Writer Best of 2010: Jonathan Conda

by Winston "Stone" Ford

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.

Name: Jonathan Conda
Location: ATL
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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.