The Digital Journalism Blog

No, Taylor Swift did not make the cut (you’re welcome).

By Katie Casey



Photo by Katie Casey

When it comes to music, I like to think that I have an eclectic taste in music. I would be lying if I said that I am a huge rock or heavy metal fan, but for the most part I like a wide variety of music. If I had to choose, I would have to say country is my favorite, but I enjoy alternative, pop, rap and R&B as well. With that being said, I put together a list of my top 5 favorite albums of the year so far (and don’t you worry, Taylor Swift didn’t make the cut)…

5. One Direction – Up All Night

I know what you’re thinking – a boy band? But I just can’t help it. I grew up listening to groups like *NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, and the Spice Girls. Now, One Direction is at the heart of most teenage girls not only in the United States, but all over the world. And I am glad for that. I had a band to obsess over for the majority of my childhood, so I am happy that kids have that now. I don’t think that One Direction has the vocal ability of *NSYNC, but their album Up All Night pleasantly surprised me. The songs are catchy, and it reminds me of my boy-band crazed childhood.

4. Maroon 5 – Overexposed

I will admit that I was not a huge Maroon 5 fan when they first surfaced over a decade ago, but they surprisingly grew on me. Adam Levine’s unique voice is unparallel to a lot of front men in bands. It’s something that can’t be matched, and in my opinion, it gets better with time. With hits like “Payphone” and “One More Night,” Maroon 5 doesn’t disappoint in any way, shape, or form.

3. Jason Aldean – Night Train

Hands down, Jason Aldean is my favorite country artist. And I can say that without a single hesitation. I personally own every Aldean album, and every single one of them is great. I have also seen him in concert 3 times and I can tell you that he is one heck of a performer – the best that I have ever seen. Aldean’s last album My Kinda Party is probably one of my favorite albums of all time. He had 5 radio hits come from the album, and could have had ten more. Every single song had the potential to be a #1 hit. That being said, his new album Night Train was definitely the most anticipated of his career. I was a little skeptical because I love My Kinda Party so much. However, the skepticism was thrown out the window the second I pressed play on the first track. Aldean collaborates with other country mega-stars Eric Church and Luke Bryan, sings about a stripper, and doesn’t disappoint on the title track “Night Train.” If you haven’t already purchased the album, I HIGHLY suggest you do now. Like right now. GO!

2. Phillip Phillips – The World from the Side of the Moon

Alright, I’m breaking a rule. But I can’t resist. Season 11 American Idol winner Phillip Phillips CD is not even out yet and won’t be for another 3 weeks. But I think I have good reason. Phillip’s current single “Home” was on top of the billboard charts and was number 1 on iTunes for quite a few weeks, he sang the national anthem at Game 1 of the World Series, it’s in numerous commercials, and it was the theme song of the Olympics for gosh sakes (Come on, you can’t even dispute that one…). Phillip is just so unique in what he does. He is unlike any Idol winner, and I think will (hands down) be the most successful winner of the show, maybe ever. “Home” has a Mumford & Sons feel which leads me to…

1. Mumford & Sons – Babel

This one is a no brainer. I have been anticipating a new Mumford album since 2010, when their last album Sigh No More was released. Yes, they are THAT good. Mumford is one of those bands that I can put on at any point in my day, at any time of the year, and be perfectly happy. Every single song is better than the last, and I can honestly say that I listen to Sigh No More at least 2-3 times a week all the way through. With the release of their new album Babel, I can now add another one of their CD’s to my 2-3 times a week repertoire. It is the opposite of disappointing, one of the greatest albums I have heard in a really long time, and is so different. Now, on to anticipating the release of the next Mumford album…

Note: This post was written as it could appear on


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