Music Reviews

Pastor Troy
Face Off
Similar To: DMX

If you like DMX and his hardcore attitude you will love Pastor Troy’s and his fourth album Face Off.   Pastor Troy, a hardcore rapper from Georgia, gained popularity by appearing in tracks from artists like Ludacris and being featured in the soundtrack for xXx. After producing a few records, he released Face Off, a fantastic Hip Hop album that every hardcore enthusiast should own. I came across this artist via a recommendation from a friend, and I was thoroughly impressed by Pastor Troy’s powerful lyrics and steady flow. On Face Off his delivery reminds me of a cross between DMX and Tech N9ne which really make the album great. My favorite track has to be “Vica Versa”, a song where Pastor Troy raps about what society would be like if things such as religion were switched around. The whole album flows together nicely and is well worth the price.

Blu & Exile
Below The Heavens
Similar To: Common

Blu is a musician I came across by random, and who became one of my top listened to artists early last year.. Below The Heavens, a Hip Hop masterpiece produced by the talented Exile in 2007, is one of my favorite rap albums of all time.

Janelle Monae
The ArchAndroid
Similar To: Rhianna

Containing my favorite single from 2010, “Tightrope”, The ArchAndroid is an impressive album from the R&B singer/songwriter Janelle Monae. With featured artists Big Boi, Saul Williams, Of Montreal, and Deep Cotton, The ArchAndroid includes a wide array of tracks from “Tightrope”, a jazzy hip hop track, to “Dance Or Die”, an electronic trance song. Even with the genre switching, I still feel that the album is very well put together. This album has met considerable success peaking at 17th on the Billboard Top 200 chart and receiving two Grammy nominations. Although this is impressive, I think this album deserves much more credit for its musical value. All of the success has to be attributed to Janelle Monae’s musical stunning vocals and musical skill. As stated earlier, “Tightrope” is my favorite song of 2010 due to the classy brass background and Big Boi’s awesome appearance. The music video for the song is a good watch as well. The song “Cold War” is reminiscent of a few of Rhianna’s songs and is a great addition to the album. As another one of my favorite new releases from 2010 this CD definitely deserves to be listened to.

Similar To: Pretty Lights

Although Deadringer is not that similar to Pretty Lights in many ways, it goes without saying that anyone who likes any amount of techno/Lo-Fi should know of RJD2. This album happens to be the most enjoyable when listened to start to finish as each track is slightly different and carries the unique RJD2 style I have come to love. Just when you think you have heard all he has to offer the next track brings a surprise to keep things fresh. As a mainly instrumental album Deadringer gives the impression of a soundtrack to a movie. However, I do not think that any movie could be as entertaining as this CD is to me. With tracks ranging from psychedelic to hip-hop I could never grow tired of RJD2. Tracks such as “The Final Frontier” and “F.H.H.” feature rappers with RJD2 on the beats. Both tracks use original beats containing off beat instruments such as the vibraphone. This never goes to overshadow the rappers but serves to make the songs that much better. Whether you want to hear great hip hop or just the instrumentals this album offers something for everyone.

G. Love
Similar To: Jack Johnson

After meeting many fans of Jack Johnson, I am always surprised that very few of them know of the greatness that is G. Love. This is especially surprising since both artists put out songs that feature the other artist fairly regularly. Regardless, G. Love made quite the album in 2006 with Lemonade. As the seventh album from the trio G. Love & Special Sauce Lemonade adds more blues to the group’s established alternative hip hop genre. The CD as a whole is very laid back and summer-like in nature. Utilizing mainly acoustic guitar, bass, piano, harmonica, and even organ, almost every track grooves and flows quite nicely. “Can’t Go Back To Jersey” is my favorite track from the album due to the unique harmonica jam, but “Beautiful” featuring Tristan Prettyman is a close second mainly due to the chorus that shows how well G. Love can work with other artists. I always enjoy listening to this album as the summer comes around and hopefully after this article others will enjoy it as much as I do.