15 Great Albums You Didn't Hear in 2014

A power-pop supergroup, a Nigerian rap star, a prog Hall of Famer, gamelan rock, noise-dance and more you may have missed

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Cliff Martinez, 'The Knick: Original Television Soundtrack'
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Cliff Martinez, 'The Knick: Original Television Soundtrack'

In the context of The Knick, director Steven Soderbergh's blood-drenched, cocaine-fueled hospital period piece, mood-master Cliff Martinez's flickering, whooshing electronic score makes the visuals all the more unsettling. As a standalone work, the soundtrack has a similar effect on everyday life. Over the past three decades, the composer has perfected mesmerizing atmospheres on the scores to Drive, Spring Breakers and Only God Forgives. The Knick ventures into uncharted realms: With a track list that could nauseate the most hard-nosed homicide detective ("Abscess," "Placental Repair," "New Standard Hernia Procedure"), the record's undulating synths, sparse acoustic guitar and wraithlike cristal baschet create an ominous, urgent, hypnotic feeling like shivers up your spine. By Kory Grow

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