With the games part done, now we continue on with my top 10 albums of the year...
10) Bruno Mars - Doo Wops & Hooligans
No one had a bigger year in music like Bruno Mars from his breakout cameo in B.o.B's "Nothing on You" to his debut album featuring hit songs that everyone loves to bust out their own cover version on YouTube as if they are trying to impress some girl. You can not have the radio on and not hear "Just the Way You Are" or even "Grenade" once on a normal day. Doo Wops & Hooligans is a short and sweet album filled with hits that you have been hearing for the past six months. The thing is that Bruno Mars has that "it factor" as an artist and a writer to come up with catchy stuff that everyone loves as I think he will be around for a while in the mainstream music scene.
9) Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
Gorillaz had a crazy year with their recent album, Plastic Beach, and their tour in support of their new material. New and more Gorillaz is always a good thing with the music they put out being a mixture of hip-hop and rock as their own style.
8) Swedish House Mafia - Until One
Now, time for the house music portion of my top 10 and if you know me, you know I love my house/clubby music. Swedish House Mafia's Until One is pretty much a best of house in the past year mixed by them. From "Miami to Ibiza," Axwell's "Leave The World Behind," "Show Me Love" (another nightclub smash), and "One" featuring Pharrell, you got one of the best club mixes out this year and make sure to blast this loud at a party from beginning to end. Great, now I feel like going to Vegas again to go nuts.
7) Deadmau5 - 4x4=12
The house phase continues with Deadmau5's 4x4=12. The mysterious DJ had its breakout year with his hit song (not in this one though) "Ghosts N' Stuff" propelling to the masses to an appearance on the MTV Video Music Awards. I caught on this year like most of the people and surprisingly he dropped out a new album just last month. There are some dubstep stuff at the end which I also enjoy from otherwise a house-heavy album as expected. "Some Chords" and "Sofi Needs a Ladder" are great party starters as well. Now it makes wonder, will Deadmau5 ever do an American tour for this album? If so, I'm so down to experience it for myself.
6) Big Boi - Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty
One of the bigger pure hip-hop albums around in a while that is probably not getting as much buzz as it deserves is Big Boi's latest. Well, we are still awaiting an Outkast reunion in the future, but this is the closest thing for now as Big Boi has been holding it down especially with such hits like "Shutterbugg." If you want just straight out hip-hop that does not need any overblown stuff like auto-tune, you can't wrong with Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty.
5) Cee-Lo Green - The Lady Killer
It is also been a great year for Cee-Lo Green with The Lady Killer. I seriously hope he gets the Grammy wins he deserves because this album is pretty good and it is straight up soul goodness. He has been one of those under-appreciated artists in the game too as every know and then he puts out bangers from his older Cee-Lo stuff to the success of the Gnarls Barkley album. With "F*** You" (or "Forget You"), written surprisingly by Bruno Mars, he is back on the mainstream scene especially with that catchy phrase. It is one of those songs that sounds like pure genius as who else could of thought of something like that. However, the album is not all about that breakout single, his other singles, "Bright Lights, Bigger City" and "Its Ok" are amazing songs and personal favorites of mine too. This is one of those can't miss yet under-appreciated albums out this year.
4) Janelle Monae - The ArchAndroid
If I had to name my best new artist of the year, it had to be Janelle Monae because her ArchAndroid album is just amazing. This is one of those artists you want to see them succeed because they put out straight up good music rather than succumb to the mainstream pop world where you have your annoying stuff there. "Tightrope" is still one of those bangers that you wanna dance too and the video for "Cold War" is totally something else bringing out our emotional side. Janelle put out a complete album from beginning to end and it establishes herself as one of the better new artists today. She definitely has a future with her sound and hopefully she is allowed to do so.
3) Kid Cudi - Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager
Even though it is not as amazingly good as his debut album's Kid Cudi's sophomore effort is still one of my favorite albums of the year. If treated on its own, The Legend of Mr. Rager is pretty genius as Cudi goes deeper into talking his demons and basically his darker self with where he was at. "Erase Me" is your poppy single in hopes of getting people's attention for the album, but the rest of it is its own beast and you're getting some deep stuff. I thought he would get the sophomore slump with this album, but he proved me wrong putting out another superb classic especially for those that feel like getting high.
2) Daft Punk - Tron Legacy OST
I already have gloated about how amazing Daft Punk's soundtrack for Tron Legacy for the past several weeks, so I don't need to ramble about how amazing it is again since I even mentioned it when I talked about the movie itself. However, I'll say that the soundtrack is a a completely different experience during the movie than just hearing it at home or on your iPod. Some tracks like "Rinzler" and "The Game Has Changed" are just filled with intensity and hearing them in the movie in the right scenes are just crazy. As I already mentioned in the past, Daft Punk has completely changed my view on movie soundtracks now as they set a new standard on how they should be epic.
1) Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
High expectations were definitely set for Kanye West to blow everyone away again after some felt disappointed with 808s and Heartbreak and he managed to do so with MBDTF to the point he exceeded those expectations. This is a masterpiece from beginning to end as you can tell Kanye worked his u know off to make such a classic like this. It definitely deserves its critical praise it has been getting for the past month because it shows how much a genius he is artistically and of course we could not say about his ego. From "Power" to "Runaway," he has outdid himself again putting out one of the greatest albums in the past decade. The "Runaway" film is also a great showpiece for the album and how everything just clicks for what Kanye is going for. Even though some songs feel overblown like the numerous cameos in "All of the Lights" and the Chris Rock bit in "Blame Game," Yeezy can back up his talk being one of the greatest artists in music past, present, or future.