From left: Katy B; Julie Budet of Yelle; Tove Lo
AP (3)
By Nolan Feeney
December 22, 2014

Considering how many A-list pop stars crowded the last quarter of 2013 — Britney, Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga — 2014 felt a little light on pop releases by comparison. The stars releasing new material this year and recognizable by first name alone — Taylor, Lana, Mariah — were few and far between, and many of 2014’s biggest music stories belonged not to veterans, but to young upstarts like Ariana Grande and Meghan Trainor. (Sia may be the most obvious exception.)

But that doesn’t mean every pop record received equal attention. Below are 7 albums that either weren’t talked about enough, didn’t find much commercial success or didn’t get the year-end recognition they deserved.

Write to Nolan Feeney at nolan.feeney@time.com.

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