20 Best Pop Albums of 2014

In 2014, Ed Sheeran, Pharrell, Sam Smith and Nick Jonas dabbled in R&B crossovers; Lana Del Rey and Charli XCX flipped the bad-girl script; and Lorde didn't release an album, but put forth her vision through EDM producers. Off the Top 40, were clutch of women whose versions of "pop" were singular yet irresistible, from the genre-busting Kitten frontwoman Chloe Chaidez to the Prince-sized ambitions of the New Zealand singer Kimbra. And leading the year? Taylor Swift, of course, the most popular of the pop stars, who left Nashville behind to pursue her New York dreams on her own terms.