The Liner Notes

All the music that matters

Posts Tagged ‘Lil Wayne

Best albums of 2011 thus far

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Fall is in the air and that means that the time for 2011 new releases is drawing to an end. With that in mind here is a look, in no particular order, of contenders for this year’s best albums. Weigh in and vote for yourself.

Adele – “21”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bon Iver – “Bon Iver”

 

 

 

 

 

Death Cab for Cutie – “Codes and Keys”

 

 

 

 

 

The Decemberists – “The King is Dead”

 

 

 

 

 

Neon Indian – “Era Extrana”

 

 

 

 

 

Fucked Up – “David Comes to Life”

 

 

 

 

 

Kayne West & Jay Z – “Watch the Throne”

 

 

 

 

 

PJ Harvey – “Let England Shake”

 

 

 

 

 

Beady Eye – “Different Gear, Still Speading”

 

 

 

 

 

Radiohead – “King of Limbs”

 

 

 

 

 

TV on the Radio “Nine Types of Light”

 

 

 

 

 

Shabazz Palaces “Black Up”

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Simon – “So Beautiful or So What”

 

 

 

 

 

Primus – “Green Naugahyde”

 

 

 

 

 

Beastie Boys – “Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2”

 

 

 

 

 

White Denim – “D”

 

 

 

 

 

Kasabian – “Velociraptor!”

 

 

 

 

 

Lil Wayne “Tha Carter IV”

Top 10 albums of 2010

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When it was all said and done 2010 was a good year for music. There was a lot of growth in the industry and creativity with musicians and albums. For the first time in a few years I struggled to narrow the list of albums that could make this list rather than build one’s that could qualify. Those below are what made the cut from a bountiful year in music.

10) I Am Not A Human Being by Lil Wayne


 

 

 

 

It was a big year for Weezy F Baby. While in prison he released a No. 1 hit record here and justly so. I Am Not A Human Being picks up where Tha Carter III left off. Standout beats, twisted rhymes and Wayne’s lyrical acrobats make for an entertaining listen.

 

9) Sea of Cowards by The Dead Weather


 

 

 

 

Jack White wasted little time with this follow to the band’s debut Horehound. This time the result was a harder, dirtier stripped down Dead Weather, if that was even considered possible. Growling guitar riffs and thick bass are the backdrop to White’s scathing vocals. Crossing between several genres – blues, rock – this is a fantastic album.

 

8 ) Broken Bells by Broken Bells


 

 

 

 

When James Mercer of The Shins and Brian Burton, aka Danger Mouse, of Gnarls Barkley teamed up for this side project no one really knew what to expect. The result was nothing like either’s respective bands. Instead it delivered a mellow quirky journey with Burton’s beats and Mercer’s expanded vocals. Funky, funk and easy to listen to, the Broken Bells broke new ground with this collaboration.

 

7) Infinite Arms by Band of Horses


 

 

 

 

Airy, moody, mellow, all those are things one would expect from a Band of Horses album, and they are thick through and through these 12 tracks. Yet, somewhere the group found a deeper truth in their songs present here. The melodies are classic and catchy, but more than that the band has matured and the end result is truly grand.

 

6) Transference by Spoon


 

 

 

 

Spoon has a distinct sound. Fans are sure to lock onto their trademark sound and Britt Daniel’s signature voice in the matter of a chord or two. This album is no exception; however there is something special here. It is hard to define, which is what makes it so good, but even for Spoon this is an exceptional album, and that is really saying something.

 

5) High Violet by The National


 

 

 

 

Stark and striking and it is beautiful this is the first time The National has really shaken their indie sound to make a truly solid album from start to finish. It drags, at points, but in all this is a spectacular collection of songs, best enjoyed in the company of a lightning storm miles from civilization.

 

4) Mojo by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers


 

 

 

 

Petty has been making hit records longer than many people who attend his shows have been alive. He’s got it down. So how does a bonafide rockstar like Petty keep things interesting? Take the gloves off. Petty recorded this album straight off the studio floor with all instruments recorded simultaneously and few overdubs. The result is a range of bluesy deep tracks that reflect Petty raw.

 

3) My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West


 

 

 

 

Love him or hate him for his on and off stage antics, West has an uncanny ability to make hit records. With this tortured gem, West throws a little bit of everything into the pot and then adds his anger, hostility and a large dose of ego and viola something that has never been heard before. Good in spots and great in others, this album has a little bit of everything.

 

2) This is Happening by LCD Soundsystem


 

 

 

 

While The Sound Of Silver is still the standard for James Murphy, This is Happening was a breakout this year for the pop scene with unparallel beats and lyrics. Songs such as “Dance Yrself Clean” and “You Wanted a Hit” are instant classics with an air of familiarity, yet uniqueness, that only Murphy’s master craft can provide.

 

1) Plastic Beach by Gorillaz


 

 

 

 

Innovative, creative, groundbreaking and damn catchy just begin to scratch the surface of Plastic Beach. The Gorillaz not only braved new ground on this album, they built a whole new island forming collaborations with some of the best musicians around the globe. The end result is a kinetic masterpiece that will only be truly appreciated with time.

 

2009 Top 10 Albums

2008 Top 10 Albums

Written by David Young

December 26, 2010 at 7:49 pm

You pick’em

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It’s October and you know what that means.

That’s right it’s time to start sorting through this year’s releases to narrow it down to a list of the top ten.

It’s been a year of stellar music, which is why I am enlisting the help of my trusty readers. Below are a list of 15 albums that could be considered the best releases of 2010.

Your job simply vote for your favorite album, or leave a comment of those I have left off this list.

Enjoy:

Lil Wayne “I Am Not A Human Being”

The National “High Violet”

Jonsi “Go”

Mumford & Sons “Sigh No More”

Gorillaz “Plastic Beach”

Spoon “Transference”

Band of Horses “Infinite Arms”

LCD Soundsystem “This is Happening”

Arcade Fire “Suburbs”

Broken Bells “Broken Bells”

Eminem “Recovery”

MGMT “Congratulations”

Yeasayer “Odd Blood”

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers “Mojo”

Local Natives “Gorilla Manor”


New Music Tuesday

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Lil Wayne “I Am Not A Human Being”

Weezy F Baby may still be behind bars at Rikers, but that hasn’t stopped him from dropping a new album online before the Oct. 12 physical release date.

“I Am Not A Human Being” leaves Weezy’s rock and roll phase of “Rebirth” and flashes back to the genius of “Tha Carter III.”

Slick catchy beats combined with Wayne’s signature off the cuff lyrics makes for a solid album. Top tracks I’m Single, What’s Wrong With Them, Right Above It.

Eric Clapton “Clapton”


Eric Clapton drops 14 laid-back bluesy tracks on his latest self-titled album. This is signature Clapton, solid guitar work overlaid with Clapton’s smooth singing.

No major surprises here, but as always Clapton delivers the goods from the ol’ time blues number Rockin’ Chair where Clapton sings for his gin while kicked back in his rocking chair to the more up-tempo That’s No Way To Get Along.

It appears Clapton, like his gin, has mellowed with age.

Jimmy Eat World “Invented”


Jimmy Eat World seems to have found a niche in sugary pop songs that you just can’t shake once their in your head. But their latest effort on “Invented” is amazing.

The band seems to have really stepped to another level here. They still retain their signature sound, but the lyrics and composition of songs is a bit more complex and hits you on a deeper level than just humming along.

Top tracks: Heart is Hard to Find, Higher Devotion, Coffee and Cigarettes and Mixtape. There is also a bonus track version that includes an acoustic version of Coffee and Cigarettes that is worth a listen.

Soundgarden “Telephantasm”


A blast from the past, Soundgarden drops a double disc here a mix of early material, live tracks and hits.

Aside from the usual suspects here: My Wave, Spoonman and Blackhole Sun there are some hidden gems on here such as Jesus Christ Pose live in Sturgis, South Dakota recorded in 1993 and Blow Up the Outside World (MTV Live N’ Loud).

A lot of the tracks are heavier and more metal-based than the more radio-friendly hits that Soundgarden is best known for.

Ben Folds “Lonely Avenue”


Ben Folds, frontman of Ben Folds Five, teams up with English author Nick Hornsby, author of “About a Boy” and “High Fidelity,” here to create a beautifully low-key album.

Folds doesn’t lose his sense of humor on this album, seen in songs such as Rockin’ the Suburbs. On the intro track A Working Day Folds sings “Some guy on the net thinks I suck and he should know he’s got his own blog.”

A bit of a departure from his previous stuff, “Lonely Avenue” is an interesting shift that may take a listen or two before it settles. Top tracks: Your Dogs, Practical Amanda and Password.

Written by David Young

September 28, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Digital music dominates 2008

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So it is officially 2009 and we are still downloading music to our hard drives rather than directly into our brains like some sort of futuristic sci-fi novel.

While someday we may be able to upload music directly to our cerebellums, it looks as if for the foreseeable future that MP3s will reign supreme.

According to Nielsen Co. Americans bought more music in 2008 than ever before, but album, sales witnessed a steady decline.

Music sales, including CD, cassette, vinyl and digital downloads, increased more than 10 percent over 2007. According to the year-end report, digital music accounted for more than 70 percent of that increase.

As the digital musical media experienced record growth, traditional albums fell by 428.4 million compared to 2007. Rob Sisco, Nielsen’s president of music, was quoted in USA Today saying that music purchases are “astronomically high but it’s a marketplace in transition from physical to digital.”

The trend is sure to continue, and the gap in digital versus album sales will grow in 2009. As a consumer it is far easier to click a button, pay $9.99 and have an album on your hard drive as opposed to driving to a store and paying upwards of $14 for a physical copy.

While digital downloading is easy and convenient, there are certain aspects that the next generation is sure to miss out on. The traditional Tuesday trip to the local record shop to check out the new releases and flip through the rows of albums is going by the wayside.

This site’s namesake, Liner Notes, once an art unto itself, is being reduced to PDF files that include little more than a couple photos and a MySpace web address. The musty smell of an old record shop packed to the gills with odds and ends can never be replaced by megabytes and iTunes libraries.

Yes, technology will propel us forward to the point when we plug our headphones into our forehead, but in the meantime make sure to make time for the corner record shop this New Year. If nothing else feeling vinyl between fingertips does the soul good

Top 10 downloaded songs for 2008:

1) Low by Flo Rida Featuring T-Pain

2) Bleeding by Love Leona Lewis

3) Lollipop by Lil Wayne Featuring Static Major

4) I Kissed a Girl by Katy Perry

5) Viva La Vida by Coldplay

6) Love Song by Sara Bareilles

7) Apologize by Timbaland Featuring OneRepublic

8) No Air by Jordin Sparks Duet With Chris Brown

9) Disturbia by Rihanna

10) 4 Minutes by Madonna Featuring Justin Timberlake

Source: Billboard Hot Digital Songs / The Nielsen Company

 

 

Written by David Young

January 3, 2009 at 4:29 pm

Top ten albums of 2008

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Music in 2008, like the economy, was disappointing. 

It seems as if the last album to really warrant any acclaim was Radiohead’s “In Rainbows” released in Dec. 2007.  

In the past 12 months there have been some big names with high expectations to release some so so albums. 

Kayne West’s “808’s and Heartbreak” is the first to pop to mind. However, amid the reels and reels of rubbish released this year there were some bright spots that leave a sense of hope for creativity, progression and the art of music. 

Here are the top ten albums of 2008: 

10) When life gives you lemons you paint that sh@! Gold by Atmosphere

atmosphere-lemons1-1 The year of 2008 witnessed a new Slug; a happier lighter Slug, which earns Atmosphere a spot on the list. When life    gives you lemons… is just plain fun. The rhymes are still highly personal, but tracks like “You” add a stylized sweet  flavor to the masterful beats mixed by Ant. This album launched the duo into a new spotlight taking part in larger  shows like the Monolith festival.   

 

9) Viva la Vida by Coldplay

vivalavida Coldplay has a formula. They are very very good at it, and it works. Viva la Vida is no exception. The band put  together another powerful group of songs here including, “Violet Hill,” and “Viva la Vida” and “Cemeteries  of  London.” Polished as ever, Coldplay is still on top of their musical game five albums later, and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

 

8) Ghosts I-IV by Nine Inch Nails

nin_ghosts Ghosts is just that, a little glimpse into the mind of Trent Reznor. Following Radiohead’s template, Reznor gave away  Ghosts I for free and it was good enough to hook fans for II-IV. With no lyrics, Reznor is free to focus on his mixers,  stabilizers, faders, guitars, beats and a plethora of other toys that combine to make Ghosts an album to rival Burial.    

 

7) Third by Portishead

90_1020-portishead-third Brooding, dark, beautiful and powerful, Third is all of these and more. It was the album of 2008 that would surmise a  bad day, provide a soundtrack to a rainy night or simply numb everything. Its sound seeps into the pores, and  sweeps over the body.

 

 

6) Modern Guilt by Beck

beck-modern-guilt With the infusion of Dangermouse’s creative beats Beck’s still manages to brave new sonic ground on his 10th album.  Full of creative catchy songs, Modern guilt is a mix of Beck’s off the wall antics and social commentary on today’s  world. While short, the work is sure to stand the test of time as one of 2008’s brighter moments.

 

5) Only by the Night by Kings of Leon

51slzxntrl_ss500_1 Perhaps with Kings of Leon’s shift from hard southern rock to a more polished sound with this album, placing them  at No. 5 is generous. But, Only by the Night is a sound album from start to finish. It is filled with standout songs like  “Sex on Fire” and “Use Somebody.” Different, yes, but regardless the music speaks for itself.

 

4) Tha Carter III by Lil Wyane

lil_wayne_tha_carter_3 Obligated to make the list? Yes. However, it took years of collaboration, hard work and writing to create “Tha Carter III.” And it’s arrival signified a paradigm  shift in the world of hip-hop. Wyane is really ahead of his time with this. It will take years before the effects of this  album are really seen in the industry.   

 

 

3) Dear Science, by TV on the Radio

tv_on_the_radio-dear_science-cover This is a grandiose sweeping album for this Brooklyn band that shows a band really coming into its own here. TVOTR  set its sights high with this effort and connected on all targets. The music flows smoothly from one song to the next  painting a sonic soundscape for the listener that is both relaxing an intriguing at the same time. Perhaps the most  intriguing aspect of Dear Science is how effortlessly TVOTR makes this album appear.

 

2) Forth by The Verve

up-3verve1 After a 11 year hiatus The Verve seemed to seamlessly appear out of the clear blue sky depicted on Forth’s cover.  Since the band’s massive success with “Urban Hymns” there was a sense that this was a last ditch effort by a band  past its prime. For that reason it flew under the radar receiving little press. The truth is this album is a  masterpiece. It is composed with the utmost care to detail. Every note speaks to the listener on a personal level.  The intricacies of how the music is blended, takes a minimum of 10 listens to even begin to dissect. High point “Love is Noise.”  

1) The Bedlam in Goliath by The Mars Volta

bedlamcover This album is louder, faster and more composed than anything Mars Volta has released to date. And that is saying  something. These West Texas boys know how to let loose. From its first song, “Aberinkula” through “Wax Simulacra”  and the title track “Goliath” the pace leaves little room to breathe. Delving into new terrain, Mars Volta turns it up to  11 on Bedlam earning it this year’s No. 1 spot.

Written by David Young

December 21, 2008 at 2:32 pm