These are the albums we (or Bono) added to our collection in 2014—kind of a surprisingly small music year for us this year (I know... but really). Pictured, from left to right:
Foo Fighters Sonic Highways
Various Artists Divided & United: The Songs of the Civil War
Old Crow Medicine Show Remedy
Big Head Todd and the Monsters Black Beehive
Trampled By Turtles Trouble
Jack White Lazaretto
Taylor Swift 1989
Black Pistol Fire Hush or Howl
Bob Mould Beauty & Ruin
Queens of the Stone Age ...Like Clockwork
Jason Isbell Southeastern
Weezer Everything Will Be Alright in the End
Various Artists Frozen
St. Paul & The Broken Bones Half the City
Reno Divorce Lover's Leap
U2 Songs of Innocence
Wolfmother New Crown
Various Artists 111 Tchaikovsky Masterpieces
It was also the year of the single song. The girls got a lot of iTunes gift cards from various sources for Christmas last year, and they went wild redeeming them one song here, two songs there, etc. It was kind of painful to my album-loving heart. I fear I am a Luddite (with an iPod?) for reacting this way, but there you have it. I'm still a big believer in the whole package, the song story that was arranged in a way for a reason, the getting-to-know-you part of buying music. I guess I consumed music much the same way in elementary school via the radio, but by middle school I was definitely saving my money up to buy albums on cassette. Ah well. Old lady. Hmph.
+ I'd say the Foo Fighters' Sonic Highways album is among the coolest projects of 2014—they visited eight big music cities around the U.S. and spent a little time digging into the culture and music scene, which culminated with writing a song to record in a famous local music studio. The experience was turned into a documentary on HBO which Matt watched all of and I watched a lot of; each week a new song was released on iTunes after the episode aired. I may have been weepy over the last episode, because it was so sad and beautiful and struck a chord with my album-loving heart. That's right: Dave Grohl, you made me cry. It was really well done if you're ever looking for a new show to watch.
+ Matt intends to retire from the Air Force, grow a giant beard, and follow Old Crow Medicine Show and Trampled by Turtles and Jason Isbell and Drive By Truckers and Steve Earle around the country on tour. Heh. Just kidding. I think.
+ The most under-listened to album of the year: Black Beehive by Big Head Todd and the Monsters. I don't know what that's about, but I actually forgot I had purchased it when I went back looking for the album art.
+ I never heard of Black Pistol Fire until I put this collage together. We clearly need to communicate better when we buy an album, ha. It's pretty good, though.
+ Oh, Taylor Swift. Who didn't buy your album this year?
+ Ditto Frozen. Bridget knows every song frontwards and backwards, in case you wondered. However, we've only seen the movie once (well, twice for the girls), which makes us violently skew a statistic out there somewhere, I'm pretty sure.
+ Weezer is a perennial favorite, though if I hear Back to the Shack one more time when I turn on the car radio I might scream. It's catchy, but holy mackerel, 104.9.
+ St. Paul & The Broken Bones was the only impulse buy I made this year. I don't remember where I heard them, but I liked them enough to buy this album pretty much on the spot. I'm not sure I love it, but it's good.
+ Reno Divorce: not my favorite. Or in my top 500. [insert Matt eye-roll here]
+ Uhm, thanks Bono! I haven't listened to this U2 album yet. It's been a while, me and U2.
+ Classical music continues to be the best bargain in the universe—I think I bought this 111 song Tchaikovsky album for like $4.99 or some crazy thing.
+ My album of the year is Lazaretto, hands down. Here is where Matt likes to point out how little I liked The White Stripes when they first came onto the scene, and how ironic it is that Jack White has eked out a spot in my top ten of all time. Seeing him live sealed the deal for life.
How about you? What did you listen to and love this year?