The Best Albums Of July 2014

La Roux, the Manics, EXES and more…

The best albums of July 2014, as heard by the ears of Clash reviewers.

Let us know your favourite albums of last month on Twitter. Maybe you were particularly taken by the debut Jungle LP, or Lana Del Rey's 'Ultraviolence'. Neither are bad, at all. But neither is here.

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Manic Street Preachers – ‘Futurology’
(Columbia, released July 7th)

“Resplendent in the shamelessly huge riffs banished on their previous set, these songs are immediate and infectious. ‘Sex, Power, Love And Money’ for example comes on like a 2014 reboot of the precocious glamour of their ‘Generation Terrorists’ debut…”

Read the full review
Related: read our interview with the Manics

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La Roux – ‘Trouble In Paradise’
(Polydor, released July 18th)

“Having coped with Ben Langmaid’s departure from the group, Elly Jackson’s ‘Trouble In Paradise’ comeback is an altogether brighter piece. Slick opener ‘Uptight Downtown’ stacks hooks on hooks, while the sun-kissed ‘Tropical Chancer’ offers some infectious Caribbean bounce...”

Read the full review

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Shabazz Palaces – ‘Lese Majesty’
(Sub Pop, released July 28th)

“Undoubtedly it will be too much for some hip-hop traditionalists. If you’re after blunted beats and wordplay that reaffirms your belief in rap as urban folk music, then you’re in for a shock. But for anyone looking for a mind-expanding trip to the outer edges of the solar system, these rap futurists are your guides.”

Read the full review
Related: read our interview with the pair

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King Creosote – ‘From Scotland With Love’
(Domino, released July 21st)

“Crafted to soundtrack a film of the same name, released alongside this summer’s Commonwealth Games, these 11 songs still stand tall shorn of context. With lyrical viewpoints and musical references more diverse than ever, this set is his finest solo release to date.”

Read the full review

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EXES – ‘Phantasmaboring’
(self-release, released July 28th)

“The best ‘new’ band of their ilk, of British birth, to have exploded into life since those red-raw early Million Dead recordings, EXES have made one of the best hardcore albums you’ll hear all year. It’s got light and life, aggression and control.”

Read the full review

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Woman’s Hour – ‘Conversations’
(Secretly Canadian, released July 21st)

“Arriving at the fringe of 2014 in a flurry of high-profile tips charts, listicles and other such media intrusions, Woman’s Hour have quietly gone about focussing on their own striking vision. ‘Conversations’ is an impressive album, in many ways a unique one in this current landscape – though you sense that the best may be yet to come.”

Read the full review

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Find all of our monthly best-album round-ups here

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