Entries in Corinne Bailey Rae (5)
What a year for music y'all, I cannot tell you how excited and inspired I am by the level of quality that has been released in 2010. Anyways here's the last two list from me this year.
The Edward James Almost
Found out about this guy a couple of months ago and I am glad I did. A very positive rapper, with skills to match as well? Yeah it's possible, the production bangs on this one and he has more to say than your usual conscious rapper as well is a plus as well. A definite gem, glad to had stumbled upon him for sure.
Rick Ross-Teflon Don
Seems like every rapper this year went over B.M.F(Blowin Money Fast), and that wasn't even the freshest song on the album. I am not a huge fan of the guy, but I can't front that the music he makes continues to improve. Used to think that the beats made the man, but this guy was actually spitting pretty well along side some of Hip-Hops best. Not that he is ever going to steal the show(though he pretty much does so from Kanye on Live Fast and Die Young),he isn't getting that out-shined by Jadakiss, TI, or Jay-Z(who delivers one of his best verses in the last ten years on Free Mason). He sounds more comfortable than ever on this release. Which sounds more epic than ever, and we even begin to see a bit of a reflective side of the self-glossed “Boss”.
Rick Ross ft T.I, Erykah Badu, & Jadakiss- Maybach Music III
Reflection Eternal(Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek)- Revolutions Per Minute
This is the best record Talib has put out since, well since the last Reflection album. Usually where he falters is with the amount of concepts and sounds he tries to fit into one album. I always like him best when he is more grounded and going one direction sonically. Where as Hi-Teks problem is that he probably spends too much time with Dr Dre and gets grounded in a certain style of production style. So the two join forces once again, and this time it's as good of results as last. Sonically its very cohesive, even though there are a few stale moments like Get Loose where once again Talib and Tek reach for the clubs, even though neither have seem to have much success in this arena(though last years Idle Worship single Bedroom Lites, goes hard). None the less there are really very few missteps, the sound isn't some recycled 2001 Lyricist Lounge, or Rawkus nostalgia you would expect. The beats all sound either right for this time, or a few years ahead of time. While on the other side Kweli sounds more focused than he has in years.
Reflection Eternal ft Jay Electronica, Mos Def, & J.Cole-Just Begun
Kid Cudi- Man on the Moon 2: The Legend of Mr Rager
I wasn't the hugest fan of Day n Night to begin with, actually Dat New New was the first song I had heard from him that I thought would blow up. I loved his first A Kid Named Cudi Mixtape, and his first album has grows on me more every time I listen to it(Soundtrack 2 My Life Goes). This album though I took a liking to immediately much like his first mixtape. I thought it was better put together and wasn't trying to appease the fans of Kanye(who I feel has been influenced greatly by Cudi in his sound) or the Day N Night radio fans. So many good songs on here and though some might grow tired of this lonely stoners sound, I think his sound grows stronger every release. On this there is no exception to the what the man can do. He can do pop-rock numbers such as Mr Rager, or Erase Me, more Hip-Hop leaning like Mojo So Dope, or Wild'n Cuz I'm Young, duet with the Queen of Soul Mary J Blige or just blow our minds with a intergalactic hip-hop/electro jam featuring Cee-Lo right off the back. Whatever he does though, he continues to keep it fresh and ahead of the curve.
Kid Cudi ft Cee-Lo Gree- Scott Mescudi vs The World
Donwill & Von Pea-The Sandwich Shop EP
Now days its hard to garner any attention outside of the genre blogs because of the over-saturation of “mixtapes”, and freestyles being put out daily. 2/3 of Tanya Morgan somehow managed to think of a fresh way to stand out from the rest of the rappers who might of thought that it would be a good idea to rap over a track on The RootsSandwiches free download of instrumental outtakes from the Jimmy Fallon Show. These guys decided to choose nine of those they favored, and drop some the most impressive 35 minutes of rapping this year I’ve heard. This is a definite treat for those who are fans of The Roots and welcome great rap. Plus it's free as well? Definitely should get on this one.
Don Will & Von Pea ft Che Grand-Headphone Rock
H.I.S.D(Hueston Independent Spit District)-The Weakend
If I wouldn't have purchased this album last week online it might have cracked that list above. I really am digging what I heard so far just haven't been able to listen to it more than twice, and really break it down. These dudes definitely are on the next level. Some of the best conceptually thought out records I have heard in a while, wish I could say a lot more just don't have the time now to do it justice.
After leaving his label and starting from scratch, Rhymefest finally delivers on what has been in the making for 3 years now. He follows-up on his debut with a much more well-rounded effort overall. This album tends to show us who Che truly(Rhymefest real name) is as a man. My friend and I have given the name grow-folk rap to this album, cause it really isn't for the radio nor the “hip-hop heads” per say. It's for the everyday person who enjoys music. Not to say that he isn't still one of the best rappers in the game anymore, this album just shows how much more than that he just is.
Rhymefest- City is Fallen
Raheem DeVaugn-Love & War
When listening to Raheem is almost like a throwback. The spirit of classic soul just embodies this mans material. Not to say that it sounds dated, just that there is a conviction and integrity to his vision.
Upon my first listen a few months back something immediately connected with me. Whether it was the brilliant Cornell West spoken word interludes, or the way he is able to communicate love in a way that isn't corny or redundant sounding, It all just works. While the production isn't breakthrough, it is quality. Building pleasant sonic backgrounds to accompany a wonderful voice and great lyrics.
In today’s R&B(as well a good majority of music in general) I feel like a lot of the material and acts are cardboard and interchange-able. I thought after Usher put out Confessions it would get back to more honest material and grown up material across the board. Which it didn't for the most part. Good thing we have artist like him turning in quality projects staying true to what good music should be about.
Raheem DeVaugn-Nobody Wins A War
And Now without further ado...
The Top Ten
10)David Banner & 9th Wonder-Death of A Popstar
Have to admit that I was never on the 9th wonder bandwagon, his stuff with Little Brother was cool, his collaborations with Murs were pretty dope, just didn't understand all the hype. David Banner on the other hand, I've always liked. My friend let me peep Crooked Lettez-Grey Skys back in high school and when I found out the dude who made Like A Pimp, and T.I.'s Rubber Bandman was the guy from that group my interest was sparked even more. Well as time passed Banner continued making ok albums, but I wondered when he would show his social commentary side a bit more and move away from his more radio ready stuff. Well that question is finally answered as Banner decides focuses solely on his lyrics and lets 9th handle behind the boards work. Resulting in one of the best albums released in hip-hop this year. Those who might have doubted that MC skills of David, should be silenced after this album as the Mississippi college educated(who is working on his masters as we speak) shows not only his social awareness, but his great skill set as well. 9Th's production takes a leap ahead as well as he shows off some of his best use of soul loops with songs like Be With You, Stuttering, Silly(which he also shows a bit of his mic skills as well),and on others shows off his a more southern influenced style(which sounds like he's been listening to a lot of Goodie Mob).
This is the work of two men who have a new understanding of self, and the confidence shines through in this project. Where the mission isn't just to make the best music they can, but to leave something that others can look to and do just the same.
9)Ghostface Killah-Apollo Kids
Me: Damn...This last track
Just sitting here making that mug face right now
me: Man that might be the hardest consecutive 12 tracks I ever heard in my life.
This was part of the chat I had with Bobojojo while listing to this album for the first time. Think it almost sums up why I put it on this list. Ghostface just comes with what the fans have wanted all this year after a so-so Wu Massacre album, and last years Ghostdini: The Wizard Of Poetry album(which I liked but can see why hardcore fans didn't). This basically takes off where Only Built For Cuban Linx II left off. That gritty New York sound that only the members of Shailon can bring. The spirit of The Wu spreads over this album as guest artist turn in some of their best verses in years. Check out the The Game,Drama, Trife the God on Black Tequila, Busta Rhymes in rare pre-millennium form again on Superstar, and Black Thought....well... just mercenaries In The Park(would have been in my top 20 songs if I would have heard this earlier)which I couldn't put any nicer. This is a classic hip-hop album, meaning dope beats, dope rhymes and that's all it really is about when all is said in done.
Ghostface Killah ft Black Thought- In The Park
8)Foreign Exchange- Authenticity
What I like most about this group is how every album their sound evolves a bit. From Hip-hop, to R&B, to 80's new wave, Foreign Exchange never stops adding on to their sonic plateau. The growth of Phonte the singer really shows off this album, and the as far as songs go, there anything but what you think would be considered standard R&B now-a-days. From The Cure influences, country- western, and new-wave, the experimentation doesn't disappoint. Though a slightly darker tone than the other subject wise this time. The content deals with the end of the a relationship and a broken mans as he navigates all the thoughts that come with it. Well it starts off that way, then all of the sudden in the middle, we all of sudden have a little hope in new love. Songs like Don't Wait are like advice sung from the guy who just went through a long relationship, who are now giving hope to someone else. Then there is my personal favorite the Lionel Richie influenced The City Ain't the Same Without You. Which reduces Phonte to background vocals as YahZarah sings from the female point-of-view about why things might of not worked out.This is mature R&B music made well.
The Foreign Exchange-The City Aint The Same Without You
7)Von Pea-Peas Gotta Have It
Not just one of my favorite albums, but my also one of my favorite artist this year. Besides releasing The Sandwhich Shop EP with Downwill as well as So Motivational:Most Skullduggery of Mixtapes (which were both respectively great projects), he managed to make
a really good album as well. The album sonically just immediately transports you to NY the minute you press play. I haven't heard an album this New York probably since Ghostface Killahs Supreme Clientele.
The sound isn't the only thing which has this on my year-end list, conceptually and lyrically this album has it as well. From the first track to the end Von guest are able to create and sustain
one of the more creative rap releases this year.
Von Pea ft Don Will-We Should Be
6)Eryka Badu- New Ameryka Part Two:The Return of the Anka
The sequel to the 2008 gem takes a different route and returns Miss Badu to her Baduizum days.
What we get is a great collection of new soul jams that aren't a rehash of some played out neo- soul production. This all sounds very at home in the year 2010, as we check emails, text messages, and watch our favorite shows on DVR or via stream. You still need a soundtrack to groove to as you do housework on Saturday mornings, something you can listen to as you have your friends over for dinner and wine, or on a rainy day drive home from work. All the aforementioned situations are perfect for this album
Erykah Badu ft The Roots-Window Seat(Jimmy Fallon Live)
5)The Roots-How I Got Over
After two darker themed albums The Roots somewhere between being the dopest band in
late night talk show history, touring and recording a cover record with John Legend, turned in not only one of their strongest works to date, but strongest music releases overall this year as well. The darkness is gone as the band explores the everyday struggles of life, as well as the joys of adulthood as well. With help from an ecclectic guest list featuring female vocalist from The Dirty Projectors, Blu, Monsters of Folk, Joana Newsome, Phonte, and John Legend. All fit well, and join the band in what almost seems celebration of age.
4)Corrine Baily Rae-The Sea
Two years after the death of her husband, and three years removed from her first release Baily returns with a more mature and full set. Every time I listen to this album I find something new about it that I can enjoy. One think this album would fall into melancholy after the tragic loss, yet instead we find this artist singing songs about hope, fun nights, and continuing on and living life with no regrets.Though her self titled début had some strong songs, I must admit enjoy this album a lot more cause it actually sounds more like an album.
Corrine Baily Rae-I Would Like It Beauty
3)Big Boi-Sir Lucious Left Foot:The Son of Chico Dusty
I think the only thing that hurts Big Boi as an artist is being in a group with one of the most acclaimed artist of the last 20 years. Now I will say that Andre 3000 and him together...are untouchable, but as solo artist each have there strengths and weaknesses. Big Boi's would be his
lyrical content. Which sometimes comes across as simple at times. Which I don't know is the result of constant comparisons to Dre, or just his own limitations.
Well besides the pointless skits and at time weak content this album definitely deserves to be on more than a few year-end list. The production is next level. The way Big Boi uses his voice is everything that Niki Manaj(promise this will be her only mention on this list)unsuccessfully tries to pull off all the time. Not only that, but what truly stands apart are that these are truly Big Boi songs. I really can't see any rapper or artist in general performing or interpreting as well as he does. This album proves beyond a doubt that Big Boi is one of the best in the game for sure, as well as proving it is one of the great standout releases this year.
2)Kanye West-My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Kanye is another artist who seemingly always manages to amaze. I had doubts on how good this
would be. But those doubts were quickly silenced the first time I heard song Runaway. Though
many have their personal favorite tracks for this album, I really feel that this set the bar for the
rest of the album. Yes, All of The Lights, Gorgeous, and Dark Fantasy are impressive works as well I just feel like as a listener we wouldn't have been ready for what was to come without
this track. It was the gateway for what was to come.
I commend this album for taking risk it did though, and the only thing that keeps this from being my personal favorite of the year were the inclusion of three not so standout G.O.O.D Friday tracks. Not to say that So Appalled and Monster aren't good tracks. They are each interesting in their own right, just didn't fit well on the album. I honestly wanted to like Devil in New Dress as well. But over the last 3 months of Kanye track releases, this was the one I deleted originally. Other than that I had no complaints about this album and it will warrant more listens down the road for sure.
1)Janelle Monae-The Archandriod (Suite II & Suite III)
This is the album did more than simply met my expectations, it blew my mind away. There is not one person who I have shown this album to that has not been impressed as well. The Archandroid will be one of those albums that I can show the younger ones down the line and, most likely, will still blow their minds away. Much like when I had discovered Stevie Wonders Talking Book in high school.
I cannot not say enough about this album . This is this decades D'Angelo Voodo. What I mean by that is I feel it will lay a new standard for the genre for years to come. Pushing more artist to think outside their comfort zones. Only thing this lacked was the major push by radio to get it into the ears of tmore youth. Radio programmers probably couldn't find where it would fit most likely, and instead continued to force-feed Lady Gaga, and Kei$ha down listeners throats. Though at the end of the I highly doubt that Janelle aimed for mere chart numbers and album sales while creating process. The album artwork, liner notes, live performances, recording process, music videos, song order, and anything else that went with formation of this project shows that there was a greater vision than usual accolades and business obligations.
In the words of Jay-Z “What More Can I Say”
39)Corrine Baily Rae-I'd Do It All Again
I picked this one cause it was the first song I heard off her follow-up album. I listened to this song at least over 100 times easily that first week the video came out. I never do that anymore really, but sometimes a song is just that it deserves it.
38)The Roots ft Dice Raw- How I Got Over
After one of the worse years of my life last year, this song was the first musical glimpse that things would get better, if I would be able to change my perspective on things in my life. Very Sly & The Family Stone influenced, none the less though a great song to start the year off to.
37)Kid Cudi ft Cee-Lo-Scott Mescudi Vs The World
Kid Cudi sure knows to kick off an album. Last one was Soundtrack 2 My Life, and now this Cee-Lo aided opener. One word can describe this track:epic.
36)Rick Ross ft T.I., Jadakiss, & Erykah Badu-Maybach Music III
If Rick Ross decides to make another Maybach Music, it better be out of this world. Because part III in the song series, is on some big budget, major motion picture, type level. I feel like I am watching the opening of the most expensive movie ever made when it starts, but when it gets to when Ross verse and the beat flips...speechless. This is beautiful music on any level.
35)Corrine Baily Rae-Closer
More music for my bedroom play-list. This definitely for the kids right here. She sounds so good on this I would hate to ever hear a cover version. Corrine is a definite candidate for a wifey one day.
34)Cee-Lo- You Don't Shock Me Anymore
Fantastic song that I wouldn't ever imagine Cee-Lo singing. It almost sounds like it was from a 60's game show intermission. Nothing sounds like this track that I have heard this year. Definitely a standout.
33)The Foreign Exchange-The City Ain't the Same Without You
Haven't heard a country R&B song in a long while. Not since the days that Lionel was the go to songwriter of radio. If some coming-of-age, film were to pick this song up it would blow up in the indie scene for sure.
32)Drake ft T.I, Mary J Blige & Swizz Beats- Fancy
Go head, Go head, Knew from the moment I heard it that this was going to be a radio smash. Just don't know why they choose to release it so late. My favorite part is that breakdown at the end. I just can see the type of girls he is referring to in ATL, LA, and NY for sure. Love asking a woman nowadays “Oh you fancy huh?” great hook, pop-culture gold right there.
Like Fancy, I knew this was going to be a huge radio single as well. Glad they took the chance on it and put the money behind it to help it get there. Great song, right here from Bruno Mars and his production team.
30)Raheem Devaughn ft- Nobody Wins A War
So many features on this track I had low hopes that it would amount to anything that was remotely interesting. I was wrong, everyone? voice fits well on this protest track against war in the vain of Marvin Gaye.
29)B.o.B-Don't Let Me Fall
Great feel good song from Bobby Ray. This guy really needs to do more of his own production on his next album. Every track that he did, I thought were highlights on his debut. I could tell he made this song sometime around the time when Nothin On You,the first single took off. Because the song sounds like a giant sigh of relief, followed by self-thoughts of trying to stay focused on his goals. I don't think this song would even exist from him if not for that hit.
28)Pac-Div-Here We Go
On Church League Champs this was just an interlude at the end of a song before another one started. I wondered why they didn't use it. Well obviously they had something in store for it,just wasn't time yet. This song is powerful, and when the 2pac surprise verse at the end comes in at the end...it becomes classic.
27)Kanye West ft Jay-Z Charlie Wilson, Pete Rock-The Joy
Why didn't he put this on his album? This is boom-bap hip-hop at it's finest. Both MC's do their thing, especially HOV's. His guest verses for the most part this year, have been pure venom. Don't know what got into him, but I like it.
26) The Roots ft Blu & Phonte-The Day
My ringtone for the majority of the year was this song. But it wasn't because it was super catchy, it was because it was an anthem. Of what I wanted my mindset to be everyday. Blu's verse especially captures everything I want to be everyday.
25)Aloe Blacc-I Need Dolla
For a few consecutive weeks this summer, this was the theme song I heard on HBO's How to Make It In America, great theme for our recession mindset and what a lot of people are going through today.
24)Lupe Fiasco-The Show Goes On
K, when I put this on the first day it was made available, I almost cried(Shoot I am almost crying now listening to it). Yes, I loved I'm Beaming, but this was the song for a movement. A movement of people that are trying to get through this life everyday and make it more. I had this one on repeat all day, upon its release. Love that there is a voice of hope in the music today.
23)Big Boi ft Sleepy Brown & Joi-Turns Me On
If you slept on this album(I don't know why you would), make sure that you at least listen to this track. This is something that you can ride to with either sex. Big Boi is just too far ahead of the curve for most. This is at least 6-years away from being understood by the masses. Too much going on, for the average listener to wrap their head around. Guy is a legend in music, the way the vocals are mixed, space age sounds, jazzy keys...just listen to it sometime and I'll rest my case.
22) Tiron-For Your Smile
First song I heard off the MSTRD album, great summer time jam about growing up, and trying to impress girls. Tiron brought back the innocence that was missing from the music lately with this one.
First off I would like to send thank you to Prince for influencing so many great artist today. This song is from his school, right up his alley actually. N.E.R.D, have a gem with this one. I think this might be one of the best songs they have ever recorded since Run to the Sun. Could be club music, Bedroom, or chill, depends on the moment I guess. Awesome production though for sure.
19)The Roots-Doin it Again
Whats hard about a great album is that the majority of the songs on it are great as well. So when making a list like its hard to leave stuff out but you don't want to not bring attention to standouts. This was a later standout to me. Upon first listen just thought it was a John legend flip, but the feeling that it is able to bring is incredible. It builds on the original song for sure.
18)Kanye West ft Kid Cudi, & Raekwon-Gorgous
Kanye benefits from Cudi being around so much now days. Some his best hook ideas are coming from that man. Even some of his sound is influence by the Kid. This song though is not just about the hook, verses are next level as well. Kanye is spitting on this as we like to say in my inner circle. When Rae comes on its crazy as well. Second favorite song on this album for sure.
17)Rhymefest ft Phonte-Say Wassup
The other night I heard Positive K's I Gotta Man and I remembered how great that song was. This is in that vain to me. Just a more mature dude saying wassup, not on that holla, holla,holla or that typical rapper talk about getting some girl back to their place, and I'll buy this and that for you nonsense. Just real game, basically. Letting a woman know he is interested without being cliché, or disrespectful. Most young men and woman don't know whats up with this now days. More of that grown folks talk right here.
16)Big Sean-Almost Wrote You A Love Song
I think that Sean had to be watch 500 Days of Summer when he wrote this one. The feel of it kind of has that vibe to it. When you put it on your just basically listening to a song about the end of a dysfunctional relationship. Yet there are some funny lines in it that keep it kind of light, but well written for sure. There are not enough honest songs from the male perspective relationships. Definitely need more of this in today? music.
15)Murs & 9th Wonder- I Used to Love H.E.R Again
Do we need another song about hip-hop? Yeah we do, cause there aren't enough that sound that great. Every 5-10 years you get one that is decent or great. Well this leans on the later side. Murs is a great storyteller, and this is one of the better 9th productions in a long time. Beats and Rhymes, is what it comes town in the end, this song has both of those. Great tribute.
14)Cee Lo-No Ones Going To Love You(Paul Epworth Mix)
Why was this version not included on the album? A great cover of a Band Of Horses song that was polished up a little too much for my liking. The edge on and more Electronica sound on this one just makes it sound more raw. A stellar vocal performance though from Mr Green for sure, and I hope this version will stay around longer than that version on the album.
13)T.I. Ft Michelle'L & Scarface-How Life ChangedOnly thing keeping this out of the top ten is the lateness of its arrival. I been bumping this track ruthlessly over the last week or so. It's my anthem for 2011 for sure. Clifford Harris sounds so good on tracks like this. Deep southern funk, is usually where he can excel. Verbally he is able to bend his words around the music more showcases his uniqueness as an artist. Another reason they used to call him the Rubberband Man I guess. When you throw in Uncle Face as well, just becomes magic. Scarface is to music what Morgan Freeman or Robert Duvall are to film. Just a well-respected artist, who has put in his time in and draws respect and added interest to the song. I want to look back in 2012 at all of this and sing this song remembering how much life has changed.
TOMORROW THE FINAL 12
Couldn't help but post these videos today.