My Favorite Albums of 2017.

It’s that time of year again. Seems like yesterday 2017 began and now it’s over. So that means I’m going to share my favorite 30 albums of the year. I’m not going to call them the “best” but these 30 albums were on rotation for a period of time this year on my ipod. I enjoyed them all. They helped me stay sane, awake, and got me through the day when I felt like the world was just setting up shop on my shoulders, never to leave. There was a lot of fluff this year though. I will not share that with you. Some music left me scratching my head and thinking, “Really? People LIKE this?” But that’s for another discussion. If you follow me on twitter, you might have seen random one liner tweets about bands or singers that caught my ear and held onto my attention. If you haven’t listened to anyone on this list, and you want to broaden your mind, check them out. Don’t close off your mind to new music. There are plenty of diamonds in the rough. I would also be remised if I didn’t give a huge shout out to all the ladies who made some great music this year. I truly got a kick out of going back and seeing how many albums on my hard drive and ipod I had that were made by ladies, young and old. To quote Annie Lennox, “Sisters are doing it for themselves.” Whether the songs were about love, or injustice, or family issues, the voices of women made a huge impact this year. And I hope for years to come. So, here is the list. Happy New Year One and All..

30. Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile –Lotta Sea Lice
29. Jamey Jasta – The Lost Chapters
28. Alex Lahey – I Love You Like a Brother
27. Annie Mac – Annie Mac Presents 2017
26. Blush – Blush
27. Beware of Darkness – Are You Real?
26. Gorillaz – Humanz
25. Tove Lo – Blue Lips
24. LCD Soundsystem – American Dream
23. Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears – Backlash
22. Pete Tong & The Heritage Orchestra – Ibiza Classics
21. David Banner – The God Box
20. Whitehorse – Panther in the Dollhouse
19. Daddy Issues – Deep Dream
18. Curtis Harding – Face Your Fear
17. Larkin Poe – Preach
16. St. Vincent – Masseduction
15. Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, and James McAlister – Planetarium
14. Demi Lovato – Tell Me You Love Me
13. Grace and Rachel – Gracie and Rachel
14. The National – Sleep Well Beast
13. Syd – Fin
12. Jay Z – 4:44
11. Frankie Rose – Cage Tropical

And the final ten….

10. Talib Kweli – Radio Silence

 

9. Miguel – War and Leisure

 

8. Fergie – Double Dutchess

 

7. Jlin – Black Origami

 

6. Partner – In Search of Lost and Time

 

5. Kelly Clarkson – Meaning of Life

 

4. Alvvays – Antisocialites

 

3. Beck – Colors

 

2. SZA – CTRL

 

1. Kendrick Lamar – DAMN

 

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2014 Favorite Albums of the Year! Yay!

Well fellow earbuds, another year is about to come to a close. It was full of good music, and bad. But mostly good. I tried to soak as much of it in as I possibly could but as a fellow colleague of mine told me that I try to remember on the daily, “there’s no way you can listen to every song on your ipod in a day.” I really do keep that in mind as new albums come my way. And I’m sure I will have missed a few gems that I will kick myself for in the next few months. And it wouldn’t be me unless I share with you my personal list of great albums that came across my pod this year. Let it be known these aren’t the “BEST” albums of 2014 because there are just way too many that would fall into that category. This is just a list of my favorites that weren’t too shabby in a year full of radio filler. I’ll make a separate list of singles later. For now, here are the albums. Remember, these are just my particular favorites. They held my attention for more than just one run through in my ipod. I’m sure some will disagree, and that’s fine. And really, it doesn’t matter. Because it’s MY list. Enjoy earbudders.

 

Sirens (Deluxe Version)

1. Gorgon City – Sirens. Just enough dance that makes me want to care and just enough divadom to make me shake it and break it. There is enough here for everyone who enjoys dance and electronic music. I wish more music was like this. It doesn’t matter if this is played in your living room, or on your ipod, or iphone with headphones. It is good quality music.

 

The London Sessions

2. Mary J. Blige – The London Sessions. The queen of hip-hop soul delivers strongly on this one. A mix of r&b and house music, this is really what I’ve been waiting for from her. Changing with the times, she worked with Sam Smith and Disclosure, two of my particular favorite Brit artists to create a refreshing makeover of her voice and sound. This album makes me remember why she’s the queen. All hail.

 

Mind Over Matter

3. Young the Giant – Mind Over Matter. I wasn’t a huge fan of YTG’s previous album but I completely changed my mind with this one. This was one of my first favorites of the new year. They combine pop with a little bit of groove behind them. I was pleasantly surprised. There is not one bad song on this album. Nice job guys.

 

Tough Love

4. Jessie Ware – Tough Love. One of the best r&b albums that really wasn’t labeled as an r&b album. You can hear the pain and desperation and loneliness in her voice, backed with slow and melodic beats. She reveals the ups and downs and love and everything in between.

 

Sistrionix

5. Deap Vally – Sistronix. One of the best rock albums I’ve heard this year. This sister duo make Jack White sound obsolete. A mix of garage rock, songs about life, money, and struggles, and you have a great listen. Turn the volume up on this one. Loudly.

 

Lead To Light

6. Nico Vega – Lead to Light. A mix of rock and 80s synths, this one is a no brainer. The lead vocalist, is loud, scratchy, and very reminiscent of Patty Smythe. There are enough radio friendly keepers to keep your attention at will. It’s a fun album about love and life.

 

Sound Of A Woman

7. Keiza – Sound of a Woman. This woman is like a little kid on coffee, candy, and red bull when performing – loud clothes, dance moves, etc. An excellent voice with beats to match. Throw this one on at a party and watch the ones standing in the corner finally get the stick out of their asses and move.

sam-smith-in-the-lonely-hour-track-list-album-cover

8. Sam Smith – In the Lonely Hour. There is something about white boy blue eye soul that is just easy on the ears. He’s another one where you can hear the disappointment of love lost forever. You just want to hug him and reassure him that everything will be ok in time. We’ve all been there.

 

Sonic Highways

9. Foo Fighters – Sonic Highways. Once again, Dave Grohl and the boys deliver. The album only has 8 songs but enough rock power and hutzpah to blow out every Marshall speaker on the planet.

 

Annie Mac Presents 2014 [Explicit]

10. Annie Mac – Annie Mac Presents 2014. The one DJ on this list who knows what works for dance heads like myself. This album is a very nice compilation of unknowns and knowns in the electronic/house/dance world. It flows nicely and leaves me wanting a lot more.

 

Hey Hey

11. Mapei – Hey Hey. She made a splash on the scene with her song, “Don’t Wait,” but this whole album is pretty stellar, with a mixture of dance, and heavy on percussion with a message of positivity (“Change” among one of the standouts). It’s an album you can listen to anywhere in any mood and she’ll put a smile on your face. She reminds me a lot of Nenah Cherry. She also reminds me of a female Andre 3000. She wasn’t afraid to use horns and go a little crazy with production when necessary.

 

Royal Blood

12. Royal Blood – Royal Blood. Crunchy guitars, loud vocals, and frustration towards life. Great combination. There are times this sounds like a 70s throwback band, where the music is battling against the vocals for superiority. It’s sad that in the gazillion bands I hear played on the radio, that this band seems to be omitted. Get on that rock radio.

 

Goddess

13. Banks – Goddess. The voice of an angel, the soothing beats of downtempo r&b. I truly fell in LOVE with this album this past year.

 

Transgender Dysphoria Blues

14. Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues. Another favorite of mine, Laura Jean Grace and the boys deliver a short, to the point, punk rock album full of ball bustin’ roller coaster emotion.

 

The Veronicas

15. The Veronicas – The Veronicas. Canadian twins deliver an album of all of the place styles. It’s a great pop mix of dance, new wave, rock, and a little rap. They were quite the surprise late in the year.

 

Days & Nights

16. Daley – Days & Nights. Yet another Brit singer throwing down in r&b land with a very unique voice that is easy to listen to whether you are winding down after a hard day’s work or going for a nice drive to clear the head.

 

JHUD

17. Jennifer Hudson – JHUD. One of the overlooked albums of the year. It really upsets me that she never gets the credit she deserves. This album delivers and has something for everyone. Her voice is truly from heaven. Whether it’s straight up r&b, pop, or dance, or singing with a live band, Jennifer Hudson is truly the gem music is made of.

 

Year Of The Caprese

18. Cherub – Year of the Caprese. I swear this album sounds like it was made in their bedroom. Some songs are very minimalistic in delivery. And some are just rip roaring on the dancefloor and break something jams. Trust me when I say you won’t be disappointed.

 

St. Vincent

19. St. Vincent – St. Vincent. A little hip-hop, a little synth, a little rock, and make for a very enjoyable album. Well done, Annie.

 

Language & Perspective

20. Bad Suns – Language and Perspective. Loud pop rock with insights about life. Can’t go wrong.

 

Honorable Mentions:

 

Globalization

1. Pitbull – Globalization. Say what you want about him, but this boy can spit. Only he does it backed by a party beat. He wants everyone to have a good time, while also boast his bragadocial wordplay to the females. I find it entertainingly amusing. With all the crap hip-hop out there, and all the so called bosses rapping about weed, and women, and sex, and yada yada yada, I’d much rather listen to someone getting me off the couch and on the dance floor. Keep doing your thing Armando. And thank you for pulling your pants up.

 

Trick

2. Kele – Trick. Yes, the lead singer of Bloc Party released another solo album. You didn’t know? Yes, he did. And it’s good. In fact, I wish BP would do more albums like this. He has the right vocal delivery with electronic support to make it likable without it wearing on you like many electronic albums do after a period of time. The album isn’t too long, and it’s not too short in length which is always good for me. Be a little open minded and check him out.

 

CUT 4 ME

3. Kelela – Cut 4 Me. I thoroughly enjoyed this mix of rap and r&b. It was quite the standout in a lackluster year of rap – just in my own opinion.

 

glitter mob

4. The Glitch Mob – Love Death Immortality. This is another album I thought was overlooked for the year. Great beats. Great rhythms. Great everything.

 

TALKING IS HARD

5. Walk the Moon – Talking is Hard. This whole album sounds like an 80s arena rock anthem throwback set to new wave dance/rock music. Another diamond in the rough.

 

Black Messiah

6. D’angelo and the Vanguard – Black Messiah. I added this last minute. I also added this not so much because the album is good. I’ve listened to it three times now and I can honestly say, I only like half of it if that much. But I’m so glad this talent in neo soul r&b has returned. I had pretty much written him off after his drug issues and car crash some years ago. But that write off was off the table once I saw him perform online at Jay-Z’s Made in America Festival. I thought there was hope. Well, there was hope. I just wish the whole album was as good as the bits and pieces I liked. But welcome back D. You have sorely been missed.

 

That’s it for me for albums of the year kids… next up. My favorite songs of the year. Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

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Kanye’s Skinhead.. Watch While You Can..

So Kanye’s Black Skinhead video leaked… then it was removed. But click on the link under this pic. You can see one of the creepiest vids in hip hop right now… Seriously. Scurrrrred.

kanye

 

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/videos/kanye-west-drops-black-skinhead-20130709

 

As if his ego can’t get any bigger…. I guess this is his “artistic” piece. Watch while you can. I’m sure it will get pulled soon again.

 

 

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Throwback Thursday: Heavy D’s “You Can’t See What I Can See”

I have become like parents.

I now know how they felt when they were complaining about my music in the 90s, which was among other comments, not as good as the music they grew up listening to blah blah blah.. I feel the same way they did then about rap music NOW. I’m a 90s kid. So I loved good rap music, which seems to be dwindling these days. So my throwback is a rarely heard song by Heavy D. And The Boyz called, “You Can’t See What I can See.” It was a b-side to their single “Don’t Curse.” In a time now where rappers can’t seem to find a belt to pull up their pathetic pants and drop the n word on a regular basis, it’s nice to be able to go back in the 90s golden era of rap and pull up this gem. Heavy was always clean cut, respected women, knew the meaning of a word “belt” and kept it kid friendly for the most part. Sure he got a little rough around the edges in trying to prove his street credibility, but he still threw down without insulting anyone as evident in this clip.

Rest in Peace Heavy D. You’re still missed. STILL. MISSED. Take note horrible rappers. This is how it’s done. My particularly favorite line? “Not Fred Flintstone but I’ll make your bed rock…”

 

 

 

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