In order of most recently purchasedLes Rythmes Digitales - Darkdancer [2-CD Special Edition] (2005)
This is my most recent purchase. I bought it after falling in love with "Sometimes" a few months back. I discovered the actual album by accident while searching for French House titles on Amazon. Ignorantly I thought this was French House music a la Cassius, Daft Punk, etc. until I heard the samples. Later, I found out LRD was simply the pseudonym of Stuart Price. Once I found out it was him, I had to have this album. I must say, it's a jewel. I can't get enough of it at the moment. I am a self-admitted eighties-o-phile, and anything remotely paying tribute to this decade will garner interest by me. Almost every sonic speed bump of that era is covered here. This project so reminds me 1997 -- the year I was obsessed with any and all things 80s. From the music, to movies like Breakin' 1 & 2: Electric Boogaloo
and fashion. I was wearing 80s clothes and kicks at my high school when it wasn't even considered hip. I was six years ahead of my time! Stuart was two!
Download This: "Sometimes," "Take A Little Time," "Jacques Your Body (Make Me Sweat)"Annie - Anniemal (2005)
My favorite discovery of 2005. Let me tell you, it's a breath of fresh air to stumble across an artist such as this. Not only can she make dead-on infectious retro-inspired electro pop, but she totally is an amazing DJ and has a knack for good dance music. I learned about her through Richard X's Black Melody website. He had song samples of the two tracks he produced ("Chewing Gum" and "Me Plus One") -- I loved both. Picked up the album and it's been a long-time favorite on my iPod. "Heartbeat" is magical and is without question one of the highlights of this decade. This is one of the best dance pop albums to come out in almost three years.
Download This: "Heartbeat," "Come Together," "No Easy Love"KRS-One - Kristyles (2003)
I bought this album because I was so sick of the bulls**t rap cluttering the airwaves in the past few years. I wanted something that harkened back to the boom bap of ole. And who better than the Blastmaster, himself, KRS-One. This was a hot album by The Teacha and it did not disappoint in my book. The whole segement between "Somebody" and "Gunnen 'Em Down" is FIRE*! I had to go out and support this man.
Download This: "Things Will Change," "Gunnen 'Em Down," "Somebody"Altered Images - Bite ...plus (1983)
I purchased this album over the summer sheerly based on the strength of the single "Don't Talk To Me About Love." I had downloaded that song early last year and that sparked my interest. The album is an import and contains bonus session material and extended mixes. I love the lead singer's childish-yet-sexy voice. There's something so blasphemous about saying that, but it fits in saying. My favorites on this one include "Stand So Quiet," "I Don't Want To Know" and the remarkably beautiful "Love To Stay."
Download This: "Love To Stay," "Last Goodbye"Esthero - Wikked Li'l Grrrls (2005)
A definite grower. After repeat spins the quiet, limber tones of this record enwrap you. Esthero is a lost girl. She's kidnapped in a world staunchly of her own design. Jazzy, bright and on-point, Wikked commands your attention.
Download This: "Melancholy Melody" Meshell Ndegeocello presents Spirit Music Jamia - Dance of the Infidel (2005)
She did not disappoint with this album. Another experience that I had the pleasure of being taken on. Wherever this woman wants to go, I will join. Rich, emotive and intimate. "Heaven" is among the most passionate songs to come out of this decade.
Download This: "Heaven"Brooke Valentine - Chain Letter (2005)
It's such a shame this album was slept on by so many music listeners. This was one of the better female R&B LPs to come out last year. Brooke's lead single "Girl Fight" was a moderate success, but I felt that it did this album, as a whole, great harm because of that song's novelty. People with low attention spans will immediately think a bulk of the songs on this disc contain loud Lil Jon-inspired "crunk" numbers. So not the case. There were definite jams on here that were sadly overlooked such as "Pass Us By" which had hit written all over it. "Long As You Come Home" is a worthy summer song and the rest of the album grooves so much that all you need to do is press play and enjoy the ride.
Download This: "Pass Us By," "I Want You Dead"Emma - Free Me (2005)
Emma was The Spice to put out the best Spice Girl album last year. Mel B's and C's LPs just didn't do it for me. This did
. I got this disc and was pleasantly surprised at how much Emma has matured artistically. She has definitely distanced herself from her Baby Spice past with this disc's release. Free Me
is seethed in '60s pop ethos. The tracks are rhythmic, string-laced and have a dreamy, classic sparkle. It feels like Burt Bacharach updated for 2005. "I'll Be There" is amazingly vibrant euphoro-pop and'll pick you up on even the darkest of days. I love the latin number "Crickets Sing for Anamaria" (they're killing the percussion in that track). "Maybe" is beautiful and wistful. "No Sign of Life" and "Who The Hell Are You" are also gems. Was she digging through some old Holland/Dozier/Holland material or what? This is great spring/summer music. One of the better releases of the year. Very recommended.
Download This: "I'll Be There," "Crickets Sing for Anamaria"Alana Davis - Surrender Dorothy (2005)
If the word "underappreciated" ever cried for a poster child in the crowded school of singer/songwriters, Ms. Davis would be a prime candidate. Schooled in roots reggae and born in a musical family, those same energies spill over into her third longplayer. Her first record on her own imprint, Tigress Records, Alana has put a new spin to her already delectable folk-tinged-with-[X,Y,Z] sound. Songs like "Desert Rose" and "Right There" evoke the influence of her moving to the West Coast. Both are breezy, laid-back and melodic. Tunes like "Create" and "The Reaper" just make you proud to own the album. Stellar... for a third time.
Download This: "The Reaper," "Stay," "Right There"Tori Fixx - Marry Me (2004)
I love Brotha Fixx and he *did not* disappoint on the third and final installment of the sprawling, year-long Black.Out headtrip. The beats on this are top-notch and I'm consistently amazed by his fluidity in styles. Standouts such as the grab-the-mic, tag-team assault of "Anthem," the heartbreaking bounce of "Area Code 404" and the politically-charged title track serve to further justify my appreciation. "Act-A-Fool (Whatcha Gon Do?)" is the type of track that only the KYD can do. Hip hop remains worthwhile and vibrant because of emcees like this.
Download This: "Area Code 404 (feat. Johnny Dangerous)," "Good Thang 2," "Lee Vitta Lone"