Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Music Spotlight – Favorite Music of 2012: Part 1

Ab-Soul – ILLuminate
ILLuminate features Kendrick Lamar and is off Ab-Soul’s album Control System. Skhye Hutch’s beat grooves, while Ab-Soul and Kendrick lay down impressive verses. The hip hop track is infinitely listenable with a hypnotic quality to it. Three of Black Hippy’s four members are on this list – they are taking over the game. Available for download: here

Alicia Keys – Girl on Fire (Inferno Version)
Girl of Fire (Inferno Version) features Nicki Minaj and is off Alicia Keys’s album Girl on Fire. It may not be the kind of music that Keys’s more strictly R&B fans want, as it has a very modern poppy sound with Jeff Bhasker and Salaam Remi producing (in addition to Keys), but it is infectious and shows off her fantastic, powerful voice. Available for download: here

A$AP Rocky – Goldie
Goldie is off A$AP Rocky’s major label debut album LONG.LIVE.A$AP. What stands out immediately about this track is Hit-Boy’s brilliant beat (did any producer have a better 2012?). The hook is also addictive (I said it must be), subconsciously finding its way in and demanding the listener to sing along. Rocky’s verses announce him as one of hip hop’s great young talents, ready to rise. Available for download: here

Chairlift – Amanaemonesia
Amanaemonesia is off Chairlift’s album Something. While Chairlift’s other singles off Something are also great (Sidewalk Safari and Met Before), Amanaemonesia seems to perfectly capture the growing trend of dream pop groups making modern new wave music (a musical direction I am very much in favor of and enjoying). Producers Dan Carey and Alan Moulder give Chairlift a great sound. Available for download: here

Cold Cave – A Little Death to Laugh
A Little Death to Laugh is not off an album; rather it is just a standalone single. The track features Cold Cave’s (Wesley Eisold) brand of dark synth pop, but is much catchier than a lot of his more noise-art songs. One could even call it poppy – well if bleak can be poppy. It is the prevalent synthesizer that drives the song that just draws the listener in – it is wonderful (or again as wonderful as bleak can be). Available for download: here

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