So we are passed the halfway point of 2014 (yes, already), and so, I thought it would be appropriate that we share our favorite albums that have been released in the past 6 months.
Now, personally, this has been a pretty disappointing first half of a year for me musically. By this time last year I was already loving the new records from Kanye West, Vampire Weekend, Portugal. The Man, Phoenix, Daft Punk and countless others. This year, however, I have been in a pretty big rut when it comes to new music. Even still, I can muster up three worthwhile albums.
1. St. Vincent - St. Vincent
I actually had never heard of St. Vincent until this album released this past Spring. Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent) is now my new love. The sound of this record is unlike anything I've ever heard. Annie Clark's voice is so beautiful. The same can be said with her guitar shredding. The overall production is astounding, as well. Just a top notch album from top to bottom.
2. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - Piñata
Same as with St. Vincent, I hadn't heard of Freddie Gibbs, nor Madlib (though I had heard of Madvillainy before), until this year. Actually, I found this album just a few days ago. This album, man. It's fucking good. Even though Freddie Gibbs is the Emcee, Madlib is the star of the album. The beats and samples the veteran DJ pulls together make this the greatest sounding hip-hop album in a long while. You could have told me this album was released in 1993 against 36 Chambers and I'd believe it (speaking of 36 Chambers and Wu-Tang, Pinata features Raekwon The Chef on one of it's best tracks). Pinata sounds like some classic 90's gangsta rap. Freddie Gibbs' rapping over Madlib's beats are about being a gangsta and the life that comes with it. The lyrics hit hard and are heartfelt. Pinata is a vintage sounding gangsta rap album that was very much needed in a time desolate of real hip-hop.
3. The Colourist - The Colourist
This one I don't have that much to say about. It's just a little indie pop-rock album. Like I said, it's been a pretty barren year for me when it comes to music. That's not to say this is a bad album. It's enjoyable, definitely. It's just that in a year I will most likely have forgotten about it. Still, it is a fun and quick listen with a lot of great pop hooks, harmonies, and one song features something that I just love; background clapping.
So there's my top three of the year so far Pretty alright top three I think. What are your favorite albums of the first half of 2014?
Edit: Oh and I shouldn't forget the long awaited NEON iCON from RiFF RAFF. A truly fantastically odd listening experience. RiFF RAFF is endlessly hilarious and entertaining, even if some of his songs are downright garbage. The first track on the album, "Introducing the Icon", is actually a well put together song, and the best song Mr. Jody Highroller has ever produced.