I have to admit that I have never been a fan of Sa-Ra. They managed to simply tip-toe along the outside of my focused interests and go mostly unnoticed. Their newest album Nuclear Evolution, however, is the product that has truly pronounced the group’s potential. The result is rugged old-school hip hop at its best.
I’m not going to ramble on about this record, because it is what it is. There really isn’t one thing that makes it spectacular or there isn’t necessarily something on it that will change the face of music. It’s just a good hip-hop record. Period – the end.
Some of my favorite tracks on the record are:
Move Your Ass
Here is a video of Sa-Ra performing “Traffika” for MySpace Music:
Paper Route is one of those newer bands that slipped under the radar. Yet, they don’t seem to care. Their small cult following has allowed them to release a few simply spectacular releases.
Perhaps I have a stronger like for them because I discovered them when they were still a local band in Nashville, Tennessee. I don’t recall how I did so exactly, but I remember sitting on their MySpace page for days taking in all of their incredible music.
It’s hard to classify a band like Paper Route. It’s new-rock with a shot of electronica and odd-time musicianship. Yet, you can’t discount their incredible melodies and harmonies. They seem to be the complete package. The best part is that I know they will only continue to grow from here.
Some of the best tunes off of their 2009 release, Absence, are:
Enemy Among Us
Here is a weird montage video created behind the song “Last Time”:
Who doesn’t enjoy themselves some Dave Matthews Band? They are one of the biggest bands in the world and they never seem to relent. Years have passed and it’s always the same story. The band puts out great music over and over again. They may continue to do this for decades.
Their latest album Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King is a diverse collection of all facets of DMB. They can rock hard, they can funk it up, and they can definitely conquer a ballad. No matter what you’re into, DMB satisfies your needs. That’s why they are loved by so many.
Some of the best tracks on the album are:
Shake Me Like a Monkey
Why I Am
To close, here is the music video for “Funny the Way It Is:”
What’s a music countdown without a little comedy? I always seem to find a few spots for some of the best works of comedy every year. This year is no exception. We had the growth of a lot of great up and coming comedians and comedic acts. Flight of the Conchords, although not new to say the least, has quickly become a household name. They owe that to HBO. But who am I kidding, their popularity was inevitable. They are just so likable.
The best thing about the Conchords is not their musicianship. It’s not even their lyrics. It’s all in their delivery. I actually think a lot of their songs are silly and pointless, but their charm always seems to make up for it. For example, in the song “We’re Both in Love with a Sexy Lady,” the lyrical dialogues thrown back and forth between the two frontmen is cheesy and redundant. But the way they make that stupidity work with a quirky melody is where they win.
For anyone that watches the HBO show, it is good to note that the album features every single song that they sing during the episodes. Therefore, most of the songs on this album “I Told You I Was Freaky” should sound very familiar to you. As much as I love to watch the show, the album proves to be a quality vacation for the senses.
Phoenix has been one of those great success stories of the year. You may not have realized it, but their song “1901” is in a popular Cadillac commercial. They also surprisingly had the privilege of playing Saturday Night Live. Their popularity has grown rapidly, and rightfully so. They have quite a style all their own.
Their latest album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is a rare mix between the Strokes and Placebo. Electronic, yet as rock as old-school rock can get. It may sound a little bizarre, but it works.
Some of my favorite tracks on the album are as follows:
And here is a video of Phoenix performing 1901 on Saturday Night Live.
I have to admit that Dredg could be one of my favorite bands of today. Or, at least they were. 2005’s Catch Without Arms could possibly be one of the best alternative rock CDs of the decade. Even before that, they had me at hello with 2001’s Leitmotif. I felt like I had found the next big thing in rock music.
Fast forward 8 years from Leitmotif and we still have somewhat of an underground cult success in the four-piece eclectic rock act, Dredg. It seems that everyone that knows about them is obsessed with them, yet too many people are still unaware of the band. To me, that’s hard to belief since they have made such an instrumental impact in the avant-garde rock music scene.
Although they remain to be one of my favorite bands in 2009, this year’s release, The Pariah, the Parrot, the Delusion doesn’t quite measure up to Catch Without Arms. But rightfully so, you can’t expect multiple perfections from one abstract band in the same decade. That would just be unheard of. Still, the album is drenched with those uncanny Dredg stylings that make their music oh so original.
My personal favorite tracks on the album include (in no particular order):
I Don’t Know
To close, here is a video of their first single off of the record, “Information.”
We are so pleased to announce the official launch of the new MusicMastermind.com. As you can see, the site is much brighter and flashier, and we hope to watch it grow throughout the next year or so.
The launch couldn’t have come at a more perfect time, since this post is supposed to initiate the “25 Days of Music” Best Albums of 2009 Countdown. If you followed us for the two years prior at http://musicmastermind.blogspot.com, you are probably already expecting the countdown to start. Well, the good news is that we will release the #25 album of the year later today.
From there, we will be counting down to #1 everyday until Christmas day. It’s a lot of fun and we hope you stay tuned throughout the countdown.
Finally, Music Mastermind is slated to be more than just a music industry blog. We have a lot planned for this site in 2010, so we hope you subscribe and continue to check back for frequent updates.