Here we go! My TOP 10 ALBUMS OF 2014. Always a tough list to compile being I’m not fond of Top anything lists. My views always change and then I end up regretting or forgetting a title. An example being Liam Bailey’s Definitely Now album, which should have easily been in my Top 3. No question. But Im sitting in the airport and figured I have some time to do my annual justification of each record. Okay. Live from Terminal 1 Gate 11. Lets do this! Your feedback is welcomed! @AnthonyValadez.
Nick Hakim – Where Will We Go (Pt 1 and 2)
Okay, easily a cheater, 2 EP’s formed into an album. I had Nick Hakim on my podcast and we talked about this coming out at a full LP so technically this isn’t cheating. Maybe I am a bit biased being that I spent way too much time at dog parks and dealing with a few changes and these two EP’s where there and hit me in a way that music has not in a few years. It’s a journey with instrumentation on point. Nick’s voice is also a notable stand out that compliments the chords and guitar licks.
Fatima – Yellow Memories
“Do Better“ was the first cut that hip to this record by blog darling Fatima. Fatima has been on my radar thanks in part to the UK support via radio and blog postings. But it was finally nice to hear a full LP from her in addition to remixes and singles. The album allowed the songstress to shine and show her depth from the villa-esque “Technology” to the playful “Biggest Joke Of All“
Majid Jordan- A Place Like This
Another EP cheater. But hey! It’s so good! I mentioned these guys at the start of 2014 on WBUR’s Here And Now and was hoping that at some point the duo would get some stateside love. Still too early to tell but they rose to fame as featured on Drakes “Hold On, We’re Going Home“. It’s dark, soulful but the beats and sample flips are so on point!
Oceaan – The Oceaan EP/The Grip
Following in the same steps as Majid Jordan w/ a twist of electronic blips, samples and chaos is Manchester’s Oceaan! Big thanks to Blah Blah Blah Science for passing me his work early on. Oceaan’s sounds at times become a little messy and somehow it’s perfectly mixed and easy on the ears. Think of a plane with massive turbulence then out of nowhere, easy sailing with a perfect landing. But not all tracks are this chaotic. Oceaan pieces it all together with his sultry falsetto. Peep below!
Les Sins – Michael
I’m biased. Anything Toro Y Moi related gets automatic antvala love. But lets clear, Im also objective and really not that fond of putting an ably of 4 on the floor albums on this list. I can only tolerate so many minutes of boom boom boom boom before Im like “next”. Chaz Bundick aka Toro aka Les Sins masterfully adds the right amount of “umph” and synths to make it all work. But the track’s stand out single “Why” has been in my head nonstop upon first listening. And still my jam!
Silk Rhodes – Silk Rhodes
You know an amazing song based on if you can remember where you were when you first heard it. I can still recall getting this cut from PB Wolf and just hitting repeat about 19 times. When I heard the rest of the album not really sure of what to expect, well, it was a wrap! Musically all over the place. I dig that about this band! And how amazing is this video below?
Daedelus – The Light Brigade
When Daedelus drops a records I’m not sure if it’s going to be an electronic record that explores various bpm’s and time signatures. But being a fan of his work as “The Long Lost” it’s nice to hear him return to guitar driven ballads and the mellow mind state wit this album!
Dilated Peoples – Directors Of Photography
Having taken some time off with their own adventures, it was nice to see the super trio regroup for a releases on indie Rhymesayers. Dilated continued right where they left off. Content on point and the packaging was simply creative and well put together. If you have listened to my show or even live sets, odds are you might have heard “Let Your Thought’s Fly Away” somewhere tucked into the mix.
Clap! Clap! – Tayi Bebba
Italian band “Clap! Clap! drop crazy dance floor heat, samples, in your face drums and bass on this. Just when you think you have this group figured out, in comes the slow melodies and ethnic chants that makes you think “is this a world album?” Clap! Clap! challenges me as a listener with this record.
Meshell Ndegeocello – Comet, Come to Me
Anything this woman drops is always music to my ears! Well, not everything but 90% of what she drops is flawless. Maybe 95%? Another example of an artist that you as a listener are never really sure of what you might get. This album is a bit of a return to “Bitter” and a few other recent releases. And how awesome is that Whodini cover of “Friends?”