GregHorrorShow – The Music Of 2014

Music 2014 Main

2014 has been a really good year for music, with breakout albums from the likes of Sam Smith, Banks and Hozier. There have also been some great albums from returning artists and even a very interesting film soundtrack collaboration.

Like last year I’ve popped my recommended tracks onto a Spotify playlist that you can check out here:

.

.

I really liked Katy B‘s original album from back in 2010 so I was excited to hear the follow up ‘Little Red’. Keeping a similar vibe to her previous material, I thought this was a good listen. Maybe not as good as her debut but a solid ‘difficult second album.’ From an initial listen (albeit while working) I didn’t click with Beck‘s ‘Morning Phase’ album until a second listen cemented it as being up there with the best of the year.

The Phantogram album is fantastic, with stand out tracks like ‘Fall In Love’ and ‘Black Out Days’ throughout. I was also lucky enough to see them play an in-store gig at Rough Trade which was awesome. St. Vincent delivered a great album and I’ve been told I must check her out live soon because her shows are astounding. I really enjoyed the Dan Croll album, which has some good, laid back, pop tracks.

Music 2014 St Vincent

I think my favourite band this year has been Broods, who released their album ‘Evergreen’ a few weeks ago. I love their sound and they are great live. The stand out track for me is ‘Bridges’ but it’s a very good album overall. Jessie Ware returned with her second album which is among the best released this year. Tracks like ‘Tough Love’ and ‘Pieces’ cement Jessie as one of the UK’s best artists at the moment. Another returning artist was Lana Del Rey who dropped Ultraviolence in the summer. While I didn’t think it was as strong as her debut album it was a good listen and tracks like Brooklyn Baby and West Coast were highlights.

Hozier kind of came out nowhere to become one of the biggest artists of the year, his album is great with, of course, ‘Take Me To Church’ being the stand out track. Sam Smith has one of the best vocal performances I’ve heard in the last few years – like Adele or Florence Welch. Backed up by some fantastic tracks, he’s only just getting started! I’ve listened to the Banks album plenty of times and it’s just a really strong collection of tracks. I was fortunate enough to see her live earlier in the year at Koko and she was excellent in the flesh.

Music 2014 Hudson

On the live front I was lucky enough to check out lots of gigs this year. Aside from Banks and Broods, who I mentioned earlier, the highlights for me were Irish duo Hudson Taylor, Lorde – who was amazing at Shepherds Bush Empire, Ella Eyre, Hawk House and Hozier.

Azealia Banks finally dropped her long overdue album ‘Broke With Expensive Taste’ and while there were plenty of people lining up to watch it crash and burn, she actually delivered a really good, solid album. Would definitely recommend. Royal Blood make a hell of a lot of noise for just two people and I thought their album was brilliant. I’ve always liked The Roots and their new album ‘And Then You Shoot Your Cousin’ is up there for me as some of their best stuff. A great listen from start to finish.

Music 2014 Vaults

Other albums I enjoyed this year came from Vaults, Death From Above 1979 and Ben Howard. Another good listen was the soundtrack to The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One, curated by Lorde it had some great artists involved with some cool tracks as well.

I’m sure there are plenty of artists and albums I’ve missed in this round up but shout out in the comments if there’s anything great you’ve been listening to this year.

.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

The International – Review

I had heard a fair few positive reviews for The International, but also a small amount of negative ones so I wasn’t sure what to expect as I took my seat.

I was greeted by an opening scene that left me with a smile on my face at the sheer unexpectedness of it. As the credits began to roll I made myself comfortable and prepared for some old skool twists and turns. šŸ˜Ž

The International is a clever thriller starring Clive Owen and Noami Watts as an Interpol agent (Owen) and a District Attorney (Watts) who want to bring down a hugely powerful World bank that is using cheap arms (as in guns, not limbs :grin:) to finance wars so that they can exert control in the Third World.

Let me just pause there for a second and say that this isn’t a difficult film to follow – however it’s not something you can half-watch either and it’s this happy medium, being able to enjoy a complex thriller comfortably without getting lost, that lifted this above some of the recent ‘thrillers’ I have seen.

As the plot progresses (and I’ll try to be as spoiler free as possible) Owen becomes increasingly desperate as his every lead disappears – one way or the other.

Every trick they try to use to discredit or expose the bank is foiled, with the bank seemingly one step ahead.

The acting is good with both Owen and Watts putting in convincing performances and the supporting cast is up to the job. Violence is kept to a minimum which means when it does arrive it has a great deal more impact than you’d expect.

The story plays out across Europe, with some stunning scenery and back drops. There were a few moments of comic relief to ease the tension which were very welcome as the sense of incoming danger was always on the horizon.

Overall this was a tightly executed film that benefitted from a strong, coherent storyline and some good acting from the leads.

It won’t win any major awards and it certainly isn’t a ‘date movie’ but The International is a very entertaining thriller that I think most people would enjoy.

Rating: 8/10