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]
Advertisements
Top Albums of November 2009

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