The Last Drop

Reviews and Clues on Music That Matters (to me)

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Top Drops: 2010

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So, I’m getting a bit better on posting my favs from the prior year. 2010 theme: size and depth. It was a good year for the grandiose and high minded concepts. Amidst the cacophony, it was also a notable year for thoughtful lyrics. Put it all together and it was a great way to end the first decade of the aughts.

Honorable Mentions

Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy – I told you. I respect it as a work of high art. There is a ton of talent on display. And it really can’t get any more (tastefully) bombastic. But there is too much lacking in lyrical quality to deign a top ten placement let alone the top spot.  Maybe next year.

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February 14th, 2011 at 4:32 am

Other Top Drops: Said the Gramophone

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Yes I know, I am a bit delayed on my top picks of last year. Don’t worry dear friends, I will be assesing the blame for 2010 shortly. In the meantime, please do check out the 2010 mixtape as provided by Said the Gramophone. It’s always nice when they share both commentary and downloads!

STG Best Songs of 2010

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February 2nd, 2011 at 11:47 pm

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Top Drops: 2009

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Way too old of a post to even deign with a “man, I fell off the wagon” type beginning. This is purely saving face (and setting up so I can claw back dignity to post some 2010 stuff before that year ends too).  2009 theme: women, thanks for showing up. Here we go.

Honorable Mention

The Clipse Til The Casket Drops – Not as gritty as Hell Hath No Fury but ultimately more listenable.  Higher production value from the Neptunes lends to a more cohesive sounding album. Honestly, I just like indulging in my inner coke dealer once in a while. And for that, I thank you my Clipse friends.

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November 21st, 2010 at 8:21 pm

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Other Top Drops: Cover Me Bad

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Worst Album CoversContinuing in my further neglect of actual album review lists for 2009, I choose to propagate badness. As in album artwork. Which never ceases to produce laughter year after year. That moment when someone said “yes, that’s EXACTLY what I want” to bird nest on there forehead will always remind me that artists are a rare breed . My personal favorite happens to be the very first one on the list. Diana, I had to stick it to The Boss. Simply ludacrous. No one’s working on that dream.

How did Adam Lambert not make this list???

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December 13th, 2009 at 10:14 pm

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Top Drops: February

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Too many to count. Mainly catchup from 2008 but also a strong top 10 contender for 2009.

Portishead, Third Yeah, yeah I was hiding under a rock for a while. But at least I can recognize genius. Even if it’s close to a year late. If you are as bad as me (or worse, I won’t tell…) get this album now before you are publicaly shamed.


Erykah Badu, New Amerykah Pt. OneExperimental of a different kind. Less complete than the Collective and more… Erykah like. I saw her in concert and she couldn’t stop yapping about her chakras. I guess she’s moved on to fighting against materialist concerns. But she still doesn’t complete a thought often. Lucky for her it still all sounds good.

Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavilion – Animals are good for your. You can read about it in JAMA or something. Anyway, my health has been restored and I’m feeling more bouyant than ever. If you don’t get this same feeling from “My Girls” then something is wrong with you.

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March 2nd, 2009 at 1:05 pm

Top Drops: January

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This was easy pickins, as I was on a rampage of catching up to the good music of 2008 that I sorely missed. Is there anything wrong with easy pickins? Not at all.

The Dodo’s, Visiter – Channeling Mississippi blues and Midwestern folk into a driving, rocking, jangling beat never hurt nobody. In fact, it’s probably good for you. Very good for you if you are listening to The Dodo’s

Boyz Noise, Oi Oi Oi – Biased and subjective, yes I am. Germany is in my heart now and I can’t let go. It doesn’t help that their djs and producers consistently put out some of the best dance music in the world. And this is case in point. If the Euro continues it’s crash course, I’ll be spending more direct time stealing more music from the Rhineland. Until then, Oi Oi Oi will suffice.

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February 26th, 2009 at 2:38 pm

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Top Drops: 2008

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After much (unneeded) suspense, I’ve made up my mind. Here’s to the year that brought on my unabashed love of folk and dance music. Good music lives on. However, I will openly admit I missed out on a lot. So much so that there will be a heavy addendum of postings in early 2009 of all the albums I should have bought in 2008 (nice doing business again, Amoeba!). Furthermore, some of them would have easily made the list. I was just too stubborn to give in to popular demand (funny, I can dish out the peer pressure, but I guess I can’t take it…). This year, I didn’t have an abundance of “fall in love with” albums. Thus the list is kept to just five. However, the five on the list were in such super rotation, I would have easily worn through the grooves if they were vinyl. Again, hold that dial for the follow up posts for 2008 Best Buys I Should Have Bought.

Notable Mentions:

Panda Bear, Person Pitch – A Best Buy I Should Have Bought from 2007. One of the linchpin moments where music from the ’60s actually made sense to me (see also Natalie Portman’s boyfriend). While I may find it difficult to stray into Animal Collective’s realm, I fully support Mr. Lennox as a psychedelic Brian Wilson impersonator. And Panda Bear’s are so cute.





Beyonce, B’Day – Yet another relic – from 2006! – that did not see the backlight of my iPod until Feb 2008. But what a showing! By far, the best workout album one could ever own. 8 absolute bangers of upbeat, ridiculous funk and 2 ballads that manage to fit in with the “sweat out your perm” tempo. Or should you just pat your weave…Before Sasha Fierce represented all of the single ladies, she snuck out early, took over Beyonce’s body, put on her Freak Um dress, and hit the town to B’Day.





5. Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago – Technically a 2007 release, but people really didn’t start digging him until ’08. If only isolation could always sound this good. I’m thinking about locking myself in a cabin this year just to see if I can come up with anything even a tenth as good as this album. Album Memory Moment – 3 days of rain in Istanbul. Being cooped up in a hostel with no where to go makes an irreplaceable atmosphere for enjoying Bon Iver. That’s not to say that he can’t do happy songs (Lykke Li can drag it out of anyone I guess). But his take on a bad end to a relationship is not to be missed.



4. Gnarls Barkley, The Odd Couple – Controversial, yes, I know. The sophomore album that took a turn to the dark side. But the turn made the album (and the artists) more accessible. Sure, I would love another “Crazy”, but I sure didn’t mind “Who’s Gonna Save Your Soul”. As cliche as it is, I enjoyed the maturation of the duo. Not everything has to be a sizzling upbeat funk head rush. Furthermore, I actually found solace from the lyrics this time around. Album Memory Moment – Being robbed in London. The first album I listened to after my laptop was taken. I think I hit repeat on “A Little Better” 10 times. And it made me feel that way.



3. Jamie Lidell, JimYou knew it was going to happen. I don’t even know if I have to explain this. Alls I can say is that he’ll probably end up being my baby’s daddy. I saw the tour for this album twice. Twice. I saw Jamie Lidell more than I saw my own parents last year. It’s just not right. But if it’s wrong, then I don’t wanna….you know the rest. Album Memory Moment – Lake Windemere, Lakes District, England. I had Jim on blast the entire weekend of hiking. Note – hiking in England apparently means walking through farmers’ backyards. All of the “trails” looked like cattle paths. Y’all best get that sorted. Talk to Jamie, he’ll Figure it Out.



2. Fleet Foxes, Fleet FoxesThe nail in the folk coffin. If “White Winter Hymnal” hadn’t ruined my life last year, I might have never bought this album and left this group off the list altogether. All the hype was building to a Vampire Weekendesque burn out. But (and I repeat) then there was “White Winter Hymnal”. By far, the most delicious song of the year, full of resplendent harmonies and a meandering yet hopeful melody. The kicker – an entire album of loveliness. This was a well deserved buzz band with extreme potential. Album Memory Moment – My first 10 miler. Listening to folk. Yeah, it’s that transcendent. I normally need a red bull and a swift kick in the butt but the folksy glee from these boys was enough to carry me (at least half way – I’m way too slow).



Top Drop. Girl Talk, Feed the Animals – Annie Clark’s charming yet thick melodies owned my heart last year, but I became a sucker for this mashup masterpiece. Truly, the most frequented album in my collection of last year. There are countless moments when I just ruminate on a particular bit of cleverness (Lil Wayne over Sinead O’Connor is just touching, Kelly Clarkson over Head Like A Hole actually creates the angst KC was looking for). The fact that a mashup artist can make a compelling album is a pretty amazing feat, particularly an artist who’s live shows are outrageously inventive and interactive. And it ends with Journey. Seriously, what more do you want? Album Memory Moment – Don’t touch his Nike Air Force Ones. He stripped down to his skivvies when I saw the show in London. Rather, people clawed at him and tore off all of the appropriate bits until he was left with just his briefs and his Nikes. One kid tried to be clever and take his shoes. Not wise. Greg jumped on his back, put on a mean half nelson, and wrestled the onlooker to the ground until he got his shoe back. We all have are limits. Thank God Greg Gillis’ are few.

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January 12th, 2009 at 6:38 pm

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Other Top Drops: NPR

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In spite of my infrequent posting, you love me. You really love me. Or at least 3 of you occasionally see new posts. And I thank you. Better yet, you’ve even sent me suggestions which I cherish. My latest shoutout goes to Diana who dutifully sent me a nudge towards the lower end of the FM dial. Since I was out of the country or most of the year, I often find myself at a loss for understanding where America is musically. NPR seems like a great path towards redirection, albeit slightly mainstream (that’s for the “N”). And they let you listen to each artist to make up your own mind. Something ALL lists should do (except for slow, unreliable bloggers like me…). My only catch – why so mopey? Lots of downtempo hits – and they are hits – but weren’t we happy until the economy collapse in August?

Thanks again Diana for the prod. Keep ’em coming.

Read and weep – for joy of course.

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December 25th, 2008 at 7:20 pm

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Other Top Drops: NYT

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More in the series of what other people love. Decidedly more safe and high art. Except Ne-Yo as a pick for unforgettable songs.

NYT Hit List

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December 20th, 2008 at 2:37 pm

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Other Top Drops: Mojo and Uncut

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More end of year lists from more semi reputable music magazines. This time courtesy of Mojo and Uncut. I dig that Uncut has an angle – find music that really represents America. But I think they get lost in the trees without seeing the forest at times.

Mojo isn’t my bag, but kudos for putting anything down on paper and trying to sell it these days. Lord knows newspapers can’t do it.

Why is Stereogum my new favorite website…check it out for yourself.

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November 20th, 2008 at 9:47 am

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