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 Musical Trios

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Editor’s note: This originally published in 2014. Thanks to Nirvana being back in the spotlight with the new HBO documentary, Montage of Heck, we thought we would bring back our list that celebrates Nirvana and many other trios.

The best things in life come in threes. Primary colors, three-piece suits, movie trilogies, and creators of this here blog all come in threes. Schoolhouse Rock, the bedrock from which we have built our collective cultural knowledge and fortitude, even went as far as saying “3 is a Magic Number”.  We at Little by Listen, just hit our three year anniversary, and are happy to still have this format to talk music with each other and you the reader. So in honor and thanks for three wonderful years, we give you our favorite musical trios of all time.

10. Rush

rush

Beyond the quality of the music, an important criteria for this list was strong contribution from all three members, rather than it being more of a one-man show. Rush certainly fits this criteria to a T, even if I don’t think their music is of the highest quality.
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Lauryn Hill Song Review: “Black Rage”

Lauryn Hill

“Black Rage”

Lauryn Hill

 

Lauryn Hill has been largely irrelevant for quite some time.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Lauryn Hill fan.  Obviously, Hill was great with the Fugees, and then her one solo album was universally loved.  But, can you even call what she has a career at this point?  Since The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill she has only released an unplugged album, a handful of singles, and toured very sporadically (tours which ironically price out the communities she claims to support).

But in music, talent rarely just up and disappears.  Whether an artist is being derailed by drugs, prison, self-imposed hiatus, etc., there always seems to be a little left in the tank which us fans pile hope upon hope will present itself.  “Black Rage” is one such case to make us believe.
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Top Ten Thursday: Sophomore Surges

In honor of starting our second year as a full-functioning blog, we decided to make a top ten list of the best sophomore albums, in hopes of a sign of things to come for us.  We already tackled sophomore slumps, and hope to avoid the same fate of the likes of Puff Daddy, Hot Hot Heat, and Weezer (Pinkerton…YUCK!).  Hopefully you enjoy the next year of reading our little slice of internets as much as we enjoy these next ten albums.  One quick note; although we titled the list “sophomore surges”, we simply looked at the best sophomore albums more than the “surge”.  In a few cases the second album may not even be as good as the first, but is still great in its own right.  Thanks for reading, and as always feel free to give your suggestions on what we overlooked, over-included, or why we just plain suck.
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LxL Fest: 3 Days, 33 Acts, 1 Stage

lxl fest, little by listen festival, music festival, lineup
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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”