Blake Reviews Gabe’s Top 10: Stephen Steinbrink, Arranged Waves

In one corner: Flagpole Music Editor Gabe Vodicka, itching to unleash his list of Top 10 non-local albums of the year onto a probably-suspecting public. In the other corner: News Editor Blake Aued, a new father whose awareness of 2014 music is limited to “Shake It Off” and Pharrell’s giant hat. From Dec. 22–31, Gabe will count down his list, and Blake will review each album in response.

1. Stephen Steinbrink: Arranged Waves

Gabe: Man, I dunno. This is a perfect goddamn pop record. I still can’t stop listening to it.

Number one with a bullet:

Blake: I liked it better the first time, when it was called The Shins, but hey, at least it’s not six piano notes and some whispering, am I right? Thanks for closing out with, y’know, an actual song.

Gabe’s top 10:

10. Aphex Twin: Syro
9. Chris Forsyth and the Solar Motel Band: Intensity Ghost
8. Daniel Lanois: Flesh and Machine
7. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib: Piñata
6. Against Me!: Transgender Dysphoria Blues
5. Beck: Morning Phase
4. Deerhoof: La Isla Bonita
3. Fennesz: Bécs
2. Grouper: Ruins
1. Stephen Steinbrink: Arranged Waves