First off, Let me wish you all a happy new year from The Soul Mixtape.
Now on to buisiness. 2010 was a better year for music than 2009 and 2008 combined in my opinion. Last year was a disaster, but this year we had some great music, and as you'll see in my list there were quite a few "almost made it's".
So here are my list of the best LP's of the year, in no particualr order save for the No.1 spot.
10.JD73 - Pure Gold
On Joey Negros Z Label, this years "Sunburst Band" equivilent LP. 80's collide with soulful house grooves on tracks like "Fantasy","Baby Be mine" and "Step by Step", great mid tempo grooves like "Round and Round", excellent covers like "Pure Gold/Love will save the day"...I could go on. Just the most Fun LP of the year, like the Sunburst band's previous efforts, it looks back before moving forward. Candy for the ears!!
9.Eric Riko/Marc Mac Direct Soul EP + Slakah the Beatchild Something Forever EP -
Not really LP's in thier own right, but good enough that they had to be included, so I let them share a spot as a compromise! Erik and Marc fit like a hand in glove with thier organic, soulful EP. By now, you must all be aware of "Destiny", so nuff said about that. Equally as good is "I need your Love" like a wicked tune from Blaze, the latin tinged "Something I know" and the soulful "Just Love" that rides on a bossa nova beat. As for Slakah, you must know about him, he was our No.1 last year! Cant get "Something Forever" off my playlist and "Living for the Rush" is like a missing tune from "The Soul Movement Vol.1", as is "Boogie". Two great EP's to add to your collections.
8.Adriana Evans - Walking in the night
The year started with this LP, and I immediately proclaimed it the deserved follow up to Adriana's classic debut from the 90's. A regarded friend of mine wasnt so enamoured, which I felt was strange, as tracks like "Suddenly" were as good (And could have been lifted from) the debut. I still feel thats the case with tunes like "Midnight", "Love me on the One" and "El Sol" although I do accept theres a more 60's bent on some of the tunes. Dont let that stop you though, as this is a great LP!!
7.Dorian Wright - Mind full of music
Stevie Wonder is a musical genius. Fact. Favourite artist ever, for me. Fact. Brilliant Songwriter. Fact.
Dorian Wright, a Brit may I add, clearly agrees. From the play on words title of the LP, this is more homage than pastiche. Marvellous Stevie-alike tunes like "Say I do" and "What was once" run the spectrum of classic 70's Stevie, and whilst Dorian cannot match vocally, Ill take an LP of this quality, love and effort over, lets say, the lazy new offerings from R.Kelly's first LP of the year or Donnell Jones' effort anyday. Fave tune? Hard to say, but feeling "Perfect World" at the mo, but thats ever changing!
6.The Roots - How I got Over
Oh lord, how I wish "A Piece of Light" was a fully fledged epic it should be. Like Charles Stepney and Rotary connection had returned, its the great start to the best Hip Hop LP of the year. Has a left field acoustic feel, timing kept by Questloves great drums, with guests the calibre of Phonte. "Radio Daze" dazzles, loving "Walk Alone" and "Doing it again".....and "The day"....cant stop namechecking. Real Hip Hop. You know what I'm talking about.
5.Faith Evans - Something About Faith
Back in the 90's, when there was the "Mary J or Faith?" conversation, I was always on the Faith side. Mary won the commercial battle, and dont get me wrong I dig her, but Faith has the voice. Love the tone, whereas I always felt that Mary was more "off key".
This is on the list, like last years Ryan Leslie LP, because its the best R&B lp thats come out this year. "Way you move" is the best pop/R&B tune of the year no doubt, but there are great tunes like "Still", the mid tempo funky "Worth it", "Everyday Struggles" 70's sampled feel, and the return of Mike City production on the dancer "Sunshine". If your looking for something a little more commercial, this is the LP. And "Your Lover" is the shit!
4.Erykah Badu - New Amerykah Part 2
You all got this one right? Its Badu FFS. "Window Seat's" on here.
Jay Dee, Questlove, James Poyser all present. Just buy it if you aint got it already!
3.Foreign Exchange - Authenticity
Continuing on from "Leave it all behind", and more like that LP than "Connected", Authenticity continues that soulful Foreign Exchange sound with Nicolay providing the lush production and Phonte singing up a storm. FE crew like Yazarah, Zo! and Darien Brockington all present, as is the great songwriting, which whilst not as immediate as previous outings, are real growers. Fave tunes? Probable next single "Dont Wait", "Maybe she'll Dream...", and the classic FE sounding "Fight for Love". Great LP.
2.Aloe Blacc - Good Things
Probably as good as my no.1 pick of the year, the great Aloe Blacc and an LP from the 70's, made today. Totally organic, socially concious, and musically expert from the tight band to Aloe's great vocals. Youve probably heard "I need a dollar", but just as good are the great, soulful "You make me smile", the tight and funky "Good Things" with its sly stone feel, the beautiful "Femme Fetale" and my tune of the year..."Green Lights". Really, its that good. If you love 70's soul music, you need this like air.
1.Zo! - Sunstorm
For me, everything the Foreign Exchange crew touch is gold. Zo!, being one of the crew, belted out this LP where there aint 1 duff tune. Old school 2 stepper styled "Greatest Weapon of all time"...the great FE sounding "Sunstorm"...."Greater than the sun" rocks on strings and keys like a summers day, almost an FE track IMO.....and my close second for tune of the year, the Donald Byrd/Mizell alike "Flight of the blackbird". Whos on this? Yazarah - Phonte - Jesse Boykins III - Eric Roberson - Sy Smith - Lady Alma - Darien Brockington.
Styles mixed, just like last years winner of this title by Slakah the Beatchild, quality so good it dosent bore on repeated listens....it truly deserves your cash and the title of best LP of 2010. Invest.
***** Reggie B & Miles Bonny******
If I would have got these earlier, they may have been on my list. Great Soulful LP's....BUY THEM!!! Also in the worth buying list.....
Geno Young - Ear Hustler
Avery Sunshine - Self titled
Incognito - Transatlantic RPM
Calvin Richardson - Americas Most Wanted
Richard Earnshaw - In time
Conya Doss - Blu Transition
Eric Benet - Lost in Time
R Kelly - Love Letters
R Kelly, Vivian Green, Donell Jones, R Kelly (Epic)
So thats 2010. See you all in the ew year....Grizz up next to get you out of the end of holiday blues. Enjoy the mix of some of my favourite tunes from our pick of the year List.
The Soul Mixtape's Top 10 LP's of 2010