20 Best Pop Albums of 2014

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

Load Previous
Lykke Li, 'I Never Learn'
20
7/20

7. Lykke Li, 'I Never Learn'

Heartbreak of varying degrees has been the driving force for some of pop's greatest works, but Lykke Li's third album turns up the pathos to a level that's almost painful at times. The production on I Never Learn treats her voice — it shudders and cracks as it outlines desperation and numbness — as if it's a blighted, disaster-hit landscape. Her songwriting has become even sharper, with her bleak revamp of the power ballad ("Never Gonnna Love Again") serving as the album's emotional centerpiece. M.J.

Back to Top