Best of 2014: The War On Drugs, Basement Tapes Reissue

Yes, the War on Drugs. It’s that time of year when critics begin to compile their “best of” lists, which are usually equal parts elitism and self indulgence and I’m guilty as charged. Even years before I was a published critic, I was a sucker for year-end lists, probably the result of teen years listening to Casey Kasem count off the year’s top songs on my transistor radio. You can of course never properly reduce any yearly artistic analysis into a single list because your opinion shifts with the tides of mood, but that said here’s my review of what I’d argue is the best new album of 2014 (up today on Amazon prime — my year end list is in the Seattle Times in two weeks. That latter ranking includes reissues so “The Basement Tapes” earns that nod totally and completely). That I’d pick an album with song titles like “Disappearing” might say more about me than the music industry, or it may be that this album captures the flittering lights of the Titanic disappearing into the night.

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