The Grammy's have released their nominations for 2014, and I wanted to offer my thoughts on the four albums nominated for Album of the Year. I won't comment on the actual process of picking these albums, but rather just focus on the nominees as they appear. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments! Album of the Year "Beyonce" - Beyonce Beyonce stunned the world with her secret release of this album, complete with visuals to accompany each track. This album really makes us look into how the music industry and the world of the physical CD will change in the very near future. Album format aside, she also recorded a seriously great collection of songs. The sequencing of this album with songs crossing and creating genres was not an easy task, and the Queen B team managed it flawlessly (pun intended) "x" - Ed Sheeran This album is filled with songs that I always find myself asking my friends 'who is this?' when I overhear it on the radio. I don't know whether that is a good or bad thing when it comes to a relatively new artist. Sheeran is experimenting with new sounds (dare I say rapping?) and is taking his acoustic singer-songwriter title and setting it on fire. While I much prefer his lyrics over his music, I loved what I heard of the album. I hope he continues to grow as an artist and while I don't think this is his year, I look forward to more work from him. "In the Lonely Hour" - Sam Smith I fell for this album fast and hard. Sam Smith busted on to the scene with 'Latch' and that ridiculously catchy chorus, but his solo tracks have the ability to cut through you. Songs like Stay with Me and Restart have actually put me in fetal position before - mainly because Sam Smith has the uncanny ability of telling the whole ugly truth of emotions. I can't speak more highly of this entire piece. "Morning Phase" - Beck This album has already picked up Best Album at the World Music Awards this year and continues to find a strong place on charts all over the world. This is actually the only album on the list that I haven't delved into, so forgive me for not having any comments on it. I'll put this high on my to-listen list! "Girl" - Pharrell Williams Pharrell Williams has music running through his veins. For someone who has been in the industry for as long as he has (check for yourself, you won't believe it!) and to still be able to reinvent himself as an artist is incredible. While many of these tracks sound like a music supervisors dream (very commercial friendly) I can't say this was my favorite album of the year. I appreciate Pharrell more as a whole than I do taking his work as separate entities.