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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The Roots,  '…And Then You Shoot Your Cousin'
Courtesy of Def Jam Recordings.28/45

The Roots, '…And Then You Shoot Your Cousin'

Brutally bleak, shrouded in screwed hues, with a narrator "on my existential grind doing consequential dirt," this 33-minute concept suite is rap's own Downward Spiral. Pianos and strings clash in explosions of third-stream jazz, French electro-acoustic pioneer Michel Chion brings noise, deep-blue tones vibrate like Miles Davis' Porgy and Bess.

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