This was by far more difficult than last year’s list, since there were so many good
releases, as I alluded to in my last post. Considering that there are CDs that
I was late in getting – Pretty
Grae, and Modest
Mouse just to name a few, I still feel like I’ve missed some things this
year. This list is in no particular order, since the genres, moods, and tunes
are all over the place, but in my mind, these are…..
Tortured Soul – Introducing
Tortured Soul. Purpose Records, 03/04. Genres: House, Live Instrumentation.
Tortured Soul’s album is special because all of the instrumentation is live,
which makes their shows even more exciting. While J-Notes‘
favorite song from this CD is Might Do Something Wrong, Honey
For Oshun and I have concluded that Why is the song that
we played repeatedly until our ears bled. They’re also very skilled with mellow
tunes, such as If You Want To Feel Alright.
See Also: Roy Davis, Jr’s Chicago
La Soul – The
Grind Date, Sanctuary Records, 10/04. Genre: Hip Hop. De La Soul came back
with a punch and demonstrated that they haven’t lost their step. It’s definitely
favorite CD. Church and Much More are
Day, StereoDeluxe, 07/04. Genres: Nu Jazz, Soul, Live Instrumentation, Electronica.
Ross Hillard takes music to brand new heights. Brilliant instrumentation is
the backdrop for most of the album. This album has been enhanced by many vocalists
(Clara Hill and Rachel Foster for starters), but the one most prevalent is Jane
Hamilton, with vocals on five of the tracks. While I literally could have placed
the entire album on this radio blog, I’ve constrained myself to two, Suddenly,
and a personal favorite of both Honey
for Oshun and myself, Fly Away.
See also: Clara Hill’s Restless
Times, Beanfield’s Seek,
Unabombers – Electric Soul 2, Pias, 09/04. Genres: Soul, Nu Jazz, Hip Hop,
Dance, Electronica. Manchester’s DJ partnership drops the most eclectic and
arguably the best compilation this year. While Prime
and Todd Kelley can get
down with This Thing, tracks on this compliation can be heard
everywhere, like Dedication by Beef Wellington which was featured
on The Wire.
BBE, 08/04. Genres: Rap, Hip Hop. I mentioned Foreign Exchange here,
but don’t take my word for it- Jason
and Todd are in agreement that this was one of the top releases
this year. Nic’s Groove and All That You Are
have been provided for your ears.
See also Little Brother’s Listening.
Naked Music, 11/04. Genres: Electronica, Soul. She’s collaborated with Cee-lo
and Esthero, and along with Eric Stamile, she’s created a great album. Some
of the tracks are gems. Just ask Trader
Mike. My two here are Falling and Repetition,
but if you were to ask Honey,
there are some people who are partial to Parkway. *wince*
Zap Mama – Ancestry
In Progress, VM2, BMG, 09/04. Genres: International, Africa, Soul, Hip Hop.
With special guests like Talib, Bahamadia, and Erykah Badu mixed in, it’s pure
goodness. Bandy Bandy and Yelling Away are
John Legend – Get
Lifted, Sony, 12/04. Genre: R&B. Technically this CD is being released
tomorrow. I’ve had it in rotation for at least 3 months, and it’s a CD that
managed to stay in heavy rotation ever since. It should have been released earlier. Get
Lifted and Live it Up are featured.
Amp Fiddler –
of a Ghetto Fly, Pias America, 06/04. Genres: Soul, Rock. At the risk of
being repetitive, I also liked him in my CD player and
live as well. Enigma would agree with me. Soul
Divine and Unconditional Eyes are in the mix here.