5. Drake – Take Care
Drake “Drizzy” Rogers has been burning up the music industry ever since he released his landmark mixtape So Far Gone, and his climb up the charts was the stuff of legends. Here’s Drake, who doesn’t really fit in any predefined category, rapping harder and better than some of the vets who pioneered this art. Artists like Kanye West paved the way for Drake and created a lane in music where it was ok to be yourself. Drake took it and started running and never looked back, releasing hits like “Money To Blow,” “Best I Ever Had,” “Uptown,” and more. Everyone told young Drake he couldn’t do it and he shut them right up. His debut album Thank Me Later shot straight to number one, and he ran the rap music industry for that year. He followed up that release with his sophomore album Take Care, where Drake allows himself to get deep and really connect with the fans. Take Care spawned a number of hits including “Marvin’s Room,” “Dreams Money Can Buy,” “Wildfire,” and more. In case anyone doubted him let it be known, Drake was a problem on the mic and he’s going to be an outstanding musician for a very long time now.
4. Jay-Z and Kanye West – Watch the Throne
“Human Beings in a mob, what’s a mob to a king?” sang Frank Ocean on the opening track “No Church In The Wild” and from then on you knew that this was something special. Watch The Throne is the super album from Jay-Z & Kanye West that fans have waited years for, after constant collabs between the two legendary artists. And you already know Jay-Z and Kanye West weren’t half stepping when it came time to record the album. Jay-Z & Kanye West rented out the lower half of a hotel and used the lobby as their recording studio. Hence the line “Don’t sell me apartment, I move in the lobby.” Ye’ and Jay brought some of their famous friends to help them set the album off right, including Beyonce, Frank Ocean, Swizz Beatz, and more. Production was handled by some heavy hitters such as Lex Luger, Hit Boy, No iD, and more. The music veterans showed the young up and comers that they ain’t done yet, creating hits such as “Otis,” “Niggas In Paris,” “No Church In The Wild,” “Gotta Have It,” “Murder To Excellence,” and more. This was luxury rap at it’s finest and Jay-Z and Kanye West didn’t disappoint the fans at all, creating a album that’s already considered a classic.
3. Florence and the Machine – Ceremonials
Florence and the Machine’s Ceremonials album was the record fans had been waiting for, but they bring the noise and show fans that they still had it. Pop music needed this album to stimulate an industry that was getting merged with so many others, losing that unique sound that once made pop music the number one genre of music in the United States Of America. Florence and the Machine deliver on the high expectations placed on the album, and was a powerful follow up to their first album Lungs.
2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – It’s A Corporate World
It’s A Corporate World is an album from two guys who don’t need any introduction with hits like “Vocal Chords” and a high pitched brew of vocals coupled with electronic sounds and a drum machine that will make your heart beat in rhythm with it. “Nothing but Our Love” and “Simple Girl” set the diametric ends of the Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. experience, and created an electric dub step mashup that had fans clamoring for more. If your only going to listen to one of their songs, then make sure this is the one you listen too.
1. Adele – 21
Listening to Adele will have you day dreaming about the real soul music from the 60s, 70s, and early 80s, names like Aretha Franklin and Jame Brown dominated the airwaves and gave us that authentic soul sound. Adele’s 21 album exceeds expectations and created a sound that took it to number one, selling over a million copies in the first week alone. The album has gone on to sell more than ten million albums, making it one of the best selling albums of the decade. 30 years from now people will study this album and the incredible sound it produced in classrooms all across the world.
Justin Miller is a professional blogger who writes on a variety of topics including taking guitar lessons. He writes for JamPlay.com, a leading online music educator offering 2,000+ guitar songs to learn in HD.
5. Drake – Take Care