Posts tagged: Sbtrkt
In no particular order.
“SBTRKT” features great vocals and even better beats, but I’m not sure if that’s even the most attractive quality of the album. Mystery always seems to make music sound better. Sbtrkt (the pseudonym of Aaron Jerome, pronounced ‘subtract’) has never publicly shown his face, wearing masks when he performs. But honestly, with his ability to create a dance-y, yet introspective album (even without the vocals), I don’t understand why.
Jay Z and Kanye West-“Watch the Throne”
To take a line from “The Dark Knight,” this is the album we don’t want right now, but it is the album we need. I normally refrain from bringing politics or current events into my musical opinions, but there’s no doubt that after the economic downturn we have experienced in the past few years, we needed an album to inspire, even if it is flashy. I just wish I could afford the $130 vinyl record.
I love Broken Social Scene, and I was disappointed to hear of their demise in 2010. But for the longest time, I could not stand their most famous member, Leslie Feist. Her first album, “Reminder,” made me cringe. When my uncle suggested I take a listen to “Metals,” I was skeptical. But I heeded his ever-wise advice and gave it a listen. So now, heed my sometimes-wise advice, listen to this album. It’s dark, but still possesses that lighthearted quality for which Feist is known.
The Antlers-“Burst Apart”
This album, and the EP released later in the year, span just about the largest range of emotions I’ve ever encountered from one band. There is an overall tone of desire in their work, but The Antlers show just how far one word can be stretched. If you’re going to listen to one song off the album, though, listen to “Putting the Dog to Sleep.” Figuratively, it slays me.
St. Vincent-“Strange Mercy”
I don’t rank my top ten albums of the year, but if I did, this one would be No. 1. I cannot adequately describe my love for this album with the vocabulary I possess. If ever there were a perfect musician, St. Vincent is she. With the voice of an angel and unrivalled musical talent, it’s as if Annie Clark is begging me to fall in love with her. But I think my girlfriend may have a problem with that.
Tyler, The Creator-“Goblin”
If you’re white, black, Asian, gay, straight, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, atheist, old, young or alive, really, you will be offended by this album. I still get angry when I hear some of the things Tyler Okonma says on “Goblin.” But behind the ridiculous vulgarity of the album, there is an incredible story which deserves to be on the silver screen, and rated NC-17. If you have the stomach, listen to this album. You’ll know by the end of the first song if you can stand it any longer.
James Blake-“James Blake”
Full of clicks, thumps and delicate vocals, James Blake’s self-titled debut just may be the most unsettling album of the year. The entire album just makes me feel like I’m in the wrong place at the wrong time. And that’s what makes the album so right. It is an escape from every day life, from the rut of classes and meetings. For just over a half hour, I can lay this record on my turntable and breathe.
Anything released by The Weeknd
Drake protege Abel Tesfaye released more music in a year than most do in three, and all for free. His first of three mixtapes released in 2011, “House of Balloons,” completely rearranged my view of modern R&B. And though the quality of his music decreased with each mixtape, even at his worst, the “protege” is much better than his mentor.
M83-“Hurry Up We’re Dreaming”
Most will know M83 from a Victoria’s Secret commercial featuring “Midnight City,” the first single off “Hurry Up We’re Dreaming.” But the album is so much more. Every song is a modern electronic opus. And though I think this album was slightly overhyped by most of my friends, I still believe it’s one of the best from 2011.
“Civilian” was my sleeper album for the past year. I didn’t listen to it often, but it was my go-to album when I was tired of everything else on this list (other than St. Vincent, of course). It’s an absolutely solid album and I’m amazed every time it comes across my headphones. It will undoubtedly continue its sleeper status as we proceed into the new year.