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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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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Twin Shadow Review: Confess

Twin Shadow

Confess

twin shadow confess album cover art

In the past week, the high temperatures in St. Louis have routinely been in the 106-110 degree range on a daily basis.  I have lost power twice due to this onslaught, and am also on a minimum two-shower-per-day regimen.  For the first time in my life I have turned down free Cardinals tickets simply because I don’t want to brave the results of Al Gore’s wrath for not heeding his ample warnings of climate change.  I’m not sure it’s a coincidence that Twin Shadow’s sophomore album Confess emerged during the greatest heat wave I can remember in my lifetime.  In fact, George Lewis Jr. (who is ostensibly Twin Shadow) may have made an album so hot it directly contributed a few degrees to the ever-rising heat indexes.
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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”

M83 Review: Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

M83

Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

M83-Hurry Up We're Dreaming Review

Anthony Gonzalez has a flair for the melodramatic. The electronic French artist has released three ambitious electro-pop albums just dripping with the stuff, as if life and death itself hangs in the balance. Much of it is surrounding the ups and downs of youth and young love (even referencing John Hughes films like Sweet Sixteen and Pretty In Pink on his last album, Saturdays=Youth), but no matter the subject matter, M83 has created songs with plenty of skillfulness but with a heavy handed passion. Now comes his highly anticipated and even more ambitious double album, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, where M83 elevates his sound to a new plain, allowing you to escape your mundane life in exchange for the wonderful musical landscape Gonzalez has carved out.
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