December 8, 2011

6 Must-Have Albums of 2011

Lately I've been listening to a lot of non-rock music, because I wanted to enjoy some other stuff again and 2011 had so much pleasure to offer beyond guitars and drums. So let me share my favorite six albums of the year with you – and be sure to spin the samples I added, because they belong to the finest music I've heard in the last few months.

1. Kendrick Lamar – "Section.80"

Hip Hop – Top Dawg Entertainment

The album that spawned my recent interest in some freaking cool new music. I already wrote about it earlier, and the hip hop community unanimously agrees that "Section.80" is a fucking damn fine album. Even biggies like Snoop Dogg praise 24-year-old rap prodigy Lamar as the next big thing since 2Pac, and deservedly so. Lamar brings on a superb flow and spits clever lyrics about his hopelessly drug-numbed generation, delivering first-class party hits and melancholic tunes as well as old-school hymns like the fantastic "HiiiPoWeR". The album lacks absolutely nothing in variety and comes without any filler tracks – it's been a long time since I've been that impressed by modern-day hip hop, so thanks a lot, Mr. Lamar!



2. Clams Casino – "Instrumentals"

Hip Hop – Type Records

Who or what is Clams Casino, you ask? For once, it's a crab dish with bacon, but it's also the moniker of physical therapy student Mike Volpe, who was virtually unknown until he supported rappers like Soulja Boy or Lil B with some of the hottest and most innovative beats you'll hear this year. And while an instrumental mixtape by a student in his mid-20s may not look especially interesting at first, wait until you hear it. The whole album with tracks like "All I Need" or the majestic "Illest Alive", which includes a well-used Björk sample, features awesome instrumentals, which stand strong on their own. Even better: The gorgeous, super-dark beats he lent A$AP Rocky for his debut (see below). That kid is on the rise and I hope he won't stop delivering anytime soon!

"Illest Alive"

"All I Need"

3. araabMUZIK – "Electronic Dream"

Electronica – Duke Productions LP

Not quite as mainstream as it seems, Abraham Orellana – or araabMUZIK – blends electronica elements, hip hop beats, short dubstep sequences and hardcore trance on his MPC like he never did anything else. Even during its sentimental moments, "Electronic Dream" feels alive like a good morning. Check out "AT2" and you know what I mean. Known for various production credits for folks like Noreaga or The Diplomats, I have to admit, he's never sounded better than when he's just producing himself.


"Make It Happen"

4. A$AP Rocky – "LiveLoveA$AP"

Hip Hop – RCA Records

After hitting the clubs with his smash "Purple Swag", Harlem's rising star ASAP Rocky quickly gained fame, which only doubled with this excellent mixtape. While one could get a bit overdosed on the usual drugs, drinks, fame 'n cash lyrics, Rocky delivers them as smooth as it gets. "Peso", the album's highlight, comes with so much chill and awesomeness that I instantly want to sit deep down in a club and sip along, just nodding to the beat and celebrating that fucking sweet music. And while the album features a lot of variety and diverse styles, I just want to smoke a blunt to that ultra-deep sound of "Wassup", which totally blows any competition aside with perhaps my favorite instrumental of the year – produced by Clams Casino, by the way.



5. Prurient – "Bermuda Drain"

Electronic/Experimental – Hydra Head Records

The awesome bassline and melody of "Let's Make A Slave" made me instantly grab this great record by that guy with the lewd nickname. "Bermuda Drain" has a whole lot of great stuff you can either dance, chill or rock out to. Perfectly combining noise and black metal vocals with a superb electronic sound, Prurient delivers something pretty unique and thrilling. The only thing that makes me sad is that this guy has a catalogue reaching back to 1998...and I have missed all of it so far.

"Let's Make A Slave"

"There Are Still Secrets"

6. Tyler, the Creator – "Goblin"

Alternative Hip Hop – XL Recordings

The most popular son of awesome Odd Future has been around for a few years now, but only rose to top level this year with his great second album. Once again, Tyler brings a load of fun and furious, perfectly executed tracks along – and some daringly weird lyrics, of course. You all know the smash hit "Yonkers", but that ain't even the best song on the album. I personally prefer his 2009 debut "Bastard", but the "Goblin" is still way ahead of most generic hip hop nowadays and deserves a place on any hip hop album top list of 2011.

"Tron Cat"

"She" (feat. Frank Ocean)

Be sure to tell me about your favorite albums of 2011 in the comments! Can't have enough sweet sound right now.

1 Kommentare:

Only a guest said...

A really fine list. Congratulations.

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