Archive for Kamaal/The Abstract-Q-Tip 2002

Best Albums Of The Decade 00’s by DMSR

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 22, 2009 by Richard James Clark II

Best Albums Of The Decade

I have been reading a few of these online and it amazing how the last ten years in music has changed dramatically.

Downloading has become more prominent and I will be honest I will download albums to listen to them before buying a CD albums; this method has saved me a lot of money.

The albums I have chosen for the best albums of the decade are very different but I will be honest I listen to these albums still after they were released and that is the difference between my list and publicized lists.

My listening tastes, which are very varied compared to a lot of peoples, I recommend these for you to maybe re-listen to or acquire and if you have any comments please feel free to leave them.

1 Voodoo-D’Angelo-2000

One of my favourite albums of all time, all the songs are strong as one another, something I don’t find on many new albums which appear nowadays. I remember buying Brown Sugar when it came out in 1995 in America and always admired D’Angelo to make me listen back to old R&B music and hear his influences of Marvin Gaye especially his 70’s albums with their complex vocal arrangements, Stevie Wonder’s musicality, Prince’s forward thinking music experimentation, Curits Mayfield’s spiritual and holistic lyrical approach to music, Sly Stone’s complex arrangements and groove based early 70’s work and many more.

Voodoo goes another stage further then Brown Sugar ever did and could, by bringing soul and proper R&B music to the future.

With Voodoo the sound contains an experimental, groove-based funk sound with live instrumentation and a vintage production style, which contrasts the more conventional structure of D’Angelo’s debut album Brown Sugar (1995) that was really a hybrid of New Jack Swing and mid 90’s R&B.

It is to me the best R&B (meaning Rhythm and Blues not crappy pop R&B we hear nowadays) for the last 15 years and in the last ten years the album I still regard very highly.

The themes within the album have a mature outlook in D’Angelo’s songwriting with lyrical themes such as spirituality, sexuality, love, growth, and fatherhood.

But an interesting quote from an interview sums up D’angelos attitude to music and his way of working towards an album,

D’Angelo discussed his role as a musician and his influences in an interview with Ebony’s Kimberly Davis, stating “I consider myself very respectful of the masters who came before. In some ways, I feel a responsibility to continue and take the cue from what they were doing musically and vibe on it. That’s what I want to do. But I want to do it for this time and this generation”

I think D’Angelo succeeded at this and it’s a shame more artists don’t take risks like this in the genre or in music generally, only Radiohead come to mind trying to push boundaries. In the genre of R&B and Hip-Hop, Dwele and Maxwell and many more could have done this and have never been up to the task. Personally only Outkast, Q-tip, Erykah Badu, The Roots, Raphael Saddiq and Sa-Ra have tried to carry on this legacy, but they still lack the human spiritual/holistic and emotional response, which D’Angelo presents in his music.

2. Speakerboxx/The Love Below-Outkast 2003

Most people remember the successful hits from this very unorthodox album in comparison to what was released at the time and since, Hey Ya, The Way You Move, Roses, Prototype, but this album especially ‘The Love Below’ has a great theme with music that equals the great work of Prince, Sly Stone, George Clinton and many others. This two set album was experimental and very groundbreaking, being the first Hip-Hop album to win a Grammy.

Outkast had already for the last 10 years been developing a sound, which was and still is different from the other music around the genre of Hip-Hop. Stankonia a very successful album with the public and critics paved the way for Andre 3000 and Big Boi to write separate albums but eventually through record company intervention collide their efforts together. This should be in most peoples record collection as a album in future best of lists.

3. Kamaal/The Abstract-Q-Tip 2002

This album was officially released in 2001/2 and pulled off the shelves twice by Arista (L.A Reid) who believed the album was not commercial enough for the record buying public (and especially the Hip-Hop community) and low and behold Outkast’s new album was released a year later in 2003 destroying that ethos. Q-Tip now has this album released in 2009 independently.

Well what is the album like? It is a mixture of jazz, stripped down funk and Hip-Hop MC’ing in a spoken word form. It is a shame it wasn’t highly regarded in the first place, however you now can check it out by acquiring the album in shops everywhere.

4. Back to Black-Amy Winehouse 2006

Amy Winehouse has had a few later rough years (no doubt brought on by herself) but when you listen to this album you remember what she was famous for. Back to Black contains catchy songs, which appeals to older and young music listeners alike. Songs such as Rehab, I Know I’m No Good have long lasting appeal, and hopefully she can come up with another album as good as this next.

5. A Rush to The Blood Of The Head- Coldplay 2002

Coldplay have been one of the most successful groups in the 00’s, and when you think of Coldplay one album sticks to mind, with songs such as Clocks, The Scientist, In My Place. This album still shows the influence this group has on many British and US Indie groups of recent years, and shows what the group and Chris Martin’s songwriting has in high regard. Which others fail to achieve.

6. Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not – Arctic Monkeys 2006

For a debut album what a way to enter the music listening public, becoming the best selling debut British album for first week sales, and becoming one of the groups to look out for in the future, the new album Humbug is fantastic, perhaps the album of the year 2009. The Arctic Monkeys indie/styled punk with intelligent lyrics, great melodies and stark arrangements, came out in the midst of Myspace popularity, deserved hype through performing exhilarating gigs, quirky ditties about inner city Northern England life, with the energetic venom of punk. Probably one of the most important albums in British music history and still sounds fresh,

7. Silent Alarm-Bloc Party 2005

An underground group which came from the Goldsmith’s/New Cross London area, with a fresh forward thinking Indie album and which they have never equaled though they have tried. Bloc Party’s music became known through word of mouth and critical appeal, and sounds as great as the day it came out and well worth revisiting.

8. State Of Mind-Raul Midon 2006

An artist with amazing musical talent mixing flamenco, jazz, soul and great songwriting burst onto the scene in 2006 and is one of the best artists to watch live by the name of Raul Midon.

This album produced by the late Arif Mardin who actually signed him and showcases all self-written songs with the appeal to jazz and old R&B listeners alike. This album has beautiful songs with a positive overall message and is as important to jazz music to create crossover albums as Norah Jones Come Away With Me did and in my opinion this album is better.

9. Happenstance- Rachael Yamagata 2005

Her music is on alot of adverts and in the background of US Teen-aimed Television programs. But the British music listening public may not even know her, and probably doesn’t however this is the modern day equivalent to Joni Mitchell with beautiful written songs and a sleeping giant in creativity. Try to acquire this and listen to an artist who in my opinion is better then Norah Jones, Tori Amos Fiona Apple put together.

10. As I Am – Alicia Keys 2007

As talented as Roberta Flack back in her day, Alicia Key has dramatically led her own path of success and at the start of the decade came up with the highly regarded Songs In A Minor but for my personal listening her last album in 2007 really showcased Alicia Keys strong songwriting and great songs. A strong thematic album, which takes a while for, the first time to get used to but has outstanding songs, which are as fresh as when first heard.

Key Albums to Check out from the last ten years (in No Particular order)

Stankoina-Outkast 2000
Echoes-The Rapture 2003
The Rise and Fall of-Keite Young-2007
The Inner Beauty Movement – Lina 2004
Who Is Jill Scott-Jill Scott 2000
Mama’s Gun-Erykah Badu 2000
The Grey Album-Dangermouse 2004
Is This It? The Strokes 2001
New Amerykah Part One (4th World War) Erykah Badu 2008
Instant Vintage-Raphael Saadiq 2002
Late Registration-Kanye West 2005
Ruby Blue-Roisin Murphy 2005
Fleet Foxes-Fleet Foxes 2008
Down In Albion-BabyShambles 2007
Untrue-Burial 2007
Elephant-The White Stripes 2003
Drukqs-Aphex Twin 2001
Come Away With Me-Norah Jones 2002
The World Has Made Me The Man Of My Dreams-Meshell N’degeocello-2007
The Blueprint-Jay Z -2001
Sea Change-Beck 2002
Medulla-Bjork 2004
Boy In Da Corner-Dizzee Rascal 2003
Kid A-Radiohead 2000

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