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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The 10 Best Albums by Artists Going Solo

Top Ten Thursday: Best Self-Titled Albums

Best Self-Titled Albums

One of our biggest pet peeves at LxL is the mid-career self-titled reinvention album: the one last gasp at pretending to start over. Many times it is when a band joins a major label and hopes to start anew or when the band has been falling apart and hopes for a fresh start, but either way, the mid-career self-titled album usually spells trouble. MGMT this week joins the ranks of mid-career self-titled albums, and from early returns, it sounds like this album won’t necessarily be a return to form. So in order to get our minds off the ugly self-titled trend, we have decided to give you the 10 best self-titled (or eponymous) albums of all time.
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Top Ten Thursday: Best Self-Titled Albums

Top Ten Thursday: Best Solo Careers

Han Solo, solo career

After dropping our Review Royale of the new Justin Timberlake album this week, we thought it would be a good idea to tackle artists that have gone solo for our list this week.  We already broke down the best albums released by an artist after going solo in honor of Jack White releasing his first solo record.  So we thought, “Why not just look at solo artists career as a whole, after leaving their band/group.”  Easy enough to find plenty to pick from, but exceedingly difficult to pick just ten for this particular list.  We had to axe a couple that simply didn’t have enough solo material to justify putting them above more established solo musicians (Dan Auerbach and Jack White).  We just can’t be sure which direction people with just one solo album will go.  Back to the band or keep going on their own.  Either way, there were some very tough cuts, but we think we came away with a list worthy of your attention.  Enjoy, and let us know who we missed, left off, or shouldn’t have included at all.

10. Justin Timberlake

jt

Following the “hiatus” of ‘N Sync in 2002, JT quickly released his solo debut Justified.  I know of at least a few sophomores and juniors in high school who couldn’t resist the former boy-bander’s cool pop sound.  Little did we all know, Justified would serve as merely a bridge to even more progressive and layered pop sounds.  FutureSex/LoveSounds and The 20/20 Experience have done more than show off JT’s love of the backslash, affirming Timberlake as pop icon.
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Top Ten Thursday: Best Solo Careers

How I Received My Primer in Classic Rock

I kind of wanted to review Killer Mike’s new album for today, but just haven’t had the time to fully absorb it.  I will say it is awesome and will get a full review out next week.  Instead, due to our coverage of The Rolling Stones 50th Anniversary over the next couple days and a chance run-in I had with an old friend last weekend, I thought I could take a little trip down memory lane, and get more personal than analytical for today’s post.  So if you want more of a substantial analysis of a new album, check out Wes’s Beach House review or Todd’s Best Coast review from the past couple days.  Enjoy the trip.
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How I Received My Primer in Classic Rock

LxListening: Rains Down In Africa

African world music playlistNo this isn’t an all Toto list; no matter how much I’d love to do it and weird out the other two LxLers. After years of loving music influenced by African world music (Paul Simon, Talking Heads, Dirty Projectors), I finally decided to plunge in and just listen to the stuff myself. What I learned is it’s no doubt a blast to listen to especially as things begin to warm up here in May. So here are some of my favorites in terms of African world music finished off with some American artists who incorporate the stuff. This is admittedly tweener African music, but it’s what I’ve dug into and enjoyed at this point.
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LxListening: Rains Down In Africa

LxListening: Lady Laurel’s Listenings


^^ I also watch The Bachelor

LxL patriarch Todd has been politely hounding me for a few months now to add my particular brand of musical discernment to the pages of Little by Listen. And let’s just lay the truth bare while we’re all gathered here today and acknowledge that the most important ingredient I bring to this Bitches Brew is, in fact, estrogen.
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LxListening: Lady Laurel’s Listenings

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: Go It Alone