This year was a challenge to come up with a top 10. Last year, however, was
slightly different as it was extremely difficult to come up with 10. I struggled
to even come with six if I remember correctly. This year was different in a
good way in that it was impossible for me to come up with merely 10 – at last
count, I believe I struggled with 25. While it would take far too much time
to post these all in one big list, I’ve decided to place the dynamic dozen into
the next music post (AKA the Essential CDs of 2004), and post the others for
Note that just because these didn’t make the top spots doesn’t mean you shouldn’t
get them – it just means that 2004 more than made up for 2003’s dry spell.
Taylor – Stoned
Part II, Slow Reality, 1/04. Stoned, Part I was one of my essential CDs
last year. Stoned, Part II was a great CD in and of itself. With this year being
such a tremendous year musically, compared to last year, Lewis just missed the
dozens. For your listening pleasure, the synthesized funk/soul of Madman
and another second take, Positively Beautiful 2.
Modeling School – White
People, Elektra, 11/04. The more and more I listen to HBMS, the more I shoot
myself for not placing this in the dynamic dozen. From De La Soul and the Starchild
Excalibur to John Oates (of Hall & Oates) to Cat
Power to Pharell Williams, they manage to mix everyone in and maintain their
consistency. It would have been easier for me to place the entire album here.
The two highlighted here, If It Wasn’t For You (with De La
Soul and Starchild Excalibur) and I’ve Been Thinking (featuring
Cat Power), are just the tip of the iceberg.
Davis, Jr. – Chicago
Forever, Ubiquity Records, 09/04. House music anyone? Roy Davis, Jr. has
it. This is the first year in quite some time that there are two house CDs that
I can place near the top of my list. If You Wanna and Wonderland
are here for your listening pleasure, both graced by Terry Dexter.
Toshi – Time
to Share, Sony, 09/04. R&B wise, Toshi with soul/jazz/hip-hop created
a great mix. With folks like Mos Def and Angie Stone, you can understand why
this was part of my listening pleasure. Living for Today and
It’s Time are two cuts that grabbed me.
Martin Luther –
Soul Music, Image Entertainment, 09/04. "Rebel Soul" is indeed
the best way to describe this CD. Rock, and soul is exemplified here. A lot
of people compare him to Lenny Kravitz. I just call him good. Commentary, guitar,
vocals everflowing. I’ve got Rise and Liquid Sunshine
here. Major props to Trent
for alerting me to this release.
Aya – Strange
Flower, Naked Music, 05/04. While Sweetback’s [Stage 2] was released with
a majority of the tracks graced by her vocals, it’s her solo album that placed
her in the forefront. 45 Parade Place and Uptown
are two tracks that grabbed my attention.
Most, if not all, of the tracks from this CD are less than 3 minutes long, which
will throw you curve balls while listening. MF Doom knows how to spit verses
while the music itself spins itself around in the background which entertained
me. Eyes and Curls are two that captivated
Anthony David (as
Rahsaan Patterson, and
Esoteric are three that did not receive ample consideration,
mostly because of time and bandwidth. This doesn’t mean that they weren’t great.
Check them out also.