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
The Polk Haralson Association Student Missions recently sponsored the second annual “Cupcakes and Carols for Kids”.
The 2014 Tour of Homes in Rockmart has been declared a success.
The Cedartown Junior Service League teamed up with the Polk County Sheriff’s Department at their November meeting to help provide Christmas gifts for the children of Polk County through the Toy Express toy drive.
The First United Methodist Church of Rockmart will serve a free community meal beginning at 5 p.m. today, Wednesday, Dec. 10.
County Line Baptist Church, 2676 Vinson Mountain Road, Rock-mart, will present an outdoor Living Nativity from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14.
A sign posted near the Rockmart Library gives thanks and recognition to volunteers Patricia Guerrero, Jamika Burge and Carl Vancil.
When Chief Jamie Newsome was told he needed to meet with a group of folks in the Police Department lobby last week, he wasn’t sure what he would encounter.
The Holiday Gift Shop will remain open through Saturday, Dec. 20 at the Rockmart Cultural Arts Center Art Gallery, 316 North Piedmont Avenue.
Those who have a heart for furry friends can find a place to give back during the holidays and into the new year.
The Bold and Beautiful Red Hatters of Cedartown will present a Hometown Christmas at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6 in the Cedartown Civic Auditorium.
Christmas is for Kids has helped local children have a brighter holiday season for more than 30 years.
Wendy Gomez of Rome announces the birth of a daughter Nivea La’ Shay Gomez.
Mary’s Story, a Christmas musical, will be presented at Spring Creek Baptist Church, 2636 Chulio Road, Rome, at 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 6-7.
It’s story time at the Rockmart Library at 11 a.m. each Tuesday and children are invited to attend.
Cold weather has arrived and everyone is anticipating the holiday season, including the City of Rockmart’s administrative staff.
The deadline for submitting nominations for the Coosa River Basin Initiative’s “Greenie Awards” is Friday, Dec. 5.
The true meaning of Christmas comes alive at Victory Baptist Church during the holiday season.
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The 2014 Tour of Homes in Rockmart will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6 and from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec.7.
Polk Haralson Baptist Association Student Missions will sponsor the second annual “Cupcakes and Carols for Kids”.