rank – 4.3)


1. Bon Iver – Bon Iver
(Frequency – 8, Average Rank – 7.8)

Related: The Best Songs of 2014 (So Far)
Related: The Best Albums of 2014 (So Far)