Kylie Minogue - Kiss Me Once
Kylie definitely deserves a mention for delivering pop music that was pretty close to perfection this year. Shame on me for not appreciating that on the release of this title!
However, thanks to you guys and this post, you reminded me of Kiss Me Once's existence and I gave it another try. Despite this collection of songs sounding like sugary confection on first listen, repeated exposure has them revealing their true genius, and they are all now hooked into my brain like a starved Metroid ....
Recommended listens: I Was Gonna Cancel,Feel So Good, If Only
FKA Twigs - LP1
Do I really need to say anything more about undoubtedly this year's most talked about debut: LP1? Loved by critics and public alike- maybe not so much Robert Pattinson fans- FKA Twigs continued the journey she started on previous releases EP1 and EP2, with an album full of sensual and dark alternative Rnb.
Paired with her introspective writing and breathy vocals, this album oozed a confidence and cohesiveness that was impressive enough for anyone's first album. However, it's made even more so when considering she didn't hail from an inner city environment, but rural Gloucestershire!
Recommended listens: Two Weeks,Closer, Kicks
Mariah Carey- Me I Am Mariah
When listening to Me.I.Am.Mariah on release, my ears remained wrapped up (and distracted) by the vocal peacocking that was happening before me. The message was clear: not only could Mariah still hit the notes, but she had more than a trick or two, vocally, up her sleeve [ check out Heavenly (No Ways Tired/ Give up now )].
It was only after her split with husband Nick Cannon came to light that the album took on any sort of lyrical significance to me. Now tracks like Cry, Camouflage and quite possibly the cutting Thirsty, became meaningful. This was a Diva spilling her own tea, and I didn't even notice at the time. Cry in particular is painfully revealing, with a vulnerability and introspection not oft heard in the Diva's cliched take on love.
Recommended listens: Cry, Meteorite , Camouflage
Sia- 1000 Forms Of Fear
Having created standout tracks for other artists, Sia finally stopped teasing us in 2014 and put out her sixth album,1000 Forms of Fear. Unsurprisingly for someone with such a strong skill for crafting hits, this July release was crammed full of them. But more impressive to me than the lyrics or the production- which were both top, don't get me wrong- were the intriguing melodies Sia weaved with her unique voice. Eye of the needle was a particular standout with the diva's building bridge being as enthralling as it was rousing.
Recommended listens: Fire Meet Gasoline, Eye of the Needle, Chandelier
iamamiwhoami - Water
Unearthly. Icy. Cold. Elfin-esque. These were all ( clichéd and unimaginative) words that came to mind when listening to iamamiwhoami's sublime Blue. Entirely electronic in nature, this album did the seemingly impossible and managed to capture the essence of a winter wonderland in a way that was borderline magical.
Though designed to be an audio visual project, Water stands on its own merits as a beautiful ode to a frosty wold.
Recommended listens: Tap Your Glass, Ripple, Chasing Kites
-1-Azealia Banks -Broke With Expensive Taste
To say I was thirsty for Azealia Banks' first official album would be an understatement. With strong EPs [1991 and FANTASEA] proceeding it only dehydrating me further, I actually had to take a conscious step back and bring myself to some semblance of sense. After all, the universe loves to kick me in the nuts, so the eventually titled Broke With Expensive Tastes was bound to be terrible, right?
How.Wrong. Was. I!
Though 90’s house permeates this project, Broke With Expensive Tastes manages to be one of the most sonically diverse projects I’ve listened to all year. From the Jazz-infused Desperado, to 60’s pop of Nude Beach a Go-Go, this LP surprises at every turn . A less confident artist wouldn’t have been able to hold onto the reigns of such a diverse carriage, but Azeila, whether singing or rapping, remains confidently firm, kicking ass while doing so. And what a ride she takes us on!
An exhilarating debut from a polarising Diva.
Recommended listens: Ice Princess, Wallace, Chasing Time
Roll on 2015!