Ella, Ella, Eh, Eh, Eh

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This year in music sucked more than Chris Stokes at a kid’s party, but suffice to say, not every artist was completely horrible. There were a few artists with actual talent that delivered quality music, and there were those with marginal traces of ability who were smart enough to align themselves with people who could mask everything they lacked vocally with catchy lyrics and a hot beat. To add a positive spin ’round these parts, here’s a list of albums I enjoyed.

On her first album she rocked a Kool-Aid red hair color, and cursed out her dude like she was ready to pull the blade from underneath her tongue and channel Lorena Bobbit should he decide to get out of pocket with her again. Naturally, I loved it. However, on her sophomore album, a more demure (well for her) Keyshia Cole showed her softer, yet still sad side, offering a much more mature and cohesive effort. A few people miss that certain umph about her (I believe that umph consists of four letter words and racial epithets), but I enjoy Just Like You and I think musically, it’s a step in the right direction for Oakland’s would be Blige.

She may look like life drop kicked her in the skull, and she may act like a retarded kid with a black card, but Britney Spears can still churn out a hot album. It’s unfortunate that her personal life has been on such a downward spiral, because Blackout is by far the best pop album of the year, and a career best for the artist formally known as Britney Spears. I would say her little sister should just re-record this in a few years, but what a difference a pregnancy test makes. Let’s hope Britney pulls herself together, because for all of her faults, she still produces better music than those longing to replace her.

So maybe I’ve been harsh on the girl since this blog’s inception, but I can admit when someone does well. I was expecting this album to sound like that ear-ache inducing “Unfaithful,” but, I was pleasantly surprised with Good Girl Gone Bad. It’s a finely crafted pop album full of singles, and offers a little something for everyone. It also features one of the hottest covers offered this year. If not for this album, I would have probably already snitched to INS about the status of her green card. Nice work, Rih Rih.

By far my favorite album of the year. It’s unfortunate Amy didn’t take Whitney Houston’s “crack is wack” comment to heart, as the singer-songwriter made the album Christina Aguilera tried to make a year ago. Winehouse is an exceptional singer and equally exceptional songwriter. Hopefully, our new Elvira will pull herself together and continue to build on the promise of Black to Black.You can read the full review here, but let me just say Pop-Pop came back in true form with American Gangster. I’m grateful for that, because executive Jay wasn’t doing much for me. 30 is the new 20 didn’t apply to him anyway.

All of ya’ll trying to sneak K-Ci Mary’s cell number need to quit it. Though she lost a bit of her trademark bark and grit, the Queen of Hip Hop Soul is still delivering quality music. Though I didn’t care for it at first, I’ve come to love Mary’s happy ass “Just Fine.” Turn it on again and fake it…eventually it will become real.If we were in the pre-shiny suit era of rap, you would probably know a lot more about Lupe Fiasco. Not every rapper is stuck on gold, hoes, and clothes, and while that’s a good thing for my brain cells when I listen to him, it’s somewhat detrimental to his record sales. Still, The Cool is a dope album, and hopefully, it will help him cross over a little more…even if only modestly.

I’m not quite sure how to describe Janelle Monae, but that’s actually part of allure. If you haven’t listened, Google around, look on iTunes, and check out her EP. I love “Violet Stars Happy Hunting!” mainly because the end of the song reminds me of A Pup Named Scooby Doo. What? It does.

“And if you miss Pimp C, throw up ya dueces and ya tres!”

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