|Back by popular demand, we bring back the Reader Top 5ives of the best releases of the year. The concept is simple. Our writers and readers pick out the best 5 songs that they think are their favorite of 2010. If you want to contribute, just fill out the form.|
Andreya Triana – Lost Where I Belong
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One of my favorite music discovery eras was in the mid-nineties when I really started getting into UK soul/electronica. Since then, a lot of music from that genre has become way over-produced and reliant upon studio trickery rather than raw vocal talent and song-writing. More and more “left-field” artists are churning out weird sounds just for the sake of being different.
Lost Where I Belong was a return to the basics. Good songwriting, production that serves the song and an awesome vocalist. I can’t wait for more.
Bonobo – Black Sands
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With my enthusiasm over Andreya Triana’s first effort, it comes as no surprise that I really dug this release from the albums producer Bonobo aka Simon Green. His acoustic, non-traditional take on downtempo electronica/hip-hop is a refreshing break from the norm.
Janelle Monae – The Archandroid
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Whimsical, musical, inspiring and totally open-minded…ATL’s Janelle Monae has destroyed musical pigeon holes with her debut LP. From classical show-tunes to hip-hop soul to psych-rock Janelle and her team flow from genre to genre with ease all the while forming a beautifully knit storyline of love and freedom. They need to make a movie out of this. Anybody got Hype Williams number…?
Greg Haines – Until the Point of Hushed Support
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Ok…a little out of spec for this blog – but anyone that’s listened to my mixes for The Couch Sessions is familiar with my affinity for ambient, neo-classical music. Greg Haines latest album, released on the Sonic Pieces imprint, is all at once patient, rushed, beautiful, disturbing, manic and thoughtful. Really, I’m a sucker for any release that list ‘electronics’ as an instrument next to violins, pianos and church organs.
Erykah Badu – New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh)
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Easy, grown-up, honest soul music. This album took us slightly away from Jupiter and a bit closer to Earth – hailing the days of Mama’s Gun but blending it with the interstellar experimentation of Madlib and Shafiq Husayn. Lovely.