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Invocation

January 4, 2013

Never fails.

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Top 10 Albums of 2012

January 1, 2013

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In lieu of blogging more regularly (student no more), here’s my top 10 of 2012. Some albums listed are consistent with what the rest of the net is saying – Kendrick Lamar, Fiona Apple, Jessie Ware – while others seem grossly overrated (Frank Ocean) and another pack barely recognized (Lianne La Havas). La Havas’ album is a near 10.0 except the frustrating subpar title track; Ocean’s LP was good-great but it wasn’t as phenomenal or groundbreaking as touted. Action Bronson essentially cannot lose at this point; early-2012’s Blue Chips was a close call for the top ten and his album with The Alchemist made it to top 5. I’ve been giving LP Dr. Lecter from 2011 a spin lately and it sounds just as good. Late Nights With Jeremih will be a favourite among those who like The Dream or Miguel, but likely too pop for any traditional R&B folk. It’s cheesy (sample line “her shoe game is amazing, her bag game is blazing” – wtf is bag game) but I couldn’t stop listening in spite of all that; see tracks Late Nights & Rated R. Jessie Ware‘s album is unbelievable, but only the first 1/2.

1) Lianna La Havas Is Your Love Big Enough 

2) Kendrick Lamar Good kidm.A.A.d city

3) Killer Mike R.A.P Music

4) Action Bronson & The Alchemist Rare Chandeliers

5)) Jeremih Late Nights With Jeremih

6) The Walkmen Heaven

7)  Elle Varner Perfectly Imperfect

8) Frank Ocean Channel Orange

9) Fiona Apple The Idler Wheel

10) Jessie Ware Devotion

I feel sore for the amount of dance/electronic music I have missed out on; in general how much music I been able to process this year has declined significantly and the UK scene is included in that; mostly because I’m not there anymore and I don’t have the time or energy to peruse Factmag or XLR8R like I used to. That said, they both have best-of’s up at the moment – hop to it.

Honorable mentions

Big K.R.I.T 4eva N a Day

Miguel Kaleidoscope Dream

Katy B Danger EP

Solange True

B.J The Chicago Kid Pineapple Now-Laters

Best Shows 

Action Bronson @ The Hoxton

A$AP Rocky @ Opera House

Araab Muzik @ The Hoxton

Skream & Benga @ The Hoxton

True

December 10, 2012

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Not surprisingly, I deeply love Solange’s new EP. Smart on her not to expand this into a full album – the electronic vibe would have been tiring. Check ‘Losing You’ a few posts down and second single Lovers In The Parking Lot.

That Good R&B

October 15, 2012

How did I not hear about Elle Varner up until now? Love her entire debut album, Perfectly Imperfect. Check lead and second singles Only Want to Give It To You and Refill.

Solange Knowles “Losing You”

October 3, 2012

Streaming Music App Available In Canada: Rdio

October 3, 2012

After stealing Spotify through a friend who periodically logs me on from the UK for years now, I was gutted to hear that Spotify was only crossing the ocean to America, especially since I was dying for a streaming music app on my iphone. At this point I never buy an album if I can’t stream it first; there’s so much music to be had I can just move onto the next artist whose material I can actually preview.

Enter Rdio, the streaming music app available here. Apparently around since 2010, I’ve been using this service non stop for the last 6 weeks. It’s $14.99 per month after a free trial (the website says $9.99 but I’m fairly certain I’m paying 14?) and I now consider it crucial – it has a vast collection and I’ve been able to sample so much more music that I would trying to rack the internet for streams, particularly for older albums (recently I’ve been almost exclusively listening to 90’s r&B – more on that later). I now know No Doubt’s album is bad (despite 2 good singles) and the new Kanye West G.O.O.D compilation actually has some tracks I dig, (I’ve realized my enjoyment of Kanye’s music is inversely proportional to his lyrical contribution to any given track).

Case in point: Rdio is convenient, worth the money, has a vast collection for digging and syncs with your desktop, phone and tablet.

Lianne La Havas

September 30, 2012

I adore Is Your Love Big Enough, every song (except the title track) is beautiful. My favourite track is above, Age is a popular one too. This is definitely a contender for my best-of 2012.

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