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  • My Top 20 of 2013

    16 dec 2013, 21:11

  • My Top 20 of 2012

    28 dec 2012, 19:38

    Honorable Mentions;
    Nas, Azealia Banks, P!nk, Esperanza Spalding, Robert Glasper, How to Dress Well, Paloma Faith, Fanfarlo

    20. Ellie Goulding - Halcyon
    Airy, soft and beautiful.
    HIGHLIGHTS: Explosions, Anything Can Happen, I Know You Care

    19. Chromatics - Kill for Love
    Electro, Beat and Bass.
    HIGHLIGHTS: Kill For Love, Lady, There's A Light Out On The Horizon.

    18. Miguel - Kaleidoscope Dream
    R&B and Pop mixed with Edginess, fire and desire.
    HIGHLIGHTS: Adorn, Do You, Where's The Fun in Forever, Kaleidoscope Dream

    17. Beach House - Bloom
    Dreamy.
    HIGHLIGHTS: Myth, Other People, On The Sea

    16. Speech Debelle - Freedom Of Speech
    Righteous, Powerful and Truthful.
    HIGHLIGHTS: Live The Message, Angel Wings, Collapse, X Marks The Spot

    15. Dawn Richard - Armor On (EP)
    Heart racing, fist pumping and electrifying.
    HIGHLIGHTS: Faith, Scripture, Change, Call To Hearts

    14. Norah Jones - Little Broken Hearts
    Heartbreak Reinvented.
    HIGHLIGHTS: Little Broken Hearts, Happy Pills, Miriam

    13. THEESatisfaction - awE naturalE
    Soulful; Old world, yet new. Genre bending.
    HIGHLIGHTS: Queens, God, Deeper, Crash

    12. Santigold - Master of My Make-Believe
    A master creator at work.
    HIGHLIGHTS: This Isn't Our Parade, Riots Gone, The Keepers, God From The Machine

    11. Solange - True (EP)
    Sweaty, Funky, Groovy Love (or lack thereof).
    HIGHLIGHTS: Losing You, Looks Good With Trouble, Locked in Closets, Bad Girls (Verdine Version)




    10. Grimes - Visions
    Creepy, Interesting, Delightful.
    HIGHLIGHTS: Know The Way, Oblivion, Eight

    09. Jessie Ware - Devotion
    Refreshing, Creative, Electrifying, Heart wrenching.
    HIGHLIGHTS: Wildest Moments, Taking In Water, Night Light, 110%

    08. The xx - Coexist
    Simple, peaceful, beautiful.
    HIGHLIGHTS: Try, Angels, Tides, Fiction

    07. Twin Shadow - Confess
    Male pop with substance, honesty and testosterone.
    HIGHLIGHTS: I Don't Care, You Call Me On, Golden Light

    06. Flying Lotus - Until the Quiet Comes
    Jazzy, Gritty, Dreamy, Serious, yet fun.
    HIGHLIGHTS: Until The Colours Come, All In, Electric Candyman, Putty Boy Strut

    05. Lana Del Rey - Born to Die & Born to Die - The Paradise Edition
    Timeless, Melodramatic, Americana. Edith Wharton novel marries Billy The Kid
    HIGHLIGHTS: National Anthem, Off To The Races, Summertime Sadness, Ride, American, Yayo

    04. Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d city
    Storytelling, Hip Hip, Life, CLASSIC.
    HIGHLIGHTS: Poetic Justice, good kid, Swimming Pools, BDKMV

    03. Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do
    Personal, dark, light; Fiona.
    HIGHLIGHTS: Every Single Night, Valentine, Anything We Want, Werewolf

    02. Frank Ocean - channel ORANGE
    Versatile, eclectic, lyrically petrifying.
    HIGHLIGHTS: Pyramids, Crack Rock, Bad Religion, Pink Matter

    01. Cold Specks - I Predict a Graceful Expulsion
    Soul Soothing. Doom Soul. Original and everlasting.
    HIGHLIGHTS: Elephant Head, Blank Maps, Winter Solstice, Heavy Hands, Hector
  • My Top 20 of 2011

    4 dec 2011, 03:10

    I have begun compiling My Top 20 Albums/EPs as well as My Top 20 Songs/Singles of 2011. The release date cut-off is Dec 6th 2011, so look out for the full list and reviews sometime next week.

    20. Laura Marling - A Creature I Don't Know
    Laura Marling captured me with her voice on last year’s I Speak Because I Can. She can, with immense ease, intertwine between full blown belting, raspy whispers and folk talk-singing on an album (sometimes within a song). This year she delivered A Creature, a very introspective look at relationships and young love, and how bestial those concepts can leave you. Although introspective, there is still an air of universality. I didn’t feel as if I was pulled into Marling’s world of relationships, but more-so that she looked in on mine and offered musical remedies. I have always commended her for her lyrics which shine through very well on her first two albums, but this time I feel Marling focused more on her vocal delivery and musical creativity (and I have no dispute with that). Her lyrical prose still shines on My Friends, Night After Night, and Sophia (which has stellar production as well). But I love her voice on album standouts such as The Beast, Rest In The Bed, Salinas and Night After Night.

    19. Idle Warship – Habits Of The Heart
    One of the year’s most explosive albums sonically, Habits of the Heart never stalls, not even on its stand out balladry track Beautifully Bad. Unlike other albums with this much Pump and Electrastance, Idle Warship doesn’t leave you with a headache or stranded on the dance floor by the set’s end. Res’ sultry (Kelis-esque) vocals invite you into their mixed bag of high intense electro-funk; The Floor, Caribbean influenced soul; God Bless My Soul, and Rock & Blues; Are You In, while Talib Kweli brings a new spin to this style of music with fresh and potent rhymes especially on Beautifully Bad, Laser Beams and Rat Race. But behind the beautiful production and intenseness, is a lyrical gold mine most dance music lacks. The heart that Res and Kweli bring on Habits make it a stand out of 2011 whether they are defining the turmoil of bad relationships on Enemy or helping you make your own rules to get over the Rat Race of life.

    18. Goapele – Break Of Dawn
    Break of Dawn is a smooth and sexy compilation of R&B tunes. It is short and simple and moves you swiftly, yet effortlessly, between the intense sensuality of the album’s opener Play and heartbreak on Tears On My Pillow. Goapele shines vocally on the album’s highlight cuts Undertow and Break of Dawn, while realizing and overcoming love’s trifles lyrically. I was mistaken to refer to this as a compilation of tunes earlier, Dawn flows more consistently than most modern music projects, because artists are more focused on promoting genre diversity than they are with creating a masterpiece with exceptional flow. I love that I can play this from start to finish, without any hiccups or interruptions from rickety songs that don’t fit. I feel as if every song was specifically recorded for this mood, and not just songs compiled together. Other highlights of the album are the Prince-esque Money, Pieces and Right Here.

    17. Oliver Tank – Dreams - EP
    It’s no secret that down tempo, chillwave, electronic is my new favorite genre of music and if Oliver Tank is what I can expect from its future, then I’m beyond excited! Perhaps the first time an Extended Play has captured my attention so much to be included on a Best of list, but that just shows you how amazing Tank is. Oliver Tank fuses spacey productions (including synthesized violins and organs) with milky smooth and sweet vocals for some of the most relaxing music ever on his Dreams-EP. Yet, he is still able to keep you from falling into the void of your dreams with his percussive loops which keep you just tinkering upon the edge of consciousness as in I Love You and The Last Time. Last Night I Heard Everything in Slow Motion lives up to its marvelous title and is a highlight of Oliver Tank’s lyrical, vocal and production talents. Every one of the six songs is absolutely perfect, I wish there were more. I can’t wait for a full length LP in 2012.

    16. The Roots – Undun
    The Roots, the ultimate super band, has been bringing us good to honest hop-hip backed by live instruments since time’s beginning. This year they bring us the story (or story in reverse) of Redford Stevens, a street hustler (drug dealer) on Undun. The album and its concept flow perfectly and I view this as one of the best produced albums of the year. The concept compositions Dun, Redford, Possibility, Will to Power and Finality add beauty and musical genius that lacks from most modern hip hop. Although I love UnDun’s production a lot, that doesn’t mean I feel it lacks as a poetic masterpiece. Black Thought and the album’s features shine on Make My, One Time and Lighthouse as story tellers for Stevens’ doomed tale.

    15. Active Child – You Are All I See
    60 seconds into Active Child’s (aka Par Grossi) full length debut and you are enchanted with Grossi’s choir boy meets Rhythm & Tune vocals and mesmerizing harp playing on the title track which sets you up for what you are to expect from the other 44 minutes of the album. You Are All I See thrust you into the deepest trenches of the ocean in Hanging On before the tinkering xylophone-eque interlude Ivy briskly lifts you back up and prepares you for the climactic Shield & Sword which then leave you on the airiest of clouds in Johnny Belinda (The Gregorian chants help you get there). This album is a beautiful cross between choir music, R&B, pop and chillwave and Grossi’s vocals (somewhere between Bon Iver, David Bowie and The Hallelujah Choir) add to his fluid production and the overall luring and airy quality of the album. Other highlights are the extremely sensual Playing House and High Priestess (which I don’t believe was the intent with the latter).

    14. Little Dragon – Ritual Union
    Electronic collective Little Dragon blessed us with a delectable set of pop and R&B influenced electro tracks. Using some of the most elemental ingredients (vocals, keyboard, drums and bass) Dragon creates some of the most fun and danceable music. The band invites you to shuffle through the minimal jungle influenced When We Go Out and winds you around the 80’s dance influenced production of Shuffle A Dream. The lyrical highlight of the album is its opener Ritual Unions, showcasing the complex ideals of matrimony over a very poppy and fun beat – one of my favorites off the album. Precious is a funky-psychedelic rollercoaster that shudders along (even stalling halfway through) proving that even as elementally basic as Little Dragon is, they can still surprise and keep your attention. The album’s closer, Seconds, is another great highlight, its dripping water effect draws you into its charming atmosphere and Nagano’s vocals capture you and force you to submit underwater.

    13. Oh Land – Oh Land
    Oh Land builds compositions and pop tunes like an artist paints or playwright pens acts. She has an overall idea in mind that is greater than any of the individual parts. Combining a stadium foot stomp -hand clap, orchestral composition, and self obsession with being perfect (think Black Swan) for Perfection creates something magical that doesn’t seem like it should be this great, but is in fact quite pleasing. Listening to Oh Land, is not like listening to any other pop singer, she brings something else to the table with her music and her voice and it doesn’t involve outlandish attire (Lady Gaga, Kesha), an oversized ego (Beyonce, Rihanna) or just plain ol’ boring-ness (Britney Spears, Kylie Minogue these past few years). She has a unique quirkiness that doesn’t take away or outshine her talent and it shows in songs like Voodoo and Rainbow. Not only can Oh Land get you hype for a night on the town via We Turn It Up, she can also woo you with the charming and spellbinding Wolf & I.

    12. Bon Iver – Bon Iver
    How did Bon Iver know that military marching drums were my weakness? With an opening like Perth, there was no way I could resist the charm of this album. Bon (H)iver (good winter) is known for their earthy tones and productions reminiscent of winters in the cabin – hence the name – and never has anything ever provoked me to move to a snowy mountain before, as does this set of songs. It seems quite hard to love an album where one can’t make out most of what the artist is singing, and the song titles give you no clue as to what the song will be about, but for some reason that is the beauty of this album and Bon Iver. Calgary, a standout track (also featuring a military drum vibe), unlike most other songs on the album where Justin Vernon is singing either under or over the production, sees Vernon singing in almost unison with the beat. This creates a great effect that brings the album from under the blanket of snow and down from the mountain’s peak that the other tracks found themselves. Holocene (one of those blanket of snow songs), Wash. (a dream like ballad-interlude), and Hinnom, TX (one of the mountain peak songs) are other highlights.

    11. Drake – Take Care
    Drake has definitely improved on the art form of effortless fusing hip hop and R&B. Unlike his debut, Take Care sees Drake even more lyrically honest and his production less scattered and more uniformed. The album intro Over My Dead Body, possibly the year’s best overture, more than sets the tone for what is to follow on the album, and is one of the smoothest “fuck you all” tracks ever. Besides it’s intermingling of rapping and singing, Take Care also sets itself apart from most modern hip hop projects in that Drake doesn’t just flaunt his ego, jewels and money; instead he dabbles into how those things change you and the relationships you have, proving he is a songwriter that needs to not be over looked. Whether you are bouncing along with Drake and Nicki Minaj on the hard hitting Make Me Proud, or reminiscing on a past lover with Rihanna via Take Care or drunk dialing on Marvin’s Room, this album definitely has the thematic flow and lyrical consistency that is lacking from hip hop and R&B while Drake still hits hard able to hold his own on the mic on album cuts Lord Knows and Under Ground Kings.

    10. Florence + The Machine - Ceremonials
    Florence Welch pounded on the scene two years ago with her thunderous and heavy hitting debut, Lungs. Her second go round she has a better refined and produced set of songs for Ceremonials. What she doesn’t change is her intricate use of analogies relating death and religion to broken hearts and unrequited love. Although at first I found myself preferring the natural and animalistic thudding of Lungs, the sound of Ceremonials moves her from just another indie-pop misfit to the levels of Kate Bush, Bonnie Tyler, Sarah McLachlan and Tori Amos (yes I went there!). Album opener Only If For A Night and the single Shake It Out show you that Welch hasn’t completely abandoned the sound of her debut but that she has improved her Machine’s inner workings. What The Water Gave Me and Never Let Me Go arguably two of the year’s best songs show why she can garner comparisons to Tyler, Amos and McLachlan. Don’t let the comparison’s fool you, because Welch and her Machine can stand on their own with her unique vocals and writing ability. The album doesn’t just began on a good note it ends on one as well as Florence moves you through the soulful Lover to Lover, hauntingly spooky Seven Devils and the album’s heavy hitting closing anthem Leave My Body (where she is backed by a choir – another highlight of her new refinement).

    09. Björk – Biophilia
    I don’t know where to begin with reviewing a Björk album. Her creativity and voice is unmatched and I don’t know if I have a wide enough vocabulary to transcribe how I feel about this album, nonetheless, je vais essayer. The overarching theme of Biophilia is science and nature and how those themes affect our emotions and relationships. The tinkering melody of the gameleste (an instrument created by Björk) on standout song Virus coupled with the coos of the Icelandic singer reduce you to microscopic levels, while at the same time multiplying you chromosome by chromosome. Not only are you haunted by the lyrics of Virus (comparing the relationship between two lovers to that of a virus and host) you are also moved by its intricate, yet simplistic production. The beauty of Biophilia is its ability to continue the theme, without becoming fifth period science 101. Highlights like Crystalline and Mutual Core, with their juxtaposed minimalist and high intense productions within the same song keep you from losing interest. While the trio of Cosmogony (Bjork’s view on the creation of the world and heavens), Dark Matter and Hollow send you on a journey into space and the depths of the earth’s core.

    8. Rebecca Ferguson – Heaven
    Heaven is simply the best title for this album. Rebecca Ferguson from X-Factor UK fame blesses us with what may be one of the most beautiful debuts in pop music since Whitney Houston. A voice that carries with it snaps as soulful as Nina Simone, tone as clear as Leona Lewis and fierceness as jazzy as Amy Winehouse. Ferguson serenades us with love dripped ballads and mid-tempos for the most enchanting 35 minutes of your life. Not only does she have the chops, she has the writing ability (writing/co-writing all the songs) to go along with her powerhouse vocals and they both work well on the excellent Shoulder to Shoulder, Teach Me How To Be Loved and the “heal the world with love” single Nothing’s Real But Love. In a cloud of pop vocalists that are considered “boring” (Adele, Celine, Leona Lewis), I feel that Rebecca takes us back to when pop could be fun and vocally satisfying (think Whitney “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” or Mariah Carey “Dreamlover”). Rebecca gives you doses of that pop heaven on album uptempo highlights Run Free, Too Good To Lose, Fairytale and Mr. Bright Eyes.

    7. Adele – 21
    On 19 Mademoiselle Adkins was but a wee bit broken hearted girl in lyrics and in sound, but mama’s back and she has a brand new bag for 21. And that bag is loaded with vengeance and a bigger and rougher sound; more soulful than jazz, more bluesy than pop folksy, more Tennessee outhouse than London jazzclub. 21 opens with a couple of hard hitting bluesy, back country, gospel inspired tracks; the immensely popular Rolling In The Deep and Rumour Has It, showcasing Adele’s powerhouse vocals and the album’s amazing producers. This opening duo of songs fire you up and get you revved for all out war with any lover who has ever crossed you. But what is an Adele album without an earful of tears? The beautiful and flowing Turning Tables, One & Only and stripped down, yet still feisty Someone Like You will definitely bring you close to tears (if not full out boo-hooing). It is the album’s stand out track, her rendition of The Cure’s Lovesong, that completes and makes 21 a truly emotional and moving piece. Adele transforms you from thinking you have conquered love’s problems, to realizing that those problems have conquered you.

    6. Wild Beasts – Smother
    Whether he is sensually tantalizing you on Plaything, evoking Freddie Mercury in Lion’s Share or smoothly cooing over End Come Too Soon, Wild Bests’ lead singer Hayden Thorpe definitely has one of the most versatile voices in rock music and it shows on Smother. Listening to Smother, you discover that Wild Beasts conform not (as if they ever have), balancing perfectly between the haunting Lion’s Share and the surprisingly groovy Loop The Loop. Deeper provides a shining example of the overall theme and feel of Smother, with its dark tones and eerie vibes playing half seducer and half tormentor. The lyrically potent and emotionally raw Invisible with its dreamlike feel and drums reminiscent of the Congo, pull you into the undefined world of Wild Beasts. This LP doesn’t beg you to come in, it lures you in and you beg it to not let you go.

    5. Destroyer - Kaputt
    Was it the two flute solos on Kaputt’s star child Suicide Demo for Kara Walker that made me instantly intrigued with it? Or was it the saxophone, hotel lounge vibes, and sleepy vocals of Blue Eyes? I’m not exactly sure but whatever it was, it sure made me fall deeply in love with this album. Whether you are cruising around town, heading toward a Savage Night At The Opera (note the lovely guitar solo) or enjoying a highly relaxing night at home with Kaputt, Destroyer definitely helps you find your mood. Fusing elements of funk, folk, jazz, electronic and spoken word, Kaputt never bores or fails to inspire you as you try to decipher its idiosyncratic lyrics (I interpret them how I feel, I won’t begin to explain them here). The album’s closer, an 11 minute escapade, Bay of Pigs (Detail), takes you on a trip through most of the aforementioned elements as Destroyer half speaks, half sings over the evolving beat. Other highlights include the painstakingly beautiful Poor In Love and the extremely irresistible Song For America.

    4. James Blake – James Blake
    James Blake is probably the most inventive thing to happen to R&B since Love Hate (2007), and yet I feel as if it is an insult to confine it to just that one genre (it’s more dub step with a purpose). I’m not a fan of repetitive choruses, so how in the hell did I fall head over heels for Blake’s standout track I Never Learnt to Share, which repeats the same 14 words the entire song (“My brother and my sister don’t speak to me, but I don’t blame them”)? It’s all in the magic of James Blake to take that minimal set of (almost childish) words and mix them with a synthesized organ to create 5 minutes of introspection (something tells me this song is less about sharing toys with siblings and more about being a loner, minus all the angsty teenage bullcrap). Other highly intimate and personal tracks from the album include the futuristic To Care (Like You) and Unluck. James Blake also shines on the gospel influenced Measurements that hints at a Boyz II Men vibe (with the synthesized harmony of Blake’s voice) and the atmospheric midnight lounge-esque I Mind. Overall James Blake is a huge debut in sound and influence, and Blake himself has a lot to live up to in the future.

    3. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
    “No kisses, no real need” sings Anne Clark (St. Vincent) as she plays sexy dominatrix (I’m assuming whose name is Chloe) in the Strange Mercy opener Chloe In The Afternoon. The laid back feel and subdued electric guitar are juxtaposed against the sexual lyrics of two lover’s affair halted mid escapade, creating the overarching vibe of the album. Strange Mercy is more personal than Annie Clark’s two previous albums, where you find her at the center giving you little anecdotes from her life. Whether balancing social constructs of womanhood in Cruel, awkward love triangles via Cheerleader, or sexual affection (?) on Surgeon, Clark bears it all. Even though the production is far from minimal, actually it’s quite layered and genius, you are still very much aware of St. Vincent, her voice and message. The gem of Strange Mercy for me was the moody, life’s lessons teller, Champagne Year, which can’t help but transform you into a philosopher as it takes you on ride on the clouds. Other highlights include the title track, Dilettante and Year of The Tiger.

    2. Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
    Li’s second effort accurately conveys the awkwardness of early adulthood. The age when one can no longer rely on the fault of being young and childish (17-22), but not quite mature enough to grasp society, love and heartbreak as a 30 something-er could (as if anyone ever truly comes to terms with these concepts). A personal favorite of mine because of those reasons (hint its extremely high position), Wounded Rhymes, takes jabs at love, where Li plays half wounded teenage girl, and half strong willed and mature woman. You can hear these opposing sounds whether on the high energy Rich Kid’s Blues and Jerome or on the dark and raw Silent My Song. On the teenage tingled album opener, Youth Knows No Pain, Li preaches about seizing life while you’re young and pain free. The follow, the irresistibly charming I Follow Rivers, follows in the meme, carrying the same dark drums as its predecessor, but with more fine arts class and less gymnasium pep rally – still nonetheless evoking that teenage mentality. It’s the standout third track Love Out Of Lust that sees Li begin to clash with the dualities of teenage-dom and maturity as she sings about settling down with that special love in somber tone, that is more “this is how it is” and less “please stay and love me” (although both elements seem to be present). Further into the album you see these themes again, on Get Some, the tongue-in-cheek jab at men’s power and female sexual freedom, is empowering in lyrics, but the production is reminiscent of the youth filled tracks from the album’s start. The bold Sadness is a Blessing and equally bold, but stripped down, I Know Places show Lykke at her most mature moments and hint at what we could possibly expect from her on her third album as she continues to grow as an artist and young woman.

    1. tUnE-yArDs – w h o k i l l
    Merrill Garbus (aka tUnE-yArDs) offers an extraordinarily revealing look into American culture on her sophomore album w h o k i l l. Looping fresh drum kicks, horns and strategically placed sound effects to bring light to pressing social issues such as freedom (or lack there-of), eating disorders, violence, suburbia, police brutality, women’s quality and sexual expression. Not only will the array of important topics keep you hooked on tUnE-yArDs, but her extensive genre hopping will also; featuring everything from reggae, pop, doo-wop soul, hip hop and Prince-esque funk. On RiotRiot, three-fourths through the song she screams, “There is a freedom in violence that I don't understand” as she switches the tempo and composition of the song from simple conversational with the listener about the calm before the storm, into frantic chaos as horns whirl you up into a hurricane. My Country finds Garbus going toe to toe with societal injustices addressing divorce, equality for all, politics and individuality on this tone setting anthem. The highly catchy stab at hipsters and that sect of white American youth who seek out to be “gangstas” and “rastas” finds Garbus more-so rapping than using her finely tuned vocals (and I’m not complaining about that) on Gangsta. You can also catch Garbus’ fresh MCing skills on album closer Killa as well. But it is standout tracks like Powa and Doorstep that make this album a masterpiece. The former finds Merrill belting out about the dichotomies of power and submissiveness in relationships (and sex) over a seductive guitar and minimal percussion (reminiscent of Prince). Powa isn’t just another sex song though, it’s a message and it leaves its full interpretation up to each individual listener. The latter, the doo-wop soul ballad Doorstep, which feels like Motown meets island breeze, finds the songbird cooing along about an incident between a wounded lover and policemen, almost as if it were an ode to the social conscious music of the 50s and 60s. tUnE-yArDs shows that she doesn’t have to be backed by sound effects and expansive loops or high energy anthems, as she shines vocally on the beautiful lullaby Wooly Wolly Gong, proving she can tackle just about anything.


    Honorable Mentions: Yelle - Safari Disco Club / Young Man - Ideas of Distance / Southern Ghosts - The Great Depression Pt. 1(EP) / Jill Scott - The Light Of The Sun / Feist - Metals / Tycho - Dive / Tori Amos - Night of Hunters / Beyoncé - 4

    ---------
    ~Top 20 Songs & Singles of The Year~


    20. 'Bounce' - Calvin Harris
    19. 'End of Time' - Beyoncé
    18. 'Sophia' - Laura Marling
    17. 'Last Night I Heard Everything In Slow Motion' - Oliver Tank
    16. 'Good Man' - Raphael Saadiq
    15. 'Suicide Demo for Kara Walker' - Destroyer
    14. 'Studio Backpack Rap' - Speech Debelle
    13. 'What the Water Gave Me' - Florence + The Machine
    12. 'Charlie Brown' - Coldplay
    11. 'Video Games' - Lana Del Rey
    10. 'Blue Sky' - Common
    9. 'Take Care' - Drake
    8. 'Children' - V V Brown
    7. 'Bizzness' - tUnE-yArDs
    6. 'Blue Jeans' - Lana Del Rey
    5. 'Virus' - Björk
    4. 'Love Out of Lust' - Lykke Li
    3. 'Fall Creek Boys Choir' - James Blake & Bon Iver
    2. 'Born to Die' - Lana Del Rey
    1. 'No Room For Doubt' - Lianne La Havas
  • How Varied Is My Music Taste???

    30 okt 2011, 15:36

    'First, make a list of your overall top-20 artists. Then, for each of these artists, add the 8 most similar artists to your list. Delete any duplicates, add up the number of entries on your list and this will give you some idea of how eclectic your listening habits are. A score of 9 represents an extremely unvaried musical taste while a 160 represents an extremely varied one.'

    124/160 = .775

    1. Janelle Monáe
    2. Alicia Keys
    3. Thriving Ivory
    4. Anthony Hamilton
    5. Adele
    6. Michael Bublé
    7. Mariah Carey
    8. Common
    9. Erykah Badu
    10. Florence + the Machine
    11. Jill Scott
    12. Toni Braxton
    13. John Legend
    14. P!nk
    15. Sade
    16. James Morrison
    17. Prince
    18. Motion City Soundtrack
    19. The Script
    20. Ingrid Michaelson

    -------
    1. Solange
    2. M.I.A.
    3. Kelis
    4. Big Boi
    5. Jazmine Sullivan
    6. Robyn

    7. Mary J. Blige
    8. Destiny's Child
    9. Beyoncé
    10. Joss Stone
    11. Jennifer Hudson
    12. Aaliyah

    13. 16 Frames
    14. SafetySuit
    15. Green River Ordinance
    16. Trading Yesterday
    17. Augustana
    18. Carolina Liar
    19. Graham Colton
    20. The Last Goodnight

    21. Musiq
    22. Raheem DeVaughn
    23. Jaheim
    24. Maxwell
    25. Floetry
    26. Dwele
    27. Anthony David
    28. Chrisette Michele

    29. Amy Winehouse
    30. Jessie J
    31. Christina Perri
    32. Duffy
    33. Glee Cast
    34. Sara Bareilles

    35. Michael Buble & Holly Palmer
    36. Jamie Cullum
    37. Harry Connick, Jr.
    38. Matt Dusk
    39. Josh Groban
    40. Frank Sinatra
    41. Norah Jones
    42. Tony Bennett

    43. Whitney Houston
    44. Janet Jackson
    45. Brandy
    46. Jennifer Lopez
    47. Leona Lewis

    48. Talib Kweli
    49. The Roots
    50. Mos Def
    51. Nas
    52. Black Star
    53. Q-Tip
    54. De La Soul
    55. A Tribe Called Quest

    56. D'Angelo
    57. Lauryn Hill
    58. Bilal
    59. India.Arie
    60. Angie Stone

    61. Marina & the Diamonds
    62. Lykke Li
    63. Ellie Goulding
    64. Kate Nash
    65. Bat for Lashes
    66. I Blame Coco
    67. Clare Maguire

    68. Ledisi
    69. Marsha Ambrosius
    70. Amel Larrieux

    71. Monica
    72. Deborah Cox
    73. Tamia

    74. John Legend & The Roots
    75. Robin Thicke
    76. Corinne Bailey Rae

    77. Kelly Clarkson
    78. Christina Aguilera
    79. Natasha Bedingfield
    80. Rihanna
    81. Katy Perry
    82. Ke$ha
    83. Gwen Stefani

    84. Sweetback
    85. Anita Baker
    86. George Michael
    87. Diana Krall
    88. Luther Vandross

    89. Gavin DeGraw
    90. Jason Mraz
    91. James Blunt
    92. Maroon 5
    93. Justin Nozuka
    94. Jon McLaughlin
    95. Matt Wertz

    96. Prince & The Revolution
    97. Prince and the New Power Generation
    98. The Time
    99. Sheila E.
    100. New Power Generation
    101. Wendy & Lisa
    102. The Family
    103. Madhouse

    104. The Matches
    105. Say Anything
    106. New Found Glory
    107. Jack's Mannequin
    108. Taking Back Sunday
    109. The Academy Is...
    110. Something Corporate
    111. Valencia

    112. OneRepublic
    113. The Fray
    114. Parachute
    115. Scouting for Girls
    116. Lifehouse
    117. Boyce Avenue

    118. Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson
    119. A Fine Frenzy
    120. Allie Moss
    121. Bess Rogers
    122. Meiko
    123. Priscilla Ahn
    124. Rosi Golan
  • My Top 15 of 2010

    20 dec 2010, 18:06

    Here is a list of my personal favorite albums of 2010. It's 15 Because 10 wouldn't be enough....ha!

    15. She & Him - Volume Two
    I love Zooey D. She isn't the best singer and She & Him isn't the best band, but I love how they go into the studio and create music from what they feel. Thats what art is! Volume Two is a spunky collection of songs to make you feel good, make you feel sad and everything in between. (HIGHLIGHTS: In The Sun, Me and You, Thieves, Home, If You Can't Sleep)

    14. Sade - Soldier of Love
    Sade has still got it. The English band definitely put out a great cd this year, their first in 10 years. Full of mid-tempo & slow jazz/R&B/soul jams. (HIGHLIGHTS: The Moon and The Sky, Babyfather, Be That Easy, In Another Time, Soldier Of Love)

    13. Vampire Weekend - Contra
    Contra is my first introduction to the indie pop sensation that is VW, and must I say, what an intro it is. Quirky, full of catchy innuendos, slightly conscious while still being fun. Sounds like the perfect combo. (HIGHLIGHTS: I Think UR A Contra, Horchata, Giving Up The Gun, Cousins, Taxi Cab)

    12. Lady Antebellum - Need You Now
    Lady A, gave us a simple, country pop album full of emotion, heartbreak, love and fun. The trio sounded great on their second album, I love their harmonies and straightforward lyrics. (HIGHLIGHTS: American Honey, Our Kind Of Love, If I Knew Then, Love This Pain, Hello World)

    11. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
    Kanye West is a genius. He gave us the best hip hop album of the year! (HIGHLIGHTS: Blame Game, All Of The Lights, Monster, Who Will Survive In America)

    10. Erykah Badu - New Amerykah Part Two: Return Of The Ankh
    Badu took us on trip through her mind, teaching us lessons about love, love lost, finding ourselves and finding our freedom. (HIGHLIGHTS: 20 Feet Tall, Out My Mind Just In Time, Love, Fall In Love (Your Funeral), Window Seat )

    9. Corinne Bailey Rae - The Sea
    While her first LP was lighter in tone and equipped with more hope in love, Bailey Rae returns with her sophomore album more mature in tone, heart and sound. On The Sea you see Rae in rawer form, more heartbroken and most of all more honest. She pushed the envelope in all areas and delivered big time with this record.(HIGHLIGHTS: The Sea, Paris Nights/NY Mornings, I'd Do It All Again, Closer, The Blackest Lillyf)

    8. Motion City Soundtrack - My Dinosaur Life
    MCS, by far my favorite punk rock band of all time, delivered a perfect album this year. My Dino Life is for all the underdogs and thats why it rocked my 2010! (HIGHLIGHTS: Her Words Destroyed My Planet, Disappear, Pulp Fiction, Stand Too Close)

    7. Katy Perry - Teenage Dream
    Not many artists can deliver a 2nd album that compares to their debut, but Katy sure delivered with TD. Katy brings us dance, pop and a little rock edge this time around and she sounds amazing doing it. (HIGHLIGHTS: Circle The Drain, Not Like The Movies, Firework, Pearl, Who Am I Living For?)

    6. Flying Lotus - Cosmogramma
    Heart pumping, futuristic, galaxy jumping, moon gliding trip-hop. Mr FlyLo himself tokes us on a journey with Cosmogramma. Sit back, relax, listen and enjoy the spaceship. (HIGHLIGHTS: Galaxy in Janaki, Zodiac Shit, Do The Astral Plane, Dance of the Psuedo Nymph, Auntie's Harp)

    5. Katie Melua - The House
    Katie gave us a haunting collection of songs. She intertwined jazz, pop and acoustic genres throughout this album, while highlighting her quirky voice. (HIGHLIGHTS: The Flood, The House, No Fear of Heights, Red Balloons, Tiny Alien)

    4. Kelis - FleshTone
    The only artist to successfully crossover into the electro/euro/dance/pop genre. Kelis released a flawless record fusing heartfelt lyrics about love, strength and her son and catchy electro beats. (HIGHLIGHTS: 22nd Century, 4th Of July, Brave, Song For The Baby, Home)

    3. The Foreign Exchange - Authenticity
    Hip Hop, R&B, Soul, Electro and Jazz all fused together and you'll get Authenticity. TFE delivers one of the year's smoothest albums. (HIGHLIGHTS: The Last Fall, Eyes To The Sky, All Roads, Everything Must Go, The City Ain't The Same...)

    2. Justin Nozuka - You I Wind Land And Sea
    Justin is amazing! He has one of the most soulful spirits EVER! This is Justin's 2nd effort bringing us guitar & B and it's perfection. You couldn't fake the emotion, heart, love, and tears Justin put into this album. (HIGHLIGHTS: Carried You, Love, Swan In The Water, Hollow Men, Soulless Man)

    1. Janelle Monáe - The ArchAndroid (Suites II & III)
    By far the best album of 2010. It shouldn't even be called an album, it's an emotion picture. Janelle Monáe takes us and throws us into the world of Cindi Mayweather and Anthony Greendown and uses music to tell their story. Jazz, funk, pop, dance, rock and R&B all show up on the ArchAndroid and Janelle magically mixes and flows all these genres together to make a collective sound. (HIGHLIGHTS: Dance or Die, Suite III Overture, Sir Greendown, Cold War, Neon Valley Street, BaBopByeYa)


    Honorable Mentions: Another Round / The Adventures of Bobby Ray / Beautiful / We Are Born / Ben L'Oncle Soul / Colorblind / BAGS & SUITCASES / Pulse / Blackmagic