Which 5 albums did we enjoy the most this year?
1. Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid, M.A.A.D City
A great album from Kendrick Lamar, living up to its hype. The overall story of the album couldn’t have been formatted better. This is a complete album with hypnotic productions, conscious lyricism, and impressive flows, easily the album of the year.
2. Oddisee – People Hear What They See
A well-crafted album that is musical, conscious, and fun all at the same time. Oddisee stepped up his wordplay big time here and captured the ears of many with his fantastic sampled/live production that is sure to remain fresh for years to come.
3. Nas – Life Is Good
Nas gave all the fans what they wanted this time around. He shows he hasnt lost a step almost 20 years since his debut, amazing longetivy. This is a more personal album but also more vintage Nas.
4. Big KRIT – 4Eva N A Day
Almost sounds like a conituation of Return of 4eva, which is a good thing. I liked this tape better than his Live From The Underground album, mostly because of the beats. KRIT’s style of music seems to be just right for me.
5. Action Bronson – Blue Chips
I liked this one just a bit more than his tape with Alchemist, both are good but this one sounds a bit more complete. Action Bronson caps off another good year, this tape is just plain ol’ good raps, visual lyrics and clever wordplay.
1. Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid M.a.a.d. City
An excellent short film that just so happened to be darkly poetic. It was the introduction of Kendrick Lamar to the masses. You were able to understand him and why he does some of things that he does. The productions matched his voice, which was enough to help him get his message out. This album activated a tremendous amount of senses and that’s what separates great from ordinary.
2. Hot Chip – In Our Heads
If you ever had the experience of going to a party where the DJ boosted the energy level from the intro of his set to the very last record then this album would represent that energy throughout the duration of the party. Consistency was key in this album, there was not a moment where they decided to go pretend to be folk artists or sing about dandelions. The songs were creative and nothing was overly done. I couldn’t push my finger to press the skip track button on my pod let me put it that way.
3. Schoolboy Q – Habits & Contradictions
This is absolutely the other side of banging that hasn’t be shown before. That letting go feeling and allowing your mind to be caressed by the third world. Schoolboy Q was successful at converting the physical experience of doing drugs, drinking, hitting licks, and banging to an audio experience. It wasn’t as conceptual as it was experimental. It was the first needle in the forearm, the initial slimy feeling of the oxy rolling down your throat, the sizzle of the gas as it expands from the top of that first beer can that you open, all rolled in one. A truly remarkable experience.
4. Nas – Life is Good
This album is what you get when something life changing happens to the artist. Partly a resurgence into the mind of a younger Nasir Jones, then called Nasty Nas, combined with a fatigued heartbroken mature man, Nas. You will hear stories of disappointment, success, and love spoken in such a way that you feel like the song has a heart which beats at the same pace as yours. The album is a hot mess if I were to simplify it. One moment you feel the sun beating on your chest on that “yacht out in Cannes” then your soul drowns in the realization that you loss your “Janis Joplin”.
5. Beach House – Bloom
Maybe this album meant more to me than other people, but I still feel that it is worthy of that top notch ranking for 2012. I used to ride my motorcycle every weekend during the summer and whether it was along the mountain routes or along the shore this album seemed to take the sensation of riding to another level. Nothing was truly confrontation about the sounds. As the wind blew over my lenses it felt like the sound produced by the strung of the guitar from “The Hours” were orchestrated specifically for those moments. The thing about this album that I noticed is that when you listen to it all you could visualize was colors, normally when you listen to something you can, at some point, make out some sort of human feature but this wasn’t the case with this album. Natural inspiration is how I would describe this album.