This Fall, there will be plenty of new albums dropping from some of our generation's preeminent musical artists. The above are some of my pics based on consistency, past performance, and their latest singles. Robin Thicke's Something Else was released Septemeber 30, and from first listen it's true to form and definately worth having around the house for the grown-up nights. Here's the rundown
- 808s and Heartbreak (Nov. 25) Kanye West: Always innovative and exciting in both style and arrangement. While others in hip-hop are living in the shadow of Jay-Z, Tupac, and Big, Kanye, like any good student, takes his knowledge and love of hip-hop (past and present), and propels us into the future with unique sounds and amalgams of different musical genres. As his latest single, "Love Lockdown," demonstrates, you never know what Kanye will produce, but you can be sure that the sound, style, and presentation will be something different than your mainstream 4-count, whisper, and snap rap music.
- Something Else (Sept. 30) Robin Thick: smooth and aristocratic. A staple in the tradition of any of our great R&B artists. Like Jill Scott, Mary J., and John Legend record, it is just good to have a Robin Thicke CD in the collection. It's not groundbreaking, but he doesn't disappoint. Consistent artists do have longevity.
- I Am (Nov. 18) Beyonce: I personally prefer Beyonce's first solo album the best. It was solid contemporary R&B. However, Beyonce is an artist for women, and her music speaks to a certain demographic as evidenced from her last album and her latest singles, "Single Ladies" and "Like a Boy." She seems to be continuing the "Irreplaceable" and "Get Me Bodied" type of music with these releases. But, none of that is to take anything away from Beyonce. She is our time's Tina Turner. I think she will have a career as long as she wants it, because regardless of what any critic says, at this point, she can't do any wrong in the eyes of her fans.
- Universal Mind Control (Nov. 9) Common: I was disappointed with his last album. The lead singles "I Want You" and "The People" were the best on the whole CD (subjective). Coincidentally, his last album was his first number 1! Common is not as consistent as other hip hop artists, but he does manage to draw intrigue. And his latest single "Universal Mind Control" is great! It's classic hip hop updated for 2008.
- Evlover (Oct. 28) John Legend: His latest single, "Green Light," is a bit of a departure from John Legend's usual. And it is surprisingly well-produced, and Andre 3000 is a nice addition. Like Robin Thicke, John Legend has not produced an album I don't like. Hopefully "Evolver," won't disappoint either.