Music, etc.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

2006 Top Ten: #6,5

As the week winds down, so does my list of the greatest releases of the year. Today is a pretty interesting mix of a debut cd from othherwise noted veterans, as well as one of the best rap albums to come out in the past few years.

6) Ghostface Killah- Fishscale

Fishscale sets Ghostface as one of Rap's best lyricists. After a short intro, the album jumps right into its most solid track, "Shakey Dog." The song itself describes, in complete detail, Ghost and his boy Frank robbing a convenience store full of drugs. Everything down to the food being eaten by the security guards is described in detail. The drug game, as described in this song, is previlant throughout the 18 solid tracks on Fishscale.

"Kilo," easily the albums's most catchy track, flows right after "Shakey Dog" and uses an interesting hook to describe the goal of high ranking drug dealers. The lyrics delve into detail just as much as the previous track. "Some say a drug dealers destiny is reachin the ki'/I'd rather be the man behind the door, supplying the streets/A hundred birds go out, looking like textbooks/when they wrapped and stuffed/four days later straight cash, two million bucks."

"R.A.G.U." explains about the not-so-great world of the big drug tycoons, acting as a good counter-balance to "Kilo." Whereas most rappers, especially popular ones like Ghost, are rapping about how they "own the south" or they're "the king of new york," Ghost's just lets his unparralleled ability to tell a story guide him through this record. "My arts is crafty darts? Why ya'll stuck with laffy taffy?" Ghost asks in the track "The Champ." With all of the amazing hip hop out there, it really is amazing how a song like "Laffy Taffy" can make someone that much money.

Having matured greatly since "The Pretty Toney Album," Ghost's lyrics allow him to venture areas, such as "Underwater," that he hasn't touched upon in his first four solo albums. Out of all the rap cds released in the past couple of years, this one sits high above the rest.

5) Islands- Return to the Sea

This was the first truely great album of the year. For anyone upset after the split of The Unicorns, Islands answers all their fans questions with this masterpiece of a pop album. The album, according to lead sing/songwriter Nick Diamonds, is loosley inspired by Paul Simon's "Graceland." Any band thats seek inspiration from Paul Simon gets credit in my book and pulling off an album like this gives them even more credit.

Diamonds belts out tunes ranging from love stories, to death stories, to stories about the apocalypse, all with a unique flare.While it is very hard to be too original is pop music, Islands' songs do not sound like anything you would hear on top 40 radio, but they definatly could reign supreme if they were explosed to such toxins.

Track after track these songs come at you with their infectious melodies and gradually explode into poppy wonders. "Rough Gem" and "Don't Call Me Whitney, Bobby" are just two songs that come to mind that are just wonders. Each song, though, has the ability to get stuck in your head, never to be shoved out again.


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