Now I know this is a vanity post so feel free to ignore. With that in mind, here’s a few Top lists for 2011:
Best Rock & Popular Music
- Bon Iver [st]
- James Blake [st]
- My Brightest Diamond All Things Will Unwind
- Florence & The Machine Ceremonials
- St. Vincent Strange Mercy
- Bjork Biophillia
- Radiohead King of Limbs
- Explosions In the Sky Take Care, Take Care, Take Care
- Tom Waits Bad As Me
- ††† EP †
- Endangered Blood [st]
- Kneebody You Can Have Your Moment …ok, so this was late 2010
- Chris Potter Transatlantic
- Jerry Bergonzi Convergence …more sage sounds from the i Ching master
- Trombone Shorty For True
- Ambrose Akinmusire Far But Few Between
- David Binney Barefooted Town
- James Farm [st]
- Joe Lovano Bird Songs
- John Scofield 54
Best “New to Me” Albums
…aka albums I didn’t get to or was just hipped to this last year…
- Iron & Wine The Shepherd’s Dog
- Pulp Different Class
- Kayne West My Dark Twisted Fantasy
- Elvis Costello …early catalog releases I found on a Best Of…
- Sleigh Bells Treats
Like the Chris Potter. Happy New Year Adam!
Okay, not enough hip-hop on this blog, and there was a lot of good Rap in 2011! Much props to Adam for listing the Kanye album.. I am not exaggerating when I say that album changed the way I look at music.
Hands down, the best album of 2011 was “Watch the Throne” by the tandem of Kanye West and Jay-Z. The use of dubstep (as well as other house music stylings) really push this LP ahead of everything else that came out in ’11.. My second favorite was “Self Made, Vol. 1” by Rick Ross’ Maybach Music label.. If you want some hard, aggressive, smack-your-mama-in-the-mouth-for-actin’-crazy-hip-hop, this is for you.. Ross stuck gold signing Wale and new talent Meek Mill.
Other notable LP’s were Mac Miller’s debut “Blue Slide Park,” “Rolling Papers” from Wiz Khalifa, and Drake’s “Take Care.” There were some disappointments as well this year… Lil Wayne came with the same simple punchlines and sub-par attempts at depth that he’s been spewing since he got out of prison on “Tha Carter IV.” I mentioned “Throne” earlier, which wasn’t the only collaboration from two powerhouses. Bad Meets Evil, the duo of Eminem & Royce The 5’9″, FINALLY released they’re joint project, after their little beef a few years back.. The result was “Hell: The Sequel,” which WAS awesome, but one song ruined the whole EP for me…. Lighters? With Bruno Mars? Come onnnnn… Just a blatant attept at radio play, and totally takes away from the over all feel of the album.
But the most stand-out effort of the year, to me, was a trilogy by up-and-coming R&B artist The Weeknd. (From what I understand, he was recently signed to Drake’s imprint. Weeknd is featured on about 5 songs on “Take Care,” and Drake is on Weeknd’s second EP.) “House of Balloons,” Thursday,” and “Echoes of Silence.” Classic. Highly recommended.
Let’s hope 2012 is just as big for hip hop ass ’11 was… (Hey Rick Ross new album, hurry up and come out already!)