Web Toolbar by Wibiya Bears and Bullets: Albums Of The Month: October 2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Albums Of The Month: October 2012

Albums Of The Month - October 2012

Before I start spouting off about what I think were the best albums of the past month, I'm terribly relieved to say that the election is finally over. It seemed to last two years, but it's finally over and dead. Now we can move on to the important things, like music and snacks and things.

3.) Andy Stott - Luxury Problems
There's a somber, underlying element to the murky electro house movement in the UK. There's more artists than one can count that bleed the elements - bass-heavy smoke screens filtered with echo spaced vocals, spinning slowly as if it were a stereotype of London rain. Ironically, the artist that seems to grasp the air space the best seems to be New York producer Burial, who plays with stuttered, moody vocals in the same vacuous landscapes.

And that's largely what is heard on Manchester producer Andy Stott's Luxury Problems. The sounds are unusually steep, but fit the billing of the English underground soundtrack. The tracks do the usually uneasy mission of collectively bleeding into one stable, but unnerving collage of movements. And as a whole piece, it comes through richer and fuller because of it.

2.) Miguel - Kaleidoscope Dream
I won't lie; I had no idea who Miguel was or where this album came from before early October. The obvious comparison here is to The Weeknd's breakthrough debut House Of Balloons, in 2011. To flatter sensibilities, that's actually fairly honest. The endearing R&B isn't slogged by lazy ambition, with Miguel asserting a collective identity. Tracks like "Do You" and standout "Don't Look Back" are immense, crashing, and exploratory, divvying between stadium aesthetics and street corner beats. In all, there's a lot to hear on the second and third times around, making Kaleidoscope Dream one of the more surprisingly daring albums of the year.

1.) Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d city
The number one album of October shouldn't shock anyone, anywhere. Among artists, Kendrick Lamar was probably mentioned more in 2012 than any other, and that was before the release of good kid, m.A.A.d city. With the tantamount hype raising ever so slightly by the weeks (a delayed release may have had something to do with it), the album delivered and then some. Tracks like "Backseat Freestyle" and "Swimming Pools (Drank)" had been out for some time before the full album, with fans admiring the Compton phenom's blisteringly fast verses, coated in some of the more stark themes that have become unfamiliar in mainstream hip-hop.

It's that obvious Compton influence that prevails here, twinged with modern spins. N.W.A. and Dr. Dre - who worked with Lamar on one of his first singles "The Recipe" - hold sway in a west coast vibe that spreads over territory. But rather than plug his Cali sensibilities every other verse, Lamar sells himself. Think more Tupac, less Easy E. Obviously that's a huge name to aim for, but if anyone can in, it seems he has the ability. 

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