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).
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Post Weekend Weeknd: An Overview Review of The Weeknd


I recently realized how much we at LxL almost entirely disregarded one of the coolest music acts of 2011, The Weeknd. We briefly discussed him in our Top Ten New Artist of 2011 list, but he otherwise went completely unmentioned on LxL, if I’m not mistaken. Not only is the sole member (Abel Tesfaye) an excellent producer, but the dude has the ambition and drive Muhammad Ali. In 2011 The Weeknd released not 1, not 2, but 3 full-length mixtapes. All of which were very well rounded and very highly praised. Incidentally, The Weeknd’s first album, House of Balloons did land at our 21st overall favorite album of 2011, but we only listed our top 20 on the website, so it didn’t receive adequate recognition.
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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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Janelle Monáe Show Review

Janelle Monáe
October 15th, 2011
IU Auditorium
Bloomington, IN

Five years ago, Todd and I had the pleasure of seeing the Hardest Working Man in Show Business, James Brown, three months before he passed. The show was astounding, as even in his very old age (73) Mr. Brown could still kill it, personified by his 12 minute show-stopping performance of “Sex Machine” to close the night with his lively band. Now five years after his passing, the spirit of James Brown still seemed alive on that stage with an energetic, theatrical performance from relatively newcomer Janelle Monáe, a Neo Soul talent and Outkast protégé who clearly models her music and performance style after the Godfather of Soul as well as Prince and the King of Pop, not a bad group of rock royalty to emulate.
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Top Ten Thursday: Wedding Reception Favoritas

So, I have been traveling the past three weekends to various weddings in St. Louis and Omaha, and thought that after all the weddings I have been to this season, that we could do a list of top wedding songs. Now, you may question lack of slow songs on this list. That is because weddings are for party-dance, and if you are not the one getting married, emotions should be left in the dust.

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Das Racist Review: Relax

Das Rascist

Relax

Are you at the Pizza Hut?  Are you at the Taco Bell? Or perhaps, the combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell? Can white people go outside without getting a disease? Have Glenn Beck, LL Cool J, or Toby Keith“ sat down yet” … man? These are all questions the Brooklyn-based rap duo (trio when you include the hype man) Das Racist has addressed and answered for us in the past. I can’t express to just how much I have appreciated these issues being resolved.
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