Musical Review

Illustrated by Jacqueline Davis Moranti
It's the last quarter of the year, what an insane ride 2014 was! This year proved to be challenging,  difficult and motivating at the same time. One thing that helps me get through any situation is music, music has a way of taking me to another place that can only be reached through beats per minute or decibels! Think about it, could you imagine going through life without music, without a song to celebrate your new promotion or without a song to celebrate your latest achievement. I've rounded up a few of my favorite albums from this past year!

How could I not start off with my favorite dj, Flying Lotus. Steven Ellison's latest installment of beats is an avid 38 minutes long. Just enough time to leave you revolving about what you just listened to. Death, jest and relief emanate from this album like a fish out of water. You're Dead! is less spastic than his antecedent albums, it's a bit more chill with a lot of jazzy overtones. This album also shows Ellison's newfound musical identity and the spiritual familiarity he's made with mortality. You're Dead! features many guest appearances such as Kendrick Lamar and Herbie Hancock, but most interesting is Captain Murphy, Ellison's MC moniker. My favorite track on the album, Turtles. The best way to describe that song, a wispy psychedelic ride! If you're into progressive electronica, then I totally recommend you take a listen! 

I have a major hankering for beautiful jazz tunes. Jazz has a way of taking you from point A to point B without you even realizing it. That is exactly how I feel when ever I listen to Bad Bad Not Good's III. A three man band hailing from the greater north, Canada, have roots in the hip hop world by making instrumental covers of popular songs. They plant their institutionalized jazz learnings by creating textures, with bass, drums and keyboards. Every song from start to finish is brilliantly composed! The song that I am constantly putting on repeat is most definitely Can't Leave The Night, a methodically arranged party anthem that will have you head bopping from start to finish. Confident, creative and groovy is the best way to describe this album, if you're looking for new music to unwind to, try Bad Bad Not Good!

Odesza, one of my newer discoveries has taken over my ears! I'm in love with the Seattle based duo's penchant for beautiful soundscape tunes. Their latest album In Return will definitely leave you wanting to replay the album from beginning to end, a lot! Compared to the current influx of electronica artists, Odesza's music is much more thought out, without having to follow the current trends. There's no way that you can listen to their music and not smile! My favorite track on In Return is Sun Models and it always enchants me into an uplifted mood, while Bloom gets me going while i'm at the gym. It's a heavily pop infused album with infectious hooks and a lustrous atmospheric sound. Give it a try next time you're looking for new songs to dance to! 

You might remember one of my earlier Tastemakers, Kimbra and my love for her style and music. This past summer, all I listened to was The Golden Echo, her latest album! It shows how mature she's grown from her last album with bold and vulnerable lyrics. Left of mainstream, The Golden Echo show's just how adventurous Kimbra is. I'm a sucker for a good love song which is why Love In High Places is totally on my replay list! Tired of listening to the same vocalist, try Kimbra, you won't regret it!


I love when I find local music that's really great. Earlier this year, Elegant Animals released their second album, Carnivora. Compromised of two Philadelphian producers, Elegant Animals is a delicately layered sound. From R&B to soul, hip hop to electronica, Carnivora is pretty hard hard to label a genre on and I love that! Definitely a sound all on their own. Soulful upbeat music, interesting and relatable lyrics and energetic vibes always, this album always demands a replay from me. My favorite song on the album would have to be the song that the album is named after, Carnivora. "Symbiotic overtone, wicked to the bone... Walked for miles in denial, then raced through the track" such a catchy song, I'm literally singing along to it every time I'm on the treadmill! Even though Elegant Animals is a local band, I have yet to see them live. I'm pretty sure this album would be fantastic live. 

There you have it, the albums I have been listening to the most this year, through funny moments, happy moments, and sad moments, music is therapeutic and has properties to accompany every occasion. My music choices are very personal to me and help me develop new conceptual designs for my work, which is why I am constantly searching for new music. Dear readers, What are your top albums for the year?

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Thanks for the sweet whispers! XO