I (like many folk) am junky for this stuff. I cannot go more than a few hours without a fix. As of late it’s been really bad. It’s gotten to the point that I buy nearly two albums a week. If I’m not buying an album, I am most surely thinking about buying one. Or thinking about driving to Amoeba and to find something to listen to. Anything that’s different, but not too different. New, but not necessarily a new album or artist. You know?!
So, I’ve decided to rank some of the albums I’ve been grooving to over the last few months.
1. The Black Keys – Brothers
I love artists who grow. Not only must they grow, but the growth should be coherent. It must be traceable. Please, no rap to rock (see Lil Wayne) without something in between. The Black Key’s growth is ascribable. Brothers is what happens when artist utilize what they’ve learned to great effect.
2. Quadron – Quadron
A Danish Duo who got tired of trite American R&B and decided to do something about it. They did. Their lyrics are deeper than anything Melanie Fiona can conjure up, and their production is less grandiose. Add that to the raw emotion that seeps from CoCo’s soul, and you have the best R&B/Soul Album of the year. Too bad they’re consistently misclassified as Electronica.
3. Kidz in the Hall – The in Crowd
Fairly honest and introspective hip-hop. Rare case where tons of guest artists do not kill an album.
4. Christian Scott – Yesterday You Said Today
Scott’s trumpet is quiet with emotion.
*Angloa, LA, & the 13th Amendment
5. Erykah Badu – Momma’s Gun
I’m late. I know. There’s is just too much to love about this album.
6. Prince – Dirty Mind
7. Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2
Not for everybody. Straight up and down raw/hardcore hip-hop. Violent crime and drug stories make up the bulk of the album, but those stories are deftly recited over great production. This is one of two Hip-Hop albums that’s probably better than Eminem’s Relapse.
8. Passion Pit – Manners
*To Kingdom Come
9. Sam Cooke – Live at the Harlem Square
10. Donald Byrd – A New Perspective
11. Corinne Bailey Rae – The Sea
She has been through a lot since her last album. Honestly, I thought it would be on display more than it is. The album is Ms. Bailey Rae spreading her wings more. The bonus track offered by Amazon is where I’d like her to go more often.
*Love’s On Its Way (Live At The Tabernacle, London)
12. Jimmy Smith – The Sermon
13. Prince – Sign O’ Times
Prince is arguably the most talented musician alive. Songs like “Sister” (from Dirty Minds) and “If I Was Your Girlfriend” create two opposing emotions that are tough to reconcile. But, once the concept of the song is understood–and accepted–one can progress into a higher consciousness. That is what he (like no other I’ve ever heard) can do.
14. Erykah Badu – New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh
The Notorious One is all over this album.
*Fall in Love (your funeral)
15. Jamie Cullum – The Pursuit
*Just One Of Those Things
16. Murs & 9th Wonder – Fornever
Every time Kurupt comes on I find myself reaching for “next track” button.
*The Problem Is…
There are more to be listed, but I’ll stop at this. Let me know what you think…