2014’s top album is ...

2014-12-20 11:18

New York – Up for a good long listen? Check out the Associated Press’ top albums of 2014 list:

1. In the Lonely Hour by Sam Smith: Sam Smith’s album was an emotional roller coaster – a ride you couldn’t get off of even if you tried. The songs, anchored by his piercing voice, had the power to make you cry, smile, shiver and even dance. Tracks like the radio hit, Stay With Me, and Leave Your Lover are intense and emotional, making for an honest, beautiful album that soothes the soul. There can only be only reply when he sings, Oh, won’t you stay with me? That would be a resounding, “Yes.”


2. 2014 Forest Hills Drive by J. Cole: J. Cole: Another honest man: J. Cole. The insanely talented rapper captures so much on his third album, tackling various topics from losing his virginity to growing up in Fayetteville, North Carolina to contemporary rappers, who should take note. His rhymes are smart, and he is a powerful storyteller that, at times, echoes rap king Nas.


3. LP1 by FKA twigs: FKA twigs’ ethereal and eerie album is heavenly. The English singer’s soft vocals layered over weird beats make this 10-track set a must listen, thanks to addictive tracks like Two Weeks, Numbers and Lights On.


4. Sucker by Charli XCX: Let’s boom clap for Charli XCX and her top notch album, Sucker. The mix of rock and pop songs are confident and catchy, and prove that although Charli XCX was the side chick on songs like Iggy Azalea’s Fancy and Icona Pop’s I Love It, she’s the real leading lady.


5. Aquarius by Tinashe: Tinashe, who is also part of the alternative R&B movement, delivered an album that moved the needle this year. Though she had a huge hit with the addictive 2 On, the singer proves she’s much more than a one-hit wonder on Aquarius. Her whispery vocals glide over the songs’ beats so nicely you’ll constantly hit repeat. Just Like Vegas is only one of the many standouts.


6. Evergreen by Broods: The parents of brother and sister duo Broods should be proud. The New Zealand group’s album, Evergreen, is a winner with instrumentalist Caleb Nott shining on the eclectic, alternative production, giving Georgia Nott a platform to showcase her calming vocals, especially on Killing You and Mother & Father.


7. My Everything by Ariana Grande: Ariana Grande has already launched four Top 10 hits from her second album, but there’s so much more that bangs beyond Bang Bang on My Everything. The powerful vocalist nails it with a cool blend of R&B and pop songs that’s almost as good as her revering 2013 debut.


8. Sam Hunt by Sam Hunt: Props to singer-songwriter Sam Hunt for blending country music with elements of R&B, electronica and hip-hop. It might sound wild, but it works on his debut album, mainly thanks to Hunt’s swagger and sexy sing-talk vocal delivery. Sam Smith isn’t the only Sam stealing hearts.


9. Do It Again by Robyn and Röyksopp: Swedish singer Robyn and Norwegian duo Röyksopp 5-song dance EP is oh so good, and a tease. Full album please?


10. 1 000 Forms of Fear by Sia: From Chandelier to Elastic Heart to Eye of the Needle, Sia’s latest album is just another laudable effort in her rich catalog, which is worth exploring if you’ve just discovered the gem this year.


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