The Yearly Roundup: Best in Music

This edition will be all about music. I feel like with the holidays I have been so focused on gifting that I haven’t been able to share with you what I’ve been listening to. Well gals, I’m back. Back to those deep, soulful lyrics, you know the ones that make you think of a love lost, life, happiness, the struggle – all the things that make us, well, us. For me, a song is nothing but a collection of beats if it doesn’t have the aforementioned elements. My picks for The Yearly Roundup: Best in Music are:

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So, let’s discuss each one in depth.

Sam Smith – The Lonely Hour – I fell in love with Sam Smith once I heard him on Disclosure’s Settle The Remix Album. C’mon we all know the song – Latch. The song was about this love that had strings attached, but the strings that you want. If you’ve ever been lucky enough to experience that type of love no matter how it ended it was so worth it. Now, let’s get back to the album. Of all the tracks on this album my favorites are Money on My Mind and I’ve Told You Now. I prefer the live versions primarily because Sam Smith really delivers heartfelt performances that really move you.

J. Cole 2014 Forest Hill Drive – While everyone was enamored with Drake, I was all about J. Cole. With lyrics that really speak to the overcoming a struggle whether it be in life, love and everything in between this young man has hit the nail on the head. He gets all nostalgic in Wet Dreamz remembering a first crush/friendship that resulted in a sexual encounter and then reminds us to appreciate all that we have and to keep moving forward with Love Yourz

SZA – Z – I had the pleasure of seeing SZA perform at Afropunk this past summer and she is simply amazing. Lyrically gifted and beautiful, she spills music that is both dance-worthy and meditative. While I enjoy her previous EPs, this release captures her essence. My favorite tracks on this album are Julia and Shattered Ring.

BANKS – Goddess – No surprise here. Another artist that I was able to see live this summer. Every track on this album is perfection. Her boozy voice pours lyrics like liquid gold. There is a passion that flows from her voice, a mark of a truly great artist. Her first single from this album – Warm Water caught me completely off guard. Innocent and soulful – this was the track that made me want to listen to everything that she put out. And when her album finally dropped, I was so pleased. Bedroom Wall, Somebody New, Begging for Thread and Stick are tracks that are worth the listen. The aforementioned tracks account for about half of the album and believe me, the other tracks are just as good. If you haven’t already listened to these tracks you need to get on it right away.

Jessie Ware – Tough Love – Jessie, Jessie, Jessie. I’m telling you when it comes to a voice that belts out tunes – it’s Jessie. The first time I heard her was a little over two years ago when I heard her track 110%. The title track Tough Love is one of my favorites as well as her popular Say You Love Me (which I first heard on a Victoria’s Secret commercial – who would have thought, but well done).

So there it is – My Yearly Roundup: Best in Music for 2014. Check back tomorrow for the final installment of the Yearly Roundup: Best in Food. Until then, SEE. TOUCH. TASTE.

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