The Top Albums of June 2010

Big Red And Barbacoa

The Top 40 Albums of June 2010

This month has offered a wide variety of musical formats. The selector dug into Navajo, Reggae, Rap, Rock, Roots, Electronica, Dancehall, and Jam Band music. June’s selection of reggae music includes the smooth dancehall vibes of Tippa Irie & The Far East Band,  Jamaican sensation Rootz Underground, the positive message laden Mishka, the one drop oriented Romain Virgo, and the prolific singjay Capleton. Plus there has been recently released a reggae celebration of The Who called Out Here in the Fields – Legends of Reggae Celebrate the Who featuring artists like Chalice, Toots & The Maytals, The Mighty Diamonds, Luciano, and Gregory Isaacs.

From San Antonio, Texas Hacienda makes original music on their summer friendly Big Red And Barbacoa. The Houston-based Geto Boys member Scarface dropped another hard hitting gangsta rap album. And the Texas country artists Jason Boland & The Stragglers released the full length LP High In The Rockies and  Cory Morrowreleased an EP entitled Ramblin’ Man.

The psychadelic country rock of Phosphorescent recalls the best of The Flying Burrito Brothers and The Byrds. While jam-band staple Widespread Panic released another listener friendly studio album titled Dirty Side Down, which is a rare feet among jam bands. And on a side note this June the selector heard for the first time the amazing vocal stylings of Navajo musical artist Radmilla Cody. Cody should be an American legend!

Finally for some rap check out the female Baltimore duo the Get ‘Em Mamis and Atlanta-based Outkast sensation Big Boi‘s new single Shutterbugg. Take a wild ride with the dub reggae infused electronica of Heyoka and feel the rollicking  jazz of drummer Mike Reed’s People Places & Things. And just in time for summer flip-flop rockers Jack Johnson, Xavier Rudd, and Citizen Cope all released new albums

  1. Rootz UndergroundGravity [M’A Prod 2010]
  2. HaciendaBig Red And Barbacoa [Alive Naturalsound 2010]
  3. Various ArtistsOut Here in the Fields – Legends of Reggae Celebrate the Who [Red Hillz Music 2010]
  4. Big BoiShutterbugg [Def Jam 2010]
  5. MishkaTalk About [J.K. Livin Records 2010]
  6. PhosphorescentHere’s To Taking It Easy [Dead Oceans 2010]
  7. Widespread PanicDirty Side Down [ATO 2010]
  8. Truth and Salvage Co. – Truth & Salvage Co. [Silver Arrow/Megaforce 2010]
  9. HeyokaMarklar [Muti Music 2010]
  10. Romain VirgoRomain Virgo [VP Records 2010]
  11. Jack JohnsonTo The Sea [Jack Johnson 2010]
  12. Radmilla CodySeed Of Life: Traditional Songs Of The Navajo[Canyon 2002]
  13. CapletonI-Ternal Fire [VP Records 2010]
  14. Xavier RuddKoonyum Sun [Xavier Rudd 2010]
  15. Citizen CopeThe Rainwater LP [Rainwater Recordings 2010]
  16. ScarfaceDopeman Music [Facemob Music 2010]
  17. The Get ‘Em Mamis Pop Rocks and Soda [2010]
  18. Mike Reed’s People Places & ThingsStories and Negotiations [482 Music 2010]
  19. Tippa Irie & The Far East Band Stick to my Roots [Lockdown Productions 2010]
  20. Jason Boland & The StragglersHigh In The Rockies [Apex Music 2010]
  21. Talib Kweli & Hi-TekRevolutions Per Minute [Warner Brothers 2010]
  22. Robert Randolph & The Family Band We Walk This Road [Warner Brothers 2010]
  23. John Butler TrioApril Uprising [ATO Records 2010]
  24. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Mojo [Reprise 2010]
  25. Janelle MonáeThe ArchAndroid [Atlantic 2010]
  26. Super Chron Fly Brothers – Cape Verde [Backwoodz Studioz 2010]
  27. JavelinNo Más [Luaka Pop 2010]
  28. The Glitch MobDrink The Sea [Glass Air 2010]
  29. ApproachAloe Park [Clear Label 2010]
  30. ShigetoSemi Circle EP [Ghostly International 2010]
  31. Ja PrawnEverybody [vosotros 2010]
  32. PeasClarity Lost [Kanpai Records 2010]
  33. RJD2The Colossus [RJ’s Electrical Connections 2010]
  34. David Karsten Daniels and Fight the Big BullI Mean to Live Here Still [Fat Cat Records 2010]
  35. Homeboy SandmanThe Good Sun [High Water Music 2010]
  36. Crystal CastlesCrystal Castles ( II ) [Polydor 2010]
  37. Steve Miller BandBingo! [Roadrunner 2010]
  38. RhymefestEl Che [Rosehip Records 2010]
  39. KuruptStreetlights [Penagon 2010]
  40. Stone Temple PilotsStone Temple Pilots [Atlantic 2010]
  41. Macy GrayThe Sellout [Concord 2010]
  42. Dirty Side Down

Out Here in the Fields - Legends of Reggae Celebrate the Who
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The Top Albums of June 2010

TOP 20 ALBUMS OF JUNE 2009 – BEST OF 2009 SUMMER MUSIC

Top 20 Albums of June 2009

  1. Bob Marley and the Wailers B Is For Bob [Tuff Gong/Def Jam/Island Records 2009]
  2. Various Artists Dark Was The Night (Red Hot Compilation) [The Red Hot Organization/4AD 2009]
  3. N.A.S.A. – The Spirit Of Apollo [Anti/Epitaph 2009]
  4. AlborosieEscape From Babylon [Greensleeves 2009]
  5. Dave Matthews BandBig Whiskey And The GrooGrux King [Bama Rags 2009]
  6. The ItalsLet Dem Talk [Ital Records 2009]
  7. Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley BandOuter South [Merge 2009]
  8. DJ JS-1 No Sellout [Ground Original 2009]
  9. The Dub MachinistWorldwide Dub [Control Tower France 2009]
  10. Various Artists Reggae Gold 2009 [VP Records 2009]
  11. Ini Kamoze 5150 Rule [Hottis 2009]
  12. Amadou & MariamWelcome to Mali [Nonesuch 2009]
  13. Los Granadian del Espacio Exterior Donde Ningun Hombre Ha Llegado Jamas [Liquidator Spain 2009]
  14. Method Man & RedmanBlackout! 2 [Explicit] [Island/Def Jam 2009]
  15. Regina SpektorFar [Sire 2009]
  16. Black Eyed PeasThe E.N.D. (The Energy Never Dies) [Interscope 2009]
  17. 311Uplifter [RCA/Jive 2009]
  18. The Dirty ProjectorsBitte Orca[Domino Recording 2009]
  19. Natural BlackGuardian Angel [Zion Roots Music 2009]
  20. Sonic Youth The Eternal [Matador 2009]
  21. Paul WallFast Life [Explicit] [Asylum/WB 2009]

“Life is one big road with lots of signs,” Bob sings “So when your riding through the ruts don’t you complicate your mind.” On this album we see why Bob Marley and the Wailers ruled the world of reggae music, especially with roots reggae tracks like “Wake Up And Live – Pt. 1.”  On the new album B Is For Bob executive producer Ziggy Marley reworked some of the Bob Marley classics giving them a kid friendly edge. The album pulsates with positive vibrations. A stripped down acoustic version of “Three Little Birds” leads off the album followed by a classic acoustic version of “Redemption Song.” These two songs make for fun summer road trip  sing-a-longs. I found the version of “Satisfy My Soul” to be very sensual and in my opinion this song could be one of the best lovers’ rock tracks ever cut. A bongo almost-dancehall infused “Jamming” and new takes on “Small Axe,” “Bend Down Low” and “Stir It Up” fill out this nice addition to the Bob Marley discography. “Could You Be Loved” and “One Love / People Get Ready” also fit perfect with the kid album theme. “High Tide Or Low Tide” excellently caps off the work.

Finding their way to the top of the Jam-Tex music charts this June are a cadre of Indie-rockers and rappers. The benefit album and compilation Dark Was The Night (Red Hot Compilation) and the N.A.S.A. hip-hop project The Spirit Of Apollo. Dark Was The Night (Red Hot Compilation) includes indie rockers collaborating to make wonderful music and really this album needs to be listened to in its entirety for the best effect. The Dirty Projectors team up with David Byrne on “Knotty Pine,” while Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings provide some soulful “Inspiration Information.” The Decemberists perform “Sleepless,” while Feist and Ben Gibbard team up on “Train Song.” Iron & Wine, Andrew Bird, My Morning Jacket, and Arcade Fire all appear on the album.

On N.A.S.A.’s The Spirit Of Apollo George Clinton and Chali 2na Fish rock “There’s A Party (Feat. George Clinton & Chali 2na)” and dancheall wonder Sizzla joins Lovefoxxx, and the nasty female rapper Amanda Blank on the track “A Volta (Feat. Sizzla, Amanda Blank & Lovefoxxx).” My favorite duo on any of these indie compilations appears on the N.A.S.A. album when Tom Waits and Kool Keith collaborate on “Spacious Thoughts (Feat. Tom Waits & Kool Keith)”. M.I.A., Santogold, Nick Zinner, and Spank Rock drive the electro-rap jam “Whachadoin? (Feat. Spank Rock, M.I.A., Santogold & Nick Zinner)“. The N.A.S.A. album certainly contains the most interesting lineup of artists, including David Byrne, Gift of Gab, Chuck D, DJ Z-Trip, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, KRS-One, Seu Jorge, Ras Congo, and Scarface on tracks like  “Money (Feat. David Byrne, Chuck D, Ras Congo, Seu Jorge & Z-Trip),” “The People Tree (Feat. David Byrne, Chali 2na, Gift Of Gab & Z-Trip),” “Hip Hop (Feat. KRS-One, Fatlip & Slim Kid Tre),” “Strange Enough (Feat. Karen O, Ol’ Dirty Bastard & Fatlip),” and “The Mayor (Feat. The Cool Kids, Ghostface Killah, Scarface & DJ AM).”

Alborosie, Ini Kamoze, the Itals, and Reggae Gold 2009 provide this year’s sweltering summer reggae soundtrack. On the new Dave Matthews Band album Big Whiskey And The GrooGrux King the track “Funny The Way It Is” proves the band is still putting out quality music. DJ JS-1 gathers some talented indie rappers on No Sellout, for example, Aesop Rock and C Ray Wallz rock the mics on “Karma Killerz.”

TOP 20 ALBUMS OF JUNE 2009 – BEST OF 2009 SUMMER MUSIC