Top 5 Albums
- The Black Keys' Brothers
This is the perfect melding of their earlier albums and the previous one they did with Danger Mouse. Polished, yet raw. And Michael Carney's packaging is dope. I'm hoping he gets a Grammy for this!
- The Roots' How I Got Over
This is The Roots' most uplifting album and the first in a while I didn't feel obligated to like, just because they're The Roots. It's just GOOD. Secret weapon: Dice Raw. His sung vocals on the title track and "Now or Never" were surprisingly quite good and one of the many highlights for me.
- The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion's Controversial Negro
Look, I know this is a reissue. This is my list, hombre, and I'll put what I want on it! Anyway...I've been wanting to listen to this for more than a decade, so I was overjoyed when I found out that Shout Factory was releasing it. This live album (with killer bonus tracks) encompasses everything I love about the Blues Explosion. It's sexy, sweaty, and more rock n' roll than you can handle.
- Shad's TSOL
Folks who don't even like rap, like Shad. That's pretty fucking cool. He's a clean cut, God-fearing emcee that can still slap the taste out of a wack rapper's mouth. I'm kinda bummed that he didn't win the Polaris Prize, but the fact remains that he's put out one of the best Canadian rap recordings ever.
- Pip Skid's Skid Row
Full disclosure: Pip is a homie, and I handled the design for this album. With that said, I'm also a fan, and I think this album is brilliant. Kutdown laced this with bangin' beats, and Pip brought his trademark vitriol to the table. Nothing else really needs to be said, man. It's outstanding.
- Guilty Simpson's Ghettodes
This was a free download of Oh No-remixed Ode To The Ghetto tracks from Stones Throw, and I would've gladly paid for it. Sadly, I liked this more than his OJ Simpson album with Madlib (too many interludes, Mr. Jackson!).
- Nestor Wynrush Ensemble's So High From The Lo
I was there the night this was recorded, and it was a lot of fun. Glad to have a document of it!
- The Sadies' Darker Circles
- Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings' I Learned The Hard Way
- Greg MacPherson's Mr. Invitation
- Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
- LCD Soundsystem's This Is Happening
- Janelle Monáe's The ArchAndroid (Suites II and III)
- Big Boi's Sir Lucious Left Foot
It ain't gonna get any easier next year.