Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Top Music of the Year

It was another busy year in the music business. Divas such as Mariah and Whitney dropped albums, neither of which lived up to the hype. Pop machines such as Britney and Madonna released greatest hit albums and Trey and Robin gave us a lot of sex therapy. Gaga ruled the charts and Chrisette and Maxwell gave us hints that real R&B is making a return.
Here are my favorite albums of the year. The list is not necessarily based on sales, but it's based on the actual cohesiveness of the albums, the vocal performances, and the artistic growth.

Coming in at number one is Chrisette Michele with Album of the Year.

1. Chrisette Michele, Epiphany
Breaking up never sounded as good as it does with Chrisette singing about it on her sophomore LP. Songs such as Notebook and Epiphany show a mature yet fresh take on life and love while the soulful Fragile shows her voice as anything but what the song's title implies. The Ne-Yo assisted What You Do is a call to action to lovers who don't practice what they preach and Playing Our Song takes it back to the 90s with its slick production and vocals. However, it was the gut wrenching Blame it On Me that best shows the album's pure emotion. When ending a relationship, Chrisette offers to take the blame and all of the responsibility as long as that means she can get out of the situation. An honest track that is even more powerful coming from a woman, it shows why Chrisette is the truth.

2. Kid Cudi, Man on the Moon: The End of Day
3. MIKA, The Boy Who Knew Too Much
4. Lady Gaga, The Fame Monster
5. Maxwell, BLACKsummers'night
6. Jay-Z, Blueprint 3
7. Trey Songz, Ready
8. John Mayer, Battle Studies
9. Rihanna, Rated R
10. The-Dream, Love VS Money

For Records of the Year, I chose the ten tracks that I felt gave the party a boost. Drake took the number one spot with his smash hit Best I Ever Had. Without even releasing a full album this year, he still managed to become rap's it boy and snag the top spot on my list.

1. Drake, Best I Ever Had
from So Far Gone
2. Jamie Foxx ft. T-Pain, Blame It
from Intuition
3. Jay-Z ft. Alicia Keys, Empire State of Mind
from Blueprint 3
4. Wale ft. Lady Gaga, Chillin
from Attention Deficit
5. Black Eyed Peas, I Got a Feeling
from The E.N.D. (Energy Never Dies)
6. David Guetta ft. Kelly Rowland, When Love Takes Over
from One Love
7. Ciara ft. Missy Elliot, Work
from Fantasy Ride
8. Kid Cudi, Day N Nite
from Man on the Moon: The End of Day
9. Rihanna ft. Young Jeezy, Hard
from Rated R
10. The-Dream ft. Kanye West, Walking on the Moon
from Love VS Money

Songs of the Year were chosen based on the songwriting and vocal performance. These are the songs that emotionally connected the most for me. With his Grammy nominated comeback single, Maxwell took the top spot on this one.

1. Maxwell, Pretty Wings
from BLACKsummers'night
2. Chrisette Michele, Blame it On Me
from Epiphany
3. India.Arie, Long Goodbye
from Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics
4. Trey Songz, Yo Side of the Bed
from Ready
5. Beyoncé, Sweet Dreams Medley
from I Am...Yours: An Intimate Performance at Wynn Las Vegas
6. Alicia Keys, Un-Thinkable (I'm Ready)
from The Element of Freedom
7. MIKA ft. Imogen Heap, By the Time
from The Boy Who Knew Too Much
8. John Mayer, Perfectly Lonely
from Battle Studies
9. Adam Lambert, Whataya Want From Me
from For Your Entertainment
10. Lady Gaga, Speechless
from The Fame Monster

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