Posts Tagged ‘ the archandroid ’

2010 Music in Review

This is part 1 of my list.  This thing’s so big, I had to separate it into two posts! Instead of just listing the good albums, I decided to review every new album I heard in 2010.  So here’s albums 34-16.

 

34.      4×4=12-Deadmau5-Rave program Deadmau5 outdid himself with his most creative album title yet.  If only I could say the same about anything else.  4×4=12 is a groundbreaking work in predictability, even when he tries his hand at some obnoxious rave-rap and dubstep.  (How topical!)  Give it a spin if you’re looking for something to put you to sleep.

33.      Straight Killa No Filla-Freddie Gibbs.  Oh really?  Look, I know it’s just a mixtape, but so was The Miseducation of Freddie Gibbs, and that was incredible.

32.      I Am Not A Human Being-Lil Wayne-Lil Wayne has no fucking taste.  All of these songs are lazy, the beats are uninspired, and the rhymes are just stupid.  “So smart she coulda’ gone to college?”  What the hell, Wayne?  I didn’t have the highest expectations for this record released from prison, and at least Drake isn’t on every song.  Unfortunately, Drake is on all of the good songs.  All three of them.  And they’re not even really good.  They just sound a little better than the fucking banal pop-rap production that dominates the record.  Seriously, it’s like he’s using the demo that came with his EZ-Synth Jambox.  Lil Wayne being in prison, there’s a lot of guest stars.  Because what else, Young Money goons are all over this thing, and Nicki Minaj doesn’t even have to decency to rap on it.  A half-hearted effort from everybody involved.

31.      Pink Friday-Nicki Minaj-Nicki Minaj fared a little bit better on her solo debut than anything else a Young Money Goon* did this year.  If only it were good!  She wastes most of the album singing, which she sucks at.  She still managed to get in a few decent songs.  I’m a fan of “Did it on Em” and the Kanye assisted “Blazin.”  “Roman’s Revenge” is the only other song worth checking, if only for the novelty of Eminem making animal noises while referring to himself as a dungeon dragon.

*. Is “young Money Goon” the official term, or should I not take Gudda Gudda so seriously?  Also, is  it Wu-Tang Clansmen?

30. Hurley-Weezer-Ugh.  They came so close!  Hurley’s the best album they’ve made since Maladroit, but it’s still not very good.  I can live with the weak lyrics, it’s the production that’s killing me.  This shit is so clean and shiny, it sounds instantly dated.  At least they stopped trying to reinvent themselves.

29.      OMG!-Rusko-Wamp wamp wamp wamp wamp wamp wamp wamp wamp wamp wamp wamp wamp Gucci Mane wamp wamp wamp wamp wamp wamp wamp wamp.

28.      Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys-My Chemical Romance-Was The Black Parade a fluke, or am I just delusional?  The follow-up to that record I loved so much is overproduced and uninspired to its breaking point.  C’mon guys.  That over-the-top dour shit was what made you good.  This is a step backwards.

27.      Album of the Year-Black Milk-More like 27th best album of the year!  Ha ha!  There’s nothing bad about this record, there’s just nothing great about it.  It’s like Be with weaker beats.  I don’t care how good a rapper Black Milk is, he doesn’t make good songs.

26.      Trunk Music 0-60-Yelawolf Yelawolf isn’t incredible by any means.  Right now he just sounds like a white trash T.I.  But as we’ve learned from Rick Ross and T.I. himself, nobody starts out great anymore.  I’ll give him a few more years, see if this goes anywhere.  At the very least, he’s a big improvement on Asher Roth.  Good job, white rapper committee.

25.      Distant Relatives-Nas and Damien Marley-This was almost a good album, and then Damien Marley showed up.

24.      Pilot Talk-Curren$y-Curren$y’s come a long way since I first encountered him three years ago.  It’s now possible to understand what he’s saying, there’s some emotion in his voice, he’s classed up his production, and he’s upgraded the guest features to include Snoop Dogg, Mikey Rocks and Big KRIT.  Mos Def lends his voice for the chorus of the two best songs on the album, (“Breakfast” & Jay Electronica assisted “The Day”) The guests make for the highlights of the album, simply because Curren$y has the worst fucking hooks.  Curren$y’s a big fan of the Bobby Digital method, where you repeat the title of the song 8 to 44 times or spell a sentence.  If he could get it together and spend more than 20 seconds crafting the song, he’d be set.

23.      Tron: Legacy-Daft Punk-Will a new Daft Punk album ever come?  It seems unlikely after this excursion into the world of movie soundtracks.  It’s lacking in computer wizardry, and most of the songs all sound like typical blockbuster music, but there’s just barely enough to make it okay for a few listens.

22.      Wu-Massacre-Meth, Ghost & Rae-Actually, it’s mostly the cronies of Meth, Ghost, and Rae.  Sheek Louch, Sun God and more also-rans do the bulk of the work here.  It sounds more like a mixtape than an actual album.  Tired beats, tired rhymes. There’s still a few god ones, like “Miranda” and “Youngstown Heist.”  It’s not a crowning achievement for any of these guys, but coming out six months after the incredible Only Built 4 Cuban Links Pt 2 and the awful Ghostdeni Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City, it’s forgivable.  It’s not like I was that lacking in Wu-Tang.

21.      Swim-Caribou-This record might be in the top ten if I didn’t have to listen to the guy sing.  As is, it’s still a damn good collection of electronica.  It’s not as high-energy as I typically like my computer music, but at least it feels like he’s trying.  If Kid Cudi was good, this is what his beats might sound like.

20.      Congratulations-MGMT-One of the year’s most unexpected records, Congratulations is also one of the few albums of “neo-psychdelica” worth listening to.  It sounds a lot like early Bowie-Jangly guitars, lyrics about famous people and fantasy.  There’s nothing here even trying to be as good and catchy as “Kids” or “Time to Pretend,” but they at least made enough changes to their sound to keep it interesting.

19.      Sea of Cowards-The Dead Weather-Jack White takes over on the second Dead Weather album.  It reminds me of the second Raconteurs album.  It has little to say, but it rocks a lot harder and benefits from it.  It’s not as good as anything The White Stripes ever put out, but it’s the best non-White Stripes record Jack White’s made.

18.      The Monitor-Titus Andronicus- If Bright Eyes wasn’t afraid to rock, this is exactly what he’d sound like. If that statement doesn’t make you cringe, you’ll love this album.  It also features the best saxophone solo of the year.

17. The Archandroid-Janelle Monae-Not quite as groundbreaking and futuristic than everybody says it is, but it’s a contemporary R & B album, so “groundbreaking and futuristic” is a relative term.  What it is is a collection of great pop songs.  Monae can sing better than anybody else on this list, and she delivers her lines with such conviction that I forgot I was listening to a sci-fi pop-opera about robot spiders (or something.)

16. The Suburbs-Arcade Fire-I didn’t listen to much serious music this year.  Until this came out, none of the good stuff was that serious.  The Suburbs caught me off guard.  It’s a lyrical album that came out in the middle of a six month Phish binge.  (Well, really a one month Lightning Bolt/Daft Punk binge. Suddenly trapped with lyrics to scrutinize, I was lost.  The Suburbs has meaning and a message.  It’s also incredibly dense.  The music’s still great.  We’ve got some more Springsteen posturing, some radio pop, and mandatory stadium blaster, but they’ve expanded into some cool new territory too.  There’s a lot going on, and I may not like sitting through all of it, but I’m not going to hate for sheer ambition.  It’s a fine album.  I just wish somebody had the decency to make one that rocked harder than its predecessors.

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