Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Rewind: The year 2014 in music

year in review

Instep rounds up the highs and lows in music as the year comes to a close

- One Direction continued being the biggest mass-marketed product pop group in the known universe.

- Ed Sheeran made our friends obsolete by giving us all the emotional support we need.

- Solange and Jay Z made the mistake of getting on the same elevator.

- The very generous Beyoncé gave us More.

- Miley Cyrus’ attempts to shock us became increasingly tiring as she pretty much ran out of ways to out-raunchify herself.

- Bruce Springsteen released an album called High Hopes that one should not listen to with very high hopes.

- Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, the two people least likely to release a duets album together, released a duets album together.

- Pharrell Williams and his hat continued to reign supreme.

- Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon, a.k.a. the parents of “Dembabies”, separated, leaving us wondering how hard making a case in their favour in the custody battle will be for whichever parent came up with that moniker.

- Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez, and Claudia Leitte performed the 2014 FIFA World Cup’s official anthem ‘We Are One (Ole Ola)’ which was declared the best football song ever by absolutely no one anywhere.

- Meghan Trainor released a faux empowerment anthem that ended up being the most irritating song of the year, which is quite a feat considering it was a year during which Iggy Azalea was active.

- Justin Bieber finally discovered something he actually has a talent for: breaking the law. Now if he could just stop pretending to be a singer.

- Maroon 5 released their fifth album, V. The first time we heard it was also the last.

- Demos of Madonna’s upcoming album were leaked.

- Taylor Swift broke up with Spotify. Prepare to hear all about it on her next album. Meanwhile, her latest record, 1989, sold copies by the bucket load.

- Robin Thicke tried to win Paula Patton back by making a creepy album and naming it after her. The logic behind that plan was lost on everyone, including Paula Patton, who filed for divorce.

- Bella Thorne released an EP because every Disney actress is bound by the laws of the universe to do so.

- Nicki Minaj was amazing. Or insufferable. Or amazingly insufferable.

- Lily Allen realized (quite rightly) that her new songs are rubbish, which means there’s still hope for her.

- Lea Michele’s debut album underwhelmed, much like everything else she did.

- Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter and New Kids on the Block’s Jordan Knight teamed up for an album, because two has-beens are obviously better than one.

- Boyzone released an album of Motown covers. No one knows why.

- Former Take That singer Robbie Williams live-tweeted the birth of his son (because why not) before releasing an album with a cover that made us wish we had the power to unsee things.

- Meanwhile, one of the four remaining members of Take That exited the band, leaving the group with only three members: Gary Barlow, Mark Owen, and the one who isn’t Gary Barlow or Mark Owen.

- Sam Smith was like the new Adele. Meanwhile, rumour has it that Adele continued to be the original Adele. We have been unable to confirm this unsubstantiated claim.

- Lana Del Rey said she wished she was dead already, much to the chagrin of Francis Bean Cobain, who promptly admonished the singer not to glamorize early death.

- So much ink was wasted on the now-married Kanye West and Kim Kardashian this year that the mere fact that we are writing another sentence about them right now should be considered a punishable offense. We’re sorry.

- After putting a paper bag on her head, Sia warbled some words, possibly while her mouth was full of marbles. What those words were is anyone’s guess.

- Jessie J made a banging comeback.

- Shakira and Rihanna couldn’t remember to forget each other, although many of us wouldn’t mind forgetting that song ever happened.

- Cheryl, who had repeatedly said she was never, ever, ever going to return to The X Factor, returned to The X Factor.

- Ariana Grande and her (reportedly) grande ego got her big break in the industry, leaving us with one more, one more problem.

- Soon after Rita Ora released the Calvin Harris penned ‘I Will Never Let You Down’, the couple broke up. In other words, that song was a lie.

- Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars revived the ‘80s with their contagious ‘Uptown Funk’.

- Kiesza revived the ‘90s.

- Beck, Damon Albarn, Kasabian, Jack White, and Thom Yorke impressed with their new releases.

- Nickelback continued to exist, much to everyone’s dismay.

- The Pixies, Smashing Pumpkins, Blondie, Linkin Park, and Weezer tried really hard to be relevant again. Is it weird to still fancy Rivers Cuomo? Asking for a friend.

- Coldplay made a breakup album, as Chris Martin consciously uncoupled with Gwyneth Paltrow.

- Pink Floyd’s last album marked the end of an era.

- Eric Clapton got together with some of his friends to show his appreciation of JJ Cale.

- Not to be outdone, The Flaming Lips recreated The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band with a little help from their fwends.

- U2 ate a slice of humble pie when it turned out that some people don’t want to listen to their music even if it is free, especially if it is shoved into their music libraries without their consent. Music spam was (hopefully) nipped in the bud.

- A second Michael Jackson posthumous album was released, making it two too many.

- MacCauley Culkin’s pizza-themed Velvet Underground tribute band The Pizza Underground failed emphatically, bizarrely enough.

- Weird Al Yankovic taught us grammar by pointing out our word crimes, and also released the best Foo Fighters song the Foo Fighters had nothing to do with.

- Foo Fighters made a TV series about making their new album Sonic Highways.

- And new releases by artists including St. Vincent, Tori Amos, Annie Lennox, Barbra Streisand, George Michael, Enrique Iglesias, Kylie Minogue, Jason Derulo, 50 Cent, Jason Mraz, Chris Brown, The Script, Boyz II Men, Olly Murs, David Guetta, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney, and Garth Brooks also captured listeners’ attention.

- By Sameen Amer

Instep Today, The News - 30th December, 2014 *

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