20 Best EDM, Electronic and Dance Albums of 2014

From FlyLo to 'Syro' — the best in beats

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Moodymann, 'Moodymann'

7. Moodymann, 'Moodymann'

For his remarkable seventh studio album, legendary Detroit house maverick Kenny Dixon Jr. sounds like he blazed up on a lazy Sunday afternoon with his collection of jazz, soul, funk, gospel and house records (including old Moodymann jams) and got deep into his feelings. Bits of movie dialogue, woozy mumble-brags, murder stats, drug kingpin lore and rhetorical asides like, "Are y'all mad I'm a loco Detroiter?" color in the spaces between peerlessly inventive tracks. "Lyk U Use 2," a bittersweet shout to a lost love which constantly tweaks its sample's tempo; an appropriately disorienting remix of Lana Del Rey's "Born 2 Die"; the mood-shifting techno-pop impressionism of  "IGUessuneverbeenlonely" (with Junior Boys' Jeremy Greenspan); and the dark, racing spoken-word musing of "Freeki Muthafucka." And that's only a fraction of the trip. C.A.

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