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2015: Albums of the Year

tameimpala2015

*Best of 2015*

10) Panda Bear
Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper
[Domino]

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09) Carly Rae Jepsen
Emotion
[Interscope]

CRJ_Emotion-(USdeluxe-album-cover)_lr_0

08) Lower Dens
Escape From Evil
[Ribbon Music]

Lower_Dens_-_Escape_From_Evil

07) Neon Indian
VEGA INTL. Night School
[Mom+Pop]

cover_night_school

06) Beach House
Depression Cherry / Thank Your Lucky Stars
[Sub Pop]

beach-house-depresssion-cherry-album1
a1005992513_10

05) Future
DS2
[Epic/Free Bandz]

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04) Deerhunter
Fading Frontier
[4AD]

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03) Kendrick Lamar
To Pimp a Butterfly
[Top Dawg/Aftermath/Interscope]

ToPimpAButterfly.0

02) Vince Staples
Summertime ’06
[Def Jam]

vince-staples-summertime06_zd5ztj

01) Tame Impala
Currents
[Interscope]

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Here is a list of my twenty-five favorite songs from 2015. These are listed in alphabetical order and has been limited to one track per artist.

Beach House – Elegy to the Void
Carly Rae Jepsen – I Really Like You
Courtney Barnett – Depreston
Deerhunter – Breaker
Drake – Hotline Bling
easyFun – Laplander
f(x) – 4 Walls
Galcher Lustwerk – I Neva Seen
Grimes – Realiti
James Ferraro – Skid Row
Jamie xx – I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times) (Feat. Young Thug & Popcaan)
Jason Derulo – Want to Want Me
Julia Holter – Feel You
Justin Bieber – What Do You Mean?
Kanye West – All Day
Kelela – Rewind
Kendrick Lamar – King Kunta
Kurt Vile – Pretty Pimpin
Mac DeMarco – I’ve Been Waiting For Her
Miguel – Coffee
Tame Impala – The Less I Know The Better
Tate Kobang – Bank Rolls (Remix)
Vince Staples – Norf Norf
The Weeknd – As You Are
Young Thug – Constantly Hating (Feat. Birdman)

2014: Albums of the Year
Ariel Pink

*Best of 2014*

05) Eno/Hyde
High Life
[Warp]
Eno/Hyde

04) Spoon
They Want My Soul
[Loma Vista]
Spoon

03) Aphex Twin
Syro
[Warp]
Syro

02) Future
Honest
[Epic/Free Bandz/A1]
Future

01) Ariel Pink
Pom Pom
[4AD]
Ariel Pink

Here is a list of my favorite songs from 2014. These are listed in alphabetical order.

18+ – All The Time
Ariana Grande – Problem (Feat. Iggy Azalea)
Ariel Pink – Lipstick
Aphex Twin – Circlont6a [141.98] (syrobonkus mix)
Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks – Little Fang
Bobby Shmurda – Hot Nigga
D’Angelo & The Vanguard – Sugah Daddy
Death Grips – Have a Sad Cum
Eno/Hyde – DBF
Future – Benz Friendz (Whatchutola) (Feat. Andre 3000)
Future Islands – Seasons (Waiting On You)
ilovemakonnen – Club Goin’ Up On A Tuesday (Feat. Drake)
Mac DeMarco – Passing Out Pieces
Migos – Fight Night
Panda Bear – Mr. Noah
Pure X – Valley of Tears
Real Estate – Crime
Spoon – Do You
Taylor Swift – Shake It Off
The War On Drugs – Red Eyes

2012 Albums of the Year

Frank Ocean

*Best of 2012*

10) Grimes
Visions
[4AD]
Visions

09) James Ferraro
Sushi
[Hippos in Tanks]
Sushi

08) Dirty Projectors
Swing Lo Magellan
[Domino]
Swing Lo Magellan

07) Dean Blunt
The Narcissist II
[Self-released/World Music Group/Hippos in Tanks]
The Narcissist II

06) BEBETUNE$
inhale C-4 $$$$$
[Self-released]
inhale C-4 $$$$$

05) Wild Nothing
Nocturne
[Captured Tracks]
Nocturne

04) Death Grips
The Money Store
[Epic]
The Money Store

03) Kendrick Lamar
good kid, m.A.A.d. city
[Top Dawg/Aftermath/Interscope]
good kid, m.A.A.d city

02) Lotus Plaza
Spooky Action at a Distance
[Kranky]
Spooky Action at a Distance

01) Frank Ocean
Channel Orange
[Def Jam]
Channel Orange

Here is a list of my favorite songs from 2012. These are listed in alphabetical order.

Andy Stott – Numb
Austin Cesear – Cloud Hall
Beach House – Myth
Bear in Heaven – Sinful Nature
BEBETUNE$ – M A D N E $ $
Bob Dylan – Narrow Way
Dan Deacon – Lots
Death Grips – Hacker
Dirty Projectors – Dance for You
Farrah Abraham – After Prom
Frank Ocean – Bad Religion
Gary War – Superlifer
Grimes – Oblivion
James Ferraro – SO N2U
Jessie Ware – Running
Kendrick Lamar – Backseat Freestyle
Lotus Plaza – Monoliths
Lower Dens – Brains
Wild Nothing – Paradise
情報デスクVIRTUAL – iMYSTIQUE エジプト航空「EDU」

Weekend at Burnie's
My go-to rap album for the summer of 2010 was Curren$y’s smooth debut album, Pilot Talk. This summer, 6/28 to be precise, Curren$y is going to release Weekend at Burnie’s, an album that is a shoe-in for the “best album cover of the year” title. This will be his second release from Warner Brothers. Listen to the lead single “#jetsgo” below.

EXCLUSIVE ALBUM TEASER BELOW, ONLY @ LOCUSTSTREET.WORDPRESS.COM!

Tennis Shoes & Tuxedos If you’re into hip-hop by any means at all, you must check out Curren$y’s blog. This site possesses some of the most exciting hip-hop mixtapes that are being released. Earlier this year we heard solid music from Curren$y’s Return to the Winner’s Circle (Mixtape), Stalley’s Lincoln Way Nights (Mixtape), and now we can add Tennis Shoes & Tuxedos, from the ex-No Limit/Ruff Ryder O.G., Fiend, to the list of great mixtapes from this blog.

The element that sets this release apart from anything else in the current hip-hop landscape is the production effort. Tennis Shoes… sounds like maximalist Ski Beatz, drawing from influences of lounge (“Paradise”), jazz, psychedelic rock (“Luvin Life”), even spaghetti-Western soundtracks (“Cali-Fornia”). The track “Absolutely” features the stand-out beat, utilizing a digitized voice sample that stutters throughout the track emphasizing the bass-thump layered beneath.

As is the case with a lot of these Bluroc mixtapes, there are several featured artists who are essentially label mates on some of the tracks. Big K.R.I.T., Smoke DZA, Trademark da Skydiver, Corner Boy P, and Curren$y appear intermittently throughout the course of the mixtape, and Fiend’s flow holds up to the everyone on that list. Well, perhaps not quite with Curren$y, who is featured on the album’s anthemic “Luvin Life,” and it can be said that Curren$y’s verse is distinctly better than anything else on here for that matter. Perhaps he’s riding the vibe of just signing to a major-label (which is Warner Bros., here’s to hoping that he doesn’t sell-out, I’m not interested in hearing any WILL.I.AM. beats, that is for sure). But to specific about the verses, remember that this is dirty-South hip-hop. You’re going to hear a lot about cars, money, women, and weed. But, if that doesn’t bother you, you will be satisfied with this mixtape and you’re also going to be anticipating whatever it is these guys release next. Now, for the time being, JETS!

(Reviewer’s Score: 3.7/5)

The Blueprint 3 Album Cover At the start of 2009, I honestly felt that it could be the year where hip-hop stole the limelight from other music scenes. Jay-Z’s latest studio album was heavily promoted, rumors ran around Dr. Dre dropping a new album, and Kanye West was potentially going to release a proper rap album during the summer. Something unlike his pop album from last year, 808s & Heartbreak. I’m also awaiting Rich Boy’s sophomore album that features his promising single “Drop.” However, the year has been rather disappointing for hip-hop (save Raekwon’s long awaited Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Pt. II). Dr. Dre’s album never dropped and Jay-Z’s BillBoard Top 200 topper is undoubtedly his worst studio album to date. Even more disconcerting is that his latest album shares the moniker of his classic Blueprint. I really don’t want to associate this album with that, nor do I want this to be known as a blueprint for future rap albums.

The album begins with the first of seven Kanye West produced tracks. Five of his beats have co-producers, which gives a “too many cooks” feeling that arises time and again throughout the duration of the album. Kanye’s traditional brass and futuristic sounds are there, but often sound muddled by other instruments, typically guitar. Even without the additional producers, none of the beats are anywhere near the quality one would expect from Kanye.

As for Jay, as it is his album, some of his verses do sound promising. This is really unfortunate because the chorus sections plague the album on nearly every track. They come off as simply annoying, most notably on the album’s two lowest points; “Thank You” and “Young Forever.” The only track that deserves a listen is the New York City anthem “Empire State of Mind,” featuring Alicia Keys who does a great job on this track. Considering it neo-Nancy Sinatra may be a stretch…but it still did come to mind. “Run This Town” may be worth a listen too, but only for pop culture purposes. Young Jeezy features on “Real As It Gets,” which has the only non-annoying chorus, he also steals the spotlight from Jay-Z on this one.

Now to say that I expected a great album would be completely false. I almost figured it wouldn’t be hot when I saw the track list for the first time. The original Blueprint was a Jay-Z album. Blueprint 3 has a featured artist on 11 of its 15 tracks, a medley of top 40 artists, which is simply just too many egos to deal with. The album’s cover almost foreshadows what to expect…a mess that’s painted the same color. Here, it is a mess that sounds the same throughout. Dismal choruses, poor production efforts, and intriguing-at-best verses. Sorry Jay, perhaps the game really has changed.

(Reviewer’s Score: 1.5/5)