45 Best Albums of 2014 So Far

The best rock, hip-hop, EDM and country of this year's first half

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Conor Oberst, 'Upside Down Mountains'
Courtesy of Nonesuch Records.26/45

Conor Oberst, 'Upside Down Mountains'

At 34, the former indie-rock prodigy still writes and sings about the high times and bad choices of adolescence, on the way to matured love and responsibility, like the sharpest kid in the room: a florid Midwest Morrissey with Jeff Tweedy's twisted-pop savvy. A sumptuous immersion in Seventies California folk pop, Upside Down Mountains is the most immediately charming album he has ever made.

Read our full review.

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