#5 – Madhouse by Kimbra
This first entry in my list of faves from 2014 could easily be mistaken for a forgotten gem from 25 years before. A Rhythm Nation-era Janet b-side, perhaps? Or maybe a shelved take from some long-lost session at Prince’s Paisley Park? Retro, as we know, can easily come off as cloying nostalgia, or even just plain lazy, but all should be forgiven when the results are this good. New Zealander Kimbra Johnson mines the New Jack Swing-era pretty heavily on “Madhouse,” but by doing it so enthusiastically, and so well, it’s impossible not to get taken in by the sheer joy of it.