Ready? Let’s close it out. And this was no small feat, trust me. Not easy. My:
15 – Liquid Spirits – Music [site] – Artist from the Netherlands who surprised me with their title track. This track had me when it first played. Love the chorus.
14 – Erik Rico – Making Love [myspace] – Erik is an independant artist. I really enjoyed his album this year. Surprising in it’s simplicity, but very enjoyable.
13 – Peter Hadar – Laugh Together [myspace] – My favorite cut off of Well Dressed for the Art Show. When he sings "we say we look good together / but can we be goofy wherever" – I swear it’s like he knew me. Love that line.
12 – Q-Tip – Believe (feat. D’Angelo) [myspace | purchase] – From Renaissance. It’s so good, I use it as my ringtone for my G1. This also just accelerates the need for D’Angelo to drop something this year.
11 – Lalah Hathaway – 1 Mile [site | purchase] my favorite track from Self Portrait. Solid album from her- one of the most underappreciatd artists in my opinion.
10 – Luisito Quintero – Love Remains The Same (feat. Blaze) [purchase] – I admit that I’m a house fan, and defintiely a fan of Blaze. This track is my one of my many, many head nodders featuring them. Luisito Quintero’s Summer Madness is solid in and of itself, this is icing on the cake.
09 – Giovanca – Free [myspace | purchase] – I’m a fan of Benny Sings and also Wouter Hamel. Giovanca, also from Dox Recrods has a very good album with Subway Silence. The album itself is great, but this track, with a serious break in the middle filled with horns and percussion, is just golden.
08 – Coultrain – Green [myspace] Jealousy neve sounded so good. Love the southern touch and the violins. He’s also doing some work with Platinum Pied Pipers this year. Gotta be great.
07 – Jimmy Abney – Hello [myspace | purchase] Such an understated love track that gets me every time I hear it. I played it countless times, along with the album Return to Forever. Osunlade did a great job.
06 – Foreign Exchange – If She Breaks Your Heart – And now I can say this- Foreign Exchange’s Leave It All Behind is absolutely one of my top albums of the year. Picking a song out there is difficult at best, but Yazarah’s redux of Stevie Wonder’s If She Breaks Your Heart from Jungle Fever is absolutely incredible.
05 – Beady Belle – Tranquil Flight [site | purchase] – "rock me till I’m leavin’ reality behind." Beady Belle with the always killer bassline, took lyrics, seriosly infectious choruses, and soulful vocal accentuations that make me shake my head every time I hear this track.
04 – Incognito – I’ve Been Waiting [purchase] – Always a big fan of Incognito, believe that. Classic, classic stuff from them. Maysa’s vocals, horns and bassline. Did I mention Maysa? Yeah.
03 – Reel People – Perfect Sky featuring Joy Rose [purchase] – Reel People’s 7 Ways To Wonder is also one of my top albums of 2008. This track stands out with it’s layering of keyboards and was my wakeup song for the spring and summer of 2008. Bliss in stereo. Everytime I hear it, I smile.
02 – Swing Out Sister – My State Of Mind [site] – You might call me quirky, but hear me out. SOS always had my attention, and this track just made it sweeter. Taking old school with real instruments, add handclaps and background chatter. Then add sampling into the mix. Impeccable stuff.
01 – Jazzanova – Look What You’re Doin’ To Me Featuring Phonte [purchase] – Arresting, arresting track, pulls me to the end and absolutely leaves me hanging. Every.single.time. Phonte and Jazzanova killed it in 2008, believe that.
I could type this all night talking about these tracks, which I had to compile from about 50 tracks based on number of plays and my in-rotation podcasts of the year. I also restricted myself from just one track per artist. Jazzanova and Reel People would have easily had two tracks on this list- no question. From my assessment, this was more on the mid-tempo side this year, but that’s okay, because I’m a mellow kinda guy. I’ll be updating this list with my honorable mentions and also listing my top 8 albums of 2008, so stay tuned. As usual, take a listen to the podcast for more info. Special thanks to Foundation Media, Ariel Publicity, Soulbounce, and Macedonia. Take it light.