You no doubt listened to music this year, and there were a lot of good albums out this every genre, but only few just blew the rest out of the water.
5) Mayer Hawthorne, “How Do You Do?”
Motown and crooning marry to bring this musical child to life. Hawthorne had a tough task ahead of him following the success of his 2009 release, “A Strange Arrangement.” Though he made the mistake of trying to be too edgy, the album still worked cohesively. Mix this with the best duet this year (featuring Snoop Dogg actually singing), and you can’t really go wrong. Plus, this is the ultimate album to play on a date.
4) Atmosphere, “The Family Sign”
Slug and Ant’s offering this year is the most solid effort they have ever given in a studio album. Songs like “Bad Bad Daddy,” “Millenum Dodo (Part 1 and 2),” “Became,” and “Who I’ll Never Be,” solidify Slug’s ability to tell stories. “Became,” a track about werewolves and horror undertones, really wrap you in. You can’t get any better than that. “Who I’ll Never Be” is one of the most tearjerking songs on the album, and tells another great story. It is essential to just sit back and enjoy this album.
3) Skindred, “Union Black”
While it still isn’t available in the US, this album is just one of those that makes you want to get out there do something epic. The tracks are explosive and mix genres the way that only Skindred can. “Warning,” “Game Over,” and “Cut Dem” all bring to mind the deprecating combustive nature of these artists, and the rest of the album is just as good. Here’s hoping that you can get it soon and know what the fuss is about. Or you can buy it online, have it shipped and know now.
2) Lady Gaga, “Born This Way”
While technically this is the second album she’s done, she still has that new, fresh feel. However, this album goes back to the lady’s origin; Gaga’s story is here, in the subtext of all these songs. “Judas” is about when she fell for the wrong kid, knowing it was bad. “Bad Kids” is about her rebelling against the normal. On the music side, “Born This Way” and “Electric Chapel” are both riddled with electric pop, and it really works with her style and personality.
1) Alestorm, “Back Through Time”
Speed metal about pirates swilling rum and killing Vikings through a portal they found can only be described as epic. The stories Alestorm tell are awesome. But even they realize that they run out of ideas, but they don’t care. They sing about taverns, wenches and midgets playing the violin. They also eventually fight the terrorsquid, a giant menace to the land. Why? Because they can. There’s really nothing normal about this group, and it’s refreshing.