Top Albums of 2011
Cee Lo Green– The Lady Killer
Holy Buddha this man can sing and I can just feel his heartbreak in the songs. He knows how to do I hate you songs, I miss you songs, and I’m going to get you back songs. It took me a little longer to really appreciate this album, so don’t give up on it after a listen or two. It just gets better the more you listen and discover little quirks of lyrics and vocals. Cee Lo makes me want to be ‘Old fashioned,’ know that ‘It’s ok’ and I’m definitely a ‘Fool for you.’
Favorite Track: No One’s Gonna Love You
Ray LaMontagne– Gossip in the Grain
One of the best things about making new friends is picking their music loving brain. Jeff introduced me to Ray and I am forever grateful. It’s hard to believe a voice so sweet could come out of such a bearded man. But it does, and so are the words. The man has such a way with them that I had to download all his available albums, but this one is my favorite. The entire thing is extremely listenable for any mood, though I lean towards ‘I still care for you,’ ‘Meg White,’ and ‘Let it be me.’
Favorite Track: You are the Best Thing
Tom Petty– Wildflowers
I realize that this album isn’t exactly new to the world, but it was to me as of this year. Another Jeff Jackson introduction, this is the nickname he has dubbed me with and there’s no Tom Petty album I can listen to without thinking of Jeff. I like listening to Tom when I’m feeling guitar-y and a little hippie.
Favorite Track: Wildflowers
Nicki Minaj– Pink Friday
I love Nicki Minaj for being a strong female role model. She thrives in the overwhelmingly male dominated rap/hip-hop community often with some of the best lines of a collaboration. Say what you want about the Lil’ Kim beef she has had going, Minaj is tearing up the trails that Kim and others before her first blazed. When I need a confidence booster, I’ll try ‘I’m the best,’ ‘Fly’ featuring Rihanna, or ‘Last Chance’ featuring Natasha Bedingfield or ‘Right through me’ for a smile about the manfriend. The best thing about Pink Friday? Knowing there’s going to be another album following.
Favorite Track: Superbass doesn’t have 233 listens on my Itunes in six months without reason.
Lady Gaga- Born This Way
There’s a reason Lady Gaga is my favorite artist. She just keeps getting better. There’s something about the universe that had the Mother Monster release an album titled ‘Born This Way’ when I’m in a country that constantly questions my looks, my attitudes, and sometimes my very existence here. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve plugged in the earbuds to release some kind pressure of living as a Peace Corps Volunteer with ‘Born this way,’ ‘You and I,’ ‘Bad kids,’ ‘Edge of glory,’ or ‘Americano’. I can’t say enough about her Ladyship, just do yourself a favor and listen to this album.
Favorite Track: Hair
Honorable Mentions: Rolling Stone’s Sticky Fingers, Sky Blue Sky by Wilco, and Sweeter from Gavin Degraw