It’s almost 2015, which means the Croatoan virus did not take over the country, and that, my friend, is something to dance about.

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This year, I was inspired not only by music, but by the spirit of the artists creating it.

Here are the 10 albums (plus a bonus) I listened to obsessively in 2014 and will continue to bump in 2015. This list includes feminists, a transexual, a gay icon and other progressive and socially conscious artists. If you haven’t heard of the band or the album, click the links, check out the videos and give ’em a listen. If you’re against revolution via music, move on now, because it’s about to be 2015 and the times, my friend, they are a-changing.

A special thanks to my honey!! for helping me compile this list, across the span of three days, picking up conversations as if no time had passed at all.

Listen to my Top Ten Spotify playlist here or watch my Top Ten video playlist here.

xoxo

The Collectiva Diva

1) Beyonce Platinum Edition by Beyonce

I love me some Queen Bey and the self titled album Beyonce, released as a visual album December 2013 and reissued as a platinum edition November 2014, is her best yet. With musical appearances by Drake, Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Frank Ocean and more, this eclectic powerhouse continues to surprise at every turn and has birthed more than a few feminists this year.

“Flawless”

I am a bit of a music snob.

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Meaning, I regularly turn my nose up at popular music, preferring instead to listen to the tunes that inspire rather than the blather played on the radio or on the charts. The thing is, in 2013, those lines were blurred, and not in a rape-y, Robin Thicke sort of way.

I not only gorged on my usual obscure, artsy music, but I happened to fall in love with some of the hottest albums released on 2013. Here are the 10 albums I listened to obsessively in 2013 and will continue to bump in 2014. If you haven’t heard of the band or the album, click the links, check out the videos and give ’em a listen.

I hope you will find something on this eclectic list that catches your fancy.

xoxo

The Collectiva Diva

The Music

1) Born to Die the Paradise Edition by Lana Del Rey

Released in November 2012, The Paradise Edition of Born to Die is a double album with 8 extra songs in addition to the original Born to Die discography. Lana’s voice is ethereal and her lyrics are hardcore. She is a perfect mixture of a Lolita seductress and a ride or die chick. The singer reminds me of that bad ass party girl I know from the streets of Hollywood; as comfortable piss drunk at a house party in burbs of West Covina as she is lounging by the roof top pool at The Standard. Interested in watching a 27 minute short film set to the tune of Paradise? Check out Tropico, starring Lana Del Rey as Eve, a stripper and other archetypal roles she’s bloody good at playing.

“Yayo”

Sometimes a love story comes along that is perfect.

Sometimes a film meant for children makes you cry.

Pixar’s Up is both.

A four-minute montage in a ninety-six minute film may be considered to be a little long. Yet the four-minute montage at the beginning of Pixar’s Up neither feels too long nor feels out of place for such a short film. Montages have long been used to condense stories–to say a lot in a short amount of time. Jennifer Van Sijll in Cinematic Storytelling describes montage as being “created through an assembly of quick cuts, disconnected in time or place, that combine to form a larger idea. A montage is frequently used to convey passage of time, coming of age, or emotional transition.” The montage in Up begins about seven minutes into the film immediately following the wedding of Carl and Ellie, two childhood sweethearts. The montage cuts between short clips of their life together, compressing a span of fifty or sixty years into four minutes.