Top Ranking Albums of January 2014

Top Ranking Albums of January 2014

Kabaka PyramidLead the Way [Bebble Rock Music 2013]

Wayne Marhsall Tru Colors [Ghetto Youths International 2014]

Broken Bells After the Disco [Columbia 2014]

Roseanne CashThe River & The Thread [Blue Note 2014]

Damien Jurado Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Sun [Sectretly Canadian 2014]

Lee Perry & The UpsettersRoaring Lion [Pressure Sounds 2013]

Tanya StephensGuilty [Sanctum Entertainment 2013]

MoodymannMoodyman [KDJ Records 2014]

Bruce SpringsteenHigh Hopes [Columbia 2014]

Various Artists Penthouse 25 The Journey Continues [VP Records 2014]

David Crosby Croz [Blue Castle Records 2014]

Various ArtistsLove and Dancehall Riddim [Razz N Biggy Music 2014]

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Top Ranking Albums of January 2014

Top Ranking Albums of September 2011

The Spiritual Accessories EP
  1. Graham Wilkinson The Spiritual Accessories EP [Little Windmill Records 2011]
  2. Trombone ShortyFor True [Verve Forecast 2011]
  3. Various ArtistsO Brother, Where Art Thou? [Lost Highway 2011]
  4. SuperHeavySuper Heavy [Universal 2011]
  5. Preservation Jazz Hall Band and the Del McCoury Band –  American Legacies [McCoury Music 2011]
  6. Various Artists – Our Favorite Beres Hammond Songs [VP Records 2011]
  7. The Secret Sisters –  The Secret Sisters [Universal Records 2010]
  8. Bunny LeeDub Will Change Your Mind [King Spinna Records 2011]
  9. Aloe Blacc – Good Things [Stones Throw Records 2010]
  10. Various ArtistsListen To Me: Buddy Holly [Verve Forecast 2011]
  11. Augustus PabloThis Is Augustus Pablo [VP Records 2011]
  12. Various ArtistsThe Biggest Ragga Dancehall Anthems 2011 [VP Records 2011]
  13. WilcoThe Whole Love [dBPM Records 2011]
  14. James Blake and Bon IverFall Creek Boys Choir [Universal Records 2011]
  15. Tom WaitsBad As Me [Anti/Epitaph 2011]
  16. Olivia Tremor ControlThe Game You Play is in Your Head, Parts 1, 2, & 3 [Cloud Recordings 2011]
  17. Theophilus LondonTimez Are Weird These Days [Warner Brothers 2011]
  18. St. Vincent Strange Mercy [4AD 2011]
  19. George StraitHere For A Good Time [MCA Nashville 2011]
  20. Zee AviGhostbird [Brushfire Records 2011]
  21. Clap Your Hands and Say YeahHysterical [CYHSY 2011]
  22. Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter – Marble Son [Station Grey Records 2011]
  23. Pedro Soler & Gaspar Claus – Barlande [InFine 2011]
  24. Lisa Hannigan – Passenger [ATO Records 2011]
  25. Lenny KravitzBlack And White America [Atlantic Records 2011]
American Legacies
The Game You Play is in Your Head, Parts 1, 2, & 3
Top Ranking Albums of September 2011

The Best Albums of July 2010

Street Songs Of Love

July Music

  1. Alejandro EscovedoStreet Songs Of Love [Fantasy 2010]
  2. GyptianHold You [VP Records 2010]
  3. Various ArtistsReggae Gold 2010 [VP Records 2010]
  4. Ernie SmithThe Best of Ernie Smith – Original Masters [VP Records 2010]
  5. Mike StensonThe Jukebox In Your Heart [STAG 2010]
  6. M.I.A.Maya [N.E.E.T./Interscope 2010]
  7. Sleigh BellsTreats [Mom & Pop Music 2010]
  8. Gary P. NunnTaking Texas To The Country [Guacamole/Campfire Records 2010]
  9. Big Boi Sir Lucious Left Foot…The Son Of Chico Dusty [Def Jam 2010]
  10. Jah Mason Keep Ya Head Up [Rastar Records 2010]
  11. The RootsHow I Got Over [Explicit][Def Jam 2010]
  12. Clinton Fearon Mi Deh Yah [Makasound 2010]
  13. Scissor Sisters Night Work [Downton 2010]
  14. EminemRecovery [Aftermath 2010]
  15. Various ArtistsThe Definitive Collection of Federal Records, 1964-1982 [VP Records 2010]
  16. LucianoUnited States of Africa [VP Records 2010]
  17. Lincoln DurhamEP [Lincoln Durham 2010]
  18. Various Artists Bobo Revolution 2 [Greensleeves 2010]
  19. Jimmy Vaughan Plays Blues, Ballads & Favorites [Shout Factory 2010]
  20. Various ArtistsFoundation Dub [Trojan 2010]
  21. Walt Wilkins & the MystiquerosAgave [Blue Boot Records 2010]

The Best of Ernie Smith - Original Masters

Jimmie Vaughan-Plays Blues, Ballads & Favorites

Trojan Dub-Foundation Dub

The Best Albums of July 2010

The Best Albums of March 2010

The Best Albums of March 2010

I listened to a lot of music this month. I caught some of the South By Southwest festivities this month increasing my music intake. I have starred the albums directly related to my SXSW experience.

  1. She & HimVolume Two [Merge Records 2010]*
  2. Romain Virgo Introducing? Romain Virgo [VP Records 2010]
  3. Brooklyn Rider Dominant Curve [In A Circle 2010]*
  4. Solo Banton Walk Like Rasta [Reality Shock 2009]
  5. GyptianRevelations [VP Records 2010]
  6. Various ArtistsRagga Ragga Ragga 2010[VP Records 2010]
  7. Various Artists Police In Helicopter Riddim [Necessary Mayhem 2009 and 2010]
  8. Erykah Badu New Amerykah Part Two: Return Of The Ankh [Universal Motown 2010]
  9. JonsiGo [XL 2010]
  10. Various Artists Best of Bangers R Mashed: Volume Two [Bangers 2010]
  11. Wedding Dub Steppactivism [Sounds Around France 2010]
  12. Surfer Blood Astro Coast [Kanine Records 2010]*
  13. Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears Tell ‘Em What Your Name Is! [Lost Highway 2009]*
  14. Black Joe Lewis & the HoneybearsBlack Joe Lewis & The Honeybears [Lost Highway 2009]*
  15. CALLmeKAT – I’m In A Polaroid, Where Are You? [Playground Music 2008]*
  16. Visqueen Message To Garcia [Local 638 Records 2009]*
  17. Adam Carroll & Michael O’ConnerHard Times [Self 2010]
  18. Method Man, Ghostface Killah, & Raekwon Wu Massacre [Island Def Jam 2010]
  19. Joanna Newsom Have One On Me[Drag City 2010]
  20. Vadoinmessico – Vadoinmessico – Ep [Vadoinmessico 2009]*
  21. Bright Light Social Hour Back and Forth [Bright Light Social Hour 2009]*
  22. Timber Timbre Timber Timbre [Arts & Crafts 2010]*
  23. Freelance Whales Weathervanes [Mom & Pop 2009]*
  24. Joe Pug Messenger [Lightning Rod 2010]
  25. Local Natives Gorilla Manor [Frenchkiss 2010]*
  26. E-40 Revenue Retrievin’: Day Shift [Heavy on the Grind 2010]
  27. The Band of Heathens One Foot In The Ether [BOH Records 2009]*
  28. The Daze – Straightjacket Hymns [The Daze 2009]*
  29. Speak Hear Here [EP] [Playing in Traffic 2010]*
  30. Gil Scott-Heron I’m New Here [XL 2010]
  31. Band of Skulls Baby Darling Doll Face Honey [Shangri-La Music 2009]*
  32. Natalie Merchant Leave Your Sleep [Nonesuch 2010]
  33. John Hiatt The Open Road[New West 2010]
  34. Texas Tornadoes Esta Bueno [Bismeaux 2010]
  35. Ludacris – Battle Of The Sexes [Disturbing the Peace 2010]
  36. The Minor Prophets Oscar [Single] [The Minor Prophets 2010]
  37. Mother Falcon Still Life [Mother Falcon 2010]*
The Best Albums of March 2010

The Top Albums of October 2009

Never Give Up” with Screw Driverand Inner Circle is one of those uplifting songs that inspires and makes you want to take on all comers. It has the punch and message of the Jimmy Cliff classic “The Harder They Come.” This song is my new motto: “Never Give Up, Never Surrender.” Inner Circle’s State Of Da World deserves the attention of the world. This new album includes collaborations with reggae megastars Junior ReidGramps Morgan of Morgan Heritage, Bushman and Luciano.  Slightly Stoopid appears on “Mary Collie Weed” and Damian Marley and  Stephen Marley make guest appearances on “Smoke Gets In My Eyes.”

Texas musicians James McMurtryLyle Lovett, and Robert Earl Keen all released new albums this month. McMurty’s Live In Europe features rocking versions of “Ruby And Carlos” and “Just Us Kids.” Lyle Lovett‘s Natural Forces has a beautiful cover of Townes Van Zandt‘sLoretta.” And Robert Earl Keen has a Townes Van Zandt tune “Flyin’ Shoes” on his new album The Rose Hotel. The single “The Rose Hotel” is free and loose and classic Robert Earl.

On the rap/hip-hop scene Wu-Tang Clan Alumni Raekwon and Ghostface Killah released new albums. The sequel to Raekwon’s classic album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx has been released. Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Part II features killer solo tracks like “Ason Jones.” Method Man, Inspectah Deck, and Ghostface Killah guest on “House Of Flying Daggers” and on “The New Wu.” Old School maestro Slick Rick joins Raekwon, GZA, and Masta Killa onWe Will Rob You.”  And new school rapper Lyfe Jennings appears on the track “Catalina.” Ghostface Killah’s album Ghostdini Wizard Of Poetry In Emerald City includes the notable tracks “Baby,” “Back Like That (Remix),” and “Do Over.” Also on the rap scene A Tribe Called Quest emcee Q-Tip released Kamaal The Abstract with the jazzy single “Even If It Is So.”

Greensleeves released two solid reggae compilations this month: The Biggest Reggae One-Drop Anthems 2009 and The Biggest Ragga Dancehall Anthems 2009. Great songs on this year’s one drop anthems include Beres Hammond’s Can’t Say I Never Tried” and Marcia Griffith and Busy Signal’s Automatic (Keeping It Real). The outstanding track is Romain Virgo’s tribute to the legendary Alton Ellis entitledAlton’s Medley: Breaking Up / Ain’t That Loving You / My Willow Tree.” Also Peetah and Assassin’sHot A Road,” Mr. Williamz’s No Cigarette” and Ziggi’sGonna Leave You” make this easy-going reggae collection worth the listen.

On the dancehall side of things with The Biggest Ragga Dancehall Anthems 2009 Black Ryno’sBend Over” and Vybz Kartel and Gaza Indu’sVirginity” induce the booty shaking while the catchy “Never Change (From Mawning)” by Chino will have you singing along. This newest addition to the dancehall anthems collection stocks up on heavy hitting dancehall singjays like Busy Signal, Demarco, Mavado, Jah Vinci, Laden, and Konshens.

  1. Inner CircleState Of Da World [Shanachie 2009]
  2. James McMurtry Live In Europe [Lightning Rod 2009]
  3. Lyle LovettNatural Forces [Curb/Lost Highway 2009]
  4. Monsters of FolkMonsters Of Folk [Shangri-La 2009]
  5. Various Artists The Biggest Reggae One-Drop Anthems 2009 [Greensleeves 2009]
  6. RaekwonOnly Built 4 Cuban Linx 2 [EMI 2009]
  7. Robert Earl KeenThe Rose Hotel [Lost Highway Records 2009]
  8. Various ArtistsJah Live Riddim [Joe Frasier 2009]
  9. International Observer Felt [Dubmission 2009]
  10. Roseanne CashThe List [Manhattan 2009]
  11. Various ArtistsPenthouse Showcase Volume 4 [Penthouse 2009]
  12. Various ArtistsPenthouse Showcae Volume 5 [Penthouse 2009]
  13. Kiddus IGreen Fa Life [Makasound/Makafresh 2009]
  14. Breakestra Dusk Till’ Dawn [Strut Records 2009]
  15. Danny MaloneCuddlebug [Township Records 2009]
  16. Kid CudiMan On The Moon: The End Of Day [Dream On/G.O.O.D./Universal Motown 2009]
  17. The XX xx [Young Turks 2009]
  18. Various ArtistsThe Biggest Ragga Dancehall Anthems 2009 [Greensleeves 2009]
  19. MuseThe Resistance [Warner Brothers 2009]
  20. Ghostface Killah – Ghostdini Wizard Of Poetry In Emerald City [Island/Def Jam 2009]
  21. Various Artists5: Five Years of Hyperdub [Hyperdub 2009]
  22. Gossip Music For Men [Columbia 2009]
  23. The Avett Brothers I And Love And You [Columbia 2009]
  24. Chuck FendaFulfillment [VP Records 2009]
  25. Omar Perry –  Can’t Stop Us [Makasound/Makafresh 2009]
  26. Tribal SeedsThe Harvest [Tribal Seeds 2009]
  27. Toddla TSkanky Skanky [1965 2009]
  28. Masta Ace & Edo GArts & Entertainment [Traffic 2009]
  29. Mark Stuart and the Bastard SonsBend In The Road [Dualtone 2009]
  30. Q-Tip Kamaal The Abstract [Jive 2009]
  31. Doveman –  The Conformist [Brassland Records 2009]
  32. DawesNorth Hills [ATO 2009]
  33. Kris KristoffersonCloser To The Bone [New West 2009]
  34. Mark KnopflerGet Lucky [Rerprise 2009]
  35. Takana ZionRappel à l’ordre [Makasound/Makafresh 2009]
The Top Albums of October 2009

The Top Albums of September 2009

The Top Albums of September 2009

The masterful singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie told stories with his music. He sang songs about the plight of immigrants, farmers, and workers. He told the story of America. He represented the common man. This new collection of Woody Guthrie music is superb. It contains everything from the well-known mainstream hits “This Land Is Your Land,” “Going Down The Road (I Ain’t Gonna Be Treated This Way),” and “Hard Ain’t It Hard” to some of  politically charged ballads like “Tear The Facists Down,” “You Gotta Go Down And Join The Union,” and “Jesus Christ.”

The legendary folk singer mastered the folk hero ballads like “Pretty Boy Floyd,” “Stackolee,” “John Henry,” and “Harriet Tubman’s Ballad Part 1.” The collection contains fun classic folk songs “More Pretty Girls Than One,””Brown’s Ferry Blues,” and “Ain’t Nobody’s Business” and captures the storytelling abilities of the man with tunes like “The Sinking Of The Reuben James.”

Furthermore Woody Guthrie had an extensive catalog with wonderful children songs like “My Daddy (Flies A Ship In The Sky) and magnificent New Deal era tales of bringing power and jobs to the country in celebratory tales like “Grand Coulee Dam.” This is an  amazing collection with good quality sound. In this new era of economic hardships the sounds of the Great Depression and New Deal seem to be a perfect soundtrack for the “Hard Travelin’” ahead.

  1. Woody Guthrie My Dusty Road [Rounder 2009]
  2. PhishJoy [Jemp Records 2009]
  3. Soja – Born In Babylon [DMV Records]
  4. Willie Nelson American Classic [Blue Note 2009]
  5. Polvo – In Prism [Merge Records 2009]
  6. Casual Sax Baby I’m Black [Wonder Sound 2009]
  7. Pearl JamBackspacer [2009]
  8. A.A. Bondy – When The Devil’s Loose [Fat Possum Records 2009]
  9. Jay-ZThe Blueprint 3 [Roc Nation 2009]
  10. PitbullRebelution [Jive 2009]
  11. Rodrigo y Gabriella 11:11 [ATO Records 2009]
  12. John FogertyThe Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again [Verve Forecast 2009]
  13. Busy Signal Hott Ed [Greensleeves 2009]
  14. The Black Crowes Before The Frost…Until The Freeze [Silver Arrow Records 2009]
  15. Yonder Mountain String Band The Show [Frog Pad Records 2009]

File:Woody Guthrie NYWTS.jpg


The Top Albums of September 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