20 Best Pop Albums of 2014

From Taylor Swift’s platinum victory to Kitten’s under-the radar triumph, the year in huge hooks

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Charli XCX, 'Sucker'
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1. Charli XCX, 'Sucker'

Charli XCX is the pop star 2014 was waiting for: a badass songwriting savant who's the most fun girl at the party. After helping Icona Pop and Iggy Azalea hit the Top 10, the 22-year-old Brit broke out on her own with Sucker, a middle-finger-wagging teenage riot packed into 12 punky gems. She channels the Ramones while singing about swaggering around Hollywood ("London Queen") and turns out a perfect piece of Fifties jukebox pop ("Need Your Love"). Sucker is a dance party, a mosh pit and a feminist rally. "Everything was wrong with you, so breaking up was easy to do," she sweetly sings while unloading a loser boyfriend on "Breaking Up." Sorry, bro: Now everyone knows Charli's in charge. C.G.

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