Top music and movies finish out 2014

As another year nears its end, critics, music lovers and moviegoers alike reflect on the best films and music 2014 had to offer. Here are some student’s favorites from this past record-breaking year.

The year 2014 saw chart-topping musical hits from veterans and newcomers alike. Pros like Coldplay and Maroon 5 rubbed elbows with youthful talent, Lorde and Ariana Grande. Rich lyrics and melodies were provided by Bastille, Sam Smith and Hozier in their respective breakout hits. A recently released video by DJ Earworm entitled “United States of Pop 2014” delivers a mash-up of the year’s radio favorites, including the energetic “Turn Down for What” by Lil’ John, summer anthem “Rude” by Magic! and the song that’s still stuck in students’heads, “Let It Go” by Idina Menzel from Disney’s “Frozen.”

The album most recently taking over the radio is the inescapable “1989” by Taylor Swift. Swift caused ripples through music history last month by becoming the first female artist to succeed herself at the top slot on the US Billboard Top 100 chart. “1989” is currently this year’s top selling album at 1.2 million in its first week.

Swift’s fame has delighted many students on campus such as Alie Redmond, a senior and self-professed “die hard fan girl.”

She didn’t hesitate to give her opinion on 2014’s best album.

“Do you even have to ask? Clearly ‘1989!’” she said.

Others aren’t so enthusiastic.

“‘1989’ wasn’t that great, I’ll just be real,” said Everett Lewis, a junior music major.

A few 2014 albums did live up to his expectations.

“My favorite album musically was definitely Lana Del Rey’s ‘Ultraviolence.’ She could do anything and I’d love it…and Jason Derulo had the most fun album. I liked the brass and horns he used, it was jazzy and cool.”

For the movie industry, the action and adventure genre is alive and well, and still bringing in the big bucks if this past year was any indication. The highest grossing film of the year, “Guardians of the Galaxy,” brought in $331,855,381 according to Rentrak, while other action-packed flicks turned into multimillion dollar hits such as “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” and animated favorites like “The Lego Movie” and “How To Train Your Dragon 2.” Even for less enthusiastic moviegoers, this year’s options proved to be highly entertaining.

Junior Ashley Howell says she “doesn’t buy into the hype” of these franchises, but that she thoroughly enjoyed “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.”

“It was more psychological than action-packed,” Howell said. “I’m looking forward to the next one!”

Movies without thrilling action sequences also spent time in the spotlight in 2014. “The Grand Budapest Hotel” by the quirky Wes Anderson, and teen favorite “The Fault in Our Stars” inspired by the John Green novel of the same name, gained approval from audiences and critics alike.

As the year winds down, the film and music industries are doing anything but. And this next year promises to be just as entertaining as the last.