Top 15 Albums of 2014

It occurred to me that with all of the craziness of the holidays, my wonderful Dad’s 60th birthday, and, you know, getting married, that I never made my top albums of 2014 post. What can I say? It was a busy time, but 2014 produced some stellar albums, so I feel compelled to report my findings. These are all, of course, based solely on my opinion. Here we go!

15. Echosmith “Talking Dreams”
Ok, so technically this full-length album was released in 2013, but Echosmith exploded on the charts in 2014 with their mega-hit Cool Kids. This group, made up of four siblings, has all the laid-back, carefree vibe that stems from their home state of California, with 80’s dance-pop influences guaranteed to put you in a good mood.

Give it a listen: Cool Kids, Come Together, Ran Off Into the Night

14. Ed Sheeran “X”
When Ed Sheeran came on the scene a few years ago, he had that shy, quiet, singer-songwriter feel that, although charming and talented, grew a little tiresome. Thankfully, for his follow-up album, Sheeran drew influences from every class of music to give his sound a more sophisticated, polished, mature appeal. When I first heard the lead-single, Sing, I thought it was Justin Timberlake. Which is only the highest of compliments.

Give it a listen: Don’t, Thinking Out Loud

13. Vance Joy “Dream Your Life Away”
Every year, there is one indie singer/songwriter that captures my attention. This year’s artist was Vance Joy, an Australian native with some pretty impressive guitar skills and a yearning vocal style that pulls at the heartstrings.

Give it a listen: Riptide, Who Am I, All I Ever Wanted

12. Banks “Goddess”
“So I’ve got itches that scratch/And sometimes I don’t got a filter/But I’m no good at eating/All of my misspoken words” I heard that line and was immediately hooked by Banks. Her sound is dark, moody, edgy and mysterious, so put on this debut album if you’re feeling particularly dark.

Give it a listen: Beggin’ for Thread, Goddess, Waiting Game

11. Rose Ave. “You + Me”
When Pink combines with City and Colour, only good things can happen. That good thing is You + Me, a country meets indie-pop album. This collection of songs feels like a couple of friends, sitting around a campfire, jamming and relaxing. It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Give it a listen: Capsized, You and Me, Break the Cycle

10. Sia “1000 Forms of Fear”
Sia had one of the most visually-appealing and interesting music videos of the year with her mega-smash Chandelier. Sia has the vocal chops to prove why this is her sixth album, yet each new collection of songs feels fresh, inventive, and new.

Give it a listen: Elastic Heart, Chandelier

9. Alt-J “This Is All Yours”
Alt-J are one of those bands that are so difficult to categorize. They have definite rock influences, but also bring pop, indie, and electronic inspirations that blend into its own genre. The second album from this British group feels carefree and uplifting.

Give it a listen: Left Hand Free, Every Other Freckle

8. St. Vincent “St. Vincent”
Oh my goodness, Annie Clark can do no wrong. Clark has such a sarcastic, witty view on life and she has the guitar-shredding thing down pat. St. Vincent proves that Ms. Clark is only getting better with time.

Give it a listen: Bring Me Your Loves, Digital Witness, Rattlesnake

7. Jessie J “Sweet Talker”
Jessie J has the best vocals in pop music today. There. I said it. This girl gets so little credit for just how awesome she is. I bet you thought Bang Bang was Ariana Grande’s idea? Nope. Definitely on this awesome collection of dance-pop tracks.

Give it a listen: Ain’t Been Done, Masterpiece, Loud

6. Kongos “Lunatic”
Kongos are a group of brothers, who actually started their success in South Africa, where their father hails from. Kongos manage to incorporate accordians, group vocals, drum circles, and hand claps into a new blend of rock and roll. Anyone who can pull that off, I am an immediate fan.

Give it a listen: I’m Only Joking, Come With Me Now, Hey I Don’t Know

5. Bleachers “Strange Desire”
Bleachers takes everything amazing about 80’s pop and adds a dash of rock, interesting lyrical content, and Jack Antonoff’s charisma to power the whole project. Just don’t call it a side project.

Give it a listen: I Wanna Get Better, Rollercoaster, Reckless Love

4. Hozier “Hozier”
I am not sure how you would have missed Hozier’s mega-smash Take Me to Church, but it was truly the greatest debut single I have ever heard. Hozier has some serious vocal range from his years in an Irish choral group, as well as significant talent on the guitar. The haunting, blues-influenced tone of his entire album ensure that this guy is here from more than a one-hit wonder.

Give it a listen: Take Me to Church, Jackie and Wilson, Someone New

3. Walk the Moon “Talking Is Hard”
Walk the Moon came out with such an amazing debut album two years ago that I still, to this day, will listen to every single song at least once a month. That being said, I could not have been more ecstatic to find out that they had a follow-up coming out this year. Walk the Moon write, fun, upbeat, rock-pop gems and never fail. I have never disliked a song, even after falling on my butt to Shut Up and Dance in the middle of the dance floor at my wedding. Oh yeah. That happened.

Give it a listen: Shut Up and Dance, Sidekick, Portugal

2. Lake Street Dive Bad “Self Portraits”
Lake Street Dive was another band that I found through iTunes ‘Single of the Week’, and I could not be more happy that I did. Bad Self Portraits has amazing jazz influences, and the lead singer, Rachel Price, will take this Boston-based duo very far. One personal goal of mine for 2015 is to see this group live and in concert. Here’s hoping I make it a reality!

Give it a listen: Bad Self Portraits, What About Me, You Go Down Smooth

1. Sam Smith “In the Lonely Hour”
Unless you live under a rock, you understand what a monumental year Sam Smith had. This guy is about to sweep the Grammy’s, with an entire collection of heart-breaking songs sung with expertise. This guy makes every performance look completely effortless, despite the fact that he is hitting notes most people could only dream of. Sam Smith is a true talent, and I only hope his next album is as significant and impressive as his debut.

Give it a listen: I’m Not the Only One, Not In That Way, Latch (Acoustic)

So that’s it. My all-encompassing, but actually probably forgot somebody vital, list of the top 15 albums of 2014. You’ll notice no Taylor Swift. Sorry guys. I just can’t get on that train, even though I’m glad she’s dropped the whole “country” facade, and acknowledged that she is a pop act now.

As an apology for taking so long, I have also listed some exciting new projects, that I cannot wait for in 2015.

Ella Henderson Chapter One
Meghan Trainor Title
Imagine Dragons Smoke and Mirrors
Full-length albums from Mad Moon Riot and Ryn Weaver

New EPs

I have been collecting EPs from a small collection of new artists that are trying their best to break-through into the music scene, and I, personally, cannot wait for each of them to make it happen. The first is Ryn Weaver, who’s hit OctaHate is the greatest synth-pop song I have heard in a very long time. Her voice is ethereal, smooth, and absolutely stunning. Weaver’s EP, Promises dropped in August, and I found that she is even more talented than I imagined. Check out her next single, Promises, for a lesson in high-class song-writing and catchy melodies.

Next, I found out that a personal favorite of mine, LA-based Mad Moon Riot, were dropping a FREE EP with the release of their new video, a cover of Bruno Mars’ Gorilla. If there are two things I love in this world, they are Bruno Mars and LA-based rock bands, therefore I was pumped! The new EP features Gorilla, which is a fantastic rock-infused take of the original, an updated version of Feels Like the Way that I am hoping will be the lead single, and an acoustic version of the band’s original single Running on Empty that features some beautiful piano work and gorgeous vocals. Kudos to guitarist, Pou Piam, for some truly amazing work on Gorilla, and lead singer Mia Swier, who has seriously upped her vocal game since the release of the group’s original EP.

Finally, I found MisterWives quite awhile back when their single, Reflections, was featured on iTunes’ Single of the Week. I was immediately hooked by lead singer Mandy Lee’s high soprano and the dance floor tune became a fast favorite for my workout playlist. When I discovered the band’s EP, I found there is more to them than dance floor jams and pop confection. Coffins features some beautiful strings and a slower tempo, and Kings and Queens showcases Lee on the verses with minimalistic background, building into big, bold choruses. Overall, Reflections will make you dance in your car, shower, apartment, wherever you play it, but it will also prove that MisterWives have more to show the world.

EPs are great. They give lesser known artists a way to show the world what they have, without releasing a whole album. Heck, I discovered Sam Smith through his genius Nirvana EP, and look where he is now! These three artists are just a few of the many talented people out there trying to make it big, and I am definitely rooting for each and every one of them!

P.S. MisterWives and Ryn Weaver’s EPs can be purchased on iTunes. You can grab Mad Moon Riot’s for FREE at, though all donations go to Adopt the Arts. So there’s that.


Do not call Bleacher’s album, from fun.’s Jack Antonoff, a side project. He is quick to assert that Bleachers and Strange Desires is a completely separate entity from the mega-popular fun. Upon listening to the album, it is easy to see that Antonoff is right. Strange Desires plays as an album much more rock-centered than the typically synthesized and top-40 vibe we have grown to expect from, and I quote, “that other band [he] sometimes plays in.” I grew up in the 90’s. I love the 90’s. I wish we could all go back and relive the 90’s. Because of this, it makes senses that I adore the debut album from Bleachers. The 90’s alt-rock influence is heavy and easy to hear.

I Wanna Get Better is the lead single, a raucous tribute to feeling stuck in a life and realizing there may be a way to turn it around. It is full of seemingly non-sensical lyrics that heighten the feeling of chaos, and yet accurately and astutely describe a life of monotony and dissatisfaction. Other personal favorites include: Rollercoaster, Wild Heart, and Reckless Love. 

If you are looking for a band that delivers classic, good old-fashioned rock, give Bleachers a try. If not, wait a few months until fun.’s next album drops. Because Antonoff doesn’t do side projects. He is simply in two bands at once.

Sam Smith

It’s clear that this whole blogging thing is becoming a pattern. I make a post, life gets busy, I disappear for a month or two, and then I’m back! Well, here goes another cycle, and who better to start us back up with the Sam Smith? This guy’s voice is like magic. It is so smooth, with falsettos that are insanely difficult and songs that are just plain heartbreaking. It is clear this guy went through some serious pain before writing his debut album, and anyone who has had their heart stomped on can definitely relate. 

Unless you have been living under a rock, you have heard Smith’s mega-smash Stay With Me, a beautiful pop gem about trying to cling to a one-night stand, simply in order to feel something. He has also been featured on Disclosure’s Latch and Naughty Boy’s La La La, both huge successes on the charts right now. I personally love Smith’s acoustic version of Latch off of his EP Nirvana more than the sped-up duet version. There is just something incredibly gripping and heartfelt in the slowed down tempo of Smith’s solo version.

Sam Smith’s debut album, In the Lonely Hour, is about to drop in a few weeks, and I simply cannot wait to see how far this British singer-songwriter can take his career. My personal favorites from the album so far include Money On My Mind and I’m Not the Only One. If the album is outside of your price range, give the Nirvana EP a try. There is a live version of I’ve Told You Now that proves that Sam is not just a great songwriter. He can sing. 



Lake Street Dive

I know, I know. I’ve been MIA for quite some time. Turns out, finishing graduate school, moving to a new city, taking boards, and trying to find a job are all sort of time consuming activities. Now that I’m back, can we just discuss Lake Street Dive for a second? Because they are my favorite thing about music in 2014, even if it is only just barely breaking April. 

I cannot claim Lake Street Dive as my own discovery. Within a week, my former roommate, as well as my brother-in-law, both alerted me to the awesome that is this band. I could not be more grateful. Upon their recommendation, I decided to check the band on when their lead single, Bad Self Portraits, was posted as a Single of the Week on iTunes. It is absolutely perfect. Amazing jazz vocals from Rachael Price? Check. Soul influences in the drums and guitar? Check. Entertaining, self-aware lyrics? Double check. 

I could not get enough after that first listen, and, it turns out, the entire album is a revolution. With nods to old-school jazz and swing, 60’s soul, and a touch of 90’s pop, this band hits all the right notes. (Pun intended.) You Go Down Smooth is an upbeat, driving tune that has had me caught dancing in my car on more than one occasion. Better Than slows it down and proves this group can cover all your basics, ballads included. My favorite is probably Seventeen, a tale of meeting the right person at the not-quite-so-right time. If you are unwilling to take the plunge with new songs, give their album, Fun Machine, a listen. It’s a collection of covers that show the group’s true musical influences, from ABBA to The Beatles to Jackson 5. 

Sara Bareilles

Alright, this is not new information, but Sara Bareilles is amazing. She is a down-to-earth, cool chick who writes great songs and can play the tar out of that piano. I am so excited to see her really breaking through and getting some critical and popular love this past year. Brave is all over the radio, television commercials, and nearly any other place you can think of. It was riddled with controversy when Katy Perry released Roar, a power anthem with a nearly identical musical phrasing, melody, and theme. Considering Ms. Perry gave a shout-out to Brave long before Roar was released, I’m guessing she was aware of the similarities, but Sara handled with grace and a good sense of humor.

Apart from the large commercial hit of BraveThe Blessed Unrest includes other favorites such as I Choose You, Eden, and Little Black Dress. From her previous work on Little Voice, I adore Fairytale, a disillusioned look at storybook tales, and Come Round Soon and Gravity, a couple of beautiful ballads about love-gone-wrong. Sweet As Whole is from her EP, Once Upon A Time, and completely riddled with cursed words, start to finish. It is a charmingly light song about all of the truly terrible people there are out in the world. Put that song on after a day filled with jerks and frustrating know-it-alls. I guarantee you’ll feel better.

Now, it is exceedingly clear at this point that I adore Ms. Bareilles. She puts on a killer live show, seems like a genuinely funny and sweet person, and consistently puts out great music. My favorite collective piece from her thus far in her career? Kaleidoscope HeartFrom beginning to end, this album is genius. It is clear that Sara went through quite the heartbreak before writing this album, but the songs aren’t all sad and depressing. Say You’re Sorry and Gonna Get Over You are upbeat, catchy tunes about moving on with or without an apology.  Uncharted was a beautiful piece that became my personal theme for the two years I spent in graduate school, finding myself as an adult and learning how to live on my own. Other favorites include Machine Gun, Basket Case, and Bluebird, but, honestly, there is no going wrong here. 


Alright kids. I have strayed from the path. I recently discovered MS MR, a band that is not based out of bright, sunny California. This dynamic duo hails from NYC, and I love them. MS MR consists of two people: the vocalist, Lizzy Plapinger, and the producer, Max Hershenow. To me, this pair is what would happen if Alice in Wonderland and the Cheshire Cat decided to make some music. They are grittier and more imaginative than anything I’ve heard lately, layering light vocals on fantastical sounds. See Dark Doo Wop to hear what I’m saying.

I will be the first to admit, this group may be striking such a chord with me due to the lyrics. Their songs often describe an uncontrolled world, with unexpected chaos and decisions at every turn. As I near graduate school graduation, with a move to a yet-to-be-determined location, a licensure exam to pass, a wedding to plan, and a job to find, it’s nice to hear I’m not the only one searching for something steady to grab. Twenty Seven and This Isn’t Control make it seem okay to not have everything figured out.

Lyrics alone, however, will not make me a fan. Plapinger is an excellent front-woman, with a voice that sounds like a smirk. She proves ethereal and sweet on the haunting verses, while gripping you with powerful, soulful choruses. The production quality is great, creating the backdrop of a distorted fantasy, but, without Lizzy, it would fall flat.

Secondhand Rapture is packed with great songs choices, but I personally love Think of You, Bones, and Twenty Seven. The lead single, heard on any alt-rock radio station, is Hurricane.. MS MR leads the pack for acts I most want to see in the new year, so check them out.

Obligatory Top 15 Albums of 2013

It’s that time of year where everyone makes a top 5 (or 10, or 40, or 100…) countdown. Favorite songs, favorite ridiculous Youtube clips, favorite cat videos. You name it; there is a countdown for it. For my part, I am putting forth a list of my personal top 15 albums of 2013. The albums I loved, learned to love, and really sort of hated, but appreciated the beauty of.

15. Arcade Fire, Reflecktor

After taking their time to follow-up the 2010 mega-hit The Suburbs, Arcade Fire is back with a Roxy Music influenced album. The notoriously artistic group will never consider themselves “mainstream”, however, this album is chalk-full of rhythm heavy, driven indie pop hits. There is a touch of disco and whimsy throughout the record, that provides an upbeat vibe to groove along to.

Listen to: We Exist, You Already Know

14. James Blake, Overgrown

On first listen, I absolutely hated Overgrown. I was so excited for James Blake’s follow-up to the 2011 debut, and I found the various styles and elements incorporated into the final product to be difficult to digest. After a few listens, however, I learned to appreciate the various layers to the piece. Blake pulls from R&B, pop rock, electric, and classic indie songwriter styles with grace and ease, all with a layer of simplistic and graceful vocals on top. Plus, he’s up for quite a few Grammy’s, so he can’t be too bad.

Listen to: Take a Fall For Me, Dim

13. Cage the Elephant, Melophobia

This album was a late entry, as I just acquired a copy from my brother-in-law a week ago, but Cage the Elephant delivers. They made a classic rock album, with solid vocals, tried and true guitar riffs, and a drum/bass line to keep everything moving. Melophobia is my favorite pick for a straight-up rock album.

Listen to: Come A Little Closer, It’s Just Forever*

*Alison Mosshart’s vocals on this track remind me of Ms. Mia Swier, another of my favorite female vocalists of this year

12. Capital Cities, In a Tidal Wave of Mystery

Everyone has heard of Capital Cities at this point, largely due to the mega-popular Safe and Sound. The track was everywhere, but what drew me to this album was the rest of the group’s work. This track is full of catchy little pop tunes, layered with multi-part harmonies and a wide array of horn sections. Safe and Sound may have put their foot in the door, but In a Tidal Wave of Mystery will keep Capital Cities relevant.

Listen to: Kangaroo Court, I Sold My Bed, But Not My Stereo

11. Bruno Mars, Unorthodox Jukebox

Bruno, Bruno, Bruno. How I love you so. I understand that every single Bruno Mars song becomes overplayed to the point of annoyance, but the man can sing. His follow-up to Doo-Wops and Hooligans did not disappoint, as the man breezes through pop jingles, ballads, and snazzy dance numbers. You’ve heard the hits, now appreciate the voice. Sidenote: Cannot wait for the Super Bowl Halftime Show!

Listen to: Treasure, Natalie

10. Kendrick Lamar, Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City

Kendrick was the name on everyone in hip-hop’s lips this year, as the new kid on the block with honest, narrative, and autobiographical lyrics. He delivers each song with easy confidence and a smooth, laid-back delivery. I will admit, rap is not my favorite area of music, but you have to appreciate this guy’s talent. He is here to stay.

Listen to: Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst

9. Justin Timberlake, The Complete 20/20 Experience

If you would have told me that the kid from NSYNC with the blonde afro and occasional cornrows would be the most successful singer to transition from late 90’s boy bands to today’s pop scene, I would have called you crazy. Justin Timberlake has managed to make the transition appear relatively pain-free, with no mental breakdowns or theatrics. After a well-earned musical hiatus, he was back this year with a two-part album full of blues, soul, R&B, and pop-inspired hits. Part two was my personal preference of the two, as it had a darkier, edgier feel, but the entire package proves JT is back in a big way.

Listen to: True Blood, That Girl

8. Chvrches, The Bones of What You Believe

Chvrches is another album that grew on me over the year. Originally, I hated the synth. I hated the light, soprano vocals on every song. I hated the bright feel of all of the songs. As the year went on, this album slowly forced itself to the front of my playlists. I found myself drawn to the happiness that stems from the upbeat, light background of each song. There is just something inherently optimistic about this band’s sound. Couldn’t we all use a little pep in our step these days?

Listen to: The Mother We Share, Lungs

7. Bastille, Bad Blood

Obsessed. That is how I would describe myself when I first heard Bastille’s Pompeii. There are tribal chants, amazing vocals, peppy synthesizers, and precise percussion. What more could you want? Turns out the album also delivers references to history, Greek mythology, and biblical stories. So that’s fun.

Listen to: Flaws, Icarus, Daniel in the Den

6. Janelle Mona’e, The Electric Lady

Janelle Mona’e is a star. This is simply a fact. She has undeniable stage presence, a unique look and sound, and a stance as a powerful female vocal powerhouse. What a perfect recipe for success. The Electric Lady is simply amazing, with heavy funk and soul influences combining with classic rock and pop. This album is the future. Janelle Mona’e was sent from the future to educate us.

Listen to: We Were Rock ‘n Roll, Q.U.E.E.N.

5. Kanye West, Yeezus

Let me preface this choice with a statement. Kanye West is a complete and total jackass. He says horribly conceited things on a very consistent basis. Ignoring all of these facts, the man is talented. Yeezus was not super-popular with the top 40 crowd, but it is full of raw aggression and power. The man writes completely sick lyrics, samples from all of the best old school beats, and delivers it all with passion that is largely unmatched in today’s music industry. Say what you want about his personal opinions and choices, but Yeezus is an excellent album that challenges what is being put out there.

Listen to: Blood On the Leaves

4. Lorde, Pure Heroine

I get it, I get it. Everyone hates Royals at this point. It has been overplayed to the point of absolute loathing, but it is a good song. Lorde was the greatest breakthrough artist of the year. She is a young performer with an old soul, that challenges class systems and economic drift instead of focusing on parties and showing skin. Royals got her foot in the door, but Lorde’s pure talent and ability to write and perform truly honest, relevant songs will keep her around.

Listen to: Glory and Gore, Ribs

3. Beyonce’, Beyonce’

Oh, Beyonce’! If you need to see why this album is on the list, read my previous entry. Beyonce’ is our generation’s greatest star. She is a classy lady. She owns her body, and the Queen Bey wants all of her female fans to feel as strong and empowered as her. This album shocked the world (and the commercial industry) when Beyonce’ surprise-released it with no notice, no marketing, and no hard copies. It still sold over 800,000 copies in 3 days. Do yourself a favor and check out why.

Listen to: Flawless

2. Skye Ferriera, Night Time, My Time

Skye Ferriera had a long, hard fought journey to success. After years of fighting with her label over the “right image and sound”, Ferriera finally put forth an excellent debut pop-rock album. With self-deprecating lyrics that take responsibility for her attitude and trouble spots, this album feels like a chat with a friend. The sound has been described as early Whitney Houston/Madonna vibes, and that can only mean good things.

Listen to: I Blame Myself, Nobody Asked Me (If I Was OK), 24 Hours*

*I wish John Hughes could have heard 24 Hours. It feels like every classic 80’s movie ever.

1. Haim, Days Are Gone

If you have followed my blog at all, you should have seen this coming. Haim is the most glorious family-created band since Hanson. And, as has been established, I love Hanson. These 3 women span the 20’s in age-range, giving a vast insight into life and love from multiple perspectives. The precision vocals are beautiful and absolutely rocking, and the bass is played so hard by Este Haim, that the greatest bass-face to ever grace SNL’s stage was born. This band is making chick-rock cool again. They have an effortless rocker chick vibe to every song, and the live show is nothing short of fantastic. With a recent SNL appearance, and The Wire showing up on nearly every year-end countdown, it is clear that Haim is just getting started.

Listen to: My Song 5, The Wire, If I Could Change Your Mind


Honorable Mentions:

Sara Bareilles, Blessed Unrest; Mad Moon Riot, Make Me; The Killers, Battle Born; Paramore, Paramore; Rhye, Woman


As always, feel free to agree, disagree, or ignore me completely. These are only my summative musical thoughts for the year 2013!


I have been traveling abroad for the better part of a week,without real Wi-Fi connections or phone access. It was incredibly relaxing to unplug from the world and just enjoy some time with a few of my closest friends, but it leaves you disconnected, having no real clue what is happening in the world at large. Imagine my surprise, then, when I returned stateside to discover that the Queen Bey herself had surprise released an entire album, in full, while I was away. Quickly, I listened to the entire thing start to finish. Beyonce’ has always been a favorite of mine, from her early days with Destiny’s Child, to her solo status as a complete and total superstar.

The thing about Beyonce’ that has always fascinated me is that she has an innate ability to be remain completely aware of who she is, what message she wants to send her fans, and how to empower young girls, while still being one of the most complete packages and an ever-evolving performer in the game. From Girls (We Run the World) to Single Ladies to IrreplaceableBey has been teaching young girls that being strong, beautiful and talented is worth something in this world. On her latest album, easily her most explicit album to date, Beyonce’ is upfront about her sexuality. She is candid and frank about what it means to be a grown woman, in a healthy relationship, and makes no apologies for her desires. She has learned a thing or two from her husband about discussing sex, but it never feels crude or forced. These new songs are simply a woman, known for being incredibly private, giving you a peek into her daily life. 

Flawless is definitely Beyonce’s crown-jewel on this album. It begins with a lesson on what we are teaching girls these days, a reminder of the inequality between the expectations between men and women. It then provides a message from the Queen herself about the importance of loving yourself, that everyone is flawless, no matter what. All of this is done to a slick R&B beat.

I’m not going to give my personal picks for this album, other than Flawless, because that is not how Beyonce’ intended it. This album is not meant to produce singles, or sell tons of copies, or even be heard in bits and pieces. It is meant to be heard start to finish, as a a manifesto of sorts. Her thoughts as an ever-changing and growing woman, as a wife and mother, and as the ever-magnetic performer that she is.

Beyonce - BEYONCÉ (Album Cover, Tracklist & Digital Booklet)

Sky Ferreira

Alright, I know. Total fail on keeping up with my posts. I’d offer some great explanation if I had one, but all I’ve got is life gets busy sometimes. Oops!

Anyway, as an amends, I bring you Sky Ferreira. Prepare to fall in love. I first heard this little rebel lady on her original single, Obsession. That was a few years ago, and I still love. that. jam. It is genius. I waited and waited, and I didn’t hear much more from dear Ms. Ferreira until this past month. Her newest single, 24 Hours, showed up on iTunes Free Single of the Week. Needless to say, Apple got me again. I bought her new album after hearing this gem, and then convinced my bestie that she needed some Sky in her life. She described Sky as reminiscent of early 80’s Madonna and Whitney Houston a la Dance With Somebody. Sometimes, my bestie is a genius.

I won’t try and convince you that Sky Ferreira is the greatest vocalist in recent history, or that her songs are incredibly groundbreaking lyrical gold. What I will say is that she creates fantastic dance-pop tunes with a dash of rock. Just enough to keep it interesting. If you are a child of the 80’s, give her a listen. My personal favorites include Nobody Asked Me (If I Was Okay)You’re Not the One, and I Blame Myself. Or take a listen to her original hit, Obsession. It’s seriously amazing, even if a little stalkerish.