This Year in Music: 2014 Favorites

It’s been quite a year in music and for the first time since I’ve started blogging it’s been a slow one. Of course there have been albums released and artists making their way back to the forefront, but it’s been a lackluster year for me which could probably be seen in my reviews. I love to review albums, singles, and videos from artists that I have grown to love over the years. I will not be covering every music accomplishment of the year, just my personal favorites. Also no celeb drama will be included. You can click HERE if interested in what I think about the flood of celeb breakups. Anyway, let’s get into it. As always be sure to click the links as it will lead you to the reviews that I have done. In total I have reviewed 16 albums, 33 singles, and 51 videos; grand total 100. Not to shabby.

Favorite Albums of the Year

sia-1000-forms-of-fear-2

I take my time with album reviews and try to connect and find some meaning to the way the artists have compiled the tracks and the overall sound of the project. Some shined, some disappointed, and some made me fall in love again.

Two albums that I loved this year were Magic!’s, Don’t Kill the Magic and Sia’s, 1000 Forms of FearAs for a soundtrack I LOVED the Think Like a Man Too Soundtrack with 14 original tracks from Mary J. Blige. (I still have yet to see the movie).

While she didn’t release an album this year, JoJo’s Valentine’s Day EP, #LoveJo, can be added to my favs. Her cover of Anita Baker’s, ‘Caught Up In The Rapture’, is one for the books.

sia-chandelier-video-2Video of the Year

Yes I was on a Sia craze this year and her video gets video of the year for my picks goes to her heartfelt ‘Chandelier’ video, As I stated in my review I envisioned an interpretive dance video for the track and I was so happy for that to be the outcome. I absolutely love it and if she didn’t release anything else that entire year that song and video would really suffice. My other two picks are Janelle Monáe’s sorority inspired video, Electric Lady and Queen Bey’s, ‘7.11.’ (Again, click the links!)

1. Sia, ‘Chandelier’

2. Janelle Monáe, ‘Electric Lady’

3. Beyoncè, ‘7/11’

Honorable Mentions – Katy Perry, ‘This Is How We Do’ / Coldplay, ‘Sky Full of Stars’

magicArtists That Didn’t Make It Past Their Lead Single

As I loved both Don’t Kill the Magic and 1000 Forms of Fear, there was nothing played except from the lead singles, Rude’ and ‘Chandelier’, from each compilation respectively. I could see the Issue with Magic! as they released a reggae track yet not much reggae was found on their album. As for Sia, she’s an incognito artist, but her album was absolutely beautiful. Sia is nominated for _ Grammy’s for ‘Chandelier’. Unfortunately ‘Rude’ just might be the greatest thing that happened for Magic! I can’t wait to see them perform in 2015 alongside Maroon 5 on tour.

Songs I Don’t Want to Hear in 2015

The radio has a way of making your ears bleed when they play the same songs on five different stations at the same time in rotation. Two songs that I do NOT want to hear in 2015 are Iggy Azalea’s, ‘Black Widow’, and Ariana Grande’s, ‘Break Free.’ It’s been a great year for those two young ladies, but the radio played out those songs to no end. I thought ‘Fancy’ was bad, but I would rather hear Taylor Swift’, ‘Shake It Off’ followed by ‘Blank Space’ then ‘All About That Bass’ over and over then to hear ‘Black Widow’ and ‘Break Free’.

Artists I Can’t Wait To Hear From in 2015

Well this one is a no brainer, RIHANNA! There were rumors of her releasing her with studio album as a surprise this year, but I pretty much guarantee that she will be releasing one next year. Hopefully we won;t have to endure an entire year without Rihanna music and that it will hit right around Spring, Summer the latest. I absolutely LOVED Unapologetic (Click HERE for that review) and it was one of my favorites last year.

Speaking of Rihanna, how could I forget the return of Adele. It’s been nearly 4 years since the release of her multi-platinum album, 21, and I can’t wait to hear more. There’s been rumors of the album being titled ’25’ which makes sense as both her 1st and 2nd album had numeric significance. I just can’t wait to hear more of her amazing voice.

Lastly,  I’m excited to hear more from is Meghan Trainor. When I first saw her ‘All About That Bass’ video on Facebook I thought it would be just another fad, BUT Meghan has soared to the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 and can now add Grammy-award nominee to her list of accomplishments and her debut,, hasn’t even been reeled yet. I loved her EP, Titleand I can’t wait to hear her album.

Albums I Need to Listen to at the Top of 2015

There’s two albums in particular that I didn’t get around to listening to upon their releases and that’s Taylor Swift’s, 1989and J. Cole’s, 2014 Forrest Hills Drive. I’m not sure when I will be doing a review of those too, but expect in sometime in January. Definitely need to give those two a listen. Also congrats to both on their album sales.

Welp, that’s it. It was a long post, but I think I covered my favs. Stay tuned for my follow-up post of some of my favorite songs of 2014. Click HERE if you’re interested in seeing what my non-music favs were of this year and CHEERS to 2015. More reviews to come starting tomorrow.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

This Week In Music [V.21] — Chart News + Fall Album Dates

Welcome to another edition of This Week In Music. Be sure to click the links below to check out my posts for this week:

Now let’s get into chart news. The #1 album in the country is, Guardians of The Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol.1. Sam Smith and 5 Seconds of Summer hold tight in the Top 10 with their albums as well as Frozen although its quickly declining.

As for the Hot 100, Magic!’s ‘Rude’ still holds the #1 spot. Meghan Trainor shoots up from 8-4 with ‘All About That Bass’ looking to dethrone Magic! As for new appearances on the Hot 100, Charlie XCXs ‘Boom Clap’.

IMG_3587.JPGThere’s a lot of albums coming out this fall so here are dates that have been confirmed thus far:

  • Maroon 5 – V – 9.02
  • Jhene Aiko – Souled Out – 9.09
  • Chris Brown – X – 9.16
  • Lenny Kravitz – Strut – 9.23
  • Lady Gaga | Tony Bennett – Cheek to Cheek – 9.23
  • Jennifer Hudson – J. Hud – 9.23
  • Keyshia Cole – Point of No Return – 10.07
  • Tinashe – Aquarius – 10.07
  • Lil Wayne – Carter V – 10.28

Meghan Trainor Soars 28-8 on Hot 100

Meghan-Trainor2014When I first saw the “All About That Bass” video on Facebook I was intrigued from the start from the colorful video and the message. I instantly wanted to hear more, but unfortunately all she had on her YouTube was her debut track. Meghan Trainor is a signer-songwriter from Massachusetts signed to Epic Records. The track has soared 20 spots into the top 10 of the Hot 100, from 28-8, which is pretty decent considering in just five weeks its sold over 350,000 copies.

Check out her colorful, size doesn’t matter video below (directed by Fatima Robinson):

As for who else is on the Hot 100, Magic! still holds tight for the 4th week with ‘Rude’. Sam Smith is vying for the number one spot as ‘Stay With Me’ moves up a spot to #2. In at #3 is Iggy Azalea’s, ‘Fancy’ which swapped spots with Sam Smith with in a week as it slowly moves down the charts. No worries, it’s still sold over 3 million copies, and counting. Nico and Vinz hold tight at #4 with ‘Am I Wrong’ and in at #5 is Ariana Grande’s, ‘Problem’.

Jessie J’s latest single, ‘Bang Bang’, featuring Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj has debuted at #6 and in at #7 is Maroon 5’s ‘Maps’. As mentioned above, ‘All About That Bass’ is in at #8, Sia’s ‘Chandelier’ is in at #9, and rounding off the top 10 is Disclosure’s ‘Latch’.

Can Meghan Trainor hold momentum and soar higher into the top 10?

Will Sam Smith finally get a taste of the top spot with ‘Stay With Me?’

Is ‘Bang Bang’ on the road to #1?

Only time will tell. Until next time …

Album Review: Don’t Kill The Magic

Canadian Reggae band, MAGIC!, are storming up the charts with their hit ‘Rude’ and their album, Don’t Kill The Magic debuted on the Billboard 200 last week. The album has fallen out of the top 10 this week, but MAGIC! has a lot to be proud of as ‘Rude’ has dethroned Iggy Azalea whose ‘Fancy’ track had topped the chart for eight weeks.

The video for the ‘Rude’ was released in December of 2013 and to see all the presence that it has on the radio is amazing. I love the concept and how it sticks to the song. It’s the typical story of the girl that has a boyfriend her father doesn’t approve of. He plans for her to marry someone else but she rebels, elopes with her boyfriend, but yet the father still doesn’t agree.

The album, Don’t Kill the Magic, is available online and in stores.

Let’s backtrack a little on just who this band is before the review. Lead singer and producer, Nasri Atweh,

I have listened to the album numerous times over the past week and I really enjoy it. I wouldn’t say that the album is full reggae, but more so reggae rock. I love the album, but the ballads just don’t do anything for me. For the track to have started with so much umph on ‘Rude’ it ended on such a somber note with the ending track ‘How Do You Want To Be Remembered’. I really wasn’t a huge fan of ‘Let Your Hair Down’ either.

My Top 5 —-

  • ‘Rude’: The song that’s taking over the airwaves right now. I love the track and it’s a great introduction to what the group is made of.
  • ‘No Evil’: Insert the emojis. This wasn’t my favorite at first, but after listening more to the album I absolutely love it. I could definitely hear this on the radio.
  • ‘Stupid Me’: Out of my top 5, this song is by far my favorite. This should really be the next single, but ‘Don’t Kill The Magic’ seems to be. I would love to eventually hear this on the radio or at least see a video for it.
  • ‘Little Girl Big World’: This is a full out rock song that is great.
  • ‘Mama Didn’t Raise No Fool’

Overall I’d recommend buying the album. Overall it’s a great compilation minus the tracks that I just don’t really want. For me not liking two out of eleven tracks that’s not too shabby. I really enjoyed this and I’m glad I gave it a listen.