When I first started this blog, this annual countdown is the main thing I had in mind for it. For the past few years I’ve done a countdown of my favourite albums/mixtapes of the year each December on my personal Facebook page. It started as a top 15 for fun, then a top 30 to cover the whole month, and now I’ve moved it to this blog site so that more people can enjoy it.
The way this works is each day I’ll add a new entry to the countdown, writing short reviews of each project, and by New Years Eve we will have gone through my top 30 favourites of the year. It’s not necessarily about which album is better than the other, it’s more about highlighting some of the better projects of the year that people may have missed. To start, here are 10 projects that didn’t quite make the cut for my top 30, in alphabetical order:
A$AP Rocky – Long.Live.A$AP
This album started the year off nicely in January, but quickly got pushed out of rotation by all the great albums that came out after it. It does have one of the best collaborations of the year though.
Chance The Rapper – Acid Rap
This kid can rap, I’ll give him that, but his voice is just unbearable for an entire album and his “na-nanana-nana” adlibs annoy the hell out of me. Given his age though, he shows potential.
Drake – Nothing Was The Same
I did an in-depth review of this album when it first came out, you can read that here. I think this is Drake’s best album to date, but even his improved rapping isn’t good enough to compete with actual hip-hop artists in 2013, and his RnB singing just isn’t for me.
Jhene Aiko – Sail Out
Usually RnB bores me to death, but Jhene is such a beautiful, interesting person to listen to, and her voice is one of the sexiest I’ve heard in a while. Also, I usually only include projects with at least 10 songs on my countdown, but I just had to mention this one anyway. Read my review of her live show here.
Joey Bada$$ – Summer Knights
I’m still anticipating Joey’s upcoming debut album, but on this particular mixtape he just made the vibe too mellow for me. There are a few exceptions though, with hype production from MF DOOM and DJ Premier.
Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience
I’m counting this as one double-disc project rather than two separate albums. JT is literally the only pop artist with multiple albums on my iPod, and while this one was good, it’s easily his weakest album to date (or maybe pop music in general has less of an impact on my 24-year-old self than the teenage version of me).
Prodigy & Alchemist – Albert Einstein
Alchemist has been on a roll these past couple years with great production, but Prodigy still fails to evolve with the times (although hardcore Mobb Deep fans may not want him to). He’s still on that same old simple-rhyming, hardcore New York rap he’s been doing for almost two decades; take it for what it is.
Rittz – The Life And Times of Jonny Valiant
Rittz consistently delivers with his fast raps which Strange Music artists are known for. The problem here is while every individual song on this album is good by itself, the album as a whole gets redundant as every song starts sounding the same.
Tonedeff – Glutton
Another project that’s too short to be on my countdown, but I’m really digging the way Toney dove into the EDM/house/dubstep production to go with his speedy raps and wide vocal range. After seeing him perform live over a year ago, it’s easy to tell this type of production suits him well. Looking forward to the full-length album, whenever it drops.
Wrekonize – The War Within (album) tied with The Rooftops (mixtape)
Wrekonize’s solo work is good, but it’s just not the same type of feel you get from his work with ¡Mayday!. The album is solid, but I love the way he kills house/dubstep/techno/electronic music on his mixtapes. Whenever a big EDM song comes out (like Harlem Shake or Higher), I always hear him rapping over it before I hear the original song, at which point the original just sounds like an incomplete instrumental.
Come back to my blog tomorrow to see which album or mixtape came in at #30 on my countdown!
UPDATE: Scroll to the top and click “Next” to move on to #30!