50 Best Albums of 2014

U2 unleashed a brilliant surprise, Bruce Springsteen hit a new peak, St. Vincent made deliciously weird noise and more

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Tinariwen, 'Emmaar'
50
49/50

49. Tinariwen, 'Emmaar'

The veteran Saharan guitar mystics, in exile due to regional conflicts, relocate to another desert – the Mojave – to make electric music with American friends like Josh Klinghoffer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It's a subtle shading of the band's magnificent sound, a hypnotic landscape of reverb, handclaps and Afro-Berber riffs circling like buzzards in the sun.

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