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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Nick Jonas, 'Nick Jonas'
20
17/20

17. Nick Jonas, 'Nick Jonas'

The self-titled album from this Jonas Brother was accompanied by a flurry of pictures where he appeared in various stages of undress. His self-titled effort from 2014 is not just his attempt to establish his bona fides as a sex symbol; it's also his attempt to plant a flag in R&B's fertile soil. (That Nick has had a penchant for the funky has been obvious for years; recall that in 2009, he made an album with a clutch of former Prince sidemen.) A brisk run through the type of poppy R&B that not so many years ago dominated even Top 40 stations, Nick Jonas also includes assists from Angel Haze and Demi Lovato that raise it above retro exercise. M.J.

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