The Albums That Got Me Through 2014

I know some of you think I have the musical tastes of a 12 year old but aside from my deep, unabashed love of Michael Bolton and Britney Spears, I have managed to keep my actual musical inclinations under wraps. One of my resolutions this year is to be more of a regular blogger and thought it would be best to dive back in with a not-so-normal recap of 2014. I made some really big life changes this year and I owe most of my sanity to these albums so here you go…

I first heard “Not Giving In” on the Slacker Ultra station and my brain was all “hey this is your life” so I downloaded the album. You need to know that I am a staunch “buy just the song you like purchaser” so this is pretty big. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I listened to this album at work pretty much every day. You can listen to the album on YouTube or you know, just download it because I said so. The songs I hit repeat on the most: “Right Here“, “Powerless“, “Not Giving In“, “Baby“,  “Waiting All Night” and “Free“.

I first heard St. Paul & The Broken Bones on NPR and fell head over heels. This album instantly transports me to a a night sitting in a rocking chair on a wrap around porch, or a sultry Savannah night or a night with friends around a bonfire. When I played this album my team would laugh and call me an old soul. Pour some bourbon and give Half the City a listen, you won’t regret it. The songs I hit repeat on the most: “Don’t Mean a Thing”, “Call Me”, “Broken Bones & Pocket Change” and “Dixie Rothko” which was my absolute fave. I follow them on all the social medias and when they favorite my tweets about them I literally fist pump and shout yeah.

Another Slacker Ultra station find, I think Blame is what drew me to this album. This is a great one to get ready to and I’ve even talked a few people who are not fans of dance or EDM into downloading this album. Honestly, this album reminds me of my college years dancing the night away in Ybor City, Tampa especially at the Amphitheater. Did you know I worked there? Not many people believe me but it’s true, I was the Oxygen Bar girl and I sold the hell out of flavored air yo! But really, the Amp is what introduced me to EDM and introduced me to DJ’s like Tiesto, Paul Oakenfeld etc. Looking back, it’s so cool to realize that I was given a front seat to EDM in it’s infancy. Plus you know worked with Channing Tatum so there’s that. The songs I hit repeat on the most: “Faith“, “Love Now“, “Outside“, “It Was You“, “Burnin” and “Dollar Signs“.

Deana Carter is mostly known for “Strawberry Wine” off her Did I Shave My Legs for This? album. If you truly know me, you know that album was the soundtrack of my college life and I can belt out every song on that album with the best of Deana stans. I was introduced to her freshman year by my dear friend Becky who was from WV and can harmonize like an angel. I can’t tell you how many fun memories I have of all us getting ready to hit the town and listening to that album. Bryant, Keith and I had that album on repeat on our trip to Nashville and we rocked every. single. song. I had no idea Deana had even released an album until I randomly searched for her on iTunes and found Southern Way of Life. I downloaded it immediately if not sooner (obvi) and knew this was another winner. The best way to describe how this one makes me feel is wearing my favorite sweater and settling in to watch tv. It’s that warm, relaxing feeling that just wraps your soul in absolute comfort. I think Deana Carter is one of the best country song writers out there, she really writes from her heart and the words just speak to your soul. The songs I hit repeat on the most: “I’ll Save My Love For You“, “I Don’t Want To”, and “Waiting For You to Come Home”.

I heard Radioactive on some random station and downloaded the album not really intending to like it. But I was really surprised at how much this album came to mean to me. Even though it was released in 2012, this is the album in the background as I packed up my life in OH to move to San Francisco, especially “On Top of the World” which is also the song that I played as I drove into California from Arizona on the epic road trip. As with all major life changes, the decision to move to SF was a long one coming – 5 years to be exact – definitely a make it or break it move. I randomly picked a date to start the road trip (6/23) b/c I knew if I had a date in mind that I would commit to it. In the 2 weeks it took me to pack up my life there by selling every piece of furniture, donating everything else, packing up 2 suitcases, treasured books and other things, this was the album I listened to b/c it kept me focused. Everytime I listen to this album now, I can’t help but feel so grateful for music that got me through one of the biggest decisions of my life to claim my happiness. The songs I hit repeat on the most: “Tiptoe“, “On Top of the World“, “Amsterdam“, and “Fallen“.

Milo Greene was another unexpected find from NPR, kind of a younger Mumford & Sons but without all the banjos. This is a great album to work to, especially when trying to knock out a PPT deck or two. I managed to talk Bryant and Keith into attending their show at some dive bar. We got there and when the show started I was super confused as to why they weren’t playing the songs off this album. Turns out there was an opening band. Womp womp womp. Once they took the stage I knew all of the songs and bopped my head like everyone else. The songs I hit repeat on the most: “What’s the Matter“, “Don’t You Give Up On Me“, “Perfectly Aligned“, “1957“, and “Moddison“.

Last but not least, the most unexpected “hey I really like this” album from Taylor Swift no less. I was peer pressured into this album by many people who told me to just give it a chance. So I gave in and was really surprised. The obvious first song is Blank Space which is way overplayed but such a great video. I can’t tell you how surprised I am that I actually like this pop version of Tay-Tay and am definitely a fan of this album. I think people underestimate her but “Shake It Off” proves that she hears the criticism: “I’m dancing on my own…making up the moves as I go…and that’s what they don’t know“. Get it girl! The songs I hit repeat on the most: “I Wish You Would”, “Wildest Dreams” and “I Know Places”. That last one has cool reggae undertones, hope she plays that up when performing it live.


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