The year 2014 saw a lot of change in the music industry! For the first time in quite a while, girls ruled the charts and collaborated on some of the best tunes of the year. We also saw people getting excited about albums instead of singles. The best part about all of this is that those statements don’t apply to only one genre of music.
Country music began a shift from “bro country” and leaned toward a “Thelma & Louise” feel instead, thanks to Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood (“Something Bad.”) Hip-Hop welcomed Iggy Azalea who proved to be a force to be reckoned with thanks to hits like “Fancy,” and “Black Widow” which contains another female collaboration (Rita Ora). It also saw the return of Nicki Minaj who received numerous positive reviews for The Pinkprint. Nicki didn’t only release her own material either. She was part of one of the biggest female collaborations of the year with “Bang Bang” which included Jessie J and Ariana Grande. Let’s also not forget Taylor Swift who had a monumental year with her first full dip into the pop pond, 1989. In the heavy metal world, fans were shocked when Angela Gossow announced that she would no longer be fronting Arch Enemy. However, they received a pleasant surprise when it was announced that Alissa White-Gluz would be fronting the band, and they would remain female-fronted. So far, she’s done a phenomenal job fronting the band too!
All of these signs point to music fans wanting more substance in their lyrics. It’s no secret that women can be emotional, and they’ve put out some heartfelt stuff this year. This hunger is evident in what the popular albums of the year were; 1989 (Taylor Swift), The New Classic (Iggy Azalea), Platinum (Miranda Lambert) and The Pinkprint (Nicki Minaj) sold well, and gave listeners a window into the current life of that artist. In fact, 1989 sold 1.2 million copies in it’s debut week in October. We haven’t seen those numbers since 2002. Music fans certainly were not disappointed.
It can be argued that such strong content contributed to the anticipation and high sales. It can be further argued that this anticipation increased interest in purchasing full albums again, instead of singles. You truly had to buy and listen to all of 1989 to believe that Taylor Swift found her independence this year, and listen to all of The New Classic to find out where Iggy Azalea was coming from and where she plans on going from here.
2014 proved to be an amazing year for music! What was your favorite release? Leave a comment and let me know! I can’t wait to see what other items we’ll get excited about in 2015!! Next week, I’ll list top songs of the year. -Val