- Undun - The Roots
- Watch The Throne - Jay-Z & Kanye West
- James Blake - James Blake
- 21 - Adele
- Rebirth of New Orleans - The Rebirth Brass Band
- Dear Friends: An Evening with Foreign Exchange - Foreign Exchange
- Charity Starts At Home - Phonte
- Lioness: Hidden Treasures - Amy Winehouse
- El Camino - The Black Keys
- There's More To Life Than This - Ben Westbeech
The reality is despite having new services like Spotify at my disposal, I listened to less music this year which, to my surprise, is a three year long trend. With increased responsibilities at work and less alone time at home, I have less time for music exploration. I also have fewer moments dedicated to music discovery, depending heavily on last.fm to lead me towards artists I don't know about but probably should. I'm not sure I made it into a record store this year that wasn't digital. I know I have very few music blogs or human music recommenders in my life despite an increase in following more music folk on twitter.
I'd like to increase my music exploration this year. Got any music blog recommendations?
In other news, I really enjoyed pop music this year. For all the lack of great albums, there were a lot of really good really catchy ear-wormy tunes this year and I'm not ashamed to have liked them...and bought them. Rihanna, Maroon 5, Lupe Fiasco, Mindless Behavior, Beyonce, David Guetta, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, and, lord help me, Chris Brown all put out dancy headnoddy tunes that I was all about.
I even find LMFAO's mindless pap enjoyable in a cotton candy kind of way. I couldn't bring myself to buy their songs but I surely don't change the channel when they show up on the radio or TV.
I could do with less of the global ibiza dance party sound overall but having traveled to the other side of the world this year, I can see why artists are making that music...it's big everywhere. The number of videos by artists who just a few years ago where rapping or singing from the corner that now feature them in jets, on sandy beaches and partying on stage with skinny chicks of non-descript origin and DJs who look like they never sleep is kind of overwhelming.
But I'm not mad. Times is hard. The world is going through big changes. And people want to dance their pain away.
I just hope that in 2012 it stops all sounding like the same song on endless loop.