I can’t let Paul do all the work right? If you haven’t been following, Paul has put together an exhausting list of his top 100 songs of 2010. You can read his latest, which is Part Nine.
My lists aren’t going to be exhaustive at all. In fact, they’ll be at most, five long.
I loved looking back through my iTunes collection and remember all the stuff that I (and my kids) bought in 2010.
Most Fun Album Of 2010
3. Big Boi: Sir Lucious Left Foot… The Son Of Chico Dusty
You know where artists are really killing it these days? Video games. Big Boi’s Shutterbug is all over the new NBA 2K video game and whenever it comes on, my kids and I start nodding our heads while getting ready to play some cyber hoops. Most of the new album is that fun. It’s video game fun.
2. Bruno Mars: Doo-Wops & Hooligans
I had this one on my radar from day one, but I was a bit apprehensive at listening to an entire album of his work. While it’s not going to grab you and make you think, it’s very charming and engaging. The dude just gets how to write music that people enjoy listening to. That’s the entire game right there.
1. B.o.B.: B.o.B. Presents: The Adventures Of Bobby Ray
I asked at least two people what they thought about this one before hitting that purchase button on iTunes. It became the most played record in my collection for 2010. Airplanes, part 2 with Eminem, Nothin’ On You, Magic, Past My Shades, and Don’t Let Me Fall would’ve all been on any kind of favorite songs of the year list had I considered to make one.
Most Disappointing Album Of The Year
3. Maroon 5: Hands All Over
I’ve wondered if these guys would turn into a modern version of Huey Lewis & The News. I’d be totally fine with that. But there’s something missing. Like a wink, wink, nudge, nudge. Huey seemed to be in on the joke, while Adam Levine seems to take this stuff way too seriously. There are some fun songs on this album, but not enough.
2. Christina Aguilera: Bionic
I’m not quite sure what she was trying to do here. It’s kind of messy and all over the place. But I’ll give her a mulligan. She’s recently had a child and then divorced her husband, all while trying to do the music and movies thing. She’s quite ambitious, but not entirely bionic enough to succeed thus far based on this album and Burlesque feedback.
1. Usher: Raymond Vs. Raymond
Just when you thought this dude was growing up, he took a bad left turn somewhere at “Bieber Avenue”. Some of his little buddy Justin’s songs were more mature than the filth that sludges around this album. The guy is in his 30s now, has babies, and is whoring himself out all over this album. I guess that’s what happens to artists who panic when they start to lose the teeny bopper audience.
Most Overrated Album Of The Year
1. Eminem: Recovery
There’s really only one album that fits the bill for me. Kanye’s new album is overrated to an extent and I’ll explain that in a bit, and I never fully got into Drake’s album even though it was well received, but this is the only album I bought all year long where I felt that the praise wasn’t all deserved. To be fair, this is Eminem’s best work in years. But in no way should he get free passes at this point in his career. For all the folks who say he’s back, I say that he’s still the same dude, but just with better direction this time.
Favorite Songs Of The Year
3. Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour): Jay-Z, Bono, The Edge, & Rihanna
This song fell under the radar because of how early it came out in 2010, but also because it’s basically a song for charity. But it’s excellent. I’m not sure there was more star power on any song in 2010. But with that star power came an understanding about how to make it about the song and the purpose, which is why I think it works so well. Never before (at least to my ears) have Jay-Z and Bono been so understated.
2. The Other Side: Bruno Mars, Cee Lo Green, and B.o.B.
It’s the very last track on Mars’ debut album, and it also very well might be the best track on the album. Shame on me for not having purchased Cee Lo’s new album, but I was put off by his gimmicky single. But here you have three artists who brought it in 2010, working together to create a jam and a half.
1. Enrique Iglesias featuring Pit Bull: I Like It
Ok, I was just seeing who was paying attention. Here’s the real number 1.
1. One In A Million: Ne-Yo
The biggest heap of praise I can give this song is that it’s the best Michael Jackson-like song that I’ve heard from the recent batch of artists who owe their entire careers to MJ. It’s just too bad that Ne-Yo’s current album couldn’t bring the same fire as this.
Favorite Albums Of The Year
5. El DeBarge: Second Chance
This came out late in the year, but if you want to hear straight up R&B the way they used to do it in the old days, this is where you go. There are a couple of guest rappers on it, including 50 Cent who is also featured on Michael Jackson’s posthumous work, but they don’t ruin it. El’s album is the R&B album of the year.
(By the way, what does that say about 50’s career that two of his most memorable 2010 moments are bad verses on albums of artists who were hot like fire in the 80s?)
4. The Black Keys: Brothers
My man Big Money Mike hipped me to these guys, but it wasn’t until I read an article about Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney and their semi-dysfunctional relationship in Rolling Stone, did I decide to dig in. And I’m glad I did. Their music isn’t poppy enough for me to throw on for a long drive with the kids, but if you throw on your headphones and get lost in it, they’ll take you on quite the journey.
3. B.o.B.: B.o.B. Presents: The Adventures Of Bobby Ray
I think I’ve already said enough about this dude. Maybe I should run his PR.
2. Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Here’s where I’m going to get flack. I’m a Kanye fan. I’ve been with him from day one. His new album is pretty darn brilliant. But I think people are overlooking what he says because of how fantastic it sounds. The guy’s rhyme game is definitely improving. And when you hang out with Jay-Z, it should improve simply by osmosis right? What I don’t get about this album is that he’s talking about slapping and hurting women consciously and we’re giving him the ok to do it. I think dude definitely has major issues and needs to grow up.
I get that it’s an act and that he’s playing a character, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.
All of that being said, it’s now my second favorite album of his, even with the issues I have with it. Late Registration will still get more play time on my iPod, but this will definitely have a long life. I get amped up every time I hear So Appalled.
1. The Roots: How I Got Over
The Roots are the most consistently good act in music. They were able to juggle their new gig of being Jimmy Fallon’s house band with creating new music that stayed true to their roots, which I think is the point. Maybe their new album should’ve been titled Bionic.
Thanks for reading and have a happy, and safe start to 2011.