I Am Not The Radio, I Am Good Music, Vol. 1
Hey you guys, this week’s blog is about good music from the first half of 2011. I love all types of music, from Hip-Hop to oldies. I want to share with you all my love for music from this year alone. I’ve listened to a few good albums, between R&B, Hip-Hop, and Indie Rock. I will be sharing with you guys some of my favorite albums from this year. The following albums are my favorite picks so far of this year and I am going to tell you why. First up…
Bon Iver – Bon Iver
Why – The album is very mellow and relaxing; the heavy usage of auto-tune making Bon Iver a very interesting album to listen to. I enjoy the way Justin Vernon harmonizes with the folklore sound of the band along with the vocal usage of auto-tune which makes this album very unique from others this year.
Favorite tracks – Perth, Minnesota, WI, Michicant, Hinnom, TX, Calgary, and Beth/Rest
Chiddy Bang – Peanut Butter & Swelly
Why – This album is so hip-hip, like this is what the industry needs. The Philadelphian duo (Chiddy and Xaphoon Jones) are an excellent combination of Indie Rock samples blended in with fiery lyricism making this album a true Hip-Hop gem. Chiddy Bang reminds me of Run DMC by complimenting one another with Xaphoon’s funky instrumentals and Chiddy’s amazing lyrics. They’re the best that the industry has to offer, yes the best!
Favorite Tracks – Cameras, Heatwave, Too Much Soul, Baby Roulette, I Can’t Stop, Always, and When You’ve Got Music
Childish Gambino – EP
Why – This kid is talented! He’s a comedian, actor, writer, producer, and rapper. Really, this guy knows how to rap very well. The EP is very intimate, shows his heartbreaks, love for the game and women, and his witty, demanding, lyrical spitting. This EP is one of my favorites from this year.
Favorite Tracks – Be Alone, Freaks And Geeks, Lights Turned On, and extra track: Break (All Of The Lights)
Chill Moody – And They Still Love Us Back
Why – He’s from West Philadelphia; this artist is up and coming in Philly. He’s a laid back lyricist; perfect name for the way he raps, Chill Moody. The instrumentals are very smooth just like Chill, and the concept of the album as a cool love album from the eyes of Chill is a great idea; came out on Valentine’s Day. His style is very cool, fun, and smart; watch out for this kid.
Favorite Tracks – YO Chill! She Ain’t Shit, Hitch Part 1 and 2, The Blacker The Berry, Her Empty Heart, and Hope Your Happy, Bitch
Cults – Cults
Why – This album is next to perfect for an Indie Rock album. The sound of this album is very joyful with beautiful vocals. I’ve listened to this album several times back to back. It’s a dope album; the lead singer’s voice is enchanting. This band gives me that classic 60’s feel with their loud, youthful sound. This is truly one of the best albums of 2011.
Favorite Tracks – Adducted, Go Outside, You Know What I Mean, Most Wanted, Walk At Night, Oh My God, Bad Things, and Rave On
Frank Ocean – Ultra, Nostalgic
Why – This album was such a surprise and one of the breakouts of 2011 to me. Ultra, Nostalgic gives that 808’s and Heartbreak feel, the feel of loneliness, depression dealing with women, and some of his favorite things from his childhood. I respect the fact he’s a new artist and he’s standing on his own two feet. The sound of this album feels so classic with the samples from some of my favorite Indie Rock songs. When I listen to this album I can relate to the trails and tribulations he speaks of.
Favorite Tracks – Strawberry Swing, Novacane, Lovecrimes, There Will Be Tears, and Swim Good
The Generationals – Actor-Castor
Why – I listens to this album daily, this is another album I can relate to with the song writer’s trails and tribulations. Similar to Ultra, Nostalgic, Actor-Castor is a heart felt Indie Rock album. Very unique sound from other Indie bands; although the topics on this album are very serious but the sound is very upbeat for a cynical album.
Favorite Tracks – Ten-Twenty-Ten, I Promise, Your Forever, You Say It Too, Dirty Mister Dirty, Black and White, and Greenleaf
Jill Scott – Light Of The Sun
Why – What can I say about this album that hasn’t been said? This is one of the best albums of 2011, hands down. This is Jill at her best, not taking away from her other albums but this one is sublime. The sound of this album is the perfect name for it. Listening to Jill revealing her soul and true self in this album is like a ray of sunshine to my ears. This is a dope album!
Favorite Tracks – Blessed, So In Love, Shame, All Cried Out Redux, Le Boom Vent Suit, So Gone, Some Other Time, Quick, Making You Wait, and Womanifesto
Kenna – Land 2 Air Chronicles I: Chaos and Darkness
Why – This is only an EP, so there are only three tracks but all of them are great. I am a big fan of Kenna, he has a beautiful voice laced with Chad Hugo’s (of the Neptune) instrumentals. Kenna also covered an unreleased Lupe Fiasco song called “What U Want.” His version was a good twist to the original song.
Favorite Tracks – Chains, Kharma Is Coming, and What U Want
Raphael Saadiq – Stone Rollin’
Why – I have always have been a fan of Raphael Saadiq since “Tony! Toni! Tone!” Honestly, I never really got into a full album of his until now. Stone Rollin’ is amazingly soulful. You can’t get anymore soulful than this album so far this year. He has a very beautiful voice backed by finger snapping, soulful beats. He’s a soulful gentleman, the type of gentleman that is needed in the R&B industry.
Favorite Tracks – Good Man, Just Don’t, Day Dreams, Over You, The Answer, and hidden track: The Perfect Storm
Tabi Bonney – Postcard From Aboard
Why – I wasn’t a big fan of Tabi Bonney but this mixtape made me a newfound fan of his. Postcard from aboard really displayed his talent as a lyricist. His lyricism is very classic and old school on this album. He’s just a rapper, nothing glamorous, fake, or glorified; just spitting from his heart. We need more rappers that just enjoy rapping and leave the fake thug image and degrading women at the door. This kid is dope!
Favorite Tracks – Welcome Everybody, We Can’t Fly, Spooning With Success, Freaky Cupcake, Sunset Blvd, Sudan Groove, Love Leaves, and Go Outside
The Weeknd – House of Balloons
Why – Whenever I listen to this EP/mixtape all I can think about is grabbing a sexy lady and f**king her brains out. The sound is very confident, sexy, smooth, and straight to the point. This mixtape reminds me of classic Jodeci; back to telling women what they want and singing sweet nothing in ears. The instrumentals are very sexy and laid back for a mixtape, the samples are clear and blends in with the sound that The Weeknd is trying to set up for his self. The Weeknd is one my favorite new artists of 2011.
Favorite Tracks – High for This, What You Need, House of Balloons – Glass Table, The Morning, The Party & After Party, & Loft Music