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All Songs Considered: The Year In Music 2014

Top row: Weezer; Middle row: Run The Jewels, Beyonce; Bottom row: St. Vincent, FKA Twigs, Beck (Courtesy of the artists)

How will we remember the music of 2014? All Songs Considered starts off NPR Music's year-end coverage by discussing themes that surfaced again and again: new discoveries, best live shows, saddest records and missed gems. All Songs Considered hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are joined by NPR Music's Ann Powers and Stephen Thompson to reflect on what made 2014 a standout year in music.

From established artists like Beck, St. Vincent and Weezer to new acts like FKA Twigs, Sturgill Simpson, Sylvan Esso and Luluc, 2014's releases were varied and surprising. Some, like the beautiful albums by Beck and Luluc, made an impression while keeping the volume low; others, including the sophomore album from the hip-hop duo Run The Jewels, made a noise that was impossible to turn down once it arrived like a buzzsaw in October. And then there are the pop juggernauts who bookended the year: Beyoncé, whose self-titled album came out late in 2013 but echoed through most of this year, and Taylor Swift, who wiped the floor (sales-wise, at least) with every other album released in 2014.

This is just the beginning of our year-end extravaganza. Next week NPR Music will share lists of our favorite albums and favorite songs, as well as individual lists from Bob, Robin, Stephen and Ann.

What defined your year in music? Let us know in our comment section below and vote for your favorite albums of the year in our listener poll.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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