The 10 Best Albums by Artists Going Solo

Albums by Artists going Solo

Editor’s Note: This list was originally released in 2012. With the release of new David Gilmour (Pink Floyd), Keith Richards (Rolling Stones), and Chris Baio (Vampire Weekend) records, we thought we would revisit one of our favorite lists: our 10 favorite albums by artists that go solo.

In honor of one of our absolute favorites, Jack White, announcing the release of his first solo album Blunderbuss, we thought it might be fun to do a list of the finest solo records from people who reigned from well-known groups/bands. We decided on a couple guidelines for this category: the artist could not have had a solo career before the band (i.e. Panda Bear of Animal Collective), and it had to be a recognizable band (and not just some college garage band). We also decided it had to be a true solo project and not just a side project (i.e. McCartney in Wings, Jack White in fifty other bands not named the White Stripes).

10. Q-Tip-Amplified

Q-Tip Amplified album cover art

Jazz rap trio A Tribe Called Quest was unmistakably one-of-a-kind in the early 90s, and Q-Tip no doubt led that charge. His debut solo album, Amplified is fast, calm, and nearly flawless, if it wasn’t for that horrendous Korn guestspot on “End of Times” (it was the late 90s after all).
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Big Boi & Killer Mike Show Review

Big Boi & Killer Mike

The Vogue

Indianapolis, IN

April 30, 2013

big boi killer mike

There is a difference between having a lot of fun at a show, and a show being legitimately good.  I had a lot of fun at the Big Boi & Killer Mike show, but only one of the two artists present really impressed me, and it may not be the one you’d immediately expect.  Just by saying that, I’m sure everyone is clued into the fact I enjoyed Killer Mike much, much more than Big Boi.  Let me go through the two performances in chronological order, just to give you a taste of the whole experience.
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Big Boi Review Royale: Vicious Lies & Dangerous Rumors

Big Boi
Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors

big boi, vicious lies, dangerous rumors, album, cover, art

Todd’s Take:

For many years, Big Boi was the slightly lesser half of one of my favorite hip hop acts, Outkast. It’s not that he wasn’t a crucial part of every Outkast album; he just seemed to be a little more one-sided than Andre 3000. Big Boi focused more on dominating the rap game with a strikingly smooth and original flow, all while incorporating his tack-sharp wit. Andre, on the other hand, covered a lot of the musical bases and focused more on fusing genres by incorporating elements of jazz, funk, and blues into the hip hop world.  This contrast was exemplified on their 2003 double album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, in which each album belonged to a different member; Speakerboxxx was Big Boi’s project and Andre’s was The Love Below. Although Speakerboxxx was very enjoyable, Andre’s efforts on The Love Below cast a shadow over Big Boi’s work, essentially leaving Speakerboxx in the dark.

After Andre’s 6 year absence, Big Boi has stepped up his game, continuing on with what he does best but also taking over Andre’s role of fusing additional elements of music into his own brand of hip hop. Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors is Big Boi’s third solo album (if you inlcude Speakerboxxx, which you should) and further proves to show us that he can very well hold his own, and not just in the rap game. Big Boi manages to branch out musically, blending multiple genres together in a new way.
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CounterPoint Music Festival Review: Sex, Drugs, & EDM

Foreword

This is Austin writing, and I posted this review under my name to maintain anonymity of the author of this review.  I want to thank (redacted) for taking the time to write up CounterPoint Music Festival so thoroughly.  I will also say that the text messages exchanged between (redacted) and myself over the course of this weekend will forever bring a smile to my face.  Unfortunately, many of the readers of this site know my friend and know he went to this festival, so absolute transparency is not the best policy.  After (redacted) sparkling review, I hope to attend next year and get my weird on as well.  And as a disclaimer, the title of this article was provided by me.  Enjoy.

*Note: Some parts redacted to maintain the character of the author.

When you throw together 20,000+ people, 350 acres of beautiful landscape, and 70+ musical acts, the majority of which being electronic, you get a big bucket of weird.   This is what I learned last weekend at the first ever CounterPoint Festival outside of Atlanta, GA.  I know the typical post on here isn’t electronic music related so I’ll just try to describe the setting and hit the high points of each day.

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Top Ten Thursday: Go It Alone

In honor of one of our absolute favorites, Jack White, announcing the release of his first solo album Blunderbuss, we thought it might be fun to do a list of the finest solo records from people who reigned from well-known groups/bands. We decided on a couple guidelines for this category: the artist could not have had a solo career before the band (i.e. Panda Bear of Animal Collective), and it had to be a recognizable band (and not just some college garage band). We also decided it had to be a true solo project and not just a side project (i.e. McCartney in Wings, Jack White in fifty other bands not named the White Stripes).

10. Q-Tip-Amplified

Q-Tip Amplified album cover art

Jazz rap trio A Tribe Called Quest was unmistakably one-of-a-kind in the early 90s, and Q-Tip no doubt led that charge. His debut solo album, Amplified is fast, calm, and nearly flawless, if it wasn’t for that horrendous Korn guestspot on “End of Times” (it was the late 90s after all).
Continue reading “Top Ten Thursday: Go It Alone”

Top Ten Thursday: 2010 Albums in Retrospect

As we gear up for the conclusion of another memorable year in music and our upcoming 2011 Best-of lists, we thought it would be fun to turn back the clock to a year ago, and look at the greatest albums of 2010. However, as hindsight is crystal clear, we have adjusted our rankings based on how we feel now, so some albums that may not have made our list last year that grew on us may show up here and vice-versa.

1. Kanye West-My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy Cover Art

The polarizing rapper’s magnum opus; a sort of wonderful ride through the psyche of the conflicted artist. MBDTF challenges the idea of what a hip-hop record is with songs like “Runaway” and “Lost In The World”, and also has its fair share of big-time hits with songs like “Power” and “All Of The Lights”.
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