Top Ranking Albums of May 2014

RebelutionCount Me In [Easy Star 2014]

Sturgill SimpsonMetamodern Sounds in Country Music [High Top Mountain Records 2014]

JoMersa – Comfortable [Ghetto Youths International 2014]

Conor Oberst Upside Down Mountain [Nonesuch Records 2014]

SeeedSeeed [Seeed Records 2014]

SOJAI Believe [ATO Records 2014]

Dub Thompson9 Songs [Dead Oceans 2014]

Tune-Yards Nikki Nack [4AD 2014]

Kelly Willis and Bruce Willis Our Year [Premium Records 2014]

EelsThe Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett [PIAS America 2014]

Thievery CorporationSaudade [ESL Music 2014]

BugleAnointed [Zojack World Wide 2014]

Various ArtistsPeace and Love Riddim [TJ Records 2014]

DubmatixIn Dub [Echo Beach 2014]

Various ArtistsKing Size Dub Dub Visionist Special [Echo Beach 2014]

Ziggi Recado Therapeutic [Zion High 2014]

Anthony Cruz Inna Di Dance [Shan Shan Music 2014]

Ivan and the ParazolMode Bizarre [Gold Record Music 2014]

Ana TijouxVengo [Nacional Records 2014]

Rodney CrowellTarpaper Sky [New West 2014]

PressureThe Sound [I Grade Records 2014]

SizzlaRadical [VP Records 2014]

SizzlaNuh Worry Unu Self [John John Records 2014]

SizzlaBorn A King [Muti Music 2014]

FutureHonest [Epic 2014]

The Secret SistersPut Your Needle Down [Universal Records 2014]

G. Love and Special SauceSugar [Brushfire Records 2014]

Johnny CashOut Among the Stars [Columbia 2014]

KelisFood [Ninja Tune 2014]

The Roots…and then you shoot your cousin [Def Jam 2014]

CunninlynguistsStrange Journey Volume Three [Bad Taste Records 2014]

Various ArtistsA Tribute to Bob Dylan in the 80s: Volume 1 [ATO Records 2014]

Ernest RanglinBless up [Avilla Street Records 2014]

Danilo PerezPanama 500 [Mack Avenue Records 2014]

Duck SauceQuack [Fool’s Gold 2014]

Chris Robinson BrotherhoodPhosphorescent Harvest [Silver Arrow Records 2014]

Young MoneyRise of an Empire [Cash Money Records 2014]

Mikey SpiceI Am I Said [Joe Fraser Records 2014]

Joan OsborneLove and Hate [eOne Music 2014]

Various ArtistsRagga Ragga Ragga 2014 [VP Records 2014]

Eliza GilkinsonNocturne Diaries [Red House Records 2014]

Mykal RoseCrucial World [John John Records 2014]

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Top Ranking Albums of May 2014

Top Albums of November 2009

This month’s music selection varies from twangy country to roots reggae to experimental jazz-hip-hop and dub. Robert Glasper‘s Double Booked is chalk-full of creativity and musicianship.  Glasper, a pianist originally from Houston, Texas has performed with Erykah BaduThe Roots, Maxwell, and Mos Def. On this new album Glasper mixes hip-hop, jazz, and experimental music into a beautiful soundscape.
Conrad Crystal and Suga Roy have put together a fine album with help from some of reggae’s icons. The legendary Toots & The Maytals joins the duo on “God Bless You.” The singjay Gyptian performs “Jah Jah See Dem”  in tribute to Joseph Hill and Culture. The dancehall jam “She Call Mi Phone” features “king of the dancehall” Beenie Man and the amazing vocalist Barrington Levy. Deejays U Roy, Dillinger, and Big Youth join the fray while Reggae superstars Lee “Scratch” Perry, Max Romeo, Eek-A-Mouse, Marcia Griffiths, Dennis Brown, The Congos, and Inner Circle all lend their vocals. Even the amazing danechall duo Chaka Demus & Pliers makes an appearance on “Girl You Rock My World.”
The Stephen Marleyalbum Mind Control originally dropped more than a year ago. Now a newer acoustic version of the disc has been released called Mind Control Acoustic. The smooth beautiful track “Chase Dem” features Capleton layering rhymes through the original tune. Brothers Damian Marley and Julian Marley appear on the record as does rude boy Spragga Benz.
  1. Robert GlasperDouble Booked [Blue Note 2009]
  2. Conrad Crystal & Suga RoySuga Roy, Conrad Crystal and the Great Reggae Icons [Fire Ball 2009]
  3. Stephen MarleyMind Control Acoustic [Tuff Gong 2009]
  4. Danny BarnesPizza Box [ATO Records 2009]
  5. Corb LundLosin’ Lately Gambler [New West 2009]
  6. Beres HammondSomething Old, Something New [Penthouse Records 2009]
  7. Morgan HeritageThe Journey Thus Far [VP Records 2009]
  8. DrakeSo Far Gone [Young Money/Cash Money 2009]
  9. B.B. SeatonReady For The World [Soul Beat/Roots International 2009]
  10. Various Artist Joyful Noise [I Grade Records 2009]
  11. Geoff Maldaur & the Texas Shieks – Texas Sheiks [Tradition & Moderne 2009]
  12. James Hand – Shadow on the Ground [Rounder 2009]
  13. Jack Johnson En Concert [Brushfire Records 2009]
  14. SeraniNo Games [Phase One 2009]
  15. The Soothsayers Meet Red Earth Collective One More Reason [Red Earth Music 2009]
  16. Del Tha Funkyhomosapien & Tame OneParallel Uni-Verses [Gold Dust 2009]
  17. Mike Zito Pearl River [Eclecto Groove Records 2009]
  18. Nitty Gritty Dirt BandSpeed Of Life [Sugar Hill 2009]
  19. Various Artists Riddim Driven: Clearance [VP 2009]
  20. LorenzoMovin’ Ahead [Irie Ites 2009]
Top Albums of November 2009

Top 30 Albums of July 2009! – HOT SUMMER MUSIC for JULY 2009

July 2009

  1. Major Lazer Guns Don’t Kill People…Lazers Do [Explicit] [Downtown 2009]
  2. Chali 2na Fish Outta Water [Decon 2009]
  3. Slaid CleavesEverything You Love Will Be Taken Away [Music Road 2009]
  4. Zee AviZee Avi[Brushfire Records 2009]
  5. Lady Saw Extra Raw: The First Lady of Dancehall [VP Records 2009]
  6. AswadCity Lock [Rhythm Riders 2009]
  7. Rhett MillerRhett Miller [Shout! Factory 2009]
  8. Mishka Above The Bones [J.K. Livin Records 2009]
  9. Bob DylanTogether Through Life [Columbia 2009]
  10. MicachuJewellery [Rough Trade 2009]
  11. ScientistInternational Heroes Dub [Tameki Wambesi Dove 2009]
  12. Mojo Morgangot Mojo? [Gedion Soldiers 2009]
  13. The LemonheadsVarshons [The End Records 2009]
  14. The AggrolitesIV [Hellcat 2009]
  15. The Low Anthem Oh My God Charlie Darwin [Nonesuch 2009]
  16. Various Artists Riddim Driven: Sweet [VP Records 2009]
  17. Dinosaur Jr.Farm [Jagjaguwar 2009]
  18. Ryan Bingham & the Dead HorsesRoadhouse Sun (Amazon MP3 Exclusive Version) [Lost Highway Records 2009]
  19. EminemRelapse [Explicit] [Aftermath Records 2009]
  20. Jason LytleYours Truly, The Commuter [Anti/Epitaph 2009]
  21. Todd SniderThe Excitement Plan [Yep Roc Records 2009]
  22. Son VoltAmerican Central Dust [Rounder Records 2009]
  23. Mos DefThe Ecstatic [Downtown 2009]
  24. Levon HelmElectric Dirt [Amazon Exclusive] [Vanguard 2009]
  25. Tanya MorganBrooklynati [Explicit] [Independent Media/iM Culture 2009]
  26. DoomBorn Like This. [Explicit] [Lex Records 2009]
  27. Laura IzibiLet The Truth Be Told [Deluxe] [Atlantic 2009]
  28. J Dilla Jay Stay Paid [Explicit] [Nature Sounds 2009]
  29. St. Vincent Actor (Amazon Exclusive) [4AD 2009]
  30. Matthew Sweet & Susanna HoffsUnder The Covers: Vol. 2 [Shout! Factory 2009]
  31. WilcoWilco [The Album] [Nonesuch 2009]

Diplo and Switch present Major Lazer‘s Guns Don’t Kill People…Lazers Do with special guests Santogold, Mr. Lex, Vybz Kartel, T.O.K., Mr Vegas, and many more. The creative DJ/producer duo amalgamates and mashes up tunes sampling from soca, calypso, merengue, and reggae, dropping fat beats, gun blasts, reggae air horns, and choice samples. An example of one of the more interesting and creative cuts is “Baby,” which adds an auto-tune to a crying baby. The killer reggae track on this work is “Can’t Stop Now,” which features Mr. Vegas and Jovi Rockwell. The harmonic Rockwell and Mr. Vegas create an easy-sounding classic reggae track among the hard-pounding dance jams. The track “Hold The Line” samples surf guitars from Dick Dale And His Del-Tones classic “Misirlou,” adding heavy beats and the vocal duo of Mr. Lex and Santogold. Some of my personal favorites on this album include the rough shod “Bruk Out” featuring T.O.K and Ms. Thing; “Cash Flow” featuring the roots reggae flavor of Jah Dan; “Anything Goes” with chaotic verses from Turbulance; and the dancehall sensation Vybz Kartel working “Pon De Floor.”

Chali 2Na‘s Fish Outta Water snap, crackles, and pops. A guest appearances by the Marley Brothers, Damian Marley and Stephen Marley, on the cut “Guns Up” piles deep booming funky fresh rhymes over a sweet melodic reggae chorus peppered by a Jr. Gong flow. The King of the Dancehall Beenie Man joins Chali 2Na on the tune “International” for searing dancehall reggae/hip-hop fusion. I found the single “Lock Shit Down” with Talib Kweli appealing and the track “Comin’ Thru” to be a hip-hop jam.

Texas songwriters Slaid Cleaves, Rhett Miller, and Ryan Bingham made the list this month. The Austin-based musician Slaid Cleaves sings heart-wrenching ballads playing Texas country music like it should be played. The song “Cry” on the album Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away will rip out your heart and have you reaching for the bottle of whiskey. American folk legend Bob Dylan dropped the new album Together Through Life featuring the ominous dark-sounding hit single “Beyond Here Lies Nothin’.

Zee Avi and Mishka add international flavors to the best albums of July, providing fun flip-flop rock and reggae sounds for the summertime. Jack Johnson‘s Brushfire Records handpicked Zee Avi for the label where she fits well with the laid back surfer motive. The Malaysian-born ukulele player’s new album is self titled Zee Avi. Reggae-drenched Canadian/Bermudian seafarer Mishka is the new artist appearing on Matthew McConaughey’s record label JK Livin Records. Mishka’s new album Above The Bones provides good summer tunes and positive vibes.

Top 30 Albums of July 2009! – HOT SUMMER MUSIC for JULY 2009