We’re already six years into the 2010s, so I thought it would be a good time to list my favorite albums of the decade, so far anyway. This is a tentative list, so as I hear new things and change my mind on other albums the list list will be update. I’ll try to do it regularly, but at the very least I’ll add new albums to it at the end of each year. (more…)
Flying Lotus’ electronic-jazz-rap fusion album You’re Dead! is not your typical top album. It doesn’t have singles, catchy hooks, or even discernible lyrics. Instead, You’re Dead! creates an atmosphere. Most of the nineteen tracks are well under three minutes in length and run together, making the album more like one, long jazz odyssey instead of a bunch of different tunes. There are some trippy moments here and there, a lot of funky sound effects and flashes of absolute beauty, like the best track “Never Catch Me.” Flying Lotus’ production matches up with Kendrick Lamar’s style and lyrics flawlessly and Lamar’s smooth, yet decisive flow alone is as captivating as the intricate drumming behind him. You normally don’t get a build from start to finish that’s as dramatic and ever changing on a hip-hop record.
The second installment from the duo of Killer Mike and El-P was the best hip-hop album of 2014, and it really wasn’t even close. Both guys have great chemistry. Listening to them play off each-other rhymes is like watching a chess match between two good friend that know the other’s next move. The verses constantly get more creative, the references more obscure and the content more vulgar. Run The Jewels 2 is more brash and relentless than their first album, and although it does lack some diversity, it’s fun, concise and loud enough to keep your attention with ease. (more…)