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]
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The Top Albums of October 2009

Jam-Tex Top Ten!!!

The Jam-Tex Top Ten: June 2008

  1. She & HimVolume 1 [Merge Records 2008]
  2. Taj Weekes & AdowaDeidem [Jatta Records 2008]
  3. Richie SpiceGideon Boot [VP Records 2008]
  4. James McMurtryJust Us Kids [Lightning Rod]
  5. Half PintNo Stress Express [Varese Fontana 2008]
  6. Rootz UndergroundMovement [Mystic Urchin Music 2008]
  7. LucianoJah is My Navigator [VP Records 2008]
  8. My Morning JacketEvil Urges [Ato Records 2008]
  9. The RaconteursConsolers of the Lonely [Warner Brothers 2008]
  10. R.E.M.Accelerate [Warner Brothers 2008]
She & Him’s album Volume 1 takes the number one slot because it sounds like nothing else coming out right now. The so-called Indie/Pop/Country mash up makes for a quite refreshing musical experience. It sounds like Phil Specter and without machines. M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel make magic on trakcs like “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here.”
Richie Spice, Taj Weekes, Rootz Underground, Half Pint, and Luciano all released essential roots reggae albums this 2008, providing perfect tunes for a beautiful summertime soundtrack.

Richie Spice’s album Gideon Boot and especially the tracks “Di Plane Land” and “Wrap Up A Draw” weave together meaningful message, positive vibes, and sweet reggae music. Taj Weeks’s song “Hollow Display,” Luciano’s “Sweet Jamaica,” Half Pint’s “Babylon Release the Chains,” and the Rootz Underground’s “Hammer” display the best of roots music pulsating out from the Caribbean this summer.

James McMurtry’s album Just Us Kids reveals the feelings of the majority of working-class Texans toward the current presidential administration, making it the best political music coming out of Texas. “Cheney’s Toy,” the searing insightful critique of the failed Bush presidency, captures the political disaster and economic tragedy that is Bush and Cheney’s legacy. Following in the footsteps of the powerful album Childish Things, McMurtry’s Just Us Kids piles on the political criticism soaked in some of the best Texas folk, rock, and roots music blossoming out of the Texas Plains and Hill Country.
Jim James is the voice of modern folk rock, resting atop the rock band from Louisville, Kentucky–My Morning Jacket. The new album Evil Urges displays the Kentuckians’ talent and beckons to the music fan to see these youngsters rock live. For an example of Jim James’s vocal talent listen to his collaborative work with Calexico on the track “Goin to Acapulco” (a Bob Dylan cover) from the soundtrack I’m Not There.

Jam-Tex Top Ten!!!