Album | Last Decade | 20th July 2022 | Virtual Wire
Various albums were released worldwide over the last decade. Musicians who ruled in the previous decade either extended or shortened their reign.
During the last decade, new acts emerged and released masterpiece after masterpiece. While we have an abundance of music to choose from, it is sometimes best to reflect on the past and ask some questions. What hit album from the last decade has stood the test of time? What album was popular at the time but is now considered a flop? These types of questions are critical. Today I'll take you on a tour of the best albums released in the last decade.
Good kiid Maad City
No hip-hop album explores the life of a black youth the way Good Kiid Maad City did. The whole album told a story and focused on the life of Kendrick as he grew through conflict-prone Compton. Each song painted a picture of each struggle he faced. In 'Sherane a.k.a. Master Splinter’s Daughter,' he explores the dynamics of lust and love and how quickly they become dangerous in Compton. The standout song of the entire album has to be 'Sing About Me, I'm dying of thirst.' Where he speaks about
three different people and how their stories influenced his life and changed his artistry. The album is worth revisiting, and each song still holds up well.
No album is as feel-good as Roots is. The album was released in 2010 by the Nigerian Highlife duo 'The Cavemen.' The album is sung in Pidgin English, Igbo, and English and explores themes of love, happiness, heartbreak, and destiny. Due to the duo being extremely musically proficient, killer basslines, polyrhythms, and live drumming are put on each song on the album. There is also the use of African instruments in each track. The standout tracks from Roots are Crazy Lover, Bolo Bolo, and Akasaka.
'Good Kiid Maad City,' for example, serves as a cautionary and exploratory tale of Black youth. While Good Kiid Maad City focuses on Compton, Psychodrama focuses on London. In songs like Black, Psycho, and Streatham, Dave paints a rough picture of London. In songs like Lesley and Environment, he addresses toxic masculinity and the ongoing abuse of women. Dave matured as a musician with the release of this album, which remains his best work to date. Psycho, Lesley, and Environment are among the standout tracks.
Most people believe Adele only releases heartbreak music; while this is partially correct, it ignores the breadth of her work over the years. Some consider her most recent album, 30, to be her magnum opus, but I believe 25 is her best work. 25 discusses her youth, loss, and her favourite subject, heartbreak. The album is interesting in that it never feels repetitive; Adele sounds fresh every time she sings. Among the standout tracks are Million Years Ago, I miss you, and All I ask.
Desert Blues might be a genre created by Grammy Winner Ali Farka Toure, but on Elwan, Tinariwen makes sure that sound is theirs. Most songs on the album remind you of The Beatles early on due to the similarity of instruments, but where they differ will be the gritty basslines, harsh guitar solos, and African percussion. Though the songs might be sung in Tamasheq you can easily feel the message behind each track. From Tenere Taqqal to Nannuflay, even down to the Bass-filled Sastanaqqam, Elwan gives you a tour of the desert and how it has changed and how it will change. Elwan remains a top-tier project that we should all give a spin on.