Top Ranking Albums of January 2011

Bushman Sings The Bush Doctor: A Tribute To Peter Tosh

Seven Year Itch

KMAG YOYO (& Other American Stories) [+digital booklet]

January 2011

  1. BushmanBushman Sings The Bush Doctor: A Tribute To Peter Tosh [VP Records 2011]
  2. Third WorldPatriots [Third World Music 2011]
  3. Bright EyesThe People’s Key [Saddle Creek 2011]
  4. Iron and Wine Kiss Each Other Clean [Sub Pop 2011]
  5. Hayes CarllKMAG YOYO (& Other American Stories) [Lost Highway 2011]
  6. Apple Gabriel Teach Them Right [Heartbeat Europe 2011]
  7. The DecemberistThe King Is Dead [Capitol 2011]
  8. Soja Everything Changes (Deluxe Single) [SOJA 2011]
  9. Various Artists Songs For Reggae Lovers Vol. 4 [Greensleeves 2011]
  10. Sly & Robbie  and ScantanaThe Best Supporting Acts [Phase One 2010]
  11. Chino From Mawning [VP Records 2011]
  12. Anthony B Rasta Love [Born Fire Music 2011]
  13. Social Distortion Hard Times And Nursery Rhymes [Epitaph 2011]
  14. Etana Free Expressions [VP Records 2011]
  15. Pearl JamLive On Ten Legs [Monkeywrench 2011]
  16. Protoje Seven Year Itch [Don Corleon 2010]
  17. Daft PunkTron: Legacy [Walt Disney 2011]
  18. North Mississippi All-StarsKeys To The Kingdom [Songs of the South 2011]
  19. Gregg Allman Low Country Blues [Rounder 2011]
  20. Ghostface Killah Apollo Kids [Def Jam 2010]
  21. Wanda Jackson The Party Ain’t Over [Third Man Records 2011]
  22. Corinne Bailey RaeThe Love E.P. [Capitol 2011]

Kiss Each Other Clean (Deluxe) [Explicit]

Everything Changes (Deluxe Single)

Hard Times And Nursery Rhymes

Apollo Kids [Explicit]

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Top Ranking Albums of January 2011

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

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