Ched’s Top 8 Albums of 2007
8. T-Pain – Epiphany
Besides making people eventually sick of every song he puts out, this is one of the best R&B albums I have heard in a while, front to back. One can’t deny that beyond the synth voice and the pop-locking, this dude can write a lyrically good song. I reckon that he also has a great sense of humour. This artist is truly underrated, or atleast was when he first came out. He’s like the R&B Beck.
7. T.I. – T.I. vs. T.I.P.
I was so excited when this came out that I wrote a post about it. This is the T.I. album that changed my mind about him. This guy can really spit. It’s a shame he got nabbed for his involvement in the purchase of machine guns (and silencers); this was definitely his, ‘I’m on top’ album. Further listening: check the song ‘Slow Down’ on Wyclef’s Carnival Part II.
6. Common – Finding Forever
Easy. A Common Sense album is always dope. Though typically short, this one is better than usual, production-wise. Common had a good year, too. Apparently, before the BET Hip Hop Awards, he had never won an award on TV; unbelievable. Expect Common to be celebrated for years to come.
5. Lupe Fiasco – The Cool
This one just came out, so it hasn’t gotten as much play as the other albums in the list, but I can tell that it’s going to be on my iPod for awhile. Lupe is a technically sound rapper, and though he doesn’t absolutely kill, mispronounce and twist words the way Eminem would, his metaphors are absolute genius, and deserve replay. ‘Hip Hop Saved My Life’ is one of the best storytelling raps along with Kanye’s ‘Big Brother.’
4. Kanye West – Graduation
Alright, we all know this is on everyone’s list, and with good reason. This has to be one of the most progressive hip hop albums since Wu-Tang or Tribe. Kanye is fresh as hell on his album. What’s great about Kanye is that he had so much material before he came out, and since he got signed, he’s been slowly spreading it out over multiple platinum-selling albums. It goes to show the impressive longevity of these songs. I’m still waiting for ‘Apologize,’ though. You should check out his website and blog.
3. The Dream – Love/Hate
I’ll admit it, even though dude had a catchy song with Fabolous and a cute little video, I didn’t really see his star power. I mean, he wrote hits for J. Holiday and Rihanna, but really, who is this guy? All I know is that he loves the first letter of the alphabet and that his wife shares a name with skin-cream. Oh yeah, and his speaking voice sounds like he got kicked in the balls.
Well, this album is really, really good. The songs are smooth and groovin’, and full of unnecessary expletives (which is always a plus when you sing like a girl). The songs also mix into one another, à la FutureSexLoveSounds. Front to back, this is easily the strongest dude-sung album released this year. This album and Robin Thicke’s ‘Evolution of Robin Thicke’ are about equal in terms of what R&B should sound like, hmm… maybe minus the girly falsettos.
2. Jay-Z – American Gangster
Gotta love the Jay-Z hype. I remember listening to this album the first time. Not as good as the Black Album or Blueprint, but it was still enough for me to listen to it daily for two weeks, and it definitely delivered. I love these soulful beats! More, please. Strangely, the worst song is the Nas feature, ‘Success’ – it’s straight-up broken.
I never really understood the track order and how it’s graphed like a movie; other than putting ‘Fallin’ near the end and ‘Roc Boys’ in the middle. Perhaps the reason Jay-Z kept reiterating the importance of the ‘album-as-a-movie’ concept in his interviews is because iTunes fucks artists in the ass when it comes to selling an album track by track. It makes sense for Jay-Z to step down as Def Jam C.E.O. to create a ground-breaking record company with Apple’s Steve Jobs – if you cant beat ‘em, join ‘em.
1. Amy Winehouse – Back to Black
What kind of fuckery is this? There is no doubt that Amy Winehouse’s sexy-ass voice makes her my favourite performer right now, no matter how many teeth she ends up losing, and no matter how the tabloids want to turn her into Britney. Her first album, ‘Frank’ was just as fun as this one, having a definite hiphop-acoustic-jazziness sound going on, but this one seems more eclectic. Her voice also got a little bit more Jadakiss since then.
Be sure to peep ‘Amy Winehouse – Live in London;’ this chick is so damn cool, albeit a little fucked-up in the head.
In conclusion, I could have easily made this list into a top ten, but I wouldn’t feel right including albums I just didn’t play enough. That said, the following honourable mentions wouldn’t have been on that top ten list, but they are quirky albums that deserve atleast one sentence each. Go!
Beanie Sigel – The Solution
The long-awaited album from the Broadstreet Bully is, well, just alright. It should have been over-the-top gangster shit; but it’s missing something. Mack does have his rhyme craft down-pat, though; he’s still fierce.
Justice – Justice
Daft Punk they are definitely not. Nice try, though. They need more, “Whoa, that’s a weird Daft Punk-sounding riff” and less, “These electronic sounds hurt my ears! Turn that shit down!” Plus, they just look sad, man. Cheer up! Or get robot helmets…
M.I.A. – Kala
Yeah, this album is good, and maybe it should be on the list, but it just didn’t hold up as well as I would have liked it to. Sure, ‘Paper Planes’ is my favourite M.I.A. song, but for a lot of this album, I was thinking to myself, ‘Is this good? This is weird. I can’t tell’! After a while, I was able to tell. Oh, and what a waste of a Timbaland song; it should have killed.
Talib Kweli – Eardrum
Kweli is a dope-ass rapper, but as an album, he missed the mark this time. Too much front-end rapid-fire spitting, and not enough back-end banging beats. Maybe next year? Maybe Mos will be on it?
- Date: 03.Jan.08