Well folks, here we are again. Another year for the record books, another list of albums to be published. Why shouldn’t I make my own list? This was a tough year of music or me. There were some releases I thoroughly enjoyed. And some releases I kinda enjoyed and then there were albums I didn’t enjoy but the lead single was off the knob. Such a disappointment when that happens. So I decided to make two lists.. The first list is of albums I LIKED but didn’t LOVE, usually because of vulgar words that slipped through, or songs ran WAY too long.. or an album was WAY too short. That’s a pet peeve. The second list is of albums I loved from beginning to end. The production, the lyrics were well thought out and executed. And my ears were happy. Enjoy.
1. The Rosebuds – LoveDeluxe
A cover of the entire LoveDeluxe album by Sade. Very soothing. Call it a bedroom headphone album… I recommend it.
Key Tracks: No Ordinary Love, I Couldn’t Love You More, Like a Tattoo, Cherish the Day, Mermaid
2. Metz – Metz
Loud. Distorted. Madness
Key Tracks: Headache, Sad Pricks
3. Killer Mike – R.A.P. Music
Killer Mike returns and he’s angry. About the country, about the economy, and about presidents. One of the better rap albums I’ve heard in a while.
Key Tracks: Big Beast, Anywhere But Here, Reagan
4. John Talabot – Fin
For the electronic freak in everyone…
Key Tracks: Journeys, Esitu, Destiny
5. Ryan Bingham – Tomorrowland
The country singer reemerges with more of a rock country record. And I dig.
Key Tracks: Guess Who’s Knocking, Rising of the Ghetto, Beg for Broken Legs, Heart of Rhythm (very Bruce Springteen-y)
6. Divine Fits – Divine Fits
Britt Daniel (of Spoon) and a few buddies made a very cosmic slop record. Elements of rock, a hint of electronica, synths, Divine Fits was a nice surprise.
Key Tracks: Would That Not be Nice, My Love is Real
7. THEEsatisfaction – THEEsatisfaction
Calm, cool, and collected rap duo take no prisoners.
Key Tracks: Existinct, Bitch, Sweat
8. Pink – The Truth About Love
PInk returns. If you liked her previous efforts, this is no different. She kicks shit. Hard.
Key Tracks: Here Comes the Weekend, Title Track, Slut Like You
9. Crystal Castles – III
Key Tracks: Sad Eyes, Violent Youth, Mercenary
10. Rihanna – Unapologetic
Rihanna is the Mariah Carey of the past few years, dropping an album every year it seems.. or it feels like it anyway. This is a solid effort of pop, r&b, some 90s dance.. There’s something for everyone here. However, the sad part about this for me is that she does have a duet with Chris Brown. Funniest thing, it’s one of the best tracks beat and hook wise. She’s determined to frustrate fans like myself who enjoy her music, but hate it when she makes dumb decisions. But if you enjoy her music, like I do, then this is good stuff.
Key Tracks: Diamonds, Numb, Pour It Up, and Jump (Thank Ginuwine Riri, because you totally lifted a line from “Pony,” his biggest hit), Nobody’s Business (and I hate to admit that..)
1. Alabama Shakes – Boys and Girls
Brittany Howard. The real thing. Mark my word. Rock, blues, sorrow, heartache, and hope all rolled into one.
Key Tracks: Hold On, Heartbreaker, Be Mine, and the whole damn album. Kicks ass. Major.
2. The Gossip – Joyful Noise
Beth Ditto, Hannah Blilie, and Nathan Howdeshell return with an overwhelming fantastic album full of dance, pop, and a little rock. It’s like the 90s blew up in their faces and the result is a Joyful Noise.
Key Tracks: Melody Emergency, Get Lost, Get a Job, Love in a Foreign Place, Casualties of War, Move in the Right Direction
3. Cat Power – Sun
FINALLY!! A Cat Power album that had my toes tapping. Great use of drum machines melody. Still a little darkness lyrically but overall, I approve.
Key Tracks: Cherokee, Ruin, Manhattan, Silent Machine
4. Bright Lights, Bright Lights – Make Me Believe in Hope
All she wants to do is “DANCE DANCE DANCE”. Download or buy this cd, press play and shake a tail feather. The 90s called. They say “thanks for keeping our memory alive.”
Key Tracks: Feel It, A New Word to Say, Cry at Films, How to Make a Heart
5. Grizzly Bear – Shields
My favorite brooders are back. And they’re upbeat. Who knew? Beautiful melodies too.
Key Tracks: A Simple Answer, Speak in Rounds, Gun-Shy, and Half Gate.
6. Christina Aguilera – Lotus
This album is fantastic. The big voice of pop returns. Along with her boobs. But it’s a great pop record. Forget Bionic, this is the one to listen to.
Key Tracks: Your Body, Around the World, Let There Be Love, Make the World Move, Shut Up, Light Up the Sky
7. Japandroids – Celebration Rock
I’m a sucker for crunchy guitars and loudness.
Key Tracks: Fire’s Highway, Adrenaline Nightshift.. and the whole album. Just get it.
8. Chairlift – Something
Glorious, beautiful, and luscious landscapes covered by a soothing voice that guides our ears into musical heaven.
Key tracks: Wrong Opinion, Turning, I Belong in Your Arms (so 80s), Met Before, Frigid Spring
9. Miguel – Kaleidoscope Dream
A writer for others, FINALLY, his time has come. I hear a little of Prince in him too. Never a bad thing. He has a beautiful voice. It works well with every beat. In an r&b school of whiners nowadays, he’s got the talent.
Key Tracks: Adorn, The Thrill, How Many Drinks, title track, Where’s the Fun in Forever
10. El-P – Cure 4 Cancer
El-P comes back in full form. The stories are more intricate. The beats are harder. Win win.
Key Tracks: True Story, For My Upstairs Neighbor, The Full Retard, Drones Over Bklyn
Quantic and Alice Russell – Look Around the Corner
Such a weird combo, but such a wonderful throwback 60s sound.
Key Tracks: Look Around the Corner, Traveling Song, Su Suzy, and Boogaloo 33
If you dig jazz, pop, and lounge from the 60s, then check them out.
There you have it folks. My favorites of the year. My ipod is officially full.
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