Picking the best of a very busy pop music year

December 4, 2014 4:00 PM

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1. Kelis, "Food" (Ninja Tune/IRIS): There is life beyond "Milkshake," Kelis Rogers' game-changing 2003 hit. Renewed by motherhood, domesticity, home cooking, good friends and family bonds, the singer lets that intimacy permeate her best album yet in collaboration with TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek.

2. Protomartyr, "Under Color of Official Right" (Hardly Art): On this Detroit band's second album, matter-of-fact singer Joe Casey and his bandmates create terse, abrasive post-punk that suits their songs. Casey delivers his closely observed vignettes about his hometown's down-trodden resilience, de...

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