Saturday, January 29, 2011
My Top 5 albums of 2010:
2010, what a year for music... This top 5 are of my own opinion and of any genre throught the year. It was culled down and judged on how often I listen to the albums. Enjoy...
1. ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’- KANYE WEST
Love him or hate him, Kanye West is back and better than ever. ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ is the producing giant’s 5th studio album and in my opinion, his best to date.
A year on the ‘down low’ following his infamous interrupting incident at the 2009 MTV VMA awards, provided the musical inspiration for a rapper who was criticized and beat down for simply speaking the truth. A few months later, ‘Power’ was leaked to millions across the world, giving an insight into what the new album would sound like. With a message of ‘I don’t really give a f*ck’, Power set the bar for every song soon to be dropped on ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’.
‘MBDTF’ was released to the masses on November 22nd 2010 and quickly received rave reviews across the world. I downloaded the album and have listened to it nearly every day in its entirety since its release.
Kanye West is what I like to describe as the drunken uncle at family parties who gets really smashed and says some cringing shit, but in reality, he actually makes sense and just says the stuff people are thinking. This album shows brilliance and pure genius on production and through the powerful and truthful lyrics.
It’s hard to pick individual favourites, but if I had too, I would name, ‘Lost in the world’ as my favourite track off the album, as it reminds me of my mum in the weeks following her death. The drum beat and lyrics are so powerful and really hit home every time I hear them. In close second place, is ‘All of the lights’ featuring Rihanna and others.
In many ways, the album offers slower songs with breathing space, then on the other hand it serves up some nasty in your face tracks such as ‘Monster’, where up and coming female MC ‘Nicki Minaj’ outshines both Kanye and Jay Z with her punching verse. ‘Runaway’ recently voted at the number 14 spot on Triple J’s Hottest 100 of 2011 also deserves a special mention, where Kanye reflects on all the ‘Douche Bags and Scum Bags’ he has been in the past.
Long time friend of Kanye, ‘John Legend’ is also featured on one of my favourite tracks, ‘Blame Game’, telling of a failed relationship (thought to be written for Kanye’s Ex girlfriend, ‘Amber Rose)
From start to finish, ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ is an album that has been carefully thought out and produced. It was an album that if not for Kanyes mishap interrupting, wouldn’t of happened. For the haters, for the lovers, it’s an album for all who appreciate music as a whole. From the samples in each track, to the straight up honest lyrics, MBDTF outshines every other album of 2010, and is Kanye West’s best to date.
2. ‘April Uprising’- JOHN BUTLER TRIO
The number two spot goes to The John Butler Trio’ with April Uprising’. Released in April of 2010 is first album released from the new look John Butler Trio. Nicky Bomba the new percussionist and Byron Luiters on the bass, bring a new and exciting feel to the trio. I was sceptical of the new sound at first, but after buying the new album, I was impressed with its rootsy feel good sound.
I was fortunate enough to see them perform live at the Horden Pavilion late last year, and as usual, they never disappoint. John butler has grown as a song writer and performer and seems to be producing more upbeat catchy tracks, compared with his darker, longer acoustics which many have grown to know and love on his previous albums.
Stand out tracks on April Uprising for me were, ‘Revolution’ which adds the political element that you come to expect from the Butler. ‘I’d do anything’ which makes me melt and shows the love he has for his wife and family’, and ‘Close to you’ which just makes me feel good with memories of sunny Sunday drives with my best mate in Sydney.
All in all, April Uprising was an album that I have enjoyed from start to finish in 2010 and is the type of CD you can listen to at anytime while in any mood.
3. ‘Sir Lucious Left Foot, The Son Of Chico Dusty’- BIG BOI
Coming in at the number 3 spot is an album that I was busting to get in the weeks leading up to its release date in July of 2010. In what was dubbed ‘The Hip Hop Album of the year’ by several sources, ‘Sir Lucious Left Foot, The Son of Chico Dusty’ was the debut solo album of former ‘OutKast’ member, ‘Big Boi’.
For the lovers of old school hip hop mixed with a little bit of new, this album brings it all. Powerful fast flows by Big Boi, mixed with that dirty south sound and unusual samples in production. Guest artists also played a big part in the success of the album, including tracks such as ‘Be Still’ featuring ‘Janelle Monae’ who offers a softer side to the sometimes harsh sounding flow of Big Boi.
Although it was his first solo album, the addictive sounds of his former duo ‘Outkast’ are still featured heavily throughout the album with tracks such as ‘You ain’t no DJ’, produced by ‘Andre 3000’... His live performance mid 2010 in Sydney is also worth a mention: Not a lyric missed.
Without a doubt the biggest song off the album though was ‘Shutterbug’, offering massive amounts of bass and uncontrollable foot tapping’...
Sir Lucious Left Foot, The Son Of Chico Dusty is definitely an impressive album, especially for the hip hop dedicated.
4. ‘Distant Relatives’- NAS/DAMIAN MARLEY
I got told about this album by my cousin Dustin and within the first week of its release in May 2010, it was a part of my collection. ‘Distant Relatives’ is a collaborative studio album from Hip Hop legend, NAS, and reggae royalty, Damian Marley (son of Bob Marley).
The album is conscious, hard, and political and translates the plight of poverty stricken Africa. The first song released, ‘As we enter’ has an energetic raga/hip hop beat, which received radio play all over the nation (including from myself, while on Koori Radio, 93.7fm, Sydney).
The lyrical content alone is why it scored the number 4 spot on my list. The track ‘Patience’ shows similarities to one of my favourite Nas and Damian colabs, ‘Road to Zion’ with the same thought provoking lyrics mixed with slow carefully orchestrated production.
Distant relatives was definitely one of my favourite albums of the year in 2010, and I only wish I was still living in Sydney to see them perform the tracks at ‘Good Vibes festival in early February 2011.
5. 'Record Collection'- MARC RONSON & The Business Intl’
If I have to be honest, up until the release of ‘Record Collection’, I was unaware of the brilliance of producer ‘Mark Ronson’... Triple J Radio as usual was the first to introduce me to his genius.
TV Series, ‘Entourage’ featured the first song released from the album, ‘Bang Bang Bang’ featuring rapper ‘Q-TIP’, MNDR. The song kicks off the rest of the album with its electro, funky sounds and was my ringtone for a good few weeks.
‘Ride my bike’ is another track that has that 60’s inspired, psychedelic, feel good rhythm to it that you can’t help but enjoy. The biggest and most talked about song on the album though would have to be ‘Somebody to love me’ featuring the fresh out of jail and 80’s crooner, ‘Boy George’ and others. The music and production alone in this song makes it stand out from the rest and with the shaky, distinct voice, the song ties together nicely to easily be one of the best tracks of 2010.
For anyone looking for an album of various range and the quirkiness factor, then you can’t go past Mark Ronsons ‘Record Collection’.
One Love, One Life....