Tag: The Roots

The Music Year That Was: The Best Albums of 2011

The Music Year That Was: The Best Albums of 2011

Music
The usual disclaimers about my year-end music lists still apply. I'm only one man and only have so much time to listen to new albums. So even if I hear an album and it's really good, if nothing about it grabs me right away I may end up forgetting it. Also, naturally I'm going to gravitate toward music either from acts I already know and like or that's recommended by friends and writers/critics I respect. These, then, are the ten albums that I have returned to more than any other in 2011 and probably will in 2012. Because at the end of the day, isn't that the only mark of a good record? #1. Mastodon, The Hunter As much as I was disappointed with Crack the Skye, I absolutely love The Hunter. I've read a lot of comparisons between it and Metallica's "Black Album," and I can see why. It's...
Listening booth — The Roots, “Make My” (feat. Big K.R.I.T.)

Listening booth — The Roots, “Make My” (feat. Big K.R.I.T.)

Listening Booth, Music
If nothing else, the Roots are insanely prolific. Despite their day (night) job as the house band for Jimmy Fallon's late night talk show, they find time to record and release project after project. It's barely been 18 months since How I Got Over came out (and even less since their collaboration with John Legend), the followup album -- Undun -- is scheduled for a December 6 release. The first single from Undun (which the Roots say will be a concept album), "Make My," was just dropped. Check it: The Roots "Make My" featuring Big K.R.I.T. by okayplayer I wasn't expecting anything this mellow, but I really like it. I love that keyboard riff, and the bridge is a hunk of vintage soul right off one of Stevie Wonder's classic '70s albums.
Platters that matter: 20 albums that changed my life (#10—#1)

Platters that matter: 20 albums that changed my life (#10—#1)

Listcruft, Music
At long last, I present the conclusion of my list of 20 albums that have had the most impact on me and my love of music. For a brief refresher, you can check the back half of the top 20 here. But for your convenience, here's the list: #20 — Queen, The Game #19 — Seals & Crofts, Summer Breeze #18 — Kiss, Creatures of the Night #17 — Iron Maiden, The Number of the Beast #16 — Run-D.M.C., Raising Hell #15 — Kiss, Alive! #14 — Rush, A Farewell to Kings #13 — Miles Davis, Kind of Blue #12 — Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Pictures at an Exhibition #11 — various artists, Jazz Master Files OK, now that we're all caught up, let's finish this thing already. As a reminder, this is no particular order but I know people love countdowns so there you go. #10 — Genesis, Duke If Rus
2010 – The year in recorded musical performances

2010 – The year in recorded musical performances

Music
I really need to find a way to turn music listening into a paying, full-time gig.  Because that's the only way I could ever hope to have time to take in all the good (and not-so-good) music that comes out every year.  Life really was much simpler when I didn't even want to make time for anything that wasn't by Kiss, Rush, or Iron Maiden.  So instead of approaching this as a "Best Albums of 2010" or "Best Music of 2010" list, it's more of a "My Favorite Albums/Music of 2010 That I Had Time to Listen To" list.  These are the albums that moved me one way or another this year, although obviously this is not (and cannot be) an exhaustive list.  I'm sure lots of really swell records got left off, but that's why there are other year-end lists on the internet, right? #10. Kanye West, My Beautiful
Gray Flannel Mixtape: The Best Songs of 2010

Gray Flannel Mixtape: The Best Songs of 2010

Blogstuff
Yup, it's that time again!  Before I roll out the annual year-end rundown of my favorite albums, let's take a listen to some of the best songs from 2010.  I've included YouTube clips where possible, since I used Lala last year and got burned. 1. "Them That Do Nothing" by Field Music (from Measure) - I could probably populate this whole list with songs from Field Music's third studio album.  Instead I'll just highlight the first single from it and we can all revel in its pure pop perfection.  Well done, Brewis brothers, well done indeed. 2. "Doin' It Again" by the Roots (from How I Got Over) - If there's a case to be made for why sampling can work so well in hip hop it's this track, which brilliantly weaves the Roots' own composition with John Legend's "Again".  It's the standout
Album review: Robert Glasper – Double Booked

Album review: Robert Glasper – Double Booked

Music
It is tempting and easy to interpret the meaning behind the track order and title of Robert Glasper's latest album, Double Booked, as being a presentation of the artist's two separate sides - jazz and hip hop/R&B.  Certainly, given that the first half of the record is billed to the Robert Glasper Trio while the second is credited to the Robert Glasper Experiment, that conclusion seems inescapable. But to look at it this way would be to miss the statement that Glasper has been making with his music since his 2003 recorded debut, Mood - jazz, R&B, and hip hop are not disparate elements to be combined or mixed by Glasper for mere novelty or effect; they are both integral and inseparable parts of his artistic vision. It's that vision, combined with his prodigious talent, that mak
Listening Booth – The Roots, “How I Got Over”

Listening Booth – The Roots, “How I Got Over”

Listening Booth, Music
This has been making the rounds for a few weeks, but I just heard it today.  It's the lead single and title track off the next Roots album, How I Got Over.  This has already been played on Jimmy Fallon's awful show, so I guess I'll have to find a clip. Nice.  The groove is undeniable, thanks in large part to ?uestlove always tasty drumming. That's Black Thought singing on a few verses, with better-than-expected results. I have no idea if this R&B style is the direction the new album will take, but I like it already.
2008 – The Year in Recorded Musical Performances

2008 – The Year in Recorded Musical Performances

Music
A few months into this year I couldn't shake the feeling that 2008 just wasn't going to be the great year for new music that 2007 was.  And so here I am, about a week away from 2009, and I still feel the same way.  It wasn't a total wash mind you, as there was definitely some quality to be enjoyed.  So here's my take on the 2008 music year - good, bad, and ugly. The Best of the Best (Albums) Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes (Sub Pop) Yeah, this seems like an obvious choice, but it's also a damn good one.  I'm always up for listening to good vocal harmonies, and this band has them in spades.  The music is gorgeous to boot, and is a highly engaging blend of folk titans like CSNY, America, and early '70s Fleetwood Mac.  The vocal round of "White Winter Hymnal" is worth the price of admission