NEW YORK (AP) — Up for a good long listen? Check out the Associated Press' top albums of 2014 list: 1. "In the Lonely Hour," Sam Smith: Sam Smith's album was an emotional roller coaster — a ride you couldn't get off of even if you tried. The songs, anchored by his piercing voice, had the power to make you cry, smile, shiver and even dance. Tracks like the radio hit, "Stay With Me," and "Leave Your Lover" are intense and emotional, making for an honest, beautiful album that soothes the soul. There can only be only reply when he sings, "Oh, won't you stay with me?" That would be a resounding, "Yes." 2. "2014 Forest Hills Drive," J. Cole: J. Cole: Another honest man: J. Cole. The insanely talented rapper captures so much on his third album, tackling various topics from losing his virginity to growing up in Fayetteville, North Carolina to contemporary rappers, who should take note. His rhymes are smart, and he is a powerful storyteller that, at times, echoes rap king Nas. 3. "LP1," FKA twigs: FKA twigs' ethereal and eerie album is heavenly. The English singer's soft vocals layered over weird beats make this 10-track set a must listen, thanks to addictive tracks like "Two Weeks," ''Numbers" and "Lights On." 4. "Sucker," Charli XCX: Let's boom clap for Charli XCX and her top notch album, "Sucker." The mix of rock and pop songs are confident and catchy, and prove that although Charli XCX was the side chick on songs like Iggy Azalea's "Fancy" and Icona Pop's "I Love It," she's the real leading lady. 5. "Aquarius," Tinashe: Tinashe, who is also part of the alternative R&B movement, delivered an album that moved the needle this year. Though she had a huge hit with the addictive "2 On," the singer proves she's much more than a one-hit wonder on "Aquarius." Her whispery vocals glide over the songs' beats so nicely you'll constantly hit repeat. "Just Like Vegas" is only one of the many standouts. 6. "Evergreen," Broods: The parents of brother and sister duo Broods should be proud. The New Zealand group's album, "Evergreen," is a winner with instrumentalist Caleb Nott shining on the eclectic, alternative production, giving Georgia Nott a platform to showcase her calming vocals, especially on "Killing You" and "Mother & Father." 7. "My Everything," Ariana Grande: Ariana Grande has already launched four Top 10 hits from her second album, but there's so much more that bangs beyond "Bang Bang" on "My Everything." The powerful vocalist nails it with a cool blend of R&B and pop songs that's almost as good as her revering 2013 debut. 8. "Montevallo," Sam Hunt: Props to singer-songwriter Sam Hunt for blending country music with elements of R&B, electronica and hip-hop. It might sound wild, but it works on his debut album, mainly thanks to Hunt's swagger and sexy sing-talk vocal delivery. Sam Smith isn't the only Sam stealing hearts. 9. "Do It Again," Robyn and Royksopp: Swedish singer Robyn and Norwegian duo Royksopp 5-song dance EP is oh so good, and a tease. Full album please? 10. "1000 Forms of Fear," Sia: From "Chandelier" to "Elastic Heart" to "Eye of the Needle," Sia's latest album is just another laudable effort in her rich catalog, which is worth exploring if you've just discovered the gem this year. ___ Follow Mesfin Fekadu at twitter.com/MusicMesfin
A local nonprofit organization is organizing the first Polar Be
Sunday, December 14
Calhoun’s downtown GEM Theatre is set to play host a production of “Night Before Christmas Carol” on Sunday, Dec. 14, at 3 p.m.
Send Santa Letters, photos with Santa, news tips
Avanelle Holbert, 88, presented the Tallatoona Head Start program and preschool students with nearly 120 hand-stitched, fleece blankets on Wednesday.
Most residents of Gordon County have one thing in common: they love to support their football programs. Friday night kick-off is a much anticipated moment and fans are filling the stands at all three of our high schools.
The Gordon Central High School’s A Cappella group, Tonal Combustion, and the Wildfire Jazz Ensemble from Sonoraville High School are set to join the Atlanta Vocal Project for a second-annual show on Friday, Dec. 12.
A Sonoraville High School eighth-grader is raising money for the trip of a lifetime.
Joni Thomas Harbin, director of Communications for the Gordon County Chamber of Commerce and executive director of the Calhoun-Gordon Council for a Literate Community, is set to star in her own comedy show at the Calhoun GEM Theatre.
BOONE — Perhaps it was inevitable that freshman Taylor Lamb would be Appalachian State’s quarterback.
Perhaps you have seen the excitement of the Dance-Off Challenge that has been making its way through Facebook.
Now - December 7
The Gordon County Historical Society is set to hold an open house on Friday, Dec. 5, from 4 to 6 p.m. to introduce its newly-renovated W. E. Brown meeting room.
A benefit for a Rachael Wyatt, 9, of Calhoun, who has leukemia, is set for Saturday, Dec. 6, at 12 p.m., at the community center at 330 Walker St. in Resaca.
The deadline for submitting nominations for the Coosa River Basin Initiative’s “Greenie Awards” is Friday, Dec. 5.
Farm-City Week kicked off on Thursday, Nov. 20, with a proclamation signing at the Gordon County Farm Bureau located on Ga. Highway 53 in Calhoun.
Calhoun’s GEM Theatre is presenting The Tams on its stage tonight, Nov. 26, at 7 p.m.
Events happening now and coming up in Calhoun and Gordon County, according to the Gordon County Chamber of Commerce, include:
Rock City’s annual Enchanted Garden of Lights prepares to shine bright for its 20th anniversary season beginning Friday, Nov. 21. Beautiful enhancements and new characters await guests nightly from 6-9 p.m. through Saturday, Jan. 3.