2014’s Best in Music

2014 music

2014 was another amazing year for music. So many new artists came onto the scene and killed it! This year’s list includes not only albums, but EPs and official motion picture soundtracks as well. And, of course, Taylor Swift’s 1989 would be on this list under the song “Wildest Dreams,” but she pulled her music from Spotify and I don’t want any holes in the playlist.

In no particular order, here are my 25 picks for the best songs, albums, and artists of 2014:

1. “I Should’ve Guessed” ft. Speak, RAC, Strangers Part II: There’s just something about that light pizzicato in the chorus. It gets me every time.


2. “Speeding,” LIGHTS, Little Machines: LIGHTS, we don’t want you to stay still. Keep speeding, girl.


3. “Mind Over Matter,” Young the Giant, Mind Over Matter: Don’t shake the world too hard now, Sameer Gadhia.


4. “Are You What You Wanna Be?,” Foster the People, Supermodel: Questions to ask yourself in the new year…

5. “I Want It All,” Karmin, Pulses: Amy and Nick need to go elope already.

6. “I Need You,” M83, Divergent: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: So many amazing songs on this soundtrack, and M83 did fantastic job with this ballad.

 

7. “Freakin’ Me Out,” The Ready Set, The Bad & The Better: The song itself won’t freak you out. I promise.


8. “Feelings,” Maroon 5, V: I’ve got some feelings about Adam Levine’s falsetto…


9. “Dust Clears” ft. Noonie Bao, Clean Bandit, New Eyes: This song was my alarm tone all summer. Noonie Bao adds some serious sass to this tune, and I just can’t get enough!


10. “Runaway,” Ed Sheeran, x: Just don’t run away without releasing and ÷, Teddy.

11. “Happy Little Pill,” Troye Sivan, Happy Little Pill: Mr. Sivan, you’ve done your fans proud, YouTube and beyond.

12. “Stay With Us,” Seoul, Magestic Casual 2: As long as Majestic Casual releases another mix album, I’ll stay. Keeping a close eye on Seoul as well!


13. “Run-Time,” Imogen Heap, Sparks: Imogen Heap can do no wrong.


14. “Together” ft. Gwen Stefani, Calvin Harris, Motion: Honesty time. Every time the bridge comes around I fall into a state of utter bliss and whisper, One day…”.


15. “Simple and Sweet,” Jon Bellion, The Definition: Jon Bellion was a very pleasant surprise this year. He’s got a very nice balance between philosophical and impulsive creativity on this album.


16. “Roses,” Angus & Julia Stone, Angus & Julia Stone: Hearing “Roses” for the first time made my heart skip a beat. Indietronica! YES, PLEASE.


17. “This is Not a Game,” The Chemical Brothers ft. Miguel, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I OST: It most definitely is not a game, guys. Lorde, this soundtrack is sheer brilliance.


18. “Little Bit More” – Bodhi Remix, Bo Saris, Bondax & Friends – The Mix Album: Can I just take a moment to thank Bondax and their friends for this stellar mix album?


19. “Young Love,” Jesse McCartney, In Technicolor: Jesse McCartney brought some lovely color to the music scene this year.

20. “Teacher,” Nick Jonas, Nick Jonas: My Jonas fever will never die for this one…

21. “Espoir,” Darius, Romance: “Espoir” is French for “hopeless.” Darius might be hopelessly in love, but I have high hopes for his music.

22. “Why” ft. Nate Salman, Le Sins, Michael: “Wanna go there?” Chaz Bundick and Nate Salman take you there on this track. Still trying to figure out who Michael is though…


23. “Vanilla Chocolat” ft. Connect-R, Alexandra Stan, Unlocked: This Romanian beauty took all the romance languages she could find and used them to connect with her fans on this album. All the vanilla chocolates for you, my darling…


24. “Shot Me Down” ft. Skylar Grey, David Guetta, Listen: David Guetta demanded that we listen, and listen we did. And Skylar Grey, don’t let ’em shoot you down.

25. “Two Bodies” ft. Emma Louise, Flight Facilities, Down to Earth: Emma Louise, your voice is precious. Flight Facilities, your rhythms capture the essence of life’s absurd conundrums. And Rod Sterling, thank you for inspiring the glorious intro portion of “Two Bodies.”

 

Happy New Year, everyone!

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Lorde’s Birthday Wish and “Yellow Flicker Beat” Music Video

Today, Lorde turned 18!

Gosh, she’s so young.

Wondering what the singer wished for?

Less acne.

About 10 seconds into her big day, Lorde took to her Tumblr page, stating,

it’s midnight, and i’m all of ten seconds into being eighteen. the first thing that came into my head just now is that i thought i would have less acne at eighteen.. some things never change. lol. happy birthday me.

Girl, I feel your pain.

This isn’t the first time Lorde made a public statement about her acne problems.

In a comparison between two photos of the singer taken during a concert performance, Lorde took a stand for her imperfections.

“I find this curious — two photos from today, one edited so my skin is perfect and one real. remember flaws are ok :-)”

Lorde also has no shame in posting photos of her face covered in acne cream. She doesn’t try to hide her acne. She just wishes it weren’t there.

But I’m not gonna lie to you, girl. I’m 20 and I still have acne!

You just keep being you, and your fans see past your acne into your beautiful soul.

It also seems that Lorde likes to give on her birthday rather than receive.

The music video for The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 soundtrack song “Yellow Flicker Beat” is finally here!

Woohoo!

Enjoy your day, Lorde!

And for the fans, enjoy her new music video for “Yellow Flicker Beat.”

This Week in Music: Taylor Swift’s “Sweeter Than Fiction”

sweeter than fiction

Taylor Swift has a new song featured on the One Chance soundtrack called “Sweeter Than Fiction”!

If anyone is going to write a sweet little song about life, Taylor Swift is your girl for the job.

The film about Britain’s Got Talent winner Paul Potts, directed by Simon Cowell, comes out in the UK on October 25th, 2013.

one chance

One Chance Movie Poster

Luckily, the song “Sweeter Than Fiction” is already out for your listening pleasure.

“Sweeter Than Fiction” is a medium tempo tune with lots of guitar and drum beats.

The intro is a lovely melody of major chords that sound full of triumph and hope.

The instrumentation of the rest of the song is nothing out of the ordinary, but the lyrics are heartwarming.

The lyrics of “Sweeter Than Fiction” take listeners through the doubts and triumphs of success. The second part of the first verse is beautifully written, as she sings,

Seen you fall, seen you crawl on you knees (eh, eh)
Seen you lost in a crowd, seen you colors fade
Wish I could make it better
Someday you won’t remember,
This pain you thought would last forever and ever (Verse 1, Part 2)

The bridge of the song reminds us all why we love Taylor’s voice so much, as the beat slows down a bit and she drags some of the words out legato:

I’ll be one of the many saying
Look at you now, look at you now, now
I’ll be one of the many saying
You’ve made us proud, you’ve made us proud, proud

And when they call your name
And they put your picture in a frame
You know that I’ll be there time and again
‘Cause I you loved when… (Bridge)

The way the drum takes over in the instrumentation of the last few lines of the bridge brings a nice touch of sentiment to finale of the song, in which Taylor sings the first part of the first verse again.

I hope this song actually plays during the film and not just the end credits.

Or worse: I hope its not just for the soundtrack. That would be a shame to waste such a beautifully written song when it could well be played in the film itself.

Enjoy the track!

Movie Review: ‘Lovestruck: The Musical’

So last night I spent some time sitting on the couch in front of my beloved flat screen to watch Lovestruck: The Musical on ABC Family.

lovestruck

The movie looked promising, featuring actors like Drew Seeley, Chelsea Kane (known as Chelsea Staub pre-2008; still not sure why she changed her stage name) and Jane Seymour.

This film contains high levels of singing, dancing, romance, and beautiful scenery. Those ingredients are all I need to be glued to the television screen for two hours!

The movie starts out with Mirabella (Sara Paxton) rushing to dance class to break the news to her mother, Harper (Jane Seymour), about her decision to quit the show in order to live in Italy with her husband-to-be, Marco. Harper trips on stage during the opening number, “Just Dance”, originally by Lady Gaga, due to her bad knee. She then sends her dancers to find her some aspirin as she goes off to the back room to deal with her daughter.

Here’s where the plot line becomes almost too predictable. Harper is now concerned (as most mothers would be) that her daughter is making a huge mistake. She therefore proceeds to threaten a lawsuit against Mirabella for deciding to quit the show. Mirabella then bans her mother from the wedding, and her mother decides to make it her business to show her that Marco is not the type of guy who will leave his “Playboy” lifestyle for her.

Meanwhile the dancers find Harper not only some aspirin, but a small bottle of Vitality Tonic as well.

We all know what happens next.

Harper gets on a flight to Italy, where the wedding is to take place, messed up knee and all, to then realize that she doesn’t have her aspirin. So what does she do? You guessed correctly: the woman resorts to drinking the Vitality Tonic. The potion turns Harper into her younger self (played by Chelsea Kane), and this gives her all the more advantage in seducing Marco.

The morning after successfully seducing Marco on the night of the bachelor and bachelorette parties, young Harper, who is at this point pretending to be a distant cousin so as not to blow her cover, goes to the bridal shop with Mirabella. After a while she notices that the potion is wearing off, so she rushes back to the house. On the way back, Harper overhears Marco telling his best man about the kiss he shared with her the night before. Unfortunately, Mirabella happens to be walking across the bridge as the conversation between Marco and his best man continues, and she is left to believe three things: her mother was right about Marco, she cannot marry Marco, and her maid of honor, Noelle (Adrienne Bailon), is the girl that turned her fiance unfaithful.

The events of this film are hilarious. The Vitality Tonic only lasts for a certain amount of time, and each time Harper takes a dose, her body reacts weirdly. The first time she drinks the stuff she faints, hyperventilates, and begins blowing into a little baggy, all while in the restroom at the airport in Italy.

I had a good laugh at this movie.

Ok. Now for the things I disliked about this movie:

1. When Mirabella sings “Like a Virgin” along with the rest of the bridesmaids during the bachelorette party, she sounds like a dying baby seal.  Did they forget to do the autotune or something for this girl’s voice?! Young Harper sings it again while seducing Marco and her voice was magical. My God. I don’t know what happened to Sara Paxton during that scene. The rest of her singing parts in other scenes were fantastic though. Just that one damn song! Ugh!

2. Speaking of young Harper seducing Marco, it all happened way too quickly for me. He was supposedly drunk, and just willingly went along with the whole kiss. It seemed a bit unreal.

3. There were not enough scenes where the Italian language was spoken. In fact, there was only one scene where the seamstress calls Mirabella back to have her dress fitted in Italian instead of English. I wanted to hear more of that beautiful language!

And now for the highlights of the film:

1. When Harper’s ex husband, Ryan, arrives, even though she is in younger form, he knows his ex wife is there because of the Chanel No. 5 perfume lingering in the halls. So romantic!

2. The moment I was waiting for: when Harper drugs Ryan with some of the Vitality Tonic so that he won’t blow her cover and he turns into young Ryan, played by Drew Seeley. I think my popcorn bowl was filled with drool at that point.

3. When Harper and Ryan dance to “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love” (originally by Usher and Pitbull) at the rehearsal dinner! MUST SEE MOVIE MUSICAL MOMENT!

4. The scenery. Italy is just pure beauty. I totally want to visit one day, and this film reminded me how much I want to go there for my honeymoon when, and if, I get married someday.

And can we all pause for a second just to appreciate how amazing Jane Seymour looks with that blonde bob?!

jane bob

All in all, I think this movie was a crowd-pleaser. The music selection was okay. They could have picked some better pieces, but the dances were definitely well choreographed. Dancing with the Stars surely taught Chelsea Kane a thing or two!

lovestruck soundtrack

Download the soundtrack on iTunes!

I do wish that they had played up the concept of immortality at the end of the film. When Harper is faced with the decision to drink one last dosage of the Vitality Tonic, an action that would turn her into a young adult forever, I began to realize that sometimes the aging process is a part of life that you might not want to give away. Mirabella would never have happened had she chosen to take that third dosage, and this is something I wished were emphasized to a greater degree in the movie.

Best quote from the movie:

“I know that ass, I fell in love with that ass. In fact, I spent the better part of the 80s worshiping that ass.” – Ryan, Harper’s ex husband

Wondering who catches the bouquet? Well I guess you’ll have to watch the movie whenever it airs again on ABC Family to find out!
Enjoy this dance featurette!