Thursday, December 31, 2015

Top 5's of 2015 - Bete Smith!

Next up is Frederictonès Bete Smith. His list is always a nice change of pace since he is a big fan of Hip-hop as well. Enjoy!

I couldn’t narrow this list down to any fewer than ten and I could easily have done a list of 20, given all the quality releases this year. Here are my picks:

Album of the Year (three-way tie):

Oddisee – The Good Fight {It’s a hip hop record, but it brings to mind Stevie Wonder and Curtis Mayfield in its approach and subject matter – Oddisee is an incredibly talented producer and lyricist and doesn’t get enough recognition)

The Internet – Ego Death {I could listen to this anytime, anywhere, and not skip a single track. Funky R&B with a live band and a great vocalist.}

Kamasi Washington – The Epic {Does what it says on the tin – three hours of all-over-the-map jazz by a group of virtuoso musicians. I am amazed by the consistent quality of this album, despite its enormous scope.}

EP of the Year:

Nao – {I can’t wait until Nao releases her debut album in 2016 (supposedly, at least). For the time being, this EP and her latest single “Bad Blood” will be on constant rotation.}

The rest (in no particular order):

Mutoid Man – Bleeder {Rippin’ rock and roll! These guys get in and get out – they remind me of Zeke in that way.}

Rapper Big Pooh and Nottz – Not your typical hip hop album, nor should it be. Pooh is a gifted lyricist, and Nottz absolutely steals the show with the production on this – the drums on this one are ridiculous!}

Hiatus Kaiyote – Choose Your Weapon {An album that is hard to categorize, in the best way. Talented musicians and a standout vocalist.}

Archy Marshall – A New Place 2 Drown {Great voice, interesting and varied production; an album that flows naturally from beginning to end.}

Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly {I’m sure this album has been analyzed a million times. It is very, very good.}

Baroness – Purple {I was pleasantly surprised by this, as I wasn’t a big fan of their last record (Yellow and Green), having really enjoyed their catalogue prior to that. Great guitar work and vocals on this one, and lots of twists and turns in the melodies.}

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