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Best Of: Carlita’s Top Albums/EPs of 2014

posted January 3, 2015, 9:08 am by Carlita | Filed Under Best Of, Editorial, Music News | comment Leave a Comment


Now that 2014 is a wrap, the hour’s arrived to drop #CarlitasCuts and give props to those artists who kept me dancing, singing along and provided the flight soundtracks during a busy year. Waiting purposefully until December ended, proved a wise decision with listeners like me being rewarded with unexpected bonus early Christmas presents. Showing some EPs love in the mix, two of these selections made impactful statements even with brevity. Without further ado, here’s my list, in no particular order, below. Come back to peep my top songs soon!

D’Angelo and The Vanguard- Black Messiah

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In the whiniest Simpsons character Nelson Muntz voice I can muster, I say “HA HA!” to all those who hastily locked down their yearly lists before D unexpectedly broke his 14 year recording silence and quieted all naysayers, moving up the release of his ‘Voodoo’ follow-up in light of injustice and unrest. After getting 48 hours’ notice the record would arrive, I was “in really love” at first listen.

Schoolboy Q- Oxymoron

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A critical member of the TDE quartet, Q re-emerged and put his own stamp on the storied LA hip-hop blueprint with plenty of guests in tow. K. Dot, Pharrell, Tyler, The Creator, Kurupt, Suga Free and Raekwon make memorable appearances on this left coast winner.

Prince and 3rdEyeGirl-PlectrumElectrum

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Brash. Loud. Funk for ’14. Continuing Prince’s tradition of assembling contrasting musicians from around the world that naturally blend, the fierce female trio provided the perfect complement. Impressed by their stamina at a surprise four hour show in the spring, all I could say was “WOW”.

You+Me- Rose Ave.

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This twosome comprised of Pink and Dallas Green was a match made in acoustic alt-folk/pop heaven. Shed a few tears to several gut-wrenching songs on this beautiful record.

Mark De Clive-Lowe- CHURCH

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A reflection of true musicianship and production at its finest, Mark De Clive-Lowe’s ‘CHURCH’ stood on music’s altar as one of the dopest blends of electro R&B, African rhythms and jazz I’ve heard in a while.

Disclosure- Settle (Deluxe Edition)

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British dance producers Disclosure continued their worldwide takeover and domination, performing deep house cuts on the big fest circuit off this brilliant album featuring breakout star Sam Smith, Jessie Ware, Aluna George and Mary J. Blige. Not a weak track in the lot, I couldn’t have gotten through workouts without this blaring in my headphones.

Kimbra- The Golden Echo

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After her fantastic ‘Vows’ debut and triumphant Grammy wins with Gotye in 2013, Kimbra returned in 2014 with an experimental, theatrical electro exploration which further carved a unique lane and I found myself a frequent visitor of her existential “Madhouse”.

Raleigh Ritchie and The Internet- Black and Blue Point Two

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After seeing The Internet at the OFWGKTA Carnival, I was hooked. Interviewing them at a fest, it was clear they had things in the pipeline including their remix project with UK R&B artist Raleigh Ritchie. Offered as a free download on his site, it’s the hottest thing for 0 dollars dropped all year.

Run The Jewels-RTJ2

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As if there was ever a doubt this wouldn’t be hot, the ying-yang BFFs gel on every level. Achieving the rare feat of mass appeal without losing the underground’s respect, this hilarious duo destroyed the competition.

Cross My Heart Hope To Die- Vita E Morte

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Contributing a multimedia dimension to the art landscape, curiosity led me to this collaborative’s exhibit opening and this EP. Anchored by one of my fav producers of all-time DJ Muggs, I talked with him about this left field project also featuring Brevi, Sean Bonner and Andrew Kline. Creating hype by installing listening boxes in various cities filled with their music, their sullen songs lingered.

SOHN- Tremors

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Initially connecting with British born/Austria based producer and artist SOHN at SXSW, I eagerly anticipated the release of ‘Tremors’. Mellow, pensive, morose, this album remained on repeat.

Damani Nkosi- Thoughtful King

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Randomly coming across “Now That’s Love” featuring Musiq Soulchild and Robert Glasper, reminiscent of the classic R&B/hip-hop tracks we still bump, I needed to know more about Damani Nkosi and this amazing album. Additional collabos with BJ The Chicago Kid, Bad Lucc, Problem, PJ Morton and Thurz sealed its automatic spot on the list.

Los Rakas- El Negrito Dun Dun Y Ricardo

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Encountering the powerful video for “Sueño Americano” led me to this raw reggaeton/hip-hop Oakland repping pair. I chatted with Dun about the album which reflected gritty confidence and pride for their pais y sus mujeres and I couldn’t shut this off. In a year that saw them collaborating with Wiz Khalifa and Blondie, it’s nice to see these down-to-earth dudes about to break.

PRhyme- PRhyme

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Another December drop, Royce da 5’9 and DJ Premier helped make December one of my fav musical months. Both bringing out the best in each other + nothing to prove + assists from Adrian Younge, Killer Mike, Schoolboy Q, Jay Electronica, Ab-Soul, Common, Mac Miller = must listen.

Jack White- Lazaretto

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Forever intrigued and fascinated by Jack White because he plays by no rules, the features he provided on the vinyl of ‘Lazaretto’ raised the record bar yet again and made collectors salivate. Hidden tracks, different finishes complete with an angel hologram, separate intros on songs depending on where the needle is-enough said.

Return soon to peep my top songs soon and follow me on Twitter- @carlitamusik!

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