September 2013 yielded a number of notable new music releases. As a blogger, music journalist and critic, I found it incredibly difficult to make the time to listen to the over abundance of music provided. That said, I am so glad for there to be an over abundance as opposed to an under-abundance. While all of the albums I listened to left me with something special and a new jam to add to my playlists on my iPod, I chose five albums that stuck with me for various reasons. If you haven’t partaken of these, you should definitely check them out!
5. Kings Of Leon, Mechanical Bull
Who thought this would happen? After all the breakup rumors, everyone’s favorite southern-rock/traditional rock band return with a solid album in Mechanical Bull. Sure the an electrifying “Sex On Fire” is missing here, but memorable cuts like “Supersoaker” or the personally-based “Wait For Me” are definitely worthwhile.
4. Ariana Grande, Yours Truly
Ariana Grande is THE young Mariah Carey, period. The girl can ‘sang’, evidenced throughout her brilliant pop/contemporary R&B debut Yours Truly. Flaunting an impressive upper register, not to mention her overall beautiful vocal tone, Grande sounds much more mature than her youthful twenty years of age. While “The Way” featuring Mac Miller was a huge attraction in promoting the effort, there are plenty of other delightful ‘treats’ to partake of.
3. Drake, Nothing Was The Same
Drake‘s latest studio album lacks a knockout punch like the ubiquitous “Over” from Thank Me Later or a banger like “HYFR” from the Grammy-winning Take Care, but like a defending national champion, Nothing Was The Same remains loaded. Still very much a Drake album, the moody production work and even more emo-tinged lyrics continue to represent the new, modern hip hop way. Tracks like hookless juggernaut “Tuscan Leather“, “Wu-Tang Forever“, and “305 To My City” certainly tickle my fancy.
2. John Legend, Love in The Future
John Legend is definitely the man, I mean I would totally like to be Legend, particularly being a pianist myself. He sounds as if he should’ve been a recording artist in the ’60s and ’70s given his incredible soulfulness. While Love In The Future does pay ode to old-school, it is contemporary enough to keep the throwback retro-soul singer fresh. It doesn’t hurt that “All of Me” seems like Legend’s closest number to his classic “Ordinary People“. Throw in some covers and notable soul samples and Love In The Future will definitely be a mainstay within my playlist into the future!
1. Janelle Monáe, The Electric Lady
I was totally ready to put John Legend in the top spot for his classy, refined solo comeback effort, but Janelle Monáe totally outdoes herself on her brilliant sophomore album. Just how consistent is this album? Well, I’d call it not only the best I heard in September, but also among the best of 2013. I mean, you know this album is poppin’ if Prince is one of several notable guest artists!