So last year was a pretty decent year for music, with my favourite stuff not being the most poppy or radio friendly stuff, but still being pretty freaking good if you ask me, I wanted to just share my taste with you a bit and talk about the music that I loved from last year.
In no particular order.
Linkin Park – The Hunting Party
By the way I’m a big Linkin Park fan, they’re my favourite band and I was excited to hear they were working on a new, old school LP sounding album for 2014, hearing some songs from the album before it came out got me pumped and the whole thing didn’t disappoint. It’s generally well received and has been a tad divisive among LP fans but you always get the vocal fans constantly wanting all the bands new music to sound like their old, classic albums, Meteora and Hybrid Theory.
I liked the Hunting Party because it was just a barebones, more basic album with a lot more guitars, more heavy stuff (yeah you can tell I’m not a music blogger) and it just felt a bit more raw, the fast paced songs were balanced with the slower songs but nothing felt out of place or bad. It was just a great album that flowed and sounded great in my opinion, one of LPs’ best.
Warpaint – Warpaint
A sort of left of field choice compared to the other albums in the list (my music taste is pretty varied though), but Warpaints’ album this year was pretty great, Warpaint make great resounding and layered music with the way the use their singing and instruments to make an almost orchestral sound. They’re one of the more creative and alternative rock bands out there but awesome to listen to if you’re a fan of psychedelic, indie rock music, the album had a nice mix of slower and some upbeat songs as well and it really flowed well as a whole.
I’ve found it to be one of those albums that seems to fly by as you listen to it, because you’re enjoying it so much and you end up going back a few songs as you want to go through it again.
J Cole – Forest Hills Drive
I’m also a big, big J Cole fan and this album sort of came out of nowhere, I heard talk of it among fans but it was barely promoted anywhere and boom, it came out and it was awesome, one of J Coles’ best albums and one of his most sincere sounding ones. It has a great mix of slower, meaningful songs and up tempo ones with great beats/hooks, as per usual with J Coles, I love Coles’ conversational tone in some of his songs, as if he’s talking directly to the listener while he tells you a story.
It’s also great that he’s deeper than a lot of popular rappers out there and has something to say, rather than just rap about his wealth, drugs or girls, he talks about the cons of being famous quite a bit as well, which is interesting. I like J Cole because he’s an inspirational rapper, his music is uplifting but at the same time he has quite a few bangers out there, a bit of everything but he’s still good at what he does.
Logic – Under Pressure
A popular New York rapper and a hardworking guy, Logics’ been rapping for years with a few solid mixtapes but hasn’t received much mainstream recognition until recently and he hit it big time with his debut album. Signed to a major label now and featuring some big names like Big Sean, the album’s a consistently great listen and showcases his talent for writing soulful, fantastic sounding songs with nuanced beats. Logic does stand apart from a few rappers around his age in my opinion, his music isn’t loud or cocky but he still stands out, his flow, his great rapping and his great use of samples and beats make him one to watch for the future for sure, he’s easily on the path to being a megastar and it’s just a matter of time really.
Banks – Goddess
I came across Banks last year a bit randomly when I was looking for new, quality alt electronic music and I’ve loved her music ever since, I like how it’s soulful, the beats for her songs are quite resounding and sound great and her singing is awesome of course. Her style may not be for everyone but it’s perfect staring out of the window while it’s raining music, not because it’s depressing or anything but because it sounds good and would fit that scenario.
Lower Than Atlantis – Lower Than Atlantis
One of my favourite bands at the moment, Lower Than Atlantis bring a fresh, genuine feel to British rock and to rock in general, a little bit indie, a bit poppy nowadays but still quality, their songs are mostly upbeat, they’ll make you feel like dancing and they all sound good. This album is a nice mix of the slower songs, the radio friendly pop stuff and the more rocky, heavy stuff, I’ve seen fans criticise this album for being a ‘sell out’ and for the band moving away from their heavier roots but meh, it’s worked out for them. Yes their sound has changed and so have they and I’m all for it.
Ed Sheeran – X
Bizarrely one of the most divisive but in the mainstream widely loved artists out there at the moment, Ed Sheerans’ a pretty big deal now, one of the most versatile, likeable and talented singer songwriters out there, I didn’t doubt his new album would be anything but good for a second. X was a great listen all the way through, with great singles like ‘Sing’ and ‘Don’t’ showcasing his great singing (and rapping), the album was consistently good and serves as a reminder of one of Sheerans’ main appeals, his consistency, I struggle to think of a bad song from him.
He has some good features on there as well, including the likes of Pharell, it’s a soulful but upbeat and lively album and a great listen.