Jake’s Take: Best Albums of 2014-Part One

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

This year, hundreds of albums dropped!

I have the pleasure of reviewing a bulk of them and it was very difficult to determine which artists or groups made this countdown.

I hope that this week’s three-part column will showcase a diverse group of artists representing multiple genres of music.

Without further ado…let the countdown begin!

Shakira self-titled album 2014

Shakira recruited a diverse group of A-list vocalists and producers to bring her self-titled album to life. (Album cover property of Sony Latin & RCA Records)

15. Shakira. by Shakira

The two-time Voice coach kicks off our countdown with her self-titled album! For her tenth studio album (and third English studio album), Shakira experimented (and took risks) with different musical genres. Country pop fans were satisfied with “Medicine,” her duet with fellow coach Blake Shelton; her collaboration with Max Martin and Dr. Luke-“Dare (La La La)” became an international sensation and her steamy duet with Rihanna: “Can’t Remember to Forget You,” gave many fans musical orgasms.

Tracks to Download: “Can’t Remember to Forget You,” “Dare (La La La),” “Empire,” “Medicine,” “You Don’t Care About Me” & “Spotlight”

 14. Everlasting by Martina McBride

Earlier this year, Martina McBride blew critics and fans away with her interpretations of iconic soul & R&B classics! Everlasting marked a new chapter in Martina McBride’s career and showcased that she is not a cookie-cutter country artist. Throughout the album, the country singer breathed new life into songs such as Van Morrison’s “Wild Night,” Elvis’s “Suspicious Minds,” Sam Cooke’s “Bring It On Home to Me” (with Gavin DeGraw) and the late Etta James’ “In the Basement” (with Kelly Clarkson).

Tracks to Download: “Suspicious Minds,” “Wild Night,” “Bring It On Home to Me,” “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted,” “In the Basement” & “If You Don’t Know Me By Now

Pharrell Williams GIRL best album 2014

With the help of superstars Daft Punk, Justin Timberlake and Alicia Keys, Pharrell delivers an outstanding sophomore album. (Album cover property of Black Lot Records & Columbia Records)


13. G I R L  by Pharrell Williams

2013 was an impeccable year for Pharrell Williams! The mega producer/singer-songwriter produced and appeared on superb hits such as “Blurred Lines,” “Get Lucky” and the Oscar-nominated “Happy.” When Pharrell released his second studio album, he recruited an all-star group of collaborators such as Justin Timberlake, Alicia Keys, Daft Punk, Miley Cyrus and Timbaland. G I R L showcased the not only the best the current Voice coach has to offer, but it also cements his place as one of the most successful musicians of the 2000s.

Tracks to Download: “Gust of Wind,” Come Get It Bae,” “Happy,” “Brand New,” “Know Who You Are” & “It Girl”

12. Kiss Me Once by Kylie Minogue

Kylie Minogue is having a terrific year! After making appearances as a coach for both The Voice UK and The Voice Australia, the “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” singer teamed up with singer-producer extraordinaire Sia Furler (“Titanium” & “Chandelier”) to release a superb dance pop album. Among the superstar collaborators that contributed to this album were Furler, Enrique Iglesias, Pharrell Williams, The Monsters and the Strangerz and Kelly Sheehan.

Tracks to Download: “Into the Blue,” “Million Miles,” “I Was Gonna Cancel,” “Sexercize,” “If Only” & “Kiss Me Once.”

Stevie Nicks 24 Karat Gold Songs from the Vault best album of 2014

Stevie Nicks unearths some of her hidden gems that sparkle so brightly that it made into #11 of my countdown. (Album cover property of Reprise Records)

 11. 24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault by Stevie Nicks

To me, Stevie Nicks is the Queen of Rock! Her voice is so timeless and classic that she is currently capturing the hearts of veteran and new fans with both the Fleetwood Mac’s The Show Must Go On Tour and her latest studio album: 24 Karat Gold-Songs from the Vault. Each track is like breathing pixie dust and flying to music nirvana. The guitar licks from longtime collaborators Waddy Wachtel and David A. Stewart are perfection and Benmont Tench’s keyboards on “Lady” moved listeners.

Tracks to Download: “Starshine,” “24 Karat Gold,” “Belle Fleur,” “Lady,” “I Don’t Care” & “Carousel”

I do not own any of the clips that are sprinkled throughout this article. They belong to the artists and their respective record labels.


  1. […] If you have not had the chance to read part one of my countdown, click here: http://jakes-take.com/2014/10/jakes-take-best-albums-of-2014-part-one/ […]

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