Coming in at number 10 is Man on the Moon 2: Mr. Rager
Kid Cudi has proved on this record that he isn’t any old Hip Hop Artist. I must admit when he first came out, I wasn’t really feeling the whole poker face cover. Ew. But on this Album he’s really come into his own. The lead track “ Erase Me” is a fun loving drunk party record about Cudi being a rejected lover. I have no clue what Kanye is talking about on the record but I like it. The song actually reminds me of something Weezer would do but Cudi style. However, the rest of the album doesn’t follow “Erase Me” listeners will experience heavy Hiphop Cudi, Science fiction Cudi, and Drunk, high,whatever Cudi. All these Cudis cohere into one distinct album Mr.Rager.
9. Christina’s BIONIC
Ok so I know this album has got a lot of smack especially from sales, but Bionic is primarily a good album. “Not Myself Tonight” may not have been a strong first single and the Gaga act may not have worked. But songs like “Elastic Love”, “Glam”, and “Vanity” prove to be definite Xtina hits. Only if she backed this album and created her own futuristic style, this era may have worked for her. The title track Bionic produced by switch was like the top song on my itunes. Xtina could have done some damage. But all well that ends bad. Bionic is not a flawless album it has some duds like “Woohoo” and “Desnudate” but the good ones definitely outshine the rest. I wish she kept pushing.
8. Kelis Flesh Tone
Kelis should have called this record Brave (one of the tracks of the record). Coming far from “I hate you so much right now” and her powers of persuasion on “milkshake”, Kelis has proven to be as bendable and eclectic as the best. Flesh Tone is like the gay club holy grail. Kelis fully embraces the dance culture on this album, even featuring segues that blissfully transition over to the next songs. Who does that these days???? Aside from her boring videos and low sales, the music speaks for itself. Flesh Tone is clearly this year’s best dance album with its only flaw being that it is too short.
7. Soldier Of Love
Every ten years we get one artist who can blend all sounds and make it sound good. Every ten years we get a new Sade album. Soldier of Love came real early this year and definitely kicked the year off right. Sade shows that they still know what it takes to sell a million and be relevant after ten years. Lead single “Soldier of Love” a fun soulful borderline dance track that was clearly bold and had immense crossover appeal. I was generally hoping the rest of the album would sound the same, but I was fortunately mislead. Sade delivers an album that is particularly stronger than its first single. The tracks on the album clashed many genres and they flowed together flawlessly through the end of the CD. Now, the only problem is that we have to wait another ten years of a new record
6. Return of The Ankh
Ms. Badu didn’t have to strip off her clothes to sell a record because the music bares all itself. Return of The Anhk is a strong effort from Badu as it taps back into those “On and On” days and carelessly boasts in new tunes like “ You loving me” The thing I strongly love about this album is the flow. Anhk does not sound like a collection of wannabe radio hits. It mostly sound like a progressive soul session that get better as you listen. It is seriously what R&B and Soul have been missing. This is not an album to be picked and pulled. All of the songs work together and sing together. One can’t help but listen from beginning to end every single time.
5. Teen Dream
Since discovering this band on a college rock station, I have been hopelessly obsessed. Beach House’s latest album Teen dream is pleasurable surf board music. At first the sound seems to be something of the beach boys but it is definitely deeply emotional and heavier than those records. Songs such as “Norway” and “Real love” carry that addicting relaxed emotion throughout the album. I recently heard an acoustic rendition of the song “used to be” and was immediately floored. Teen Dream is the soundtrack to my life.
4. Kanye’s Beautiful Twisted Dark Fantasy
Kanye is back with a new album. At first I could care less, but then when I saw that Amazon was selling the record for 3.99, I jumped on that faster the a bowl of roasted chicken flavored ramen. Downloading the album was probably one of the worst things I’ve could’ve done. I should have went out and bought the physical copy. Dark Fantasy is a surprisingly great album. It’s far from 808 and definitely darker, but the construction on the record is flawless. The album seems like an apocalyptic event that marks the end or a new beginning for the controversial rapper. Kanye features everyone and every instrument on the record; he even features Elton John. Dark fantasy digs deep in the soul and pulls out a liking for Hip Hop again. This is clearly Kanye’s best work as well as the best hip hop record of the year.
3. Odd Blood
I have an undeniable weakness for music that clashes every genre together and pulls something out extraordinary of it. Yeasayer’s Odd Blood proves that music is more than just lyrics and a beat. It is a creative art form. When I discovered this band earlier this year, I was amazed and thrilled by the multicultural sound. The imagination of Odd blood is powerful, experimental, and electrifying. Tracks like “Love Me Girl” starts off as a dungeon- like dance instrumental then transforms into a 80’s/90’s-esqe edgy club pop song; vocals and all. I was mainly impressed the cultural elements of lead singles “Ambling Alp” and “O.N.E.” Those songs as well as the rest of the record balance sounds of bubbly pop, tribal percussions, big band composition, and hell of a lot more. These songs play as anthemic, colorful, imaginary, and tasteful. It’s good to know that there is still music with a bundle of substance.
2. Body Talk
For six whole months I have been praising the work of the Body Talk collection. So it is only natural for this collection to be on the latter part of this list. Body Talk is Robyn’s first “Albums” in five years; featuring Body Talk Pt.1, Pt.2, and the downloadable Pt.3. I’ve have become very upset with the dancehall queen singer, when she announced that Body Talk Pt. 3 was to feature previous songs of the collection and five new ones. There was much anticipation for part three however, the compilation disc does make it easier to place on Album of the year charts. Featuring “the best of” and “the newbies”, body talk seems to be overwhelming and not cohesive. But for new listeners, this record may sound like smash after smash after smash. I had to put myself back when I first heard these records and think of how amazed I was. Body Talk Pt.1 & 2 surely delivered making Pt. 3 sound like the greatest of the greatest. I only wish I haven’t experienced these songs back in June and September; because I love to be a new listener taking it in all at once.
1. Janelle Monae’s The Archandroid
Have you ever listened to an album that was so good; it makes you think it should’ve been turned into a movie? Well I’ve only experienced that five times and four of those times come from the 80’s. The fifth however, comes from a little known artist that goes by the name of Janelle Monae. The Archandroid: suites II and III is the psychological journey of an Android named Cyndi Mayweather, who was sent back in time to free citizens of Metropolis from the Great Divide. The Great Divide is a secret society that uses time travel to suppress freedom and love. And is up to Cyndi Mayweather , as the Archandroid, to free these people from this miserable time. A very interesting story huh? The music of Archandroid speaks for itself. Monae’s voice is very captivating on the record as she expresses her different vocal ranges on songs like “57821” & “Come Alive.” The lead single “Tight Rope” is a funky dance record about doing that tight rope through all of the highs and lows of life. The music composition on the song is so amazing that it overshadows the actual “tight rope dance” :; unless Monae does it. Archandroid’s sound takes from many different eras in music. “Babopbye Ya”( 8 minutes of greatness!! She even raps in it too) sounds of a 60’s jazz era while “Sir Greendown” resembles a 70’s smooth ballad. The power of the smooth bionic70’s fantasy “Say You’ll Go” sends chills down my spine every listen; especially during the magical closing of the song (It’s great). It is clear that Monae took the best from those time periods and amplified them as part of her own unique style. The Album also flows together. I love how “Dance or Die”, “Faster”, and “Locked Inside” fall into one another. It’s like a nonstop dance session. The Archandroid delivers a fantastically theatrical collection of music. Probably the most theatrical since Micheal Jackson’s Bad ( One of the five).This is only Monae debut full length album; so there’s definitely way more to come. And when that brilliant director decides to turn this brilliant work into a film, I will be first in line.
Do you like my list? Tell me what you think and also share what you think is the Best of the Beat in 2010.