Today, I am putting up my top 5 albums of the year. I am only going to do so for albums released in 2013/2014. Yes, I am adding 2013 because some albums were just too good that I listened to it into this year and they were better than some 2014 albums.
Before I put it up, I would like to say that I grew up a hardcore hip-hop fanboy. Jay Z, Nas, Dr Dre, Public Enemy, Rakim, Ice cube, The Eastsidaz, Outkast, T.I, Drake, and co; I didn’t even want to listen to pop and rock albums. Well, 3 albums changed my mind; Kelly Clarkson’s “Break Away (still my best album ever)”, Miley Cyrus’ ‘Can’t be Tamed” and Kate Voegele “A Fine Mess”. Since then, I’ve always been open to given pop & rock artist a chance to woo me over and some of them have succeeded. I was recently organizing my phone’s playlist and I realized that I have more pop/rock than hip-hop songs, a ratio of about 5:1. So these are my albums of the year which I will try to rank;
- ED SHEERAN – X (stylized Multiply)
released June 20, 2014
I still maintain that Ed Sheeran looks like a dork, and I don’t mean that as a bad thing, I am only stating it matter of fact. That being said X was a good album for me, maybe not better than + but since 2014 was not used to discover new music, I have to pick this. It had good melodious songs like Sing (with Pharell Williams) and I’m a mess.
Fav Song(s); Thinking out Loud, I’m a Mess
- BEYONCE – BEYONCE
released December 13, 2013.
The first 2013 album to be on my list, mainly because it was released 18 days before the year ended so it fell into 2014 for me. I remember the day this album came out, I was on twitter that morning and all everyone was talking about was Beyonce this, Beyonce that. It was as if Queen Bey (this is the only time you will ever hear me call her that) dropped a nuclear bomb on U.S soil which is what she did, figuratively speaking. What made it talked about globally was that there was no single released before the album, she didn’t try to force any song down our ears. She just dropped the whole shit once like, “here, take your pick”
Fav song(s): Drunk in Love ft Jay Z, XO, Flawless (I know I’m a guy but the hook is just so damn catchy “I woke up like this!!!!!!!!!!!”
- ASA – BED OF STONE
released August 25, 2014
The only Nigeria artist whose songs are on my phone (I think so), PC and all devices that I own; the only Nigerian artist that I can listen to without my brain feeling like It’s splitting in 2 with all their kicks and snares and bass drums. The album is melodious and even has a few catchy songs like “Satan be Gone”, songs that all the mushy people out there can relate to; like “How did love find me?” and extremely conscious music like ‘Bed of Stone”. This would have been my album of the year if I had not listened to or downloaded the next 3 artist on my list.
Fav Song(s): Bed of Stones, The One That Never Comes, Grateful.
- J.COLE – 2014 FOREST HILLS DRIVE
released December 9 , 2014.
This is probably my most relatable hip-hop album since Jay Z’s “The Black Album”. I almost didn’t get this album as I wanted to wait till next year, and honestly, it would have been my only regret of 2014 if I had waited. Right from the first full track, January 28th to the “Love Yourz”, I felt like I was the story teller, like I could actually see the world through his eyes. In a way, it was what he wanted. This kind of rap, story-telling, is becoming rarer as the years go by with so many artists conforming trying to appropraite hiphop culture. Anybody could actually find some piece of relatable perspective in the album.
Fav Song(s): January 28th, G.O.M.D, A Tale of Two Citiez, Adolescence.
NOTE: THE NUMBER ONE SPOT IS SHARED AS YOU SHALL SEE
1A. BIRDY – FIRE WITHIN
released September 16, 2013.
My best/greatest Indie folk artist of all time (sorry Kate Voegele and Ed Sheeran) and she is only 18 with just 2 albums to her name. Yet I love her beyond words. That voice, damn, with the instrumentals backing her up especially the keyboard (the way she strings together the keys in some of her ballads). There are no words to describe this album. No words.
Fav Song(s): Wings, No Angel (Best Song ever) , All you never Say, Heart of Gold, Standing In The Way of The Light, Strange Birds.
1B. SAM SMITH – IN THE LONELY HOUR
released May 26, 2014.
I was in a relationship for most of the year (single now, ladies take note) but most times it felt like I was alone in that relationship. And this album helped me get through that time. The songs were just so powerful that you could feel the raw emotion dripping from the words, like you could also feel Sam’s pain as you listen along. This is an album of unrequited love and that alone makes it my album of the year. But whether your love is being given back or not, this album will move you.
Fav Song(s): Lay Me Down, Stay with Me, I’m Not The Only One. La La La, Latch, Not in That Way, Make It To Me