Countdown 2011: Top 5 Albums
Happy New Year! My 2011 has certainly been eventful, but let’s focus on the positives – stuff other people did that made me smile. Starting with my Top 5 albums of 2011:
ADELE – 21
W00t, I’m mainstream for including this in my top five. I don’t understand anyone who fails to sit through most of the songs on 21 and not be reminded of a past love or hard time in there life. Or a time where they finally stood up and overcame their fears and stood strong on their own. I’ll admit it, I was never really aware of Adele, despite her successful debut album 19. Her music only came to my attention during the Series 2 finale of Skins in a scene where Cassie flees to New York! Hometown Glory was a rip-your-heart-out tearjerker that still stands up to most of the tracks on 21 as the pinnacle of her musical talent. (Spotify: Rolling In The Deep)
LADY GAGA – Born This Way
Try to escape the incessant drones and thumps of a GaGa song. Go on, just try – I dare you! It can’t be done, there is not one beat on Born This Way that won’t get your booty shaking at least once. But that’s not the album’s only high point. GaGa’s vocals and lyrics carry every song into a different genre. Seriously, there’s German Techno, Nebraska Blues, Mambo Italiano, and the Streets of New York to name a few. This album has been unstoppable, already spawning three editions (not counting Vinyl, and USB releases). We haven’t even heard about the impending Born This Wall Ball tour, which is sure to conquer the world and secure “Mother Monster’s” reign as Queen of Pop into 2012. (Spotify: Scheiße)
NATALIA KILLS – Perfectionist
Okay, sorry to sound like a broken record, I really do feel like I’ve been the number one mascot for Natalia Kills in 2011 – it’s just, after hearing Zombie, Activate My Heart, and Mirrors, I had such high hopes, but nothing I said could convinced you lot that she is the shit. To my defence, she didn’t help her case by choosing to publicise probably the two least Kills-ish songs from Perfectionist – despite the fact one of them has the word KILL in the title! But you know, I stand by my words, and really do feel that now, in 2012, the world is ready to lose their shit over Natalia Kills. But before we enjoy the delights of Perfectionist 2.0, here’s my review of the album which was published in the 94 magazine from St James’s Hospital.
|If you’re already familiar with this lady then good for you, if not, pay attention… I said shut up! Perfectionist is available now, but why should you take an interest? Perhaps cos she had a hand in writing every song, and that means a lot to me for someone who grew up in Leeds! Everything happened for her after she moved to LA; demos were recorded, and after making their way to celeb-gossip blog Perez Hilton meetings were set up, and in one day she was signed personally by will.i.am to his record label. Working closely with the same folk who produced some of GaGa’s biggest hits, she worked on the album for three solid years, and it shows. The sound is suicidal pop. Not as dark as Rihanna’s S&M but not as outspoken as GaGa’s Born This Way. The music is GaGa back when she was fun and still bluffin’ with her muffin. Bottom line: ignore the image and listen to the entire album. It plays as almost perfection – from the riches, to fallen tragedy, and ultimately death.|
(Spotify: Love Is A Suicide)
RUPAUL – Glamazon
Much like Adele (don’t worry, I’m going somewhere with this), I knew very little about RuPaul before his OMGTotallyAwesomeTVShow RuPaul’s Drag Race premiered on E4 about two years ago. Even after falling in love with him, I didn’t really acknowledge the awesomeness of him… as a her… as a recording artist. I mean, I was well aware of the Martha Wash duet on It’s Raining Men (I own the CD) – but, I never knew how talented this drag queen really was… still is! The hardest working drag queen out there; still on the hunt for the next Drag Superstar (season four of Drag Race starts in two weeks), still recording (a Remix EP, SuperGlam DQ, featuring new songs and songs from Glamazon was also released this year), and still serving more fierceness than Judge Judy and Tyra Banks combined. Long live the queen… the DRAG QUEEN! (Spotify: Responsitrannity)
BRITE FUTURES – Dark Past
If there’s one other artist I spoke more highly of in 2011 than Natalia Kills, it’s these guys. Luke, Shaun, David, Claire, and Conor – collectively known as Brite Futures, have turned the last two months of my 2011 into pure sunshine… except, I’m allergic to sunshine, so… they gave me a pair of shades. I’m not kidding, they really did give me a pair of shades. And a T-Shirt. Dark Past is one of those rare albums that screams to be played from start to finish, with the volume turned all the way up. So, there’s nothing left to be said, I don’t know what you’re waiting for, do it… DO IT!
HONOURABLE MENTION: Megalomania, by Aqua – I very much wanted to include Aqua’s first album in over 10 years in my Top 5 of 2011, but the fact it wasn’t released outside of Denmark really sucks and means the only way I can tell you all to hear how great it is, is to illegally download it, which I would never tell you to do… ever.