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Quick: What Are the Two Funniest Albums Rolling Stone Could Have Named the Best of 2014?

These are funnier:

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It’s no matter that Songs of Innocence is U2’s most poorly regarded album in years—it’s still a U2 album! Springsteen’s High Hopes, meanwhile, isn’t so much a proper album as a collection of re-recorded B-sides and covers, and Rolling Stone actually awarded it with their lowest rating for the Boss in years (4½ stars)—but that didn’t stop them from giving it the silver. (The bronze winner, by the way, isn’t much different: The Black Keys’ Turn Blue is perhaps the only major 2014 album to sound less contemporary than the latest from Springsteen and U2. To be fair, in a year dominated by a diverse range of young female artists, the list becomes substantially less old, white, male, and dusty from there.)

In the end, maybe it’s appropriate that their album of the year is called Songs of Innocence. After all, this so often seems to be the point of Rolling Stone’s year-end lists: To reassure their subscribers that the best music of today still sounds just like the music of their youth.

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